Please note that the following opinion column is both serious and sarcastic. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell the difference!
It's pretty darn hard to pay attention to the troubles of our imaginary friends when the soap opera of our political process is playing out on the national stage. Not since 1860, when the abolition of slavery was the hot button topic, has our country been so divided. This is very evident on the message boards where real-life politics intruded in an area that has been reserved for comments on the imaginary. I read some very unkind exchanges posted by supporters of both candidates.
What I find disturbing is that we, as fellow devotees to The Young and the Restless, don't cut each other as much slack as we cut our presidential candidates. Intolerance is bringing our country to the brink of violence, and it makes me very, very upset. I truly resent being taken away from my soap opera to deal with this very unpleasant, uncivil reality! With the support of my imaginary friends, I'm going to take a moment and weigh in on reality, or what passes for mine, and try to inject something helpful.
Patrick Henry, the great American patriot (and one of my heroes) famously commented that while he did not agree with his opponent's opinion, he would defend to the death his opponent's right to express that opinion. For me, that epitomizes the essence and intent of the first amendment; not only are we free to speak our opinions, but we should respect the right of others to express theirs. Consequently, the one political promise that I can make if I'm elected by write-in ballot to any office in Genoa City is that I will respect alternate opinions and the right to agree to disagree -- which, believe me, with a person as opinionated as I am, is frequently!
Voting is a private matter, so I encourage everyone to cast a ballot and let that opinion be heard through the ballot box. If you are actually worried that the voting system can somehow be rigged, then you are much smarter than I am because I worked a polling place in my younger days, and it seemed pretty secure to me. If you are worried, you can always volunteer to work at a poll. I'm applying for the polling place in downtown Genoa City, and I sure will enjoy checking it out to see if any dead people are voting. I would love to see Katherine and John, and as long as they can produce ID, why shouldn't they be allowed to vote, unless going to heaven counts as being deported!
Moving on, Jack seems to have regained his edge, something that's been missing for a long time. I don't know if that's a good thing -- there was a lot to admire about the kinder, gentler Jack -- but this Jack has to be a lot more fun for Peter Bergman to play. Yes, it's like we're in a time warp, right back to the early days and the bitter feud that ran endlessly between Jack and Victor as they tried to destroy each other. Last week, Jack was so manic that, for a minute or two, I wondered if Marco had slithered back into town!
For all that Jack says he is done with Phyllis, the reality is that, based on the number of times Phyllis has changed outfits lately, it can't have been more than five or six days in Genoa City time before Jack succumbed and drew Phyllis back into his orbit, even if he thought he was punishing her. I can hardly wait to see if Phyllis is in cahoots with Darth Victor. I certainly hope not. That would be like Arianne Zucker going to work for... 'nuff said.
I'm still trying to figure out whether the Victator is setting Jack up or if Jack has a legitimate source inside Newman. My gut says that Victor is setting Jack up. I'm actually glad to see that Natalie is back. I was just starting to warm up to her when her relationship with Kevin ended so abruptly. I think she and Mariah would also make a good pairing for "besties," which Mariah is going to need when the truth about Sharon is revealed. Meanwhile, Natalie, female computer genius, should be able to hack any system, insert any document anywhere, and generally do anything to a computer that Victor wants done. I think she will make a good minion for Victor.
Speaking of minions, the honeymoon seems over between Travis and Victor. Travis started out as the "golden boy," and while revelations about his libidinous past did not get him voted out of Newman Towers, he was not exempt from questions about a cyber intrusion into Newman records and the Victor-leaks that followed. Travis was miffed, but like Sharon, the lying liar, he had plenty of excuses for his behavior. I keep thinking that Abby and Travis will eventually couple up. Poor Abby, the only men available to her are men who have been intimate with either Summer or Victoria -- or her mother; she's related to most of the others
Y&R seems to be "putting the band back together" and traveling back in time to storylines and relationships that viewers want. While most despised the pairing, I did read comments from many of you who liked the dynamic between Billy and Phyllis. Honestly, I did too. I thought there was a lot of passion between them and still do, but I think most of you were morally outraged that Billy would go after his brother's wife. It is likely that we will see some kind of reconciliation between Phyllis and Jack, even if they drift apart later. We could all probably accept a relationship between Billy and Phyllis if she and Jack were apart for an appropriate period of time -- a week or two in soap opera time.
It does seem like Billy is shifting his focus back to Victoria. He's definitely taking an interest in Travis. Victoria must be living a nightmare from which she can't wake. No matter how often the man she falls for vows his love or promises that he will be truthful with her, he lies, and it always comes out in a way that is hurtful and embarrassing for Victoria. Over the course of the last three years, Victoria has been involved with three men: Billy, Ben, and Travis. All lied about something really important when each had the opportunity to tell the truth -- just like many political candidates have been know to do! Hey, does that qualify Billy, Ben, or Travis to run for office?
It seems to me that Victoria should give up on moving on and just accept Billy for who he is. He's the father of her children, and she has already invested so much time in him that it seems pointless to look further if she's just going to keep picking pale imitations of Billy, to paraphrase Jill, who is really pleased to see that her scheme to reunite Billy and Victoria is moving along so nicely. I don't expect it to be smooth sailing, though. The reveal about Bella is bound to cause some giant ripples, perhaps resulting in Billy's eventual redemption.
Chloe continues to escape being held responsible for her actions, despite being betrayed by a nightmare and calling out Adam's name as Chelsea stood near. Chelsea accepted Chloe's explanation, but even dear, sweet Chelsea will get suspicious if Chloe's conscience keeps pricking her. I do like Kevin and Chloe together, but as an on-again, off-again, duo, they are caught in a time warp and are in a similar place as a couple as they were when Delia passed away.
