You guys can drive.

You guys are having such a good time in the comments I’m thinking I should just turn the wheel over to you. Surely you have more to say than I do. I just wrote eight paragraphs of an obituary of Edward Kennedy, then thought Jeez, let the man die first. Then I went back to bed for an hour. I need a very long bike ride and I plan to take it, but before I do so, let me fish this comment by mild-mannered Jeff out of the comments previous and hold it up to the light:

OK, i finally got around to reading the second page of the “purity ball” story and looking at the slide show. For the record, “ewwwww.”

Having typed that, i gotta type this — have y’all been to any Midwestern ceremonial of any of the following: Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls, DeMolay, Key Club, Eastern Star, Knights of Pythias, Civil Air Patrol (yes, especially their youth dept.), Grange youth auxiliary, or DAR? I’ve ended up sitting through all these and more doing the opening prayer or singing a solo at the request of the new officer installation or something. They’re all off-kilter rehearsals for weddings and even, in a dim sort of way, funerals, and they share elements of the kitschy and creepy all wound up in Enlightenment symbolism and patriotic fervor and a vague kind of practical mysticism that may use the name “Jesus” with some emphasis but isn’t worried about being Christian at all.

What i find most fascinating (as opposed to appalling) about this is how it’s another expression of the “Bowling Alone” phenomenon in American society — these are events that replace what used to be spread through a whole nine-month, Sept./May programmatic year of youth organizations that you joined and worked through the offices for . . . 12 officers for a group that had maybe 20 members at most meetings.

Those ongoing organizations are fading fast, and “events” are getting cobbled together to replace them, like . . . the Purity Ball. Concentrated kitsch and intense focus on a relationship that needs to play out over time, not find an artificial focus on one evening.

I still laugh at the horror-stricken look on my wife’s face when i pointed out to her, decades after, the Freudian aspect of the major service clubs in her high school for boys and girls — I kid you not, Key Club and Lockets. No points for guessing which was which!

I used to date a boy who was in DeMolay, if an eighth-grader carrying on a long-distance correspondence with a gawky geek in southern Ohio can be called “dating.” I met him when I was in Ironton visiting a friend, and he came to Columbus for a DeMolay convention. I kept saying, “DeMo-wha-?” and I’m still not sure what, exactly, it is, although it has something to do with the Masons. Fortunately, they have a website, which explains:

DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.

Jeff’s right. One thousand chapters or not, these outfits are dying dying dying. They don’t fit with modern life. Those ladies’ clubs where dowagers gathered in flowered hats to discuss gardening and good works? Going and gone. When I was a columnist, every so often I’d accept a speaking invitation from the Rotary or Lions or (my favorite) the Optimists, and it was like One Hour in Middle-Management Hell. I was frequently struck by the rituals — the group singing, the pledge of allegiance, the pledge of brotherhood, repeated loudly. (Roar lions, roar lions! Bite ’em bite ’em bite ’em!)

It didn’t work out with Mr. DeMolay. I hope he found a nice Rainbow Girl and settled into a nice southern Ohio life. I will always remember him fondly, though, because he took me to see “A Clockwork Orange.”

Since we’re letting others carry my load today, let’s toss it to Michael Musto:

There seem to be more publicists working the Sex and the City movie than hairdressers gathered around Burt Reynolds’ noggin trying to make his shit look real.

Man, I’ll say. Is there a photograph of the Fightin’ Four walking toward the camera in color-coordinated outfits that hasn’t been published yet? It’s like a downmarket version of “The Wire” blitz last winter. And the movie doesn’t open for another week! I may have to go on entertainment-section hiatus to get through it.

Bossy has fallen in love with Rachel Maddow. I haven’t, although I like her fine. She’s strangely compelling to watch, mainly because of the disconnect between her confidence in her ideas and expression, and her plain discomfort in her TV makeup and pearl-gray jacket. She looks like a man who wandered, jacketless, into a restaurant with a dress code, and has to wear one out of the lost-and-found box. I know she probably doesn’t normally spend a lot of time thinking about the semiotics of the smoky eye, and neither do I, so I’ll leave that to her makeup artist. But she was on “On the Media” talking about those jackets, and she said MSNBC finds them for her. MSNBC doesn’t need my financial support, so I won’t take up a collection, but I’d like to suggest they buy her another two or three of them, preferably in deeper colors that will flatter her fine skin. If I were dressing her I’d also put in a word for a necklace or two, maybe some very very subtle silver earrings, but that would probably burn her flesh the way the smoky eye seems to. Bossy has unearthed a picture of her in Buddy Holly frames, and she looks perfectly natural. That’s what she should wear on the air.

(When I was on TV, people were always giving me advice about my turnout. I said to myself, “Boy, I hope I never waste time picking apart TV-news outfits.” Shows what I knew.)

