Letters to Holly

Tuesday, June 5

A Matter of Timing

You might remember my disastrous audition for the outdoor Shakespeare. Even though I didn't get a speaking role and had to bow out because of car troubles (and concern that the production was veering into camp), I'm still on the email chain. The recent communications from the theatre folk suggest mayhem. The rehearsal schedule is shifting often, and attendance is sporadic because of spotty weather. If I had stuck around, I'd pull out my hair. I'd drive an hour to get to the theatre and find out the evening is scotched because performers stayed home to avoid a drizzle. I'd be fired for flattening people with fury-fueled wrestling moves. Long story short, I dodged a bullet. This isn't counting everything I would have missed if I did the show: the comic show, the prom, the school awards ceremony, the run preparation, the minicomic, etc.

I shuffled over to the local Home Depot (which isn't at all local; the closest is more than a half hour away) for a mower spark plug, mulch, and fertilizer. The spark plug was the answer, by the way, so I didn't have to borrow the neighbor's mower. Your Sis was detained with work and a pharmacy visit, so we had pizza for a late supper. We had a confab over the remaining research papers and gave ourselves two deadlines to finish them.

Picture of the Day
Lego art.

In the News
I watched the GOP debate last night on CNN. Aside from the overwhelming volume of candidates, one is struck by the bad format. True, they had two hours and two styles of debate (a formal exchange and a town-hall session), but the number of people makes that amount of time insufficient. It flew by without anything of substance delivered. This was my first chance to hear from the fringe hopefuls, and aside from Texas representative Ron Paul, none did anything more than pander. Not that any of them presented a presidential carriage. The moderator conducted the debate as if it were The Dating Game ("If I were an illegal immigrant with no healthcare, and I had drug-resistant TB contracted from an Al-Qaeda operative in Iraq, what would you say if we met on a street corner?"). The only benefit from this show was to affix faces to the names. Each was equally anxious to show their enthusiasm for the job, a fidgety initiative that made them look almost desperate.

I think this is why Fred Thompson has become the sexy candidate; he doesn't convey any shimmering desire for the presidency. He doesn't seem like the kind of guy to drop sound bytes or toss off a smarmy grin while kissing babies to win your vote. At a time when we're allegedly more concerned with presentation over substance, Thompson emerges as a grumpy uncle whose nomination would denounce the slick, glad-handers who currently make up the candidate pool. Not that I think he has a chance of winning. He's entering the race relatively late, and the herd of current hopefuls may have left him with few financial resources to lobby. His Senate experience lends him credibility as a Washington veteran, but he's been out of office for some time now. Does he have any lingering pull? Will his alleged swinging bachelor days come back to haunt him? Also, except for grandstanding comments on immigration (this is our home and we can choose who walks in), he has no established policy stances nor any ideas to attack the big problems of foreign policy, deficits, and healthcare. Before long, he'll have to stop coasting on his celebrity cache and offer a platform.

Oh, and the current official candidates clearly targeted Hillary last night. I don't think any other Democrat was mentioned by name, and none was referenced as often. She's the bullseye for them whether it's because she's the nominal frontrunner or the perceived constituency is rabidly misogynist and conditioned by the dozens of GOP talk hosts. Maybe a mix of all. But ten guys taking shots as Hillary starts to look unchivalrous. Yes, it's a double standard. Yes, she's a public figure with equal opportunity to be criticized. But by not commenting on the other Democrat candidates, they appear to specifically target her as a person, not a candidate. And that could appear mean-spirited to the public.

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