June 4, 2009 - May 28, 2009
. He goes to his death as a symbol. The pro-choicers are
seizing on the excuse to blame pro-lifers for his murder. The
pro-lifers are distancing themselves from the actual murderer's
decision to end his life for acts that are not illegal even if they are
immoral. But nobody's talking about him.
So I find myself wondering. Wondering what it would be like to be him. By some counts he ended the lives of 60,000 late-term fetuses. I won't do the easy thing and show a baby here. Mostly because I don't want to juxtapose a specific living baby with his image, which would be a kind of taint on the baby I chose. Yes, murdering him was a crime. I don't deny it. I'm also not going to show blacked out images the same size as his photo above for one or many of the lives that didn't live because he practiced what he called medicine. I'm not writing to take cheap shots or muddy the waters. I'm writing because I'm curious.
What was it like to be him? We'll never know now. He's dead. Before he could share his point of view from his side. I'm not talking about his argumentation, his logic, his position. I'm talking about what it was like to get up each day, exchange pleasantries with the family, and face the face that showed up in the mirror when it was time to shave.
I don't even know if he was married, had children of his own or, at age
67, had grandchildren he dandled on his knee and spoiled with the usual
grandfatherly indulgences. If he didn't, I assume he had nieces or
nephews or friends who had infant children. What is your
experience of life like when every baby's bright effulgence isn't a
reminder of the beauty of life but of the preemption of life that pays
for your house, your car, your vacations, your books, and all your
What do you dream about? Do you see a montage of mangled bits of bodies rolling by, like some prisoner on a sausage assembly line? Or are you immune, inured, free as any adolescent to conjure the breasts and other curves of wish fulfillment fantasies realized in sleep? I don't know, can't imagine.
But here's what I believe. It's an either-or thing. You're a sociopath with no conscience, remorse, or vaguest thought of the 60,000 lives that would have lived without you. In which case your recent death isn't that much of a change of state.
Or your whole life is lived at some fatal remove from life. You can hear Mozart and his keen, succinct beauty as well as anyone, but you know his music is not meant for you; you are merely an eavesdropper, an interloper overhearing the music of the living. You have exactly the same feeling about a wren, a Goya, a woman's warm eyes, the Pieta, and the Psalms. You are outside, sealed off from all human comfort by a wall of bloody mutilated flesh that could have been loving eyes welcoming you into the community of men.
Is there some middle ground? Perhaps. Some rationale that grinds like the wheels of a mechanical adding machine. Some strip of addends and subtrahends that unfurls like an inventory of possessions. But that's really nothing more than being outside without acknowledging what's been traded away off the books.
I feel sorry for the man. What enormous energy and resolve it must have required never to confront the sorrow of mothers who decided rashly and too soon, to the detriment of their whole lives. It must have been exhausting to spend so much time not thinking of what you were doing with your medical equipment and instruments.
I can think of only one consolation for Dr. Tiller. He has put the lie to Shakespeare, which is hard to do. "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is often interred with their bones." The evil he did does not live after him, and that is the peculiar hell he must have experienced in life. I can only hope that death brings him something better.
UPDATE. We got the comment I was hoping for, and so my apologies to Harley, who gracefully ended his piece with a sentiment consistent with my post, "I only know that I could never do what Dr. Tiller did for a living." But he made the classic, easy argument you'll hear from every defender of what this man did:
How do doctors face themselves when they deliver a baby to a girl too young to even drive, knowing that baby will see nothing but the least that life has to offer? How do doctors feel about delivering children into certain death – those who cannot possibly live beyond a few minutes outside of the womb once deprived of that protective environment? How would a doctor feel about putting a woman through the risks of pregnancy and childbirth if laws did not allow abortion for an incest or rape victim?
How does a doctor face telling a mother that her infant is about to die because of an untreatable birth defect that was discovered long before birth? How can a doctor feel good about delivering any child into this world with all the doom and gloom with which we have been lately assaulted? Or go beyond issues of birth – how does any doctor deal with any terminal illness, particularly in children? How can they possibly keep their sanity when death and illness is all about them? How can they not compartmentalize their medical practice from their personal life?
