Another SOTU, another one unwatched by me.
When I was director of public policy for an Atlanta group a few years back my boss asked me what I thought of the SOTU, I told him I hadn't seen it. He was semi-irate. How could a person in my position not watch the speech? Don't worry said I. It reads a lot faster.
Am I the only person who finds these speeches unwatchable? Even with a decent speaker the stupid dance of planned applause lines and the audience drives me insane. When did political speeches go this way? Surely there was a time when the speech was delivered with power as though written into the scene of a drama. Under those circumstances the hearers would only applaud when truly seized with emotion or appreciation. The speaker might even be a little tripped up by the unexpected (better still, unplanned) outpouring of approval.
Kill the applause line. It has already killed political speeches, so we're just talking about revenge.