A few of you reader folks have been saying, in comments, that I’m a liberal/socialist for supporting Obama, and I’d like to correct that, although I wonder why I bother, because I suspect some of you would describe anyone to the left of Dick Cheney as such, but here goes: I’m not supporting the Democratic ticket, whatever it shapes up to be, for lots of specific policy reasons. I want us to start developing some sort of solution to the health-care mess, and to get out of Iraq, and to figure out what we’re going to do with the part of the country that has been cut out the American bargain in recent years. That’s a heavy load, and I don’t know if the Illinois senator can carry it all on those slender shoulders of his. But I do know this: No one running for president today can be worse at the job than the current occupant of the Oval Office. So all the talk about whether Obama’s ready or if he’s been tested or if he did something in Chicago that isn’t absolutely kosher good-government best-practices seems irrelevant at this point. All the candidates are imperfect, but for Republican in particular to say, “He’s not qualified,” after eight years of blood-drenched fiascos just seems, I dunno, galling. I’m not getting a tattoo. I’m not buying a T-shirt. But I’m pulling the lever with the sense that whoever wins will be an improvement, and some will represent more improvement than others.

That’s why John McCain is putting as much distance between himself and George W. Bush as is humanly possible, and that’s why, barring a disaster, Obama’s the favorite to win. Yes, it’s that bad. Get the hook.

Back tomorrow. More rested, I hope.

Posted at 11:21 am in Current events, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |
 

56 responses to “You guys can drive.”

  1. Danny said on May 21, 2008 at 11:52 am

    In 7th grade, I won a speech contest that was hosted by the Optimist Club. My speech was on environamental waste and cleanup. What can I say, that crying indian spoke to my little heart.

    Speaking of TV personalities with whom we get smitten, O’Reilly recently interviewed Julie Newmar, who was my favorite Cat Woman from the 1960’s era Bat Man show. Man, what a beautiful woman. And funny too.

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  2. Kirk said on May 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Hear! Hear! for Julie Newmar, who also played a hot robot on a short-lived TV series called “My Living Doll” and did a memorable job playing the devil on “The Twilight Zone.”

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  3. LAMary said on May 21, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    She went to Marshall High School, home of the fighting Barristers. My son just graduated from same. Lance Ito and Leonardo DiCaprio went there as well, but Leo didn’t graduate.
    I was some sort of officer in the Rainbow Girls. Sargent at Arms maybe? I had to sit outside during the meeting. At some point I had to say, “The doors of this chamber are now closed and peace and harmony are in every heart.” Years later I used to say that when I had organized a group of artist friends. We all chipped in on studio space and paying a model, and when I would close the doors to keep the model from getting goosebumps, the Rainbow Girls line seemed perfect.

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  4. Connie said on May 21, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I used to be a Lion, I loved the singing, especially the roar lions roar one you quote. But I can understand how guests might have thought we were wierd.

    The thing that strikes me about DeMolay is that they are named after Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar who was executed when Philip IV of France pretty much destroyed the Knights Templar in the ?1300s? I had never heard of them – there were very few Catholics around Holland in my younger day. My brother in law in Flint once told me, “everyone joins DeMolay because they have the best basketball leagues.

    OK, I went to wikipedia to check the first name of DeMolay and got all excited. The feature article on the front page today is about Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan, certainly the coolest instrument store I have ever visited, and I know my banjo and dulcimer playing inlaws visit there regularly. Totally off topic I know, but sometimes you have to share. In my day there they were on the main drag in E. Lansing.

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  5. baldheadeddork said on May 21, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Not sure where McCain is distancing himself as far from Bush as humanly possible. From where I sit I see him practically tripping over himself to show the GOP base that he’ll be even Bushier on tax cuts/economics, judicial appointments, privatizing Social Security, and staying in Iraq until six months after Tom Friedman is officially dead.

    I understand why McCain is doing this. He has to raise money and the only people who might be inclined to throw him some cash are the most hardcore of the Republican faithful. He has to win them over and they still think Mr. Twenty-six Percent is one of the best presidents evah. The problem for McCain is, its not working. He raised just $18 million in April – the first full month after he locked up the GOP nomination. Obama had his worst month in the entire campaign in this period and outraised McCain by almost 2:1. McCain’s campaign is spinning the April numbers as his best ever, but its conclusive proof that the Bush money people aren’t getting behind him – not even after he’s locked up the nomination.

    I think one of the big political stories of the summer will be how McCain handles this. At some point he has to pivot back to the middle if he’s going to have a prayer in November. If he has another month like April I think he might make a big production out of rebuking the GOP power structure and getting back to his mavrickness. No doubt the working press will greet him with sprinkled donuts and his coffee made just the way he likes it.

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  6. Dorothy said on May 21, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I won the Rotary Club award for Outstanding Business Student of the year when I was a junior in high school. So Danny I guess that almost makes us cousins or somethin’! Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Julie Newmar made a much better Catwoman than Eartha Kitt.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on May 21, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Our generation rejected the clubs of our fathers because they carried the taint of Vietnam and Nixon. We disengaged from politics, too, because of our cynicism about the corruption.

    In doing so, we left the arena wide open for the ilk of Bush/Cheney et al. May that be a lesson to us all.

    I think my children’s generation will swing back to world engagement for positive changes. We’ve seen this in so many of Sarah’s college friends: Peace Corps, teaching, environmental work, social and health service in the inner cities. It may be organized differently than the Lions or the Jaycees but the caring ideals are the same.

    Obama may be brilliant in awakening this or brilliant in simply tapping into a movement that was already there, if working quietly. Either way this cynical baby boomer has cause for optimism.

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  8. moe99 said on May 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Gotta go w/ bhdork on this one. Bush loves campaigning and he is inserting himself whenever and wherever possible in the McCain campaign. And dollars to donuts, he is probably trying to call the shots behind the scenes, because it’s his money dammit!

