TV drama and real life politics.

Have you ever watched a television series? Of course you have. A while back I got Netflix and started watched the entire series of Lost. After that I moved on to Heros, and currently I’m watching the ridiculous Prison Break. At the end of every episode, you’re left with a cliffhanger. Typically, each subsequent episode solves the former’s cliffhanger which, you would think, would be to the viewer’s delight. But it’s not.
Every solution to every cliffhanger is muted by the next cliffhanger. The writers overlap suspense into layer upon layer of half-hearted victories of the protagonist or antagonist. In Prison Break, Schofield finally escapes from prison, but the plane doesn’t pick him up, so they have to run for it. In Lost, they finally get the radio to work, but they can’t transmit beyond the island, but hear a transmission from twenty years prior. In Heros, Nathan flies the bad guy into the stratosphere where they both blow up and saves the day, but it turns out it didn’t kill the bad guy, or Nathan, after all, and they’re soon fighting again.
It’s drama at it’s finest. It keeps you coming back, even though you were kind of disappointed in the resolution of yesterday’s epic conflict.
We often say “that’s just TV. It’s not real life. I’m starting to think it’s as real as it gets. This is, after all, exactly how it is with our politicians. Every bill passed is a slight disappointment for the writer, but a big one for the detractor, and soon there’s a push to have it overturned. Every election winner turns out to be not so good as we thought when we voted for him/her, and soon we’re chomping at the bit to get so-and-so out of office only to get another muted victory or screaming disappointment.
You would think that in the almost two hundred and fifty years of voting, electing and bill creating, we would be pretty set in how we operate as a nation. But no. It’s even more complicated, nothing is really solved, and we can’t stop ourselves from saying “Every year is worse than the last year. We’re going to hell in a hand basket,” etcetera.
Everything is just how we want it. We have made no mistakes. We just want the drama. We want it in every possible way we can get it. We even make TV shows of it because we can’t get enough in “real life.” And just like those TV shows, we’ll never get a happy resolution because yesterday’s resolution is today’s cliff to hang from. It’s so exciting, isn’t it?
We’re smart enough to make everyone happy. We just don’t want to because, well, where’s the excitement in that? Now, excuse me, I’m going to watch some TV.


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