So Vince McMahon has announced that he is bringing the XFL back. Why? Because the NFL has become slow, predictable, and bogged down by rules that neither the viewer nor the referees always understand. I love it, and I wish nothing but the best to the new XFL.
And Vince got me to thinking, as I sit down to watch a different slow, boring, predictable, overhyped event, maybe THAT needs the XFL treatment too. I speak of course, about the State of the Union. Is there a more overhyped event in tv? After all, we know well in advance what is going to be said, we know how the principal players are going to act (and I do mean "act"), and we know it serves no practical purpose anymore.
So here's what -- we have to decide once and for all, are we going to just keep pretending the SOTU is something it is not (interesting), or are we willing to fix what is clearly broken? If it's the latter, may I suggest the following changes:
- The Speaker and Vice President no longer sit behind the President. As a nation, is there anything more boring than watching the Vice President act like a psychophantic lapdog who just wants to keep by giving standing o's to the boss? Seriously, this is the USA, and yet we somehow make the guy who's one heartbeat away from running the country look like he's a five year old boy trying to get his mom to give him a bigger piece of pie. I say the spouse of the President and a citizen-guest of the President should be allowed to sit behind him. Tell me that wouldn't be interesting this year...
- Is there anything worse than watching members of Congress fawn over the President as he walks in to the chamber? Since when did that become a thing? Five minutes before the President enters, everyone should be forced to take there seats, and the President then walks calmly in. That'd save ten minutes right there.
- The speech itself cannot exceed thirty-five minutes. I'm giving five minutes more than I want to just for wiggle room, but at 9:35, the mic goes off. Nothing that can't be said in thirty-five minutes needs be said, so limit it.
- Ten members of each party are allowed to bring signs into the chamber, and each of the will be guaranteed to be on camera for fifteen seconds.
- The President must end his speech with a phrase that then becomes the official phrase of that year, but such phrases can never be used again in a SOTU speech.
Those are my suggestions just to get us started. Your welcome America. (And THAT is how you end a SOTU - "You're welcome America.")
More wisdom next week.