There are no easy answers. A cliché, yes, but the truth. When we finally live in a world where all people take responsibility for their own actions, doctors like Dr. Tiller will pursue other medical practices. Somehow I don’t see that world as being just around the corner. On the contrary, it seems further and further away each day.
I only know that I could never do what Dr. Tiller did for a living.
uh, why, Harley? If life is so miserable that doctors should
second-guess their decisions to deliver live babies into the world, why
bother having doctors at all? Death is the great release from this vale
of woe, and everyone who delays that release is a metaphysical criminal.
I'm calling bullshit on the whole phony spiel. Sorry, Harley. You're "Exhibit A" in fake empathy. Your comment actually made me angry. DOCTORS ARE NOT GODS. THEY'RE FUCKING MECHANICS. End of argument. Their job is to preserve life in whatever state they find it, not to pass judgment on who should or should not get to draw another breath. You give yourself away. Disastrously:
Oh really? Really? Really?
What an ass. Never before in human history have expected human
lifespans been so long. And you weep for the prospects of babes who
might have to face a few more challenges than you did. Do you wish you had never
been born because Obama is president and lots of powerful people are
acting stupidly. Really?
Would we be closer to Utopia if elite doctors had terminated Helen Keller and Stephen Hawking before their parents had to undergo the inconvenience of teaching them to face life with crippling physical deficiencies? Or would your godlike docs draw the line at handicaps that don't initially appear to affect brain function?
Never mind that the instances you cite are an insignificantly tiny minority of the ethical challenges doctors face. Where do you get the right to say that physicians should agonize over the births of children who are simply poor, mired in difficulty from the start, and likely facing tall odds to become masters of their own lives?
News bulletin: Life is tough. For everyone. For absolutely e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e. Including Paris Hilton and Chelsea Clinton. We don't get to pass judgment on that. And doctors who know the chemical composition of placental sacs are no more adroit spiritually than Dick Butkus. Their job begins and ends with a healthy, or at least living, baby. Anatomy and philosophy exist at opposite ends of the human intellectual spectrum. A doctor who suffers metaphysically because he does his job of preserving human life is possibly a tragic figure, a subject of literary exploration. A doctor who ends life when his avowed mission is to preserve it is a vandal. The two plights are not comparable. One is exquisitely sensitive. The other is plainly insensitive. At least.
Who all would your lordly god docs have deprived us of? Bastards born into into a doomed life of poverty and failure? Blind or otherwise disabled babies whom doctors would know have no chance of escaping from misery?
You see, you may think you'd rather have been aborted than born without some of your most cherished physical capabilities. But that's what makes you average. Us average folks don't get to pass judgment on the life prospects of the truly extraordinary. That's what makes life, and human beings, extraordinary. Your ostentatious empathy is its own kind of murder.
As I said. You pissed me off.
Sorry if you merely didn't think it through. But you didn't think it through. Your bad, not mine.
UPDATE 06/08/09. Because we're fair. Here's Harley's response, with only one interpolation before a comment at the end:
If I'm reading you right, sounds more like you caught me. Leaning toward second and
picked off by a damn southpaw throw.
When irony masquerades as a better than usual defense of commonplace
advocacy, I can (do) get taken in. But here's where I caught you, Harley: Read my
first serious post about abortion (July 2004), which was referenced
at the very beginning of the entry. I have never failed to acknowledge
that there are complexities and subtleties we've never addressed as a
nation because both sides are dishonest about the subject to a
significant degree (a point reinforced by my exchange with one Thomas
Jackson in the Comments on this post). You assume too much about my
position. I have convictions about what's right and wrong, but I long
ago conceded that things can look different if you've ever confronted
the dilemma in real life. Which I haven't. It's why I was wishy-washy
about even discussing the subject for way too long. I am nowhere close
to 50-50 on the basic issue. But as to exceptions, well, my door is at
least half open.
