Wednesday, October 8, 2008


The Common Man apologizes for the lack of a post yesterday. A mess of work, conspired with cleaning the house in anticipation of houseguests and a four-and-a-half hour drive to Minnesota to visit The Boy's great-grandmother to keep The Common Man off the series of tubes.

The upshot, however, was that he was kept company in the car by the dulcet baritone of Barack Obama and the tinny squeak of John McCain as he drove westward. And from the front seat (where he could see neither the candidates demeanor or body language) it sounded like John McCain won this debate by a small margin. Probably not enough to move the numbers much (though his numbers will probably improve on their own, since Obama's probably getting close to hitting a ceiling in overall support), but Obama sounded flustered and desperate when he broke with the format and pleaded with moderator Tom Brokaw for a chance to counter some of McCain's claims, as though worried that McCain's claims that Obama would raise taxes on small businesses would stick. But Obama rallied toward the end of the debate, soudning strong and nuanced on the question of a resurgent Russia and ending by hanging McCain with his support for the Iraq War and the economy. McCain, rather, seemed to peter out.

Perhaps the biggest winner of all were people who dislike Tom Brokaw. Again, The Common Man was not watching the former anchor of NBC News, but it sounded as though Brokaw was getting trampled by a herd of elephants each time a candidate wanted to extend his remarks or break with the format. Like a rubber band, eventually he was stretched too far and snapped, allowing both candidates to break with the agreed on format and joking that he was "only the help." He sounded exasperated and put-upon, and The Common Man can't imagine Brokaw's excited for the next presidential election.

Anyway, after the debates and the pundritry were over, The Common Man turned to his favorite radio station, and settled back to be awesome/mellowed all the way to his boyhood home. As he listened, The Common Man came to the conclusion that his cynicism has risen in inverse proportion to the amount of time he sits listening to music. The more he listens to talk radio, sports, and NPR, the less he's grooving and the more he's on edge. That's not a bad thing, necessarily, as it's important for a man to be aware of his surroundings, particularly in these trying economic times. Indeed, if he's not paying attention, a banker or sub-prime lender may come in the night to steal his child away. So being aware is an essential part of manhood.

But man, sometimes you just have to chill the f*@# out. And this station is perfect for that. So, in order to promote chilling the f*@# out, The Common Man presents a new feature, Songs For the Optimistic Man. Here's the first song The Common Man heard when he turned on the music last night, Jakob Dylan's "Something Good This Way Comes":

See, don't you feel better? Not only is something good on its way, but Jakob Dylan is still alive and has a career. He didn't fall off a cliff after releasing "One Headlight." This strikes The Common Man as good news.

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