All entries for November 2008
November 05, 2008
I don’t write about music much on my blog. There is a good reason for this, which the following, rare, entry will demonstrate. I don’t know that much about it. I like to think I do, but deep down I know I don’t.
So here goes. Don’t hate me.
- With one notable exception this has been a great year for music. Look at the songs that have got to number one. Ting Tings, Kings of Leon, Coldplay, Basshunter (okay, not so much).
- Perhaps the best track of the year (and probably the best video too) might come from left-field though. Yeah, Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon runs it close, but this is superb. Having – until recently – worked in radio, I heard this quite a while back, and my colleague knew it’d be huge straight away. See if you can spot the film star in the video – everything about it is subtle, except the product placement.
- If 2007 was the year of The Feeling pastiches, then was 2008 the year of rip-offs of Arcade Fire? Both MGMT and Red Light Company seem to be following a similar (albeit brilliant) thread.
- Viewing figures for The X Factor are through the roof, right? But are the viewers taking the music seriously? I’m not just asking this because they keep saving Daniel, but because I’m not convinced many of the 13m viewers are likely to pay a penny for the records that the potential winners bring out. Christmas Number One excluded, though.
That is all.
I went to bed at about 2.15am last night (9.15pm ET), confident that John McCain was out of it.
Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio were all being pushed towards Obama wins. Just one of them was probably enough.
The Obama that spoke in Chicago a few hours ago was an older, wiser and certainly more tired one than was thrust onto the political stage back in 2004. That date – and its closeness to the present day – is just one of the amazing things about this election.
In few races could a junior senator from a Northern state with relatively left-wing values beat an experienced war hero like John McCain.
Throw in his race – but more importantly his full name, Barack Hussein Obama – and the result of the 2008 election could have been written by Hollywood.
- Dizzy makes a good point that this wasn’t the landslide that the electoral college would suggest. As I write, McCain received 47% of the popular vote. If this wasn’t an election, that’d be rounded up to ‘half’. The United States is still a divided country, even if state boundaries have conspired to suggest otherwise.
- I stumbled across this website yesterday which is very cute. It’s the online equivalent of “are we nearly there yet”. Until a few hours ago, it said “almost”.
- The TV coverage on both sides of the Atlantic was interesting. David Dimbleby on the BBC was useless, and must surely be approaching retirement. He had to ask his studio guests to help him identify Joe Lieberman, kept barking at the control room while still on-screen, and didn’t give the impression he knew much about U.S. politics.
- Sky did better, but the constant ad-breaks made me give up. It’s a bit like watching Formula 1 on ITV – you know something’s going to happen while you’re learning about washing powder.
- Stateside, MSNBC was a bit dry, Fox News was a bit depressed and CNN brought Star Wars to the Presidential Election – their correspondents appeared in the studio by hologram. I loved it.
Later I’ll probably write something about what all of this means for the UK.
November 04, 2008
The U.S. Election, after about six billion years of waiting, is finally upon us. It seems to be an almost unbloggable subject now. There’s little left to be said.
It’s been the most fiercely contested election in history – anywhere. Never before has there been such interest in a electoral battle between two people.
The internet’s been a big winner of 2008 – there’ve been few arguments overlooked, barely a minute without another revelation about McCain or Obama’s policies.
But has this been the most transparent election ever?
It’s hard to think so.
To some extent, the media’s role in all of this has been devolved for the first time to the people who upload and comment on videos on YouTube, to college campuses and to the writers on Saturday Night Live.
But there’s been a dearth of hard, investigative journalism since the primaries ended. Perhaps the bitterly fought preliminaries meant there was little to discover about the two candidates once they’d fought off the might of the Clintons or the Christian right.
There were raised eyebrows at some stories – Obama’s choice of church and McCain’s choice of running-mate. But we didn’t learn very much about the candidates that we didn’t already know two years ago.
Some journalists were burned by the 2004 cockup in which CBS News wrongly presented controversial documents as fact. Respected journalists lost their jobs over it.
So I can’t help feeling that whoever wins tonight (or tomorrow), we might need to expect the unexpected. Neither candidate’s biography seems to have been finished yet.