As I type this, President Barack Obama is addressing our nation. Behind him, Vice President Joe Biden is situated at his right, Speaker of the House John Boehner at his left, and after every single sentence the president utters, the rest of Congress stands up and gives him a standing ovation.
This is the night where order is restored in our government. Because the other 364 are highlighted by disorder, in the form of bipartisan squabbling, corruption, slander and whatever the hell else is brewing in politics these days. But today, on this night, they all give the appearance that they are a unified front.
Hey, it’s better than nothing.
I feel like interest in this speech is subdued as is, without any other events coinciding with it. In general, nobody really wants to hear anybody talk for two hours. It’s bad enough we had to do it in college sometimes, but, heck, I can’t think of many people in the world who I can sit and listen to for 90 minutes nonstop and never lose interest. A panel of Edward Snowden, Jennifer Lawrence, Pope Francis and Rob Ford could sit and talk for that amount of time about their thoughts on the world, and after like the 19th minute, I’d stand up and be like, “Yo, I’m out.”
As exuberant and eloquent as Obama is, he can’t hold my attention for that long. Thus, I’ll put on the State of the Union, and for a few minutes I’ll be proud of myself for having interest in out nation’s affairs, but after 15 minutes, I’ll switch to ESPN and watch Super Bowl coverage for the ninth straight day.
And seriously, we’re on the eve of the biggest sporting event in the country — maybe the world — and we’re expected to shove that anticipation aside and care about politics for an entire evening? You’ve got Richard Sherman yelling into microphones, Peyton Manning’s smug grin on every television commercial advertising a multitude of products that couldn’t have less to do with one another, blizzards bearing down on the host city and causing rumblings of a possible rescheduling, and the White House is trying to compete with that?
It’s almost as if it was strategic. Maybe the state of the Union is so poor that they figured they could slip the speech through unnoticed if it happened five days before the Super Bowl?
Super Bowl festivities are planned a month before the game. People don’t plan to even watch the State of the Union Address until 10 minutes after it’s started, when they see it as a trending topic on Twitter.
In the future, I think federal officials should take a hard look at the calendar and make sure the speech isn’t surrounded by events of greater intrigue. How about mid-February? Seriously, what the hell is going on then? Valentine’s Day? Groundhog Day? Baseball Spring Training? Having Obama deliver the State of the Union Address during the monotony that is mid-February would be like the second coming of the Beatles arriving in America 50 years ago.
Oh wait, the Olympics is happening in two weeks. Nevermind. Nobody will ever care about this address.