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  9. Danny said on May 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Kirk/Dorothy/Mary, one other thing about the Julie Newmar interview. They played a clip from Batman with the following dialogue:

    BM: “Catwoman, I promise I will do anything to rehabilitate you…”

    CW: “Anything? Well, then marry me Batman.”

    BM: “That is, anything but … marry you.”

    As a child, I can remember watching that nd others scenes like it where Batman was resisting Catwoman’s advances and thinking he was either an idiot or that his mask had slipped down over his eyes and he wasn’t seeing things right.

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  10. nancy said on May 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    And then “Batman & Robin” came out years later, and Danny learned the truth: Batman? Was gay.

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  11. Catherine said on May 21, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    OK, let’s all put our heads together and come up with a script for Julie Newmar and Alan Rickman! (Jes’ tying it all together)

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  12. brian stouder said on May 21, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Tonight I’ll have a comment on msnbc/nbc’s wardrobe choices. Short version: Pam and I keep noticing how odd their wardrobes (for the women) are, including (especially) Meredith Vierra on the big network’s Today Show

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  13. BOSSY said on May 21, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    For the record, Bossy loves Rachel for her mind. Although Bossy agrees her mind would look better wrapped in a chocolate brown blazer.

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  14. Joe K. said on May 21, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    How is it, that we can’t have prayer in school, or a manger on the town square, or speak about God in government, yet as soon as Teddy gets a tumor Sen Byrd is on the floor of the senate crying to God to keep poor Ted here. Don’t get me wrong, I would not wish cancer or a sickness on anyone. My wife is a breast cancer survivor and I know how hard and terrible that is. It is just so hypocritical. It would not make a difference if it was a republican doing the crying, No one seems to need God until there is a crisis, then its ok to pray on the senate floor.
    Also, I know most of you on the board hate Bush, but don’t you think we ought to spread the blame just a little on the Democratic controlled congress and house? They are just as much to blame as the president. One seems to be no better than the other to me.
    Just saying,
    Blue sky’s
    Pilot Joe K.

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  15. Sue said on May 21, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    1.My observational experience with service clubs is that they are either a) an excuse to drink; or b) an organization where a bunch of big fish in a small pond get together to network so that members know the correct contact person when they are having problems with pesky building inspectors or not-sufficiently-respectful police officers.
    2.I have always considered myself an independent voter, but in the last several years I haven’t been able to vote for a Republican once. Not even for County Sheriff, for crying out loud.
    3.One of my favorite movies is “To Wong Foo, with love, Julie Newmar”. Julie appeared at the end of the movie, and looked to my eyes absolutely frightening. Perhaps I’m missing something?
    4.Catherine, you’re not suggesting Alan for Batman, are you? The mask would cover his gorgeousness.

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  16. Kirk said on May 21, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Gee, Sue, that movie came along about 30 years after the Julie Newmar that Danny and I remember.

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  17. alex said on May 21, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Joe, the Democratic majority in Congress is too recent to share the blame for the Bush Administration’s mess, and in fact isn’t in the majority enough yet to do anything about cleaning it up. As for Bush’s first six years, the Dems were powerless.

    As for God on the floor of the Senate, a prayer for a dying colleague is something quite different than evangelicals shoving their brand of Christianity down the throats of other Christians and non-Christians, which is really what school prayer and newly minted courthouse decalogues and butt-ugly Indiana license plates are all about. I wish those god-damned pigs would learn the same manners the rest of us grew up with.

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  18. John said on May 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Sue…
    I agree with your assessment of service clubs. Society changed from the 50s to the 70s and men don’t need the guise of helping the community to go out drinking once a week. Also, with easier credit (post-1968), you don’t have to know the local bank VPs personally to get a mortage or car loan.

    There wasn’t a 12 year old boy in America who didn’t think Julie Newmar had “It”. Same was true for Linda Carter a decade later.

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  19. Sue said on May 21, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Oh, sorry guys, I thought you were speaking of her as she is now, and couldn’t quite get the “man, what a beautiful woman” part of it. To me she looked embalmed and scary.

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  20. Danny said on May 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Sue, I never saw that movie. She looked okay the other night during the interview. She probably has had some work done, but from the looks of it, it was a while back. It seems like any mistakes that were made have softened since that presumed work was done. She had a fairly natural appearance.

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  21. Joe K. said on May 21, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Alex,
    So when Clinton was in office and the House and Congress were Republican led, all the good times were not Willies doing but, the Republicans??
    Also please don’t swear at me. It makes you look childish.
    I like the new plates.
    Joe K

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  22. kayak woman said on May 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Job’s Daughters sure dredges up some strange memories. I was in it back in the Jurassic age. My grandparents were involved with Masonic organizations in the rugged little Yooper city I grew up in and my older cousins were in Job’s and DeMolay, so I guess I probably thought it was cool initially. Plus a hefty chunk of the 7th grade girls were joining up.

    I would never have been voted into any of the royal positions. Honored queen and various princesses and whatnot. But I was once drafted to fill an officer job for an older girl who shared my first name. Reason? She was off on a nice little 9 month vacation. Hmmm, maybe if we replace her with this awkward kid that has the same name, nobody’ll notice? Roight.

