I watched a little of the Kennedy wake, and a little of the Kennedy funeral mass. Both seemed like pretty standard affairs as these things go, if a bit funnier — those Irish like a wake to be celebratory, and Teddy’s certainly was. Lance Mannion found a nice clip, here, lengthy but worth the time. I surfed around and checked out the opposition. The reaction ranged from silence to the usual Mary Jo Kopechne Mary Jo Kopechne blah blah blah. (The ones with college degrees said Bork Bork Bork blah blah blah.) I’m amazed at how so many people who claim a fierce belief in God also cling to the idea that God sent Kennedy’s soul straight to hell for “murdering” Kopechne, as though they missed that part about forgiveness for all sinners, even Kennedys. I’m also amazed at how many people expressed the belief that in a just world, Kennedy would have “died in prison” for his crime in 1969, which shows a rather tenuous grasp of sentencing guidelines, too.
At the heart of it all was something else, I think — an ugly resentment of the talented and fortunate. We all suffer to some extent — who hasn’t felt envy? — but at the end of Kennedy’s life even those who disagreed with him would have to admit he spent at least some of it living by the words he spoke so memorably at his brother’s funeral, 41 years ago:
My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.
You can argue with how he went about it. But not with the effort.
At the other end of the spectrum, I also caught up with “Project Runway.” The challenge was to create a maternity dress for one of those actress-models whose face I only see in supermarket checkout lines. Rebecca Romijn? Yeah. The last name is pronounced Romaine, like the lettuce, which, in pregnancy, she looks like she’s finally adding a little grilled chicken to. Brave, brave actress-model. Anyway, it’s early in the competition, which means the worst competitors are still there, many of whom treated Romijn’s condition the way Scarlett O’Hara’s contemporaries did — as something to avert your eyes from and get all ooh-ick over. They had great fun playing with the preggo pillows they were issued to tie to their dress forms; a few couldn’t figure out where they should go. Another said of Romijn, “she’s in her second semester, or whatever.” How hilarious. You’d think none of them had mothers themselves, and based on one of their designs, which was used as inspirations chickens and eggs, maybe not.
He’s the guy who got booted. “What woman wants to look like a chicken?” asked Heidi Klum, mother of four. The winner was a woman. Ha ha ha.
And then it was “Sunshine Cleaning,” which shows you what great actors can do with a slight little script, but I liked it just the same. How can you not like Amy Adams, adorableness incarnate? My neighbor in Fort Wayne cleaned houses, and in just a few years’ worth of chats, gave me enough material for five novels. She was always discreet, but just the broad outlines were amazing. One client told her how they’d bought their house cheap, because it was nearly a teardown, so trashed had it been by previous owners. Oh? Yes, those same owners had deserted it, first by mom and then by dad, both of whom moved out of state and left their two inconvenient teenage children to take care of themselves for their final year or two of high school, sending money every so often. The kids took their abandonment issues out on the house. The authorities never knew. Now there’s a movie.
What am I writing about today? Hell if I know. Best skip to the bloggage:
A friend posted this on Facebook over the weekend: Afterbirthers Demand to See Obama’s Placenta. Yes, the Onion. Yes, funny.
I’ll say it again: I remember when Spike Lee criticized Michael Jackson for altering his “negroid nose.” How things change.
And now it’s Monday. Sigh. Last week of summer vacation for someone I know.