It’s Happened Before

It might’ve happened on a football Saturday where there were big games at 11:30AM, 2:30PM, and 6:45PM. You’d arrange to be in front of the channel and catch the last hour of College Football Gameday. Then you’d watch the first game and the halftime highlight show and the 2nd half. Same for game 2. Finally, by game three, you’d have had enough. You’d heard all the scores, seen all the highlights, listened to all the analysis…and you finally said, “That’s enough football for today. I just can’t take any more.”

It might’ve happened on various newsworthy events with varying degrees of importance. Like the O.J. Simpson trial. I mean, we’d seen all the video of the chase in the white Bronco. We’d seen O.J. trying on the gloves a million times. We’d seen Judge Ito. We’d seen Kato Kaelin to the point where we actually knew who he was. It got so bad that I just waited for my next door neighbor to fill me in on the details every afternoon…which she did faithfully because her job allowed her to watch TV while she worked. I finally said, “That’s enough O.J. for today. I just can’t take any more.”

Or the L.A. riots after Rodney King’s verdict was read.

Or even the presidential election where Florida got involved and we first heard the term “hanging chad.” Which, I maintain, would be an excellent band name.

Or Paris Hilton going to jail.

I could go on.

But my point is that, in this age of media saturation, I’m taking great pains to avoid election burnout.

Today, I’m going into media silence. I’ll play CD’s in my car all day. I’ll study while I’m at work and will be in meetings or will set up the middle school room or prepare small group leader packets. Then I’ll have middle school ministry going on tonight. Then I’ll come home and maybe watch something left over in the DVR or read a book or magazine and maybe will go to bed early.

And, seriously, I’m going to try to wait until the daily miracle that is a newspaper shows up at 5:00AM to read the headline as to who our next president will be. Old school. Like my grandfather used to do it, man.

I mean…I care.

I voted.

I simply don’t want to watch all day to see voters exiting with reporters asking people who they voted for and why. I just think my life’ll be better without hearing that the early results, with 15% of the precincts reporting, from Ohio, show a race too close to call. Followed by some former campaign strategist telling us what that means. Followed by early results from Pennsylvania. Then the senate race in New Hampshire is too close to call. Ohio precincts are up to 25% and it’s still too close to call! Then New York’s electoral votes go to candidate A. As we all knew, Texas’ electoral votes go to candidate B. Let’s go to Former Campaign Strategist to tell us how things are shaping up in swing states near the Rocky Mountains. Oh, yeah. California’s important, too. And they’re voting like we all thought they would. Then we’ll wait for the 11PM east-coast news cycle so this candidate or that candidate will concede the senate seat. There will be a big ol’ electronic touch-screen map changing colors and a countdown to 271.


I can think of at least five things I’d rather do with that five hours of my life.

Old school. Like my grandfather used to do it, man.

That’s how it goes for me today.

A self-imposed media blackout.

I’ll let you know how it goes.