Because I need another time-waster like I need another time-waster, I recently bookmarked the Daily Beast, Tina Brown’s new aggregator. Yesterday, Herself speaks on Princess Caroline, in a piece called “Caroline: The Reasons Why.” (How new media! In the 20th century, I was taught that was a redundancy — reasons or why, but not “reasons why.” But never mind that.) After a few hundred words of shivs to the ribs — calling her an “endive salad,” living “a parochial, socially timid life centered on Manhattan’s most cosseted enclave,” Brown decrees: “The Kennedys, blindsided by the success of pea-picking, penny-ante, polyester-wearing provincials like the Carters and the Clintons, were never all that delighted when Bill Clinton’s wife commandeered RFK’s old Senate seat.”

Jeez, you’d never know the Kennedys are only three generations from bootlegging shanty Irish trash, would you? And get that “commandeered,” too. Someone tell Hillary: All that listening? Wasted time.

Then she winds up with a bang:

The hope for Caroline’s troubled candidacy now is that another dynastic story than her own may provide her next act. When The Washington Post’s Phil Graham was the manic, magnetic media king of the New Frontier capital, his wife Katharine was drab and invisible in the background. When her husband died in a suicide, she stumbled uncertainly at first. She was inarticulate, she lacked charm. No one really imagined that she would run The Washington Post herself. Then she found, just as Caroline has with politics, that printer’s ink coursed through her veins. Yes you can, she thought. And yes she did.

I have to admit I’d love to see Princess Caroline get the seat just to watch that transformation. Perhaps that’s what the governor is betting on.

Wha-? That’s what we’re looking for in a senator? A narrative? A reality show? “A transformation” to watch? Does anyone give a shit about policy anymore? And what does Katharine Graham have to do with anything? But the Daily Beast was only getting started. Next was “Lance for Senate?” in which the cyclist takes a break from comeback training to open up to Mark McKinnon, who, it should be noted, sits on the board of his foundation. Not that you’d notice from the questions:

You are such an inspiration to so many people. Who inspires you?

What drives your competitive nature?

And, of course, the biggie:

Is there a future for Lance Armstrong in politics?

But that’s nothing compared to the answer:

If you feel like you can do the job better than people who are doing it now, and you can really make a difference, then that’s a real calling to serve, and I think you have to do that. I felt a strong desire to come back and race right now because I felt we had a place and I could have a real impact and that’s why I’m doing it. I don’t think you want to enter political life unless you really think you can really have an impact. Don’t do it for a bet, or a dare or for your ego. Or for any other competitive desire you have. Do it because you can get in there and change people’s lives. That’s why you do it. So, there will come a time, or not, that I say to myself, “You know what, I can help affect change.” And if that day comes, then absolutely.

Lance? Do you have any idea what a senator does? It may surprise you that the job description doesn’t include “getting in there and changing people’s lives,” although that might be a by-product. I really would have liked to see the unedited version of this, before the “how do you keep yourself so awesome” questions were excised.

I actually might like to see him run. I’d love to see the look on his face when someone yells at him, “How did you manage to keep your doping from being discovered?” from the press pack. Not that he’d ever get close to it. Princess Caroline and Sarah Palin showed you don’t have to do that. At least not when you have Mark McKinnon and his notebook nearby.

And just because we’re on the subject of celebrity, don’t miss this Defamer post about how Owen Wilson’s Rolex watch helped save him from suicide. Thanks to LAMary for sending it along; we’re both at a loss for words.

All is not lost, however: Dana Milbank in a priceless account of the RNC chairmanship race. Stay classy, GOP!

Posted at 1:16 am in Media, Popculch |

16 responses to “Lap-beast.”

  1. beb said on January 6, 2009 at 7:55 am

    If we let Caroline Kennedy in as a senator we’ll have to let Jeb Bush in as one, too. Since I’m opposed to there ever being another politician named “Bush” ever again, I have to oppose Kennedy.

    Meanwhile the Intelligence Community is in an uproar because Obama didn’t pick one of their own to run the CIA. Frankly, after eight years of Bush, what the CIA needs is someone more committed to ending torture and criminal activities. A new broom cleans best and all that.

