We went out Saturday night, and in the manner of Olds, were inside with the latchstring pulled before 10:30 p.m. I could have probably gone later, but it would have required another food/alcohol game plan, and the couch is so, so inviting at that hour.
Anyway, being without cable but with broadband, I found the president’s speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner with little trouble, and had it playing on my phone as I drifted in and out of consciousness. When we were out earlier, one of my friends said, “I read that the Key & Peele guys write his jokes,” like that was a terrible thing. I responded that of course Obama has a joke writer, like virtually every comedian. Besides, the joke on the page is only half of the miracle; the rest is in the delivery, and that’s all his. And, as has been noted a million times before, Obama has spectacular timing and delivery skills.
You can read the whole speech transcript here, if you like. You’ve probably already read the best zingers:
Anyway, here we are, my eighth and final appearance at this unique event. And I am excited. If this material works well, I’m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans. That’s right. That’s right.
…And yet somehow, despite all this, despite the churn, in my final year my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high I was trying to decide on my major.
…Sitting at the same table I see Mike Bloomberg. Mike, a combative, controversial New York billionaire is leading the GOP primary and it is not you. That has to sting a little bit. Although it’s not an entirely fair comparison between you and the Donald. After all Mike was a big city mayor. He knows policy in depth. And he’s actually worth the amount of money that he says he is.
What an election season. For example, we’ve got the bright new face of the Democratic party here tonight, Mr. Bernie Sanders. Bernie, you look like a million bucks. Or, to put in terms you’ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.
You can find your own favorites. The last Facebook message I got was from a friend who heard Larry Wilmore’s speech, which ended with this bit, which actually played in a key of pride and nostalgia —
Thank you for being a good sport, Mr. President, but all jokes aside, let me just say how much it means for me to be here tonight. I’ve always joked that I voted for the president because he’s black. And people say, “Well, do you agree with his policies?” And I always said, “I agree with the policy that he’s black.” I said, “As long as he keeps being black, I’m good.” They’d say, “What about Iraq?” “Is he still black?”
But behind that joke is a humble appreciation for the historical implications for what your presidency means.
When I was a kid, I lived in a country where people couldn’t accept a black quarterback. Now think about that. A black man was thought by his mere color not good enough to lead a football team — and now, to live in your time, Mr. President, when a black man can lead the entire free world.
Words alone do me no justice. …Yo, Barry, you did it, my n—-. You did it.
Only he didn’t say n-dash-dash. He said, “my nigga,” and I guess parts of the mediasphere lost their shit. Feh. The world, she changes every day.
A good weekend in our neck of the woods. The theme was sweat: First in Saturday’s workout, then in Sunday’s schvitz, the last until September. In between our friends who recently honeymooned in Napa held Taco Night, and we marveled at their embryonic wine cellar and stories of spectacular dining experiences. Face it, Napa is just grownup yuppie Disneyland. All the pleasures — food, wine, million-thread-count sheets.
The schvitz was pretty great, too. The proprietor turned on the bubbles in the jacuzzi, which are some SERIOUS DAMN BUBBLES. I think my back actually got numb. Everyone in the spa was topless, and I was reminded of one of the funnier lines from “Sex and the City,” when Miranda, at the Playboy Mansion, rounds a corner in the grotto to find a similar sight. “Look,” she says. “Tit soup.”
Bloggage! I know you’re all Princed out, but I chuckled over this Roy take on a National Review Prince column, so what the hell, you should enjoy, too.
And Neil Steinberg disposed of Chris Christie nicely here. By “nicely,” I mean, “with a stiletto.”
…Christie showed up at the Republican debates, delivered his prepackaged zingers and hit his cues. And when it was over he was among the first former opponents to embrace Donald Trump.
As a reward, Trump lets him join the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album cover melange of models and GOP mercenaries who have drifted over to his banner and are allowed to stand behind him at speeches.
Christie, though, is noteworthy for that expression, that stunned, miserable stare that often comes over his face. I think of that woman trapped in the hive in “Aliens,” who croaks “Kill me.”
Finally, last week I mentioned not keeping up with internet culture so much anymore. One individual I did notice from my keeping-up days, though, was Jeff Jarvis, who was one of those post-9/11 guys, the purported Democratic peacenik who went whole-hog for the warblogs, and later became convinced blogs were oh-so-much-better than boring old ink-on-paper stuff, etc. (It’s more complicated than that, but I don’t have time.) Lately he’s reinvented himself as an eminently parody-able journalism futurist, and a parody Twitter account — @profjeffjarvis — has been parodying him for a while. The other day, Esquire’s website ran a piece by the spoofer, which made the original recipe very, very mad. Gawker took him down nicely.
Busy week ahead. I am not tanned, but I am rested and ready. Bring it on.