Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No Beer, Please. Just a Shot.

Today I want to discuss the latest controversy in the 2008 Democratic Primary race. Well, maybe twenty or thirty years ago it would have been the latest controversy, but in today's 24-second internet news cycle, it's probably been completely forgotten by now. However, thanks to the holiday, I haven't had access to the library computer until today, so it's still the latest controversy to ME.

I turned on a cable news channel Friday only to have my senses immediately assaulted by this: "BLADDERBREAKING NEWS! HILLARY CLINTON CITES RFK ASSASSINATION AS REASON FOR STAYING IN RACE!! WATCH AND HEAR THE TAPE AND BE SHOCKED FOR YOURSELF!!!" Well, whenever I prepare myself to be shocked by something a public figure says, it usually turns out that he or she were talking at the top of their heads, groping for words, and merely stuck their feet in their mouths (see Joe Biden on Cleanliness). The subsequent tape of Hillary's remarks seemed to bear this out:

"There's been a lot of, you know, calls for me to drop out. I, um, don't know why I should. My, uh, husband didn't, uh, sew up the nomination until, uh, June, right? Yeah, right. Then, um, uh, er, in June of, you know, uh, '69, uh, Bobby, uh, Kennedy was, er, assassinated, so why should I, you know, drop out, uh, now?"

Harmless. She needed two examples of primaries decided late, and those two just popped in her head. There are other examples, such as the 1984 duel between Walter Mondale and Gary Hart, but compared to an assassination and her husband's upward mobility, that one was BORING. The pundits seem to agree. That she might have anything else in mind was too distubing to contemplate. Better it be a simple Freudian slip. That way she's merely morbid.

She had slipped earlier, way back in March in Time magazine, but since then she's mentioned the two contests a half dozen times and not once did she use the word "assassination". A disciplined candidate, she.

Oddly enough, in some other interview she referenced the JFK assassination. There she was merely pointing out that Lyndon Johnson had signed Kennedy's proposals into law. Hillary seems almost infatuated with LBJ. First she suggested that without the Great Man and his mighty pen, Martin Luther King wouldn't have a minute named after him, much less a day, and now this. To think she started out as a Goldwater Girl!

So this too shall blow over. Rumor has it Hillary is persuing a vice-presidential slot, just as Johnson did in 1960. A practical candidate, she.

I do know one thing. If Barack Obama suddenly (and literally) drops out of the race, Hillary wins the conspiracy theorists vote.

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Once and Future Past

Welcome to my second blog. Or maybe my third. Me and the computer are a bit at odds about that. Then again, I'm a Luddite, so me and the computer are a bit at odds about EVERYTHING! In my previous blog, before I was so rudely interrupted by the library mandated time limit, I was going to pontificate about Gunsmoke. Actually about one particular episode I saw on TV Land not too long ago. Here's what happened. A group, or in Old West parlance, a gang of desperados came upon a solitary farmhouse. First they robbed the farmer and his wife, and then shot and left them for dead! As they were leaving the crime scene, they happened upon Marshall Matt Dillion (no relation to the Brat Packer) and his deputy Festus. Matt and Festus gave chase, but as the farm couple were bleeding to death, first things first, and the bad guys got away. Later that night, that very night, and I should mention that this episode BEGINS that very night, the outlaws were spending the night in some old abandoned cabin. "Why are we spending the night in this old abandoned cabin," cried one "We have to high-tail it out of this state!" "We can't, you fool!" yelled the leader "Matt Dillion saw us. By now they'll have every road in the state blocked off!" Now here's what concerns me. This is the Old West, 18whatever. How in tarnation (Old Westspeak) could they have all the roads blocked off in a single night! It's not like he had a two-way radio strapped to his horse! Speaking of horses it takes a little time to get back to Dodge City. And remember they had two people bleeding to death. In a squad car it would've been quicker, sure. But, horses? Eventually, Matt and Festus would've found a telegraph office, but that still should have given the bad guys a good head start. So, how to explain all this? Simple. Whoever wrote that episode grew up in the 20th century. He was used to instant communication, or what passed for it in the 1960s. He couldn't imagine any other way of thinking. This is what science and technology does (even to writers of TV fiction). A way of life people take for granted seems, at best, quaint to the people who come after. At worst, that way of life seems TOTALLY NUTS. Great Grandad didn't have electricity? No lights, no motor cars, not a single luxery? Like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be? Eventually, people come after the people who came after, and the tables are turned. No, junior, we didn't have Blackberrys when I was young. NO, I WASN'T DEPRIVED! I didn't even know what I was missing!... In conclusion, I suppose the people that come after us, or the people who come after the people who come after us, or the people who come after the people who come after the people who came after...well, you get the general idea...those people might some day produce a Gunsmoke-like show that takes place in, say, 2008, and some future desperado will say, "Matt Dillion's been online by now. He'll have every road in the galaxy blocked off!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beware of Luddite

Please bear with me. I'm new to blogging. In fact, I'm new to the web/internet/cyberspace/information highway/21st century. And on top of all that, I'm a little rusty on the typewriter. I do this under duress. The era I grew up in -the 1970's -seemed pretty advanced to me. Now it's the Old West, and I feel like Festus from Gunsmoke learning how to drive a car for the first time. I was going to start a new paragraph at this very sentence, but, as the title of this blog will attest I'm a Luddite. Not that it matters as the library computer I'm using just informed me that I only have a measly five minutes left. So until next time--oh, shit, what the hell did I do--oh, well, never mind--the computer just gave me a ten minute reprieve. Frankly, I'm surprised this machine hasn't had a nervous breakdown with me using it. Speaking of Gunsmoke--well, Gunsmoke is going to have to wait, as the computer just told me to get the hell off.