I don’t know about you, but I’m bone tired of the 2008 election already.
I can’t remember ever feeling this level of fatigue so early in a campaign before. Maybe in previous years I didn’t follow politics so closely, although by the 2004 election I certainly did. Maybe in previous years the elections didn’t begin quite so early. Maybe in previous years the candidates were more inspiring.
Or maybe not. At any rate, there’s something about this year that makes me want to put down the entire topic and only take it up again after a year has passed. That would seem about right; discuss it a couple of weeks before the election. After all, how relevant can what is said today—a year early—possibly be?
And yet, that doesn’t stop the relentless coverage. If you go to today’s Real Clear Politics, for example—a site I usually find very interesting, with a nice assortment of links—you’ll discover that, of the twenty-eight featured articles, thirteen are about the election.
It seems like overkill to me. Despite being a political blogger, I wouldn’t ever charactize myself as a political junkie. They seem to be some sort of special breed. I’ll get interested when the time comes, but that time seems to me to be a long and winding road away.
Till then, there are more pressing things, such as my beloved Red Sox—speaking of long and winding roads—who’ve come from behind to win the American League championship, which means they’ll be going to the World Series for the second time in four years.
The last time—as anyone who follows baseball even the slightest bit is well aware—they won the whole thing, in a fabulous and momentous Breaking of the Curse, the significance of which only fellow long-suffering Red Sox fans (with the addition, perhaps, of those who follow the Cubs, whose agonies are hardly comparable in terms of curse duration) can truly appreciate.
Now the Boston sportswriters are actually getting a bit cocky:
This must have been what it felt like in the early days of Fenway when the Royal Rooters ruled and the Red Sox were regular hosts of baseball’s autumnal showcase. From 1915 through 1918, the Sox won three World Series. They did not win again until 2004, the beginning of a magical October run that has resumed over the last four days.
I’ve written previously, here, about my baseball fandom, the what and the why and the wherefore. Once I got interested in baseball—savoring its grace and beauty, its suspense and slowness—it was clear I was a born Red Sox fan. Despite having grown up in New York in the heyday of the fabled Yankees. they had never really grabbed my heart; they were too slick, too predictable as winners.
No, the underdog Red Sox were the ones for me, and even their 2004 win, celebrated here by Globe sportswriter Dan Shaughnessy, hasn’t changed that. Back in 2004, I was one of the Boston fans who couldn’t believe that the long-awaited impossible had finally become not only possible, but real:
”This is like an alternate reality,” said Sox owner John W. Henry, soaked in champagne (Mount Pleasant, 2003 Brut Imperial). ”All of our fans waited their entire lives for this.”
Or, in my case, for about thirty-five years.
This year it’s different, of course; I doubt there could ever be a sports victory as sweet as that of 2004. But still, winning again would be pretty good.