Sedaris on undecideds

David Sedaris in the Shouts & Murmurs column of the New Yorker, entitled Undecided. On undecideds:

I look at these people and can’t quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?

To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”

To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.

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4 Comments

  1. Indie Voter
    Posted 10/30/2008 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I think Mr. Sedaris is missing the point here – it’s not that undecided voters are trying to decide between chicken and a platter of shit, it’s that they’re trying to decide between two baloney sandwiches. One might be on white bread and the other may be on wheat, but they really trying to decide which one of the two has slightly less baloney. I personally can’t stand baloney, and I’ve already made up my mind, but I can definitely sympathize with them.

  2. Indie Voter
    Posted 10/30/2008 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Oops… I left out the word “are” in the second sentence. Arrrrrr!!

  3. alex
    Posted 10/30/2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    The pirate “Arrrrr” is much better anyway.

    I agree that it is frustrating that politicians exaggerate. I’d love it if there were a system that encouraged honesty. Unfortunately, especially in presidential politics, an honest candidate is a losing candidate. Imagine, to take one example, if Obama said “I’m planning on rolling back my tax plan so that it increases taxes for those making more than $140K, keeping them flat down to $90K and providing a tax break for those under $90K. And my health care proposal is going to be rolled in very slowly, providing more protection for poor children, to begin with. I’m going to stop paying contractors in Iraq, and flatten some major military projects. And I’m going to do some deep deficit spending over the next three years, as just about every economist recommends. And as for education–we might help out Head First a little, and make some incremental improvements to NCLB, but no sweeping reforms.” If he said that, he’d lose the election. Likewise, if McCain was forced to lay out his budget, he’d be screwed.

    On the policy side (not how he’ll pay for it), I think Obama has provided more detail than McCain on his site. There are some areas (e.g., securing the borders) where McCain has more interest, and therefor more detail.

    But the fact that politicians lie doesn’t explain the difficulty in choosing, IMHO. To go back to Sedaris’s metaphor, either way it’s going to be airline food. I got served chicken on my last flight, and took one bite and left it behind. Nonetheless, I would have had little difficulty choosing rubbery chicken over life-threatening crap.

  4. Indie Voter
    Posted 10/31/2008 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    And rubber chickens are funnier, too!

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