Do I watch the debate tonight or not?? Usually I don’t watch and catch up the next day instead, getting what information I need from the newspaper and NPR. But I might not be able to drag myself away from this Palin/Biden debate tonight, although I’m afraid at the same time it will make me furious and leave me feeling slightly ill. This whole election has left me feeling slightly ill … I’m desperately afraid Sarah Palin is going to “win” the debate because she will show she’s not a complete idiot. What a way to win a debate … the magic of low expectations. It reminds me of those horrible debates between George Bush and Al Gore where Gore was clearly so much smarter and more capable than Bush, but he still couldn’t manage to win the debate because all Bush had to do was not be an idiot (barely) and people seemed to love it.
Anyway, I’ve got low expectations working in my favor when it comes to reading. I’m in the middle of John Darnton’s Black and White and Dead All Over, which is the latest pick for my mystery book club, and before picking it up I’d heard from a couple book club members that … well, that it’s not so good. I was dreading reading it. I’d heard that it’s got a lot of characters that are hard to keep track of, something I’m not particularly good at, and that it’s badly-written with lots of stupid insider jokes.
Now that I’ve read almost 150 pages of the book, I can see that all the criticisms are true, but I expected it to be so horribly awful that I’m pleasant surprised I’m not absolutely hating it. I’m not hating it at all, actually; I’m just not taking it very seriously and not trying very hard to keep all those characters straight, and it’s going along fine. If I’d had high hopes for the book, I’d be badly disappointed, but as it is, I’m just grateful it’s not God-awful.
But I do hope people don’t take that attitude toward Palin tonight … even if she’s not God-awful at the debate that still doesn’t mean she should be Vice President.