Mosquitoes and Politicians
We have had a remarkably warm March in Chicago; the temperature has been in the 80s and I just killed a mosquito. However I have been accosted and overwhelmed by a far worse pest: automated phone calls for the upcoming primary. For the last week, we have been continually plagued by robocalls, and they are intentionally inconvenient and obnoxious.
None has said, “Hi, I am interrupting your dinner to tell why I should be your state senator.”
No, the calls would exclaim, “If you knew all the sordid details about candidate Drake Preenwell, you wouldn’t be able to eat. And he wouldn’t care! Why he probably would be laughing at you! Now, what kind of person would be making fun of you while you are lying in your own vomit? Certainly, not someone you would want for your state senator. And definitely not Drake Preenwell.”
“Paid for the Committee to Save You from Drake Preenwell.”
You won’t appreciate the annoyance; and you will be furious when that robocall is left ten times on your answering machine. And who will you punish? Drake Preenwell, of course. You may not realize it but the repeated attacks have nurtured your suspicions about him. Of course, you know that the call was shamelessly biased and ruthlessly distorted, but there still is that gnawing, visceral doubt? What if there some truth to the attack? Maybe Preenwell is half as disgusting as the robo-call said? Or a third as vile, or even an eighth as grotesque? Is there an acceptable fraction? You no longer trust Preenwell, and you are less likely to vote for him. So, in its devious way, the robo-call has succeeded.
For the last week, my answering machine and I have been subjected to canned recriminations by two democratic candidates for a congressional seat. One reputedly is a secret Republican, and the other is suspiciously criminal. Congratulations to the two: I now am repelled by them both. I intend to vote for a third candidate–who probably couldn’t afford the robocalls.
p.s. If you are nostalgic for old-fashioned ways of lying: http://finermanworks.com/your_rda_of_irony/2010/08/03/the-libel-arts/