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I Am So Bored, by Steve Kornacki*
The election's premier stats guru needs an outlet.
*Obviously not really by him, but I don't want a network with a research staff the size of MSNBC’s to come after me.
STICK TO SOMETHING, ANYTHING
Hi, I’m Steve Kornacki, the indefatigable touchscreen guru of MSNBC, and I am so bored.
The national election happened, and I had so much to do! So many maps, so many numbers, so much purpose. Then we had Georgia’s runoffs a few weeks later, and I once again had a whole overnight full of zooming in on counties, watching numbers change in virtual real-time, and talking nonstop about margins and thresholds. You know what’s a fun word to say? Threshold. Batch is up there too.
Huge batch yet to come in from Maricopa County yet ton—sorry, I still accidentally throw the autopilot on every now and then.
But I have to, because I really don’t have anything to break down anymore. They let me do NFL playoff odds, and that was fun, but that season’s over and nothing else is really scratching that itch for me anymore.
Yeah, there’s vaccine rollout, but there’s not nearly as much drama in that. There’s no margins of victories and defeat, nobody’s sending me minute-by-minute updates on where those shots are coming from and where they’re expected to go in the next 24 hours. It’s all great news for America, but terrible for me. What am I supposed to do, go home and be a civilian? Nobody wants that.
Here’s an anecdote. I went to the local Dairy Queen on account of an unexpectedly warm day, greater turnout from the afternoon sunlight bloc than expected, and we saw it up and down the mid-eastern seaboard, which bodes well for likely pedestrians 18-54.
I ordered an M&M Blizzard, with a provisional order of a sundae if mixing machines were reporting problems. Finding everything functional, I noted shortly after finding a seat outside that with 2% of spoonfuls reporting, we had an early return of a half of an M&M, aggregate. Why is that important, okay, you look over here and extrapolate that out, we’re looking at approximately 25 whole M&Ms in the Blizzard, or the equivalent. That’s less than half an individual bag of M&Ms in this, all right Rachel. And that’s a lot of soft serve to go with it, we can always count on that coming in. Are we going to see this trend continue or are there regions of the Blizzard yet to report that we know are going to be more candy-heavy, a more diverse portion of the blended treat. Our desk put in an inquiry to local DQ officials, waiting to hear back on that. That’s an underperformance of expectations, to be sure, and if the trend holds up as more of these spoonfuls come in over the next few minutes, as we get deeper and deeper into the afternoon break, probably a disappointment from the texture perspective. Rachel?
Anyway, long story short, I’m not really “welcome” in that Dairy Queen anymore.
I’m so bored. It’s like, how many times can I go khaki shopping at the Gap in a week? The answer is 12. There were audible groans from the staff by #9, on a Thursday.
I’m not suggesting that there need to be more elections. I don’t think the American people can handle more political conflict in their lives than what we’ve already got. It’s turned into a cold tribal war, except one side doesn’t really want it to be cold at all and all of a sudden this horse-race, sports-ish coverage that we base our coverage on, well, it belies the immense real-life consequences of these races and elections.
And that’s terrible, because I’m the best goddamn numbers man that televised election coverage has ever seen. You want me on that screen. You need me on that screen.
I heard a whole lot of “protect Steve Kornacki at all costs” during the election. You know what would protect me? Stop letting violence be a political language. Set a baseline of care for every living being in this country high enough that the stakes of these elections really are low enough that we need to goose interest by talking about the elections like sports. That would go a long way, wouldn’t it?
In the meantime, I just need something to do. What am I supposed to do instead, host Meet The Press? Chuck Todd shows up to work every day looking like the oldest 6-year-old in the world, and they won’t take him off the air. No thank you, he can have that show.
I’m losing my mind. I’m starting to feel like Charlie in Always Sunny.
Maybe Pepe Silvia’s in Maricopa County. Maybe there is no Maricopa County! DAMMIT!
All right Steve. Calm down. Chill. Deep breaths. Let’s go look at slacks.
I’m so bored.
STICK TO AFFIRMATIONS
Thanks for joining me today. We’ll always end on a kind word.
It’s more or less the one-year anniversary of American society grinding to a halt — your mileage may vary, but mid-March is close enough — and we’re at a point where more and more people are in the vaccination process, and fewer and fewer people are hospitalized. The pandemic’s not over, let’s not pretend it is, but just like winter and standard time, it’s definitely on its way out the door.
Not everybody survived the pandemic. Way too many people didn’t, and most of those of us who did sacrificed so much to do so. But if you’re reading this, you did survive. Be proud of that. Celebrate the survivors around you, the ones you love, especially the ones you can’t wait to see and hug for the first time in way, way too long.
It’s not time to party yet. But as you join the vaccination program, it’s certainly all right to start planning that party. Hope’s coming back.
COMMENT PROMPT! What are you looking forward to the most once it’s safe for the populace as a whole to congregate again?