    Morning news is that a fire at Greenfield Village has destroyed either the Edison Labs or the Edison house. Sorry, I heard the news as I was going out the door to work. Either is a terrible lose.

    672 chars

  2. brian stouder said on January 6, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Regarding Owen Wilson being saved from self-destruction by his Rolex, this passage struck me; and upon rereading it, the marketing angle hit me:

    Although Owen Wilson has worn a Rolex GMT Master in the popular films Wedding Crashers and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, he chooses to wear a Rolex Submariner in his everyday life. The Rolex Submariner is part of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Professional line. After returning home from the hospital, Owen was captured by a photographer walking on the beach, wearing his Rolex Submariner. Later, he was seen riding his mountain bike in Santa Monica with the Rolex Submariner on his wrist. Obviously, the quality of a Rolex watch helped Owen realize and appreciate the quality of his own life.

    The key line seems to be “The Rolex Submariner is part of Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Professional line.” (and that it is submersible – the better to withstand a sudden onrush of bodily fluids)

    954 chars

  3. nancy said on January 6, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Beb, word is it was the Sarah Jordan boarding house. From Clickondetroit:

    The Sarah Jordan Boarding House was acquired by The Henry Ford in 1928. It was once used by unmarried employees of Thomas Edison, who were working at the nearby Menlo Park Laboratory Complex.

    “Heavily damaged,” but not the Edison house. So that’s good.

    339 chars

  4. jcburns said on January 6, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Changing the subject slightly, I’d like to point you to Tim O’Reilly (tech book guy) and his thoughts on The Biggest Ponzi Scheme of Them All…the (malformed) idea that the global economy can grow indefinitely. Me, I know I got out of 1980s entrepreneur-land in large part because the scenarios presented to me were “grow or die.” I wanted this little sustainable non-growing making-just-enough-money thing, which apparently is not a business.

    543 chars

  5. coozledad said on January 6, 2009 at 9:34 am

    beb: That’s as good a reason as any to be opposed to Caroline. If we let the Republicans keep cycling through the Bush family for presidential aspirants, we’ll wind up with Neil in the White House hocking the goddamn china. God knows what the ones who haven’t made the news are doing. Biting the heads off of rabbits is my guess.
    Criminal class, the lot of them, and beginning to fray wildly at the telomeres to boot.

    420 chars

  6. caliban said on January 6, 2009 at 10:08 am

    Dana Milbank did every thinking human being a favor by falling out of favor with Keith Olbermann. Pandering and bullshit, and what sort of news was he ever reporting? This just in. Dana Milbank thinks Dana is cute beyond all rational consideration.

    He’s not a bloviprevaricator, but he treads that line. He decided he could make shit up about Obama and get away with it. What Dana Milbank is, well, what’s between a worm and a really gigantic snail? But he wins the Raygun Hagiography Award, standing right up there on the pedestal with David Broder.

    Jack Anderson is not throwing up a little in his mouth. He’s blowing chunks. This little shit is going to skate, with apologists.. Nobody is ever going to make him pay for impugning Kerry’s record in BietNam and Laos when he was avoiding service at rvery opportunity, and Cheney had other things to do. Like destroying the Constitution.
    Yoo? Holy shit, when did we all sign on for war trialls? These are war criminals. So were the perpetrators of appatheid, and if you don’t see that’s what Israel has done to Baza, Ypu are a fucking idiot. Bantustan with occupation. and Israel gets away with it, because Jews were victimized.

    So, you can go all Hitler, because of Hitler?

    1239 chars

  7. jeff borden said on January 6, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I recall during the height of the Monica Lewinsky insanity when some saintly, white-haired Republican was thundering on and on and on about why the public felt no sense of outrage that their president had gotten a blowjob in the Oval Office.

    Now as the final days of the worst presidency in American history draw to a close, our Constitution shredded, our treasury looted, our military battered, our moral standing in the world evaporated and the sense of American exceptionalism left bruised, bleeding and moaning in the gutter, we cannot muster outrage over the very real crimes committed against us and the world.

