Friday, October 3, 2008

End Of The Big Easy

One thing I find unusual about the debates so far, is the civility and respect that both party's candidates have shown to each other this election year.

The two debates certainly haven't devolved into nasty exchanges in any way. Thursday night, Palin's inexperience showed at times, as did her nervousness, especially early on. But Biden never appeared to mock or look down on his opponent, even when he clearly had a stronger grasp of certain issues. Palin for her part, never really used her subtle but brutal sarcasm to cut down Biden, though she did throw a couple good jabs, in a gentle humorous way. Biden appeared to take the pokes in stride, and in the good-humored spirit they were delivered in. The sound bites and pandering to the lowest common denominator which has become so tiring and sickening to the electorate (or to me, anyway) in the past few elections has been kept to a minimum, so far.

There's two more debates to go and the attitudes might still change, but it's refreshing to see the debates proceed in this friendly manner. I wonder if the match-ups are so tame do to their unusual and new gender/race make up. The specter of racism and sexism might be keeping the candidates more focused on issues than slander and personal attacks this time around. Or maybe everyone is indeed just so tired and impatient of the old games, when we're teetering so close to the edge of disaster. Serious candidates for serious times.

Either way, it's nice to see the prospective leaders acting like adults. Now if only the political pundits would get with the program...

Friday was a sparkler, I spent the latter half of the work day in hill country between Wilbraham and Hampden, where some farms hidden in small hilltop valleys still survive, alongside high-elevation wetlands.

Some of the farms, sadly, have been commandeered by the now dead McMansion era. All that remains of this hidden hilltop farm is a lone silo, left standing as a folksy prop at the entrance to a subdivision.

At least one good thing to come of the end of the super-easy credit era will be the reining in of the out-of-control housing sprawl that has permanently changed some of the most beautiful areas of the valley...

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