Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Something new from David Sedaris

I don't normally read The New Yorker, but I was sent an article by David Sedaris, and I normally do read him. It was a piece on undecided voters, and I couldn't help but print it out immediately and devour it like a hot grilled cheese sandwich. The piece, although shorter than my hero-worshiping self would have liked, was funny in only the way that Sedaris can make a topic comical: biting satire (that is closer to high-tea cucumber sandwiches-biting than a 12-inch hoagie-with-extra-onions-biting) with just enough zing to make it really shine.

Below are some of the pieces that I found especially humorous:
   To put [undecided voters] in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
   To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
   I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?
I really like how his images - although not stating any particular choice of candidate in this election - make it seem like anyone would be stupid to be an undecided voter in this year's election. It's almost like that South Park episode where the children had to choose between a douche and a turd. This correlation between the choices of presidential candidates and chicken vs. a "platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it" really does sum it up for many voters (on both sides). One choice is seen as the healthy meat option. The other one is a pile of shit with broken glass. It's inconceivable to people who have made their minds up how anyone could even think of having a different opinion. And yet there are those people...

Although Sedaris' choice of candidate this November seems to be clear without having to read too closely between the lines, he never comes out and says who it is. (Pardon all the metaphors there.) However, I do love how he wraps up his essay:
   I wonder if, in the end, the undecideds aren’t the biggest pessimists of all. Here they could order the airline chicken, but, then again, hmm. “Isn’t that adding an extra step?” they ask themselves. “If it’s all going to be chewed up and swallowed, why not cut to the chase, and go with the platter of shit?”
   Ah, though, that’s where the broken glass comes in.
Brilliant.

1 comment:

Undecidedman said...

I love David Sedaris, but in this case he is making the same error as others who take easy shots at we "undecideds," mistaking thinking about the election (which, by definition, undecideds are still doing) with not thinking about it (which decided voters need to do less of, having already made up their minds). Anyone interested in what a real, live undecided voter is thinking about can visit a blog I created (www.undecidedman.com) and see if there is still more to talk about than chicken vs. sh*t sandwiches.