Only the good die young.
Take, for example, the 42,000 (give or take) American soldiers who died trying to prevent “communist conspirators” from establishing a government in southern asia. I’m guessing most of them were good but who really knows. They’re not taking interviews at the moment. Here are some other things they’re not doing — taking their grand children to the shore, collecting Social Security, running to Home Depot to get more sod, updating their Facebook status, et. al.
They’re also not recognizing the death of former defense secretary Robert Strange McNamara.
Which is probably best because I’m guessing the obits would annoy the hell out of them. The New York Times labeled him, “perhaps the most influential defense secretary of the 20th century.” The obit goes on to describe how he struggled with the morality of war and in later years could be seen — and this is the best part– “stooped, his shirttail flapping in the wind, walking to and from his office a few blocks from the White House, wearing frayed running shoes and a thousand-yard stare.”
I’m guessing this description would be a bit much for the 42,000 soldiers who died on Robert Strange McNamara’s watch.
But again, this is a guess because all they’re all dead. And now, he is too.
Where does this leave us?
I know all of you are running to Kroger to load up for Saturday but before you do, let’s consider the Nacho Cheese Dorito. First understand this, I consider NCD the greatest salty snack created by humans for humans. Everything about this product is perfect. Simply put, it’s a masterpiece of crisp tangy goodness. But, and I feel guilty even bringing this up, it’s like making snarky comments about bat speed and timing while your kid’s at the plate but excuse me, have you seen the ingredient list on this stuff? Seriously. It’s like Frito-Lay used Theodore Kaczynski as a “chemistry” consultant. For your convenience, I’ve highlighted the number of times the word cheese actually appears…
ngredients: Whole corn, vegetable oil (contains one or more of the following: corn, soybean, and/or sunflower oil), salt, cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes), maltodextrin, wheat flour, whey, monsodium glutamate, buttermilk solids, romano cheese from cow’s milk (part-skim cow’s milk, cheese cultures, salt, enzymes), whey protein concentrate, onion powder, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, corn flour, disodium phosphate, lactose, natural and artificial flavor, dextrose, tomato powder, spices, lactic acid, artificial color (including yellow 6, yellow 5, red 40), citric acid, sugar, garlic powder, red and green bell peppe powder, sodium casinate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, nonfat milk solids, whey protein isolate, and corn syrup solids.
Okay. New theory.
McCain crowds dwindle when Palin isn’t around. This is a fact. Indisputable. So here’s what I think. I think McCain’s war hero ego will crack. He won’t be able to take the lack of attention is what I think. He’ll start feeling like what he is, OLD AND OUT OF TOUCH. He’ll do or say something hot-tempered and bonehead and blow the whole election.
By the way, watching CNN, Anderson Cooper covering IKE live in Houston. While he’s detailing the impending Apocalypse, a car pulls up behind him, guys get out wearing a canary yellow chicken suit, guy waves his arms and clucks.
I love this country.
When Sarah Palin told Congress, “thanks, but no thanks” for that $233 million bridge to nowhere, was she stretching the truth? Numerous reports have shown that during her 2006 campaign for Alaska governor she backed said bridge. Did she flip flop on this extremely critical issue? Is the woman a liar?
Who gives a shit.
That’s the correct answer. Who cares what Sarah Palin did or did not do while governor, mayor, city council member, pta-president, den mom, anchorwoman, beauty queen, most-likely-to-be-nominated-as-veep-with-little-to-no-qualifications, et. al. It does not matter. It never mattered. And I owe every single one of you an apology for pretending like it did. Sorry. Sue me. Here’s what matters.
They are winning.
They are running on a platform of change and it’s working. I’d never thought I’d say this but nicely done. Seriously. The simplicity of the strategy is stunning. If the country wants change, then give them change by God. The Atwater boys understand that most Americans won’t associate McCain with Bush, especially when our beloved 43rd has been too busy “tending to hurricanes” since the convention. The Atwater Boys understand that the only way to defeat Obama is to become Obama.
Obama is interesing, different, leading in the polls.
Enter Sarah Palin.
Now McCain is interesting, different, leading in the polls.
I can’t believe I fell for it. I can’t believe I was actually blogging about what a mistake Sarah Palin was, blah blah yada yada. That’s exactly what they wanted me to do. Talk about her. Focus on her. Forget the truth. That McCain is establishment, old school, the anti-Maverick.
Won’t get fooled again.
What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull?
What’s the difference between a hockey mom and just about every human who’s run for the office of vice-president of the United States of America?
I realize I’m a broken record but I don’t care because let’s face it, Sarah Palin is the story of this election. And yes, okay she did a good job last night. A fine job. But it’s not like she wrote the damn speech. It’s not like she had the first clue what she was talking about. For the past week she’s been holed up in a penthouse suite at the Twin Cities Four Seasons while four or five of the nastiest, bourbon-addled speechwriters the Republican machine has to offer threw draft after draft in her face. I picture Karl Rove in the corner with a stopwatch and video camera whispering, “you’re the barracuda, baby.” She’s been cramming, people. Literally cramming on issues like defense, economy, energy and environment, etc., yada, infinity to the infinity.
