Today is my half birthday. That seems appropriate, in that I have some half-developed thoughts today:
1. I can’t tell if an operatic star is really good. The title of a Luciano Pavarotti obit Charisma, hype and that incredible voice – with a link to a performance – seems to be true in many performing arts, but in rock and roll, for instance, I’m versed enough in it that I can usually make an informed opinion about it. It’s even more true of Beverly Sills, who died earlier this year; maybe not the greatest opera soprano, but she popularized the genre. Couldn’t tell one way or the other by me.
2. I’m confounded by that guy from Idaho. Larry Craig gets arrested, pleads guilty. The story gets out, he resigns, he makes noises about reneging on his resignation.
Why are the Repubs SO willing to throw him to the wolves so quickly? The video of Democratic operative James Carville here, with the transcript here sort of encapsulates the thing for me:
What I found extraordinary about this is nobody came out and defended this guy. I mean, nobody said, “He’s a good man, done a bad thing.” “Here’s a decent guy who’s obviously been struggling with a problem.” “Here’s somebody who” —I mean, nobody. No Republican, no, no, no, no operative, no journalist. Nobody said, “Well, Larry Craig’s got nothing.” And I mean, they didn’t throw him under the bus, they hit him with the bus. I mean, he’s like, boom! Flattened him.
So, what, exactly, were the Republicans running from? What is the subtext?
I was interested to see that Larry Craig believed he was implicated in this 1982 Congressional page scandal.
So is this homophobia, hubris, hagiography, haiku, or what?
3. What the heck DID Jerry Lewis say in the waning hours of the MDA telethon? Given the fact that Jerry has apologized, I assume he used the word Isaiah Washington has been known to use. But honestly, I’ve watched the tape, and I wouldn’t know WHAT he said.
4. I’m afraid I may know the answer to this one:
Did the country REALLY need Mario Cuomo, the Hamlet on the Hudson who should have taken that Supreme Court job rather run unsuccessfully for a fourth term as governor of New York to remind us that according to the Constitution, Congress has the right to declare war? (Answer: probably.)
5. If I got one of these, Les Newsman would be proud, but would it alienate my co-workers?
6. I saw this license plate last night: THEREVS. Was it supposed to mean THE REVS (a pair of ministers) or THE REV S (a specific minister) or THERE VS (a “them versus us” scenario that I gave more credence to for good cause).
Happy birthday this week to Cecily and Susan.