Sharon is also in a similar spot to the one she was in two years ago when she had the opportunity to tell the truth but chose instead to perpetuate the lie that Summer was Jack's daughter. Sharon is a lying liar. She excuses her behavior on the basis that she doesn't want to hurt Dylan, Nick, or whoever she's keeping the secret from, but the truth is, she doesn't want to lose the cushy berth that the lie helps her retain. It's probable that Sharon will lose Dylan, and this will serve as a reason for Dylan to leave town when Steve Burton exits Y&R. Sharon will remain the town pariah, and this time, Mariah will likely be tarred and feathered with her. Mariah has been in a very difficult position. She tried to convince Sharon to tell the truth, but when Sharon didn't, loyalty to her mother kept Mariah silent. That would be a tough choice for any child to make, so I hope the good people of Genoa City give Mariah the benefit of the doubt.
If you haven't read the interview with Sharon Case on this website, then you should. The interview also appears in TVGuide, which revealed that Sharon's lies would be outed on November 1. That means we will finally get what we've been clamoring to see: Sharon's comeuppance. Two years ago, I felt sorry for Sharon when the truth came out and Nick reneged on his promise to stand by her, no matter what. This time, I think Sharon was completely wrong and should have told Dylan as soon as she began to suspect. It would have hurt Dylan, but their marriage would have been preserved. Whatever happens to Sharon as a result of her lies is her own fault. I hope Sharon has the fortitude necessary to take responsibility and atone for her selfish actions, which, it could be argued, led directly to Sage's death.
Now it will be up to Chelsea to deliver or cover up the final truth that Sully's father is neither Nick nor Dylan, but Adam. It was Sage's wish that Nick not be informed. I think that Chelsea will honor that wish.
The romance of Ben and Abby has run its course. That relationship was basically doomed when Ben's son premeditated and carried out the murder of Abby's unborn child. Eventually, Max was diagnosed with a brain tumor, but the damage was done. Ben refused to see the signs, and as a result, Max was free to act. Ben's guilt plus Abby's anger equals the end of "Babby." Two years ago, I though Ben and Ashley had tremendous chemistry together. Dare I wish for a time warp and a rewind to "Bashley?" Question: Is it socially acceptable to date your daughter's ex? What about your brother's ex?
Jack told Phyllis, "People are always willing to think the worst," as he gloated about the damage that would be done to Newman Enterprises and Victor, even if the documents, purportedly hacked from the Newman servers, were fabricated. Such is the power of gossip and innuendo, a force clearly at work as we head to the polls. Jack did not get to savor his victory. After putting Devon and Hilary on notice, Victor headed straight for Jack's office. Jack seemed pretty confident, but I'm betting on Victor to carry the day. I can hardly wait to find out what Victor has on Phyllis that will make them co-conspirators. I'm kicking myself because I can't figure out who Jack was meeting on the sly. I feel like I should know who it is. I don't doubt that several of you sly pusses have already guessed who the mystery man is, so fill me in!
I think that Hilary has found her calling. Proliferating gossip and rumor seems like the perfect occupation, but I don't think it was a good idea to tangle with Victor right off the bat. His skin is as thin as any narcissist, so antagonizing Victor without fact-checking seems like a big gamble, especially if it puts Devon's fortune at risk.
Now -- on a deliberately lighter note -- consider this: Women got the vote in this country in 1920. Seventeen years later, the first soap opera was heard on radio. Now that our soaps are disappearing, does that mean that our right to vote will be gone, too? Is this a conspiracy from the left to make us embrace reality television, or is it an attempt from the right to deport our imaginary friends and stop them from immigrating here? Has my column been rigged to prevent me from making my press deadline? Did Billy Bush make me say bad things about Victor and call him "A nasty man"? You be the judge.
Up to this point, I have not indicated my political preference, but those of you who read me regularly can probably infer my choice. If you are still undecided and want my opinion, here it is.
Over the years, soap opera has empowered me as a woman because I watched stories of women who remained strong, despite the struggles they faced. I learned that in life, just like in the soaps, women, especially single women, have to take care of themselves. I put up with groping and objectification because it came with the territory as we started working our way up into "men's" jobs. I say "put up with," because, at the time, women who came forward or said anything were belittled, by both men and women, so we kept silent.
Thankfully, those attitudes have changed for the better since I first joined the workforce in 1969, and women no longer have to "put up with" sexual assault. During the many years that I have voted, I have not supported any candidate who advocated government control over women's reproductive rights. Neither do I support the use of racial or sexist slurs. I don't believe that an immoral person can provide moral leadership.
Finally, if you saw the debate, you know that one candidate was provoked by the other and reacted impulsively. So, assuming that we cancel everything out on both sides, whose finger would you rather have on the launch button in a nuclear showdown with Vladimir Putin? A) A man who can be provoked to act impulsively; B) The woman who was brainy enough to outmaneuver him; C) Third party candidate; or D) Write-in candidate
Thank you for listening and reading my column for these last three years and for indulging my soapbox rant. As always, I welcome dissent and diversity, but I also like to find the point of common agreement. I hope that you agree that what's important on November 8th is that everyone who is entitled to vote does vote. I would pray, also, that everyone who does vote, votes from integrity, not fear.
Thanks also for the birthday wishes. It's great to be another year older. The party that Victor and Nikki threw for me was super, but as always, when GC's finest show up for a party, disaster strikes. This time, there was a raging storm. It caused a blackout, and the party was over shortly after it started. Oh, well, I was famous for fifteen minutes, and it was fun. See you at Crimson Lights in two weeks for the next meeting of Soapaholics and Proud.
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