Be careful what you sleep with…

Some people need absolutely quiet to fall asleep. I’m not one of them. I need a fan running on high and some background noise. Any program featuring talking heads will do, but for best results I’ve found the ones that are less objectionable to your own political philosophy are less apt to jar you awake because someone said something you want to argue about.

For my traditional bedtime process I usually rely on either Sky News or BBC Radio 4 (broadcasting the World Service overnight UK time) to deliver me safely in the hands of sleep. For the last few weeks, I’d gotten out of a long held habit that has closed out my day for longer than I want to remember. Instead it was parking on CNN, or Fox News, or, less often, MSNBC, to pick up the discussion about the Supreme Court nomination fight.

The longer I went in that vein, the less well rested I felt when the alarm went off in the dark hours of the morning. After a few days back in the old routine I find I’m certainly more rested – even if other circumstances have prevented my mood from making any dramatic improvements.

I know it makes me sound slightly mad, but there’s just something about hearing the news carefully enunciated and sent back across from the mother country that makes it more palatable. Even if not palatable, it’s far more pleasing to the ear. That probably sounds for more than I should admit.

Now if I could just stay away from Twitter for an hour before bedtime things really would be looking up.

What I would have told BBC Radio 5…

I had the chance a few minutes ago to speak to a producer from BBC Radio 5. He wanted me to come on air tonight and talk briefly about the budget, the impending shutdown, and what if feels like to be a federal employee under the circumstances. Now I dearly love the BBC and have since I was lucky enough to visit England in 1996, but the part of me that handles self preservation seemed to instinctively know that I my right to free speech is more protected here on my blog than it would be if I were speaking about anything remotely work-related to a foreign-owned radio network. That’s a pity, because I really, really was tempted to just do it BBC Radio 5and damn the consequences. Being the online attention whore than I am, I think everyone can understand why I would want to spend a few minutes talking to the friggin’ BBC, right? I mean just think of the untapped potential audience just there for the taking. Sadly, I opted not to go on air and talk about being furloughed for fear that I would say something that would end up getting me completely terminated. How’s that for irony?

At any rate, if I had gone on air, here’s what I’d have told the fine people listening to BBC Radio 5 Live this evening:

It’s been said that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Unfortunately the great voice of the American people, that wide swath of moderation that flows through this country like a river, is being drowned out by the extremists on the left and right wings. Both sides are equally bent on winning the argument on their own terms and both sides are equally wrong, equally damaging, and equally deserving of the scorn, ridicule, and eternal damnation of their countrymen.

Our republic has all outward signs of slipping hopelessly into dysfunction. It is no longer responsive or accountable to the people. It no longer has the consent of the governed. Tonight, I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat.

I’m an American. I love my country. And I am deeply ashamed and embarrassed by the government that claims to represent me. 

I wish I would have had the courage to do the damned interview, because I have yet to hear a single public voice calling for moderation and compromise. I don’t imagine that mine is much a public voice, but for God’s sake someone, somewhere has to stand up and scream that this madness has gone far enough and must go no further.