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Is it me?

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That damned box is malfunctioning again. Distorted images ... those colors are way off. Reluctantly, I get up from a groaning well-warmed perch, shiver slightly from the enveloping rush of cool air, and drag my weary feet toward the source of my discontent. Once there, I stare blankly into an animated collage of flashing lights while colorful commentary from "The Closest Election Ever" fills my ears. The picture seems slanted.

Frustrated, I take my free hand--the one not occupied by the remote--and give the box a good whack on its side. Unimpressed, it stares back at me and continues to spew its incessant garble on voting irregularities in the race between The Boy Who Should Be King and The Man Most Likely to Concede to Media Pressure. For some reason, the visual image of the Boy-King is more clear and pronounced than that of his distorted, fading opponent.

Again, I take my free hand--that's right, the one not occupied by the remote--and whack the side of the box. This time, the box magically scans a series of channels before resting on the image of an outspoken African-American reverend decrying the systematic disenfranchisement of the black vote by the "party of Lincoln." He cites a laundry list of highly suspect election-day occurrences in the state run by the brother of the Boy-King. They include the setting up of police roadblocks at polling sites in predominantly black precincts and the secretary of state's pre-election employment of ChoicePoint, a Republican-friendly firm that not so inadvertently purged 8,000 mostly minority voters from the state's rolls. It reminded me of our own state senate race a decade ago, when that good ol' boy with the same first name as the reverend had his party send out 150,000 intimidating postcards to black precincts partial to his African-American challenger. The reverend's voice and image begin to fade. The picture seems slanted.

I whack the side of the set and the channels switch once more. The resulting station projects a crystal-clear image of a smiling Boy-King after being awarded a presidential victory by his daddy, his brother and five Supremacist-Courting Justices. One of the justices has two sons that just so happen to work for the law firm representing the Boy-King. Another justice, who never says anything, is married to a woman who works for a right-wing foundation that actively supported the Boy-King.

Squinting, I step back from the box and tilt my head left to right as I examine every square inch of the flawless image it now transmits.

Does that picture seem slanted to you?

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