    During that stint as an officer, one of the old biddy “advisors” began to publicly criticize my pronunciation of various words. Semicircle, for example. How the heck *do* you pronounce semicircle? Seems like there are a couple different options. I couldn’t ever get it right in any case. I finished out my term very unhappily and never went back.

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  23. brian stouder said on May 21, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    To me she looked embalmed and scary.

    She had a fairly natural appearance.

    sounds like conversation one would hear around a catafalque

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  24. Jolene said on May 21, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Joe, did you just stop by to pick a fight? To address your questions: As Alex said, an individual prayer for a friend, even spoken out loud in a public place, is quite different from institutionally mandated prayers in public organizations. To make the obvious point, no one is stopping kids from praying in school.

    Who was responsible for the “good times” of the 90s? I’d say the confluence of relative peace and the growth of a huge new industry, which neither the Dem president nor the Repub legislature had much to do with. More discerning analysts can likely provide more fine-grained answers.

    Now be nice.

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  25. Jolene said on May 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    On clubs: My youthful experience of club membership was limited to 4-H. Not much dogma, but no formal gowns either. Mostly, lots of suffering as my sisters and I struggled to earn the blue ribbons my mother thought we should have. (My more talented sisters may see it differently.)

    On clubs for grown-ups: My parents belonged to an Elks Club, which, I guess, had something to do w/ community projects, but, for them, it was where they went most Saturday evenings to meet their friends, have dinner, drink, tell stories and jokes, and dance. As a young kid, I loved seeing them get dressed up to go out. My mom looked beautiful, and my farmer dad, handsome even in his work clothes, looked terrific in a suit and tie. They always seemed to have a great time. New Year’s Eve was always a big party, and they went back again on New Year’s Day for Tom and Jerrys. We had fun too w/ the high school girls they hired to be our babysitters.

    And, yes, the club died when the cynical baby boomer generation (i.e., my generation) came of age. I don’t know whether they didn’t try to attract younger people or didn’t succeed, but I saw the closing as a loss. Having a place to go for fun that was, fundamentally, about people rather than say, the movie or the concert, was an important element of community for them–one that is missing from my big-city existence.

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  26. MichaelG said on May 21, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    I once had a minor letch for Rebecca DeMolay.

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  27. Catherine said on May 21, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    Sue, definitely no mask for AR!

    Re service clubs, if they are in fact going away, may National Charity League and all its witches go the same direction.

    Seriously: my kids and their cohort are way more about service than my generation ever was. And I think they’re doing a better job of it. One big realization is that there are many more direct ways of doing service than throwing a “gala” and then writing a check. How about volunteering at that hospice, or giving through kiva.org & its ilk?

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Service clubs, civic orgs, church fellowship groups, country clubs, season tickets — what they all have in common is the ongoing, quasi-lifetime implied commitment.

    That’s the “Bowling Alone” argument in a nutshell. Remember, the point of that book was that there are as many people bowling now as forty years ago, but nowhere near as many in leagues. League bowling means you go on your night, bowl for your team, sit through the banquet. “Bowling Alone” means you go when you want.

    The “Promise Keepers” phenomenon was more a manifestation of that trend than it ever was about resurgent conservatism (though it reflected the bedrock conservatism of much of middle America). Men’s groups at churches are, compared to what their older members remember in the ’50’s and ’60’s, a tiny, tinny shadow of their once brassy ascendancy, and they ask nice young pastors “why won’t younger men (they mean under 65) come?”

    And they have their monthly breakfast and annual retreat, all included for $55 and putting up with the snoring guy at the end of the dorm at camp, and can’t figure out why the younger men go one weekend to a stadium when it costs $220, plus a hotel room (one hint: you don’t share the hotel room with 19 other old guys who snore resonantly).

    I point out that these young men don’t want a low commitment, endless obligation association, but they will take a week of vacation to spend five days in N’Orlins mucking houses and nailing crown molding up while sleeping on foam pads in a church basement. Net time investment — 24/7, versus two seemingly endless hours once a month UNTIL YOU DIE.

    Here in Columbus, we’re about to lose our fine Symphony Orchestra, in large part because they can’t figure it out, either — season tickets, even sliced and diced to four event series’, do not sell, nor do memberships. But if they put on an arena event with John Williams conducting the score for Star Wars, it sells out.

    The Light Opera, on the other hand, sells experiences and relationships, presenting a classic bill in the style of a soap opera or “Sex and the City” along with packages not for three more productions, but for a meal and hotel stay that night. Each production has to be sold individually to individuals. It’s hard, but it works, and they aren’t shuttering their doors.

    Country clubs can’t die fast enough, but i may be biased a bit by our Ohio habit of building them on Native American sacred sites, but you get my point.

    Oh, and those lovely words “Jeff’s right.” Thank you, Nancy! (I had to send that link to my esposa, who was muy amused. She figures someone should tell me i’m right once in a while . . .

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  29. caliban said on May 21, 2008 at 5:28 pm

    What Nancy says rings true. Personally, Ive no doubt that Health Care is the single most important thing You can look at it two ways.

    Economically, this is gigunda dollars. Should we spend them to make sure every person is a person? My answer, as a Catholic, is yes, unquestionably. I’d argue this is a religious imperative and an economic one. We also buy into the last Pope, who probably had all the intel, saying that Bush was full of shit and offering to be a shield.

