VikingBoyBilly asks:

Thoughts on the first presidential debate?

Billy, didn’t your mother ever tell you not to get your political commentary from obscure Pokémon blogs?

I do find US federal politics tremendously amusing, actually.  For all its faults, this country knows how to put on a show; I wish New Zealand could sustain this level of spectacle and drama for months at a time.  I did a running commentary for my friends on Facebook, which I shall reproduce below:

8:55 pm: First US presidential debate starts in 5 minutes. In the blue corner: Hillary of the House Clinton, Queen of the Senate and the State Department, Khaleesi of the Amber Waves, Breaker of E-mail Servers, Mother of Pneumonia, Dread Sorceress and Empress of the Unfathomable Night. And in the red corner: Giga Mecha Donald Trump, the 500-foot tall gold-plated cyborg who has vowed to lead America to a millennium of endless conquest and unleash the forces of Ragnarok upon the world using the mysterious alien powers of his horrifying eldritch toupée.

9:24 pm: He said “bigly”! Drink!

9:30 pm: Breaking: Empress Clinton claims responsibility for everything bad that has ever happened, promises to embrace powers of hell in order to rebuild the middle class.

9:34 pm: In response to allegations that his gold plating is only spray-paint, Giga Mecha Trump promises that independent investigators will be allowed to test samples as soon as the IRS has finished auditing his internal superstructure in 2086.

9:45 pm: Empress Clinton accuses Giga Mecha Trump of banishing thousands of his companies’ servitors to the bottomless pits beneath Mar a Lago; Trump counters that the ceaseless appetites of the Dark Voices from Parts Unknown must be fed with the souls of the undeserving if America is to survive.

10:04 pm: Giga Mecha Trump attempts to deploy a powerful reality warping device to retroactively cause President Barack Obama to have been born in Kenya after all. Empress Clinton has responded by summoning a terrifying super-predator from the depths of hell to swallow the machine whole.

10:20 pm: On the issue of preventing domestic terrorism by US citizens, Giga Mecha Trump plans to stop and frisk every person in the United States and douse guilty parties in molten gold to imprison their bodies in a metallic shell; Empress Clinton will simply cast a mind-control spell of apocalyptic proportions to bring the entire population under her thrall.

10:23 pm: Giga Mecha Trump cites his winning temperament as evidence of his suitability for government.

10:23 pm: That’s it. That’s the joke.

10:47 pm: As the debate closes, Empress Clinton changes her shape, leaving the debate stage in the form of an enormous black dragon with a triumphant roar to continue her campaign elsewhere. Giga Mecha Trump at present plans to remain on stage and convert the complex into a new casino and hotel for the beginning of a new orgy of eternal hedonism to please the Shadowy Powers he serves.

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