And let this be a lesson to the rest of you. Speak your mind. If you score points, you'll have your day. Honest. Blisters heal. Real argument abides.
. Chalk it up to the Monday morning blues. When I first saw the
coverage of the Obamas' "Date Night" in New York, I didn't feel
especially negative about it beyond wondering if it wasn't courting
some resentment among voters who are being hard hit by the recession.
On Fox & Friends, Tucker
Carlson spoke for the elite northeastern conservative media by
dismissing this concern out of hand and confining his own complaints to
the delays and inconveniences the First Couple's night out occasioned
the better sort of Manhattanites. Video clips like the one above,
though, made it clear that the adoring Obamasses at the scene were
perfectly delighted with the whole event, proving both me and Carlson
wrong. The New York Post account
seemed to close the deal:
I'm not going to make a big deal out of the fact that taxpayers footed
the bill. Of course, we did. He's the president. That's not what I'm
feeling grumpy and skeptical about. But I am feeling grumpy and skeptical.
Like I'm being played at a surface level and subtly propagandized at a
Don't bother telling me I'm trying to read too much into it. Everything a president does is symbolic of something. The only question is whether the something is something obvious or something deeper. The press always thinks it knows, and maybe it does, but what they think is not always the story they choose to write and show.
One thing I know for sure because I'm not a complete moron is that this was not "an intimate night on the town" intended to "wow [the] First Lady with dinner and [a] Broadway show." There's nothing intimate about a flight to New York accompanied by two jets full of press, a motorcade through Times Square, a dinner that concludes with a standing ovation, and theater attendance that begins with a standing ovation from the audience and ends with the cast waxing nostalgic(?) about "when the king would come to the show." If the intent was to "wow" the First Lady, it was with yet another victory lap by a politician who has yet to quit campaigning for the office he already occupies. If he had a message for her, it wasn't an intimate "I love you truly and deeply regardless of all that has changed in our lives; it was "Look at how truly and deeply everyone loves me -- and you by extension."
I know this sounds harsh, and there will be those who protest, "What's a President to do?" uh, plenty. If the American people had made the disastrous mistake of electing me president, I could think of a lot of ways of fulfilling the promise Obama purportedly made to Michelle. I wouldn't be at all shy about the expense. If it was just for her, I would make it all just for her. I would bring New York and Broadway to the White House -- the restaurant setting, the chefs, the waiters for a dinner for two. And I would invite her favorite Broadway performers to put on a show just for the two of us. Because a president can do that. They keep telling us he's creative -- a writer, right? -- and it's the creative, personal touches that melt a woman's heart. The mystery beforehand, the stopping of the world's outside clock on her behalf, the total attention to pleasing her for a change, to living up to her: for example, I'd have worn a tie, probably a black tie. For the one person who, more than any other, merits my determination to put my best foot forward.
But this wasn't that. It was a vulgar exercise in showing off. The First Lady "dressed to the nines" certainly, but the president was attired only in expensive casual, as if... what? He'd already had a long day and if it was going to be even longer, he at least had the consolation of ditching the tie from his workaday suit? Or was it for all of us? He was tieless because he could be? Because the bright lights of New York impress him less than a roomful of foreign dignitaries or network news stars? Because the whole exercise was maybe just a little beneath him? Wall Streeters dress up for dinner and a show, and so does his own wife, but not the One? Does he, in fact, find it all a little bourgeois and boring?
There are signs that this is so. I'm well aware the Post article is at pains to tell us about all the smiling that was going on, and to prove it they led off their photo gallery with this shot:
But that's a picture they knew was being taken. In the course of the
evening that followed, Post
photographers took other more candid snaps as well:
Having fun were they? Or, in their deliberate black attire, were they
summoning a subliminal memory of black-coated Robespierre grimly condescending to
the Parisian aristocracy during the French Revolution? Amping up for
the Directorate and the Terror. The third photo in the series is from
the "show" they attended. I certainly can't read faces like the
fictional protagonist of "Lie to Me,"
but I sure wish I could. The
expressions are ambiguous, but they don't look at all to me like, "I've
just had a glorious night of personal celebration capped by a show that
makes me grateful just to have seen so much talent on an American
Or would it make you, personally, feel better to have your president attend a show that reminds him just how pissed off he is about all the injustices his country has subjected him to -- right before he leaps back into his limo, his "casual" jet, and Marine One en route back to the White House?
