The West Wing

Posted by martin parnell |
The West Wing

It’s been a long five months since I was diagnosed with “Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis” or, a clot on the brain. Initially, there were many restrictions and I slept most of the time. Also, Sue had gone to England for her Dad’s funeral and I was spending a lot of time alone. I was bored and needed something to occupy my time. We have many DVD’s and I thought maybe I could rewatch Battlestar Galactica. I’m a big science fiction fan and can you really go wrong with Cylons taking over the planet? Well, apparently you can and I soon got bored watching reruns. Then, at the back of the shelf, I spotted the complete box set of “The West Wing”. Sue had bought me this gift for one of my birthdays and it had just sat there never seeing the light of day. Every so often she would suggest we watch it and but I didn’t show too much enthusiasm. However, these were desperate times and I popped the first disc in the DVD player. An hour later, I was hooked.

The series is set primarily in the West Wing of the White House, where the Oval Office and the offices of the presidential senior staff are located, during the fictional Demographic administration of Josiah Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen). The show ran from 1999 to 2006 and in total there were 156 episodes. Over those seven years the show won three Golden Globe Awards and 26 Emmy Awards. The story line took us through the two, four year terms of President Bartlet and the election of another Democrat President, “Matt” Santos (played by Jimmy Smits).

The stories were well written and what was fascinating was comparing the status of the issues today to the ones highlighted in the series 10 years ago. Some have changed. Legislation of gay marriage, a nuclear deal with Iran, diplomatic relations with Cuba and the establishment the Affordable Care Act. However, some that have not include Gun control and illegal immigration. Now, here we are in 2015, and two election races are under way, one in Canada for October and the other for the USA Presidency in 2016. Leading candidates, south of the boarder, are Hillary Clinton for the Democrats and Donald Trump for the Republicans and in one of those “fact is stranger than fiction” items Hillary Clinton was diagnosed with “Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis” in December 2012, after suffering a concussion from fainting. She has since made a full recovery and is hitting the campaign trail while, for me, it’s time to switch off the TV and to hit the running trail.

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