    To paraphrase Jack Nicholson, if you get a blowjob in the Oval Office, you’re rated X. If you rape the Constitution in the Oval Office, you’re PG.

    769 chars

  8. Rana said on January 6, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I wanted this little sustainable non-growing making-just-enough-money thing, which apparently is not a business.

    JC – I can date the moment I learned there is no financial Santa Claus – it was the day I realized that businesses’ success was defined not by their longevity, their steady profits, or even increasing profits. It was defined by increasing profit margins. Madness.

    395 chars

  9. john c said on January 6, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Right on JC and Rana! … Whatever happened to the business model of staying ahead or at least abreast of the competition to ensure a steady profit? Now, as you said, it’s about bigger margins and constant expansion, so decisions are made that undercut the core product and the whole thing falls apart. This is why Wall Street no longer knows how to value industrial companies, and why America, therefore, is no longer an industrial economy.
    As for Caroline, she’s trying my tendency to stick up for the Kennedys. It is an odd and perhaps dysfunctional clan to be sure. But one filled with folks who honestly want to do some good, and one old man – Ted – who has endured more emotional pain and trauma than anyone should. But for Caroline, it’s as simple as this: If she wants to be Senator, she should wait and run. Otherwise, make way for someone who has demonstrated that they know something about throwing their shoulder into the lumbering oxcart of government affairs, and someone who has experienced the humbling and mind-focusing act of grasping a stranger by the hand and asking for their vote.

    1104 chars

  10. Dave said on January 6, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Life saved by a watch. I’d never make it, the only place I ever wear a watch is to work, where it’s required. Cannot imagine even feigning such qualities to a watch, such as the writer has.

    191 chars

  11. Linda said on January 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    The whole Armstrong thing makes you long for a moment like the one in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, when a cynical old reporter schools him in WHY everybody is laughing behind his back. A wonderful scene.

    205 chars

  12. jeff borden said on January 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Ah, Dave, you Philistine! Please don’t send wristwatches down the same path as fedoras. I’m a watch geek –none of mine are particularly expensive but I have about 15 of them– and it pains me to see my nephews and nieces completely ignore quality time pieces because their cellphones have a clock.

    I guess my watches will wind up in a pawn shop. None of my relatives will give a hoot about them.

    399 chars

  13. basset said on January 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Not five minutes ago, I posted pics of my grandfather’s pocket watch on a watch-collectors’ site and asked for help identifying it. Not that it’s particularly valuable in dollars, the case is cheap white metal and I suspect it’s military-issue, but I just want to know.

    I don’t wear good watches for the same reason I carry a disposable phone – I’d find a way to tear it up sooner or later.

    394 chars

  14. joodyb said on January 6, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    “Meet John Doe” was on TMC this afternoon. the John Does in the movie are terrific – so earnest, like our young parents. i think this is the best Capra. the riot scene is quite shocking, even today.

    198 chars

  15. Terry WAlter said on January 7, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Ya know, Nance, some people, ya know, do still give a shit about policy, ya know? So when I read on here claims that non-Uhbama supporters are racist because we don’t want a black as president, it galls me to no end ( name(s) ) omitted rather than start a personal pissing match. Do you think we would have supported his socialist tripe if he was white? Considering that we were dead set against Dukakis/Ozone Al/J. Kerry, I don’t think so. A recent UCLA study declared that Roosevelts’ New Deal prolonged the Great Depression 7 years. The first New Deal sucked, the second one will suck even worse because, well, I’ve gotta live through this one. Michael Steele for president! Clarence Thomas for Supreme Court! Hey, at least we got that one.

    743 chars

  16. Cosmo Panzini said on January 8, 2009 at 2:41 am

    The Milbank link with all the Ronald Reagan crap was amusing. Seems like all the fog disseminated by Republican zealots regarding Uncle Ronnie’s eight magical years has created a whole new generation of gulls who are now paralyzed by all the bullshit they’ve swallowed.

    273 chars