    The last and current Pope were Hitler’s victims, when they were kids. although he’s been made out as some nascent pubescent Nazi. Well of course he was. His family was on a short line. Read Babi Yar.

    So, anyway. Yeah I’d vote for any democrat in the election approaching. Not because they couldn, but, because they offer intelligence compared to the horrible result of ideological stupidity of the previous administration that guaranteed no attention to domestic problems.

    These morons talked about drowning the federal government in a sink, and they bragged they’d do just that. It wasn’t ever that Mr. Bones bullshit W, it was those guys like Daniel Pipes and Cheney, the PNACenturions.

    A vote for any Democrat at all is a vote against the shadow government that made a fortne for Cheney. A vote for McCain is a vote for allowing Cheney to make more money on stop-loss GIs of one sort or another. Who supports the troops?

    One thing about the more progressive than thou. Those of us who are lifelong liberals, we find this bemusing. We did the work. Obama’s OK. Hillary knows what she’s talking about. Any Obamaniac that wants to tell me Hillary is old politics, well Howard Dean made a fortune through the re-insurance scam he devised. If that isn’t old politics and graft, I don’t know what might be. I do know Howard avoided Vietnam by mogul injuries while Kerry was saving his crewmen in Laos.

    Is ignoring the Swiftboat slander worse than letting it ride when you’re running things or ignoring it when your the VP nominee? I’d say its a reasonable suggestion that Ho Dean didn’t make the slightest effort to support the guy that was clearly a better presidential candidate , and he made the way clear for Kenneth Blackwell to rob the election in Cuyahoga County. And the same guy dismisses Florida and Michigan?

    Caucuses are the singularly most anti-democratic devices in American politics. Bum-rush themm abd you make it seem a state has voted for you democratically. A joke.

    Well. it’s the rules. But who made the rules? Who said Michigan and Florida don’t count? I can’t imagine that two huge states that would vote for Clinton disappear from consideration because Republican legislatures in both states changed the Primary dates, to grease one candidate’s path to the nomination.

    If you think back to the beginning of the primaries, I’d vote for Gravel before McCain and and other asshole that was still in the competition.

    Anyway, It’s Barack and McCain. Denigrationand criticism, two obviously different things. Bill Clinton was accused of racist comments. What a joke. The press accused of anti-feminism? Olbermann and Tweetie? No doubt. On issues if you pay attention, Hillary know’s what she’s talking about and Barack triangulates.

    Bottom line is Republicans are greedy ac

    what is.

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  30. caliban said on May 21, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    What Nancy says rings true. Personally, Ive no doubt that Health Care is the single most important thing You can look at it two ways.

    Economically, this is gigunda dollars. Should we spend them to make sure every person is a person? My answer, as a Catholic, is yes, unquestionably. I’d argue this is a religious imperative and an economic one. We also buy into the last Pope, who probably had all the intel, saying that Bush was full of shit and offering to be a shield.

    The last and current Pope were Hitler’s victims, when they were kids. although he’s been made out as some nascent pubescent Nazi. Well of course he was. His family was on a short line. Read Babi Yar.

    So, anyway. Yeah I’d vote for any democrat in the election approaching. Not because they couldn, but, because they offer intelligence compared to the horrible result of ideological stupidity of the previous administration that guaranteed no attention to domestic problems.

    These morons talked about drowning the federal government in a sink, and they bragged they’d do just that. It wasn’t ever that Mr. Bones bullshit W, it was those guys like Daniel Pipes and Cheney, the PNACenturions.

    A vote for any Democrat at all is a vote against the shadow government that made a fortne for Cheney. A vote for McCain is a vote for allowing Cheney to make more money on stop-loss GIs of one sort or another. Who supports the troops?

    One thing about the more progressive than thou. Those of us who are lifelong liberals, we find this bemusing. We did the work. Obama’s OK. Hillary knows what she’s talking about. Any Obamaniac that wants to tell me Hillary is old politics, well Howard Dean made a fortune through the re-insurance scam he devised. If that isn’t old politics and graft, I don’t know what might be. I do know Howard avoided Vietnam by mogul injuries while Kerry was saving his crewmen in Laos.

    Is ignoring the Swiftboat slander worse than letting it ride when you’re running things or ignoring it when your the VP nominee? I’d say its a reasonable suggestion that Ho Dean didn’t make the slightest effort to support the guy that was clearly a better presidential candidate , and he made the way clear for Kenneth Blackwell to rob the election in Cuyahoga County. And the same guy dismisses Florida and Michigan?

    Caucuses are the singularly most anti-democratic devices in American politics. Bum-rush themm abd you make it seem a state has voted for you democratically. A joke.

    Well. it’s the rules. But who made the rules? Who said Michigan and Florida don’t count? I can’t imagine that two huge states that would vote for Clinton disappear from consideration because Republican legislatures in both states changed the Primary dates, to grease one candidate’s path to the nomination.

    If you think back to the beginning of the primaries, I’d vote for Gravel before McCain and and other asshole that was still in the competition.

    Anyway, It’s Barack and McCain. Denigrationand criticism, two obviously different things. Bill Clinton was accused of racist comments. What a joke. The press accused of anti-feminism? Olbermann and Tweetie? No doubt. On issues if you pay attention, Hillary know’s what she’s talking about and Barack triangulates.

