Drooling on the Pillow

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Pipe Fitters Discuss Lyric Poetry 

I have no idea what it means, but this article in Slate is fascinating. Thirty-one novelists respond to the question "Who are you voting for and why?" Not surprisingly they break 24-4 for Kerry with three wild hair answers. To find Bush voters they had to delve into genre fiction.

The ones for Bush generally disagree with him about everything but the war and, of course, if you agree with him about the war you agree that it is the only issue.

The Kerry voters are a mixed bag. One hates Bush because there are spiders in Iraq. Big ones. Another saw what he presumed was a Republican make what he presumed was a nasty remark to an old lady with a Kerry sign. He didn't actually hear the remark. Several live and work overseas and are embarrassed by the media coverage of this administration over there. Several are startlingly hostile to the president's religion (or question its authenticity).

Here are my two favorite Kerry answers.

John Updike
I look forward to voting for John Kerry, a man
of exemplary intelligence who was brave in war and then brave in protest of war.
I don't look for him to reverse our course in Iraq overnight, nor to provide
quick fixes for global or national problems, but there are certain things I am
sure he will not do: He won't try to pack the Supreme Court and other judiciary
with anti-choice judges; he won't push for an anti-gay-marriage constitutional
amendment; he won't try to perform voodoo economics with tax cuts and a raging
deficit. The present president has his virtues and his good intentions, but I'm
not sure the United States can afford four more years of his administration.

just for the wry, New England way he packs a graceful remark with a punch, and

Joyce Carol Oates
Like virtually everyone I know, I'm voting for Kerry. And probably for
exactly the same reasons. To enumerate these reasons, to repeat yet another time
the fundamental litany of liberal principles that need to be reclaimed and
revitalized, seems to be redundant and unnecessary. Our culture has become
politicized to a degree that verges upon hysteria. And since I live in New
Jersey, a state in which an "honest politician" is someone who hasn't yet been
arrested, I have come to have modest, that's to say realistic expectations about
public life.

Many of the rest could have been lifted from the comments at democraticunderground.com. Issues are mentioned, but it comes down to Bush is a moron and/or Bush is evil. Now, I don't think that just because these people are intellectuals, they are necessarily wrong. However, I'm with Buckley when he said he'd rather be governed by the first 200 names in the Boston telephone directory than by the Harvard faculty. And this canvas of unacknowledged legislators, to me, proves the point.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Who Wants to Suck Up to a Millionaire? 

There is something horribly fascinating about Trump's show The Apprentice. I may not want to spend ten seconds in the company of anyone associated with the show, but I watch it.

So I watched an episode of Mark Cuban's rip off show, The Benefactor. It's just as horrible, but singularly lacking in fascination.

Now Richard Branson is coming out with his own. It looks like the Robin Leach version, but I'll never know since Mark Cuban innoculated me from this genre.


How many telegenic multi-millionaires with high Q-ratings can there be? I'm sure Ted Turner is right around the corner, but after that?

I'd like to see George Soros and Rupert Murdock vying for the souls of contestants. Put ten sociolgy grad students and ten MBA candidates in morally ambiguous situations. If the contestant acts with perfect self-interest or betrays any pleasure inflicting pain upon anyone else, Rupert claims his soul. If there is a hint of moral preening or if the contestant claims to act "for the good of the group" by restricting the rights of another contestant, George drags him down to his version of hell.

The winner (and, lets be serious, there wouldn't be one) would be crowned Third Way Guy.

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