Imagine waking up the night after the upcoming presidential debate and having all the news be about how no one watched. If you hate Trump as much as I do, and the system that created him, there is no more poetic message to send: Fuck you, we are done with theater, give us a system that responds to our needs.
If you are truly undecided, sure, go ahead and watch. But most people will be watching to see their guy score points against the other guy. The signal that sends to the system is that we want more of this counterproductive spectacle. More points scoring. More horrible things said.
The media spectacle that gave us Trump really wants us to watch. Even though the spectacle is what caused our current situation, it makes us feel like feeding it will solve our problems. Our only real agency here is to remove our attention.
Just. Stop. Watching.
Every meaningful protest requires you to sacrifice something. I know it's not easy to look away. It feels crazy not to watch something that SEEMS like it has so much to do with what's going on right now. It does, but not in the way we think. It's a symbol of the bad habits that got us here. It's the result of a weakness in our brains that was leveraged by the information age to destroy countries and kill hundreds of thousands.
These habits have culminated in a nation tuning in to see a rhetorical cage match between two old white men while the country burns. It burns precisely because we care too much about what old white men have to say. Toxic power has always leveraged entertainment to keep the masses from meaningful rebellion. In Roman times they had a term for it: "Bread and circuses."
You know who you're going to vote for. The debate will just make you angry and distract you from your own mental health and any productive activities you could be doing to make the world better.
The biggest thing we can all do for the world next week is not watch.