The internet has given us a kaleidoscope of surprising gifts over the last couple of decades.
We can immediately coo over our aunt's new cat. We can instantaneously weigh in on a friend's new hairstyle. And we can watch political events unfold in real time, even as we sit a few states away from the signs, slogans, and voting booths.
But while communicating with our aunt or friend is a cinch, talking with those we've never met about delegates and votes and issues and polls is a stickier wicket, at least in a face-to-face realm. Sure, we can remain behind our screens and post our thoughts in multiple forums, but where can we gather with those also obsessed with our country's political process?
In a word, as of Tuesday, March 1: The Hammer Museum, in Westwood. In fact, the art institution, which assumed a permanent "free admission" status a couple of years back, is throwing two concurrent days of Super Tuesday-themed events, starting with an evening party on Super Tuesday itself.
That begins at 5:30, and if you're hoping for giant screens at the museum, a cash bar in which to grab a glass of wine for sipping while you stare at the screens, and other people who can't get enough of breaking down the numbers and the states and percentages, you'll be in fine and lively company.
Will there be fireworks of the conversational sort? Presidential election years have a way of summoning our most spirited, closely held opinions. Two comics, by the by, will be on hand to lend levity/perspective: Look for Matt Kirshen and TJ Chambers to be "commentating."
But the Super Tuesday action doesn't end on Super Tuesday at the Hammer. On Wednesday, March 2 the museum will host a trio of pundit-tastic observers in order to sift through what the Super Tuesday results meant. A Republican strategist, a managing editor for a Democratic publication, and a senior elections analyst will be in the house to both "dig into the numbers" and "discern trends."
That's at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and, yes, the panelists will look at other races beyond the candidates going for the White House.
Watching all of the riveting, frustrating, enlightening, and opinion-provoking election froohaha from behind your screen is just fine, but gathering with your fellow Americans, in this big year, to hash things out, chat about the issues, and hear from political honchos, seems a wise, interesting, and sensible next step.
Fireworks, of course, may ensue, as they often do in these important run-ups.