An Insomniac watches the Clinton/Trump debate but fails to gain respite
In the early hours of Tuesday September 27 2016, in down-town Woodford, England, your editor tried to overcome insomnia by watching the Clinton/Trump shoot-out.
It didn’t work. Confused, and more awake than ever, I stumbled to bed at around four am in our time zone (we have built a time wall around our British borders. A beautiful magnifisplendous wall).
The Pinocchio count
Eighty million people watched the debate in America. Maybe they were looking for enlightenment. Or entertainment. For me there was more of the latter. It was cage fighting, with referees monitoring the truth count. One referee marked it as Donald 34 Pinocchios, Hillary 4.
I know the significance attributed to the event by those who were once regarded as experts. But who knows in this so-called post-truth, experts are dumb, trust me I’m not an expert, world? So I’m just confused.
The Cage Fight
If I hadn’t been told, I would have had trouble figuring out what was happening. A rather gentle and serious referee tried to get a good clean fight, no gouging, hair grappling, no personal abuse. To little avail. The one in red, the neater more clinical fighter sliced and diced her opponent. The larger fighter was more aggressive, but seem to leave his opponent unscathed as she smiled in a slightly scary way at his flailing efforts.
Some web-based referees marked the fight a technical KO for the fighter in the red corner. Others had it for the one with the unique grasp of the English language and more creative hair. He also had a near knock out with a move in which he cried “I’ll show you what’s in my lunchbox if you show me what’s on your iPad.”
Fascinating, dramatic, but the millions wanted a knock-out. In that they were disappointed. For me, the fighter in red was closer to what I thought a winner looked and sounded like. But as a complete outsider, what do I know?
The Guardian, that well-known unbiased source of news, spoke much sense (i.e. agreed with me), the next day [September 27]:
By traditional standards, the first televised US presidential debate on Monday night produced a clear result. Hillary Clinton’s experience, grasp and temperament proved superior qualities to Donald Trump’s forcefulness, rambling and egotism. Fears that Mrs Clinton’s recent bout of pneumonia would cause her to stumble proved unfounded. Instead, Mr Trump’s sniffing caused more comment on the night. But the question, in this most unpredictable of elections and in a new media world, is how far traditional standards matter any more.
The Guardian Editorial [September 27 2017]