Remember Seinfeld? Jerry had a puffy shirt. Elaine had to decide if guys were sponge-worthy. George had parents who were always YELLING REALLY LOUD. Kramer was going to be rich. And Neumann..... well .... the less said the better.
Remember how everyone watched the show? We went along for the ride, but that was it. We were just along for the ride. We never bonded with the characters. No one LOVED Elaine, or worried about George, or celebrated Festivus (the holiday for the rest of us). It was the top rated show for years. Then came the episode that changed everything. The show that ripped away the fourth wall. The show that let us in on the big joke. A show about.... nothing!
Nada. Zip. Bupkiss.
JERRY: So you're saying, I go in to NBC, and tell them I got this idea for a show about nothing.People quickly realized this joke was actually a commentary on a popular TV show we had been watching for six years. The show was called Seinfeld. After that, the show was never the same.
GEORGE: We go into NBC.
JERRY: "We"? Since when are you a writer?
GEORGE: (Scoffs) Writer. We're talking about a sit-com.
JERRY: You want to go with me to NBC?
GEORGE: Yeah. I think we really got something here.
JERRY: What do we got?
GEORGE: An idea.
JERRY: What idea?
GEORGE: An idea for the show.
JERRY: I still don't know what the idea is.
GEORGE: It's about nothing.
GEORGE: Everybody's doing something, we'll do nothing.
JERRY: So, we go into NBC, we tell them we've got an idea for a show about nothing.
JERRY: They say, "What's your show about?" I say, "Nothing."
GEORGE: There you go.
(A moment passes)
JERRY: (Nodding) I think you may have something there.
Like everyone else, I was watching TV last night. Barney Frank was out there explaining how the Republicans walked out of the meeting and Dodd was going home. Lost in the Big Story of the Walkout was a really telling piece of informtation. The other day, McCain was quoted as saying he was "studying" the plan. Last night he admitted he hasn't read it! I'll admit Paulson's Plan wasn't much on the details, but it was certainly more of a plan than anything McCain has offered. He has offered nothing.
That's when it hit me.
That's McCain's plan! In fact, that is his whole campaign!
Nothing. His campaign is about nothing. It's all distractions.
Like Seinfeld nothing that will work... for a while. But eventuallly nothing gets .... well boring. For me, The Pitch marked the end of Seinfeld. It stumbled along for another couple seasons, but it was a shadow of its former self. Sort of like McCain is today.
Last night's revelation that McCain lied about reading (or not reading) Paulson's Plan means the guy driving the bus isn't even paying attention. The sound you hear is the sound of a blowout. The Straight Talk Express has veered across the yellow lines of common sense, crashed through the guard rails of responsible governance, and tumbled over the cliffs of insanity. As the bus burst into flames, Pfotenhaur's bizarre comment to Shep Smith the other day suddenly makes sense:
"It didn't matter what china got broken as long as the problem got solved."The problem? McCain's campaign is about nothing. All the broken china in the world won't solve that problem.
-- Nancy Pfotenhauer describing McCain's approach to problem solving,
on "Studio B" with Shep Smith, 9/24/08
I can see why he suspended his campaign. Palin's funny, but she just doesn't have enough material to keep going. McCain's whacky, but he doesn't have the writers to keep pushing the envelope. I have no doubt Americans would be happy to watch the McCain show with morbid fascination for as long as it was on. However, ratings will continue to plummet and it is only a matter of time before the sponsor's pull out. After all, who wants to be associated with a campaign that is nothing but a punchline?