Tom Ridge was a better choice. Former Governor. Orignal homeland security czar. But oops, wait a sec, pro-choice.
Joe Leiberman was a better choice. Senator. Fighter. But hold on, also pro-choice and once ran for vice-president on the Democratic ticket.
So we get Sarah Palin. Mother, Moosehunter, Maverick. Also pro-life.
I’ll ask it again.
How is this woman qualified to be one heartbeat away from the most powerful office in the entire world?
P.S. Is there anything more entertaining than a gaggle of Republican delegates “dancing” to Celebration by Kool and the Gang?
Seriously. I want an answer. I want somebody to explain how Sarah Palin is a good choice. Look, I get it, okay. I’m not blind to what’s going on here. I understand that the base, the evangelicals, the autotrons, LOVE the governor of our forty-ninth state. That’s the way of the world. Duly noted. But can somebody else please explain why Sarah Palin is qualified to run as a vice-presidential candidate for the United States of America, i.e. the most powerful position in the world, i.e. Kennedy, Reagan, Roosevelt, et. al.
My problem is this. I don’t think John McCain made a good decision. Or put another way, I don’t think he based his decision on what’s best for this country. For real. Think about it. If he had really been thinking about America, if he’d really put country-over-party, he would’ve selected a running mate with more experience. The man is 72. The man is a cancer survivor. If you don’t think he’s in a high-risk demographic, call State Farm and say, “Hi, I’m 72, I survived cancer, I’d like some coverage please.”
I’m sorry, but the intrinsic, gut-twisting, American-homer part of me is sitting here thinking, “you don’t care about me.” If you did, Mr. Senator, you would’ve selected a running mate who could step in day one. Who can wrangle Congress, inspire the cabinet, soothe the country and deal with the world. I don’t feel that with her. I don’t feel she’s up to it.
And no, I don’t give a shit about her daughter being pregnant. That’s not my business. That’s not important.
Tell me how she’s qualified to lead this country.
I was so clearly wrong about her ability to lead. Note her “edgy” comeback to the news anchor on big east basketball. If she can take on this guy, she can take on Putin, Jintao, etc.
Big mistake, Senator. Huge. First off, she has the peppy, nasally, do-gooder twang you hear on Midwestern soccer moms. I feel like she’s about to offer me a slice of cherry pie fresh from the oven with a glass of ice cold milk. Boy howdy! This isn’t the kind of voice that belongs one heartbeat away from PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Seriously! Are you that desperate for votes? Do you really think Hillary freaks are that simple minded? Do you honestly believe they’ll look at Sarah Pallin and go, “she’s a woman, Hillary was a woman, I love Hillary, I’ll vote Republican!!!” Listen Senator, we all see you drooling over those 18 million votes but here’s the thing. THEY CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU. Hillary freaks are not autotrons. They won’t detonate their ideology over gender. Hate to break it you Senator, but it doesn’t work that way.
I think you panicked. I think you (and the braintrust) were shaken to the core by the undisputable fact that most of the country openly weeped during Obama’s acceptance speech. That was history, baby. The real thing. You know it when you see it. The man was IN THE ZONE. And when he finished, the Hillary freaks couldn’t remember why they liked her in the first place.
Oh this is great…
I’m watching CNN and Wolf Blitzer was just informed that Sarah Palin’s nickname in high school — and I swear to Chirst I’m not making this up — was Sarah Barracuda. This was his reaction, through a shit-eating grin…
“Okay then, Sarah Baracuda…Little Sarah Barracuda, I’m sure she had quite the bite.”
It took a hike up the Oregon coast to figure this out but now I understand why my agent — oops, the agent that represents my shit — now I get why he was more critical than hopeful. Because he’s not going to fall for my bullshit again. What it comes down to, and honestly, I’m mortified that it’s taken me so long to figure this out, but what it comes down to is story. As in, a plot that cooks. As in, yes, I’m really going to choose reading this novel over watching the season premiere of Lost because IT”S THAT FUCKING GOOD.
But what makes something that fucking good? There are three requirements.
Characters that feel.
And by plot I mean a domino-tumbling, life or death, break toward the baseline plot. Which I’ve always been to goddamn lazy to hash out. Clear writing? Easy. Characters that feel? How about the underachieving, drug-addled son of a Dallas crime boss who unexpectedly finds himself doing the right thing. But a plot? It’s not something you can write your way out of. You can’t put ridiculous advice like “just write what comes” into practice and expect anything more than seeing your short stories appear in litpubs called Lighthouse and/or Eastern Literary Review of the Mid-Atlantic Region. You gotta do the unthinkable.
Get the yellow legal pad, the sharpie, the piping fresh mug of costa rican and write the goddamn thing.