    Bottom line is Republicans are greedy acuisitors. For years, people have voted for Republicans against their interests. Time to stop.

    what is.

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  31. Dexter said on May 21, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    The King of The Pompous Asses, Steve Shine, was interviewed two weeks ago , and Shine played the same old song, “McCain is a ‘maverick’ “, McCain is so different from Bush, all that nonsense.
    The truth is what we have been hearing for a long while: A McCain presidency is a Bush 3rd term.
    We all have our#1 issues that we are passionate about, and mine is the war in Iraq.
    McCain’s “hundred more years” comment was taken out of context, but the truth is he thinks no American cares that we have troops placed strategically all over the world, and he believes no American will care if we have thousands of troops , combat ready, perched to fly into any place in The Region for “flash battles” which in McCain’s eye is perfectly acceptable to ALL Americans.
    To me, this is NOT “bringing the troops home.”
    And to me, bringing the troops out of The Region is priority one.
    But hey, that white elephant embassy of the US in Iraq? The staggering financial commitment to that monstrosity indicates we will be in The Region long after we the living are dead and gone.
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  32. caliban said on May 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Record Recommendation: The Ray Davies record Other Peoples Lives. If you like the Kinks. This record got mediocre reviews. Don’t know why. In the first place, people claimed in print it was retread Kinks. That’s like saying The Old Man Down the Road stole from Run Through the Jungle. If you buy that your Zaentz.

    Ray Davies has written gorgeous melodies: Waterloo Sunset, Oklahoma, USA Some mother’s Son for example. These things seem to come to him as easily as AC/DC riffs. I love AC/DC, but as spectacular as those riffs are, what comes close to You Really Got Me?

    When he wasn’t Mick or Paul or John or Pete, he was better and ahead of them all in both lyrics and melodies. If there was a genius in th Brit invasion, it was Ray and the Kinks.

    So, Ray invented Punk on th melodic side, and if you listen to guitars., Dave is ridiculously good. Throwaway, anything on any album. This is the great band nobody ever said so.

    As Justin Wilson said, I guatontee.

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  33. Dorothy said on May 21, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Brian I can’t stop laughing at catafalque.

    Somebody reach caliban his meds, quick.

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  34. moe99 said on May 21, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    When I was in lawschool we formed our own legal fraternity as two of the three extant legal fraternities hired strippers for their rush parties and we weren’t so impressed with that. We named it Rho Epsilon Hork, Sibling Society and Motorcycle Gang. Every admittee was a president, because it looked good on your resume and when you graduated you were given immortal status. Our Chief Justice was Ollie Burger (this was during the short lived hey day of Ollie’s Trolley hamburger franchises) and in the event of a tie vote, we’d flip the Chief Justice. We also used him in secret communion ceremonies.

    The genesis of Rho Epsilon Hork stemmed from a fictional fellow named Ralph Hork who used to run for student office first in undergrad and then in law school. When we ran him for 3rd year rep to the Student Bar in law school, he actually got the most votes because the 3d years didn’t know who he was. His platform at that time, iirc, was “shoes.”

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  35. Danny said on May 21, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    moe99, that killed. Very funny! I especially loved the part about “president” looking good on the resumes.

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  36. Danny said on May 21, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Okay, Dorothy made me google. Very funny, Brian!

    And, Dorothy. I am not sure if it is “reach” or “keep out of reach” on the meds. Never sure with him.

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  37. caliban said on May 21, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Dexter, Who is Steve Shine? My names John Lee Pettimore. Bloggage, is two lbs enough?

    Reasonable? McCain is snake oil y’all. Does he disttance himself by not being an asshole but stifking with efery idiotic policy?Y’all ever listen to Steve Earle? Any given occasion he makes an ass of himself. Iran is funding Al Q in Iraq. What an idiot. That would be a moron.

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  38. caliban said on May 21, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    How do you laugh at anything with catafalques involved? Don’t bother. What a mindless jerk. I could tell you it was my best friend. Wasn’t. My brother’s best friend. And he was with him.

    Al Q in Iraq never existed before the invasion and has nothing to do with AQ. That’s made up. AQ in Iraq has nothing to do with AQ and Osama. Claiming anything different is just lying.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Dexter — The Region, when capitalized, properly refers to Indiana north of the Kankakee and west of the Golden Dome. Some limit The Region (or “Da Region”) to north of US 6 and west of IN 49, but i’m not so restrictive.

    Just to clarify.

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  40. Dexter said on May 21, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    good one, Jeff! I know what you are talking about…my brother lived in that “The Region” for forty years and I have lots of family there , yet.
    Cal, Steve Shine is the Chairman of The Republican Party of Allen County, Indiana. He has been an obnoxious prick since he was a TV talking head at the inception of Channel 55, Fort Wayne.
    Also, Cal, I have lots of Steve Earle music on my computer . I thought he was great on “The Wire”,also.
    Here’s some moving lyrics….

