It's kind of a traditional thing, anymore: live blogs, drinking games. The ceremonial "who's there?" and "what are they wearing?" But I'm beginning to think, that, seriously, the whole SOTU thing should just be a Blog Carnival. No. Really. Stick with me on this.
No "You lie!' No "eye rolling" caught on crowd pans. No "selective committee of people decide who gets to do the official rebuttal." No. Set up a registry with, obvs. the President, and then some smattering of GOP, Green, Liberal, Tea Party, Constitution, Libertarian, whatever--cut-off at something fathomable, like, say, 20. Then, the Blog-posts go up, and right below them--still with me?
A "Like" button.
It could be timed so every poli-blogger knows when to go to SOTU Carnival dot gov. They can link back and share their thoughts with their readers. Beverages can still be consumed. But then no one does a head-count of, say, Supreme Court Justices or has to give a damn who sat next to whom. No one is saying whose tie looks like what or judges delivery (talks too fast, seems too serious, bleh)--they just look at what you have to say about the direction this country is taking, and click "Like". Also--no talking heads talking over the damn thing. No Chris Matthews, but then, no Erik Erikson.
Oh hell, this is totally a computer-having tech-savvy privilege idea. The SOTU will still need to be an analog event, and not fully digital for the foreseeable future. Tech shouldn't be the price of access, even if it would be more interactive than old media in terms of short-circuiting the mindless commentary of corporate-media-endorsed authorities and a return to concentration on the written and intentional word and what it means, instead of the stagecraft.
I can dream.
(Why yes, I did drink through the speech....)