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A Non-Political Hyper-Analysis Of The First US Presidential Debate 2016

28/09/2016 11:34 AM IST | Updated 29/09/2016 8:21 AM IST
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Azra Fathima

I kept the alarm (but still woke up 10 minutes late) to watch the presidential debate from the other end of the Atlantic.

So, here is a television viewer's take on one of the most-watched debates in the world.

90 minutes. On stage, behind the podium, in front of the audience and the moderator. Scrutiny is an understatement.

90 minutes. Millions watching and hyper-analyzing every word, gesture and expression.

90 minutes. No commercial breaks. No camera cuts. Just a split screen, zoomed in on the made-up faces.

The preparation and homework that must have gone in is unimaginable. After all, the stakes are tied to the most powerful job in the world.

Expression. Eye contact. Gestures. Tone. Pitch. Blink. Flicker. Cough. Sip. Sniffle.

Yeah, the briefing documents must have had notes running into pages for each item.

One almost felt sorry for them. Here we were perched on the sofa with tea and an array of sandwiches, looking forward to 90 minutes of undiluted entertainment.

A chance to play god. And an endless investigation of the key issues.

In addition to no commercial breaks, there were no bio breaks either. They must have avoided drinking water at least two hours before getting on stage.

Still, Donald sipped. And the trolls went berserk with his drinking.

Then they had to arrange their face exactly in the manner that the campaign managers had told them to.

What to show? How to hide? There's no place to go when you are in the limelight.

Smile! Hillary did plenty of that, poor woman, giving in to the criticism that she doesn't.

Don't smirk or shake your head. But Trump went ahead and did just that after 15 minutes of polished restraint. His campaign manager must have sent a text message to his colleague – smh.

He sniffled a bit too and it got written about. Wondering how that comes in the way of Presidency though...

In addition to sniffling, was there shuffling? Who could tell? The podium covered it well. Thank God! You can't be seen shuffling if you are running for the President's office.

Don't cough. Choke but don't cough. If you cough, you will be written off. She didn't.

But she did her famous shoulder shimmy, just once. And the trolls went to town with the now famous shimmy gif.

Hillary Shimmy GIF

What to wear? Bright? Sober? Pleasant? Feminine? Humane?

Hillary pulled off the bright red jacket brilliantly, along with the expertly coiffed hair.

Just how many hours were spent selecting the colour and cut? How much analysis and how many psychological analyses of the subliminal effects of colour must have been done?

Looks like it worked. She looked sensational. And Trump saw red. That explains why he interrupted Hillary 25 times in 26 minutes.

The carefully selected blue silk tie stood out pretty well against Trump's crisp white shirt. It seemed to have a calming effect on Hillary.

She won this round, in my estimate. Not hands down. Or not because she was brilliant. Mostly, because he was being himself. A brat.

Memento Mori by Pablo Bartholomew

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