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  41. basset said on May 21, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    well, I’m not rich, old, Catholic, or drooling incoherently at this very moment, but I am in Civitan… joined mainly because the lunches were good and several of my friends were there.

    how good? well, we meet at a famous source of what used to be called “soul food,” the restaurant in the hood that everyone knows and candidates for office have to pass through.

    couple of weeks ago I went to the Red Cross to donate white cells at the end of the day after a lunch meeting. basically you get hooked up to a machine which takes your blood, strains out the platelets, and puts the rest back.

    half an hour into the two-hour process the warning bell goes off. tech comes over, checks it, resets, walks away.

    bell goes off again.

    tech asks me what I had for lunch.

    “Fried chicken and a pork chop at (name of the place).”

    “Ahhh, that’s why then.”

    Turned out I’d clogged up the equipment with blood-borne fat. Gotta eat healthy before pheresis, they said, that fried stuff goes straight to the veins.

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  42. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 21, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Only 3 seconds between David and [insert last name here] . . . and it was the other guy, with the bed hair — not The Chosen One! I don’t understand pre-teen girls, apparently. Loved the Pips, though.

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  43. brian stouder said on May 21, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Jeff, I think the subject of the rise and fall of service clubs and civic organizations – and secret societies – would be book-length material.

    A genuinely odd (and oddly compelling) book is Stealing Lincoln’s Body, by Thomas Craughwell.

    http://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Lincolns-Body-Thomas-Craughwell/dp/0674024583

    The book is only 200 pages, and most of it is a digression on various subjects (embalming techniques, the ins and outs of counterfeiting, Mary’s canny exercise of strength, in assuring her husband’s burial in Springfield instead of Chicago or Washington [where the powerful men wanted him buried] and so on)

    In another digression, the author riffs on the secret clubs and societies that existed almost everywhere a century and a half ago, and indeed, one supposes that before we had televised “reality shows” (so called) to distract us, belonging to a group (dedicated to whatever purpose) that met weekly probably scratched the same itch, for people.

    In the context of Craughwell’s book, one learns about the ultra-secret Lincoln Guard of Honor, that formed after a ring of counterfeiters nearly snatched the martyred president’s remains on election night 1876 (the debacle was averted by R Emmet Tryrell’s great great grandfather!)…and how the president’s remains spent the next two decades in the sub-basement of the monument, hidden by a pile of lumber and other scraps! (When Mary passed away, her remains were also secretly consigned to the sub-basement! They couldn’t bury them there, because when they – the secret honor guard – tried to dig graves down there, they struck water!)

    Quite odd, really. (with the impending demise of Fort Wayne’s Lincoln Museum, my reading has darkened a bit. After Stealing Lincoln’s Body, I picked up American Brutus, about John Wilkes Booth and his hapless band of co-conspirators. I had attended the author’s talk here in town a year or two ago, and found him to be unexpectedly interesting…although at the time reading his book about Lincoln’s killer held no attraction.)

    edit – basset – I too have experienced that. Once I had had a big ol juicy steak before pheresis, and the nurse called my attention to how cloudy the bag containing my platelets was. Usually the ‘product’ looks like cloudy cooking oil, but this time it looked like melted butter

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  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 21, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Brian: read it, loved it, recommend it!

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  45. caliban said on May 21, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    R. Emmett Tyrell?? That’s recalling the evil undead. Does somebody still publish that ash?

    Anyway. Nancy claims Detroit. As a gentleman, I’ll grant her that, even though the Grosses are a long way from Briggs, and ‘sportsmen’ from those parts used to mean something more like pugs from Joliet and less like home-grown thugs.

    I’ve been a Celtics fan since I was little. I believed Bill Russell was the incarnation of black Jesus, and I had fistfights with my brother who thought Wilt ruled. ( We were sort of obsessive. We replayed Yankees-Dodgers by box-scores, rightie-leftie, including pitchers, with whiffle balls and we didn’t just keep score, we kept box-scores).

    In the modern era, we have Isiah, who thought Larry was just another player, whose mother couldn’t spell his name. And the twit threw the inbounds and the Hick just knew where he was inbounding, and so did DJ, and I was standing outside a Cambridge Bar because we were so blue collar we didn’t have cable. And Larry caught and threw it to Denis. F**k you Isiah.

    Maybe people think that’s the hick from Frebch Lick. He went to the small city and ate it alive. Now he is the soul of Indianapolis, but, you know, there’s Peyton. If the Pats didn’t cheat, who knows. . All Grown up, and cosmopolitan.

    Piston’s, not so much. Cheat (see Rasheed bumping with Garnett, offensive fouls moron) . I don’t know. I shouldn’t consider betting, but I put money on the Celtics. For purists, Garnett buries Rasheed, Rondo outplays Chauncey. Paul Pierce is just too good. He was better than LeBron and these guys don’t have LeBron.

    My appologies, Ms. Nancy Nall, but it would seem to be the only thing important in the Motor City. Interesting, isn’t it, that the City loves its nickname. If you say Beantown to somebody from Boston, they look at you like you come from Area 51.

    Celts in six, and I’ll put money on it. Could they bring back Laimnbeer and let the Chief nail his ass? Pistons still play cheap-shot, like the Spurs, but real basketball will beat David Stern eventually.

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  46. Dexter said on May 22, 2008 at 1:25 am

    Jesus Christ, Cal, you have Detroit-cred, but damn, all that breakdown on the Celtics / Pistons , and yet not a word on Zetterberg, Lidstrom, Datsyuk, or even a nostalgic word about the reunion of The Grind Line (Maltby-Draper-McCarty), or Ozzie’s stellar netminding, or Holmstrom, or Jiri Hudler and his great impact even though he plays just eleven minutes a game?
    No mention of Babcock’s coaching or Dallas Drake?
    C’mon, Caliban! We’re Cup Crazy , and I live in Ohio, fer chrissakes…and I bet Detroit is going nutso, too, even though not enough Motor City denizens have enough cash to afford Cup Tix.
    By the way? …Wilt was better! I started out a Celtics fan but by 1967 Wilt won me over to the 76ers…now as an adult I’m all DEE-TROIT BASSS-KET-BALL! (but seeing Elton John was my best Palace memory…)

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  47. joodyb said on May 22, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Methinks LAMary is in big trouble for revealing that secret Masonic scriptage.

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  48. Terry WAlter said on May 22, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Hey Nancy, nice to know you’ve been reading my posts. I’ve always considered you to be left-leaning, but still thinking for yourself. As opposed to the brain dead , PC spouting, sloganeering types. Otherwise I wouldn’t still be reading/annoying you. The Peggy Noonan column did a pretty good job of summarizing where I, and many other Republicans I know stand. Bush has been a pretty good Democrat president. NCLB-massive federal intrusion into education-check. Geezer drug program- who knows how much that’ll cost-check. Massive general spending & resultant increased national debt-check. He sure shot that Republican campaign talking point right in the ass. Mandated huge increase in vehicle fuel mileage ratings-check. Actually, the hard feelings started back with his old man,after he stood there and lied to me about NO NEW TAXES!!! When he was running for re-election, the Quayle motorcade was coming by where I worked along US24. I was sorely tempted to run out and scream NO NEW TAXES, but I figured I might end up in the crosshairs of a scope,so I didn’t. While you and perhaps 51% of the posters on here don’t agree with me about the role government should play in our lives, it shouldn’t be hard to see how we feel betrayed. What with all the excitement about how the Indiana primary mattered for the first time in decades, I’m sure many of you forgot/didn’t care that on the R side of the ballot, it still didn’t. We were force fed W. by all the big money men and this time McCain.
    Speaking of bad presidents,it’s easy to come up with one worse than W.- Dimmuh Carter. He campaigned on the misery index;inflation plus unemployment. By the time he got axed,it was 3 times as bad. And he started the ball rolling downhill by helping to oust the Shah of Iran. He may have not been perfect,but he was a true friend of the U.S. More than you can say for the Ayatollah or Hackedmeajewtoday. Now Dimmuh’s running over there kissing up to terrorists,dead & alive.
    On the topic of strange rituals. At my sons’ middle school year end awards, one of the teachers presided over the ceremony. He turned off the electric lights and lit a candle. He breathily intoned about it being “The Light of Knowledge”. If you couldn’t hear the Far Eastern music playing in your head,you were asleep. Now it seems a year or so before, a certain herbal plant was found growing in his back yard,right there in town. He disavowed any insight as to how it might have gotten there. As I recall, he was never charged with anything. That candle shone brightly for me, because before I left the ceremony, I knew how that plant had sprouted where it did.

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  49. Dorothy said on May 22, 2008 at 7:04 am

    Penguins are gonna win the Cup in 6 games. You heard it here first.

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  50. Sue said on May 22, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Well, Nancy, perhaps you shouldn’t have turned over the driving to us after all. It got a little uglier than I’m used to here. And go Penguins.

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  51. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 22, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Not ugly, i trust, but somewhat less than mild-mannered — two links that i hope get widely read, soon:

    Mr. Murti, whom i’ve never heard of before, pegs it — “One of the biggest challenges our country faces is our addiction to oil.” Read more at –http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/business/21oil.html?

    Tom Friedman, on what President Bush actually DID screw up —
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/21/opinion/21friedman.html?

    “Let’s start with the most profound one: More and more, I am convinced that the big foreign policy failure that will be pinned on this administration is not the failure to make Iraq work, as devastating as that has been. It will be one with much broader balance-of-power implications — the failure after 9/11 to put in place an effective energy policy.”

    I’m watching Obama and McCain to see who can convince me they have an energy policy that makes a lick o’ sense.

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  52. LA Mary said on May 22, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Joodyb,
    I had to fire a nun last year because she lied on her resume. The Masonic stuff is small compared to that. I know I’m going to hell.

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  53. brian stouder said on May 22, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Here’s to the unstoppable march of the Penguins to the Stanley Cup; and Danica Patrick or Graham Rahal at Indianapolis; and Lewis Hamilton at Monaco (or, for a dark horse pick, Giancarlo Fisichella. If there is a really [really, really]big rainstorm during qualifying, Fisi might could win the parade-like race in the streets of Monte Carlo); and Jeff Burton at Charlotte (mom likes Tony Stewart best)

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  54. Jolene said on May 22, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Erin Burnett, a CNBC reporter recently returned from travel in India, Europe, and elsewhere, made similar points this AM re the world reshaping itself around us, and her comments were followed by similar observations from Zbigniew Brzezinski. It’s long past time for some big-picture thinking.

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  55. Jolene said on May 22, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Oh, and yes, good luck to the Pens. Always hope for good things to happen to Pittsburgh.

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