You think "pissed off" is overstated? You probably do. Do you know anything about the play he picked -- above all other candidates for his celebratory night on the town with his beloved wife?
I'm no expert on this dramatic work, but here's how Wikipedia
Well, why not? Even we have speculated that President Obama has more
than a passing interest in Reconstruction,
and that's fine, of course, except that I can't help wondering what the Obamas'
facial expressions mean in the context of what Wiki reports about the
final scene in the play:
I admit, as a writer, I'm not reassured by the quoted stage direction.
To me it sounds like a play that's meant to be read, not performed,
which also suggests that it's as self-consciously symbolic and
pretentious as all the stuff that got Tennessee Williams so roundly
trashed by critics in the final two thirds of his career. But what
concerns me more is the question of what exactly about this play means
so much to the President of the United States that he preferred seeing
it, all things considered on this night of all nights with his wife -- with the American
people looking raptly and adoringly on -- to the many other Broadway productions
that are actually joyful, celebratory, spectacular, and, well,
conducive to fooling around with your wife when the two of you get back
Or is "shining like new money" an aphrodisiac I've never heard about? So much hotter when you have a faithless partner, a self-inflicted slash in your chest, and a repudiation of Christianity fueling your allegiance to the flesh.
I'm also concerned that nobody but me has any concerns of this sort.
But don't mind me. As I said, it's probably just the Monday morning blues.
The nation is clearly in love with the star-making template of American Idol, which interestingly
enough is a format that dates all the way back to the radio era. Before
there was Simon Cowell, there was Major Bowes, who stopped poor
performers in mid-act with a gong, and the much kinder Ted Mack's Amateur Hour from the
early days of television. In fact, we have Major Bowes to thank for
Frank Sinatra and Ted Mack to thank (if we do) for Wayne Newton. In the
cynical Seventies there was The Gong
Show, which contrived to make a dirty joke of the aspiration for
fame, and then, in the more hopeful Eighties came Star Search, which lasted a dozen
years and facilitated the careers of quite a few show
business successes, though few of the actual
winners did become stars.
Since the latest reincarnation of this venerable formula, we have seen it proliferate into every conceivable area where notoriety can assist a fledgling career -- models, hairdressers, clothing designers, chefs, dog groomers, television hosts, boxing, mixed martial arts, enterepreneurs and inventors, and even corporate flunkeys (Isn't that what The Apprentice is testing for?) Traditional show business has also followed suit. There's a show for stand-up comics. And a show for dancers, called So You Think You Can Dance, whose peculiarities are the real subject of this post. But some more background is necessary first. Please bear with me. I'll get there. Promise.
Ironically, the current fad has also spawned a kind of inverse derivative in which the somewhat or formerly famous seek to heighten their celebrity by demonstrating a middling talent outside the arena that made them famous. Thus, we have had Dancing with the Stars, Skating with Celebrities, and even something (a flop, so excuse me if I can't remember the correct title) Magic with the Well Known.
What's interesting about the new shows is that they combine the best and the worst of the older shows. The programs that appear on the major networks allow the mass media audience to vote on which performers they like and even, in (usually) vaguely defined terms, to trump the pronouncements of the judges. That's clearly superior to the relatively recent Star Search procedure which allowed the TV studio audience to break ties in the judges' scoring. BUT. The role of judges has also been transformed. They're not the silent voters of old-time beauty pageants or even the tactfully measured critic/cheerleaders of Star Search. They're the preening perfomers of The Gong Show, established by production context and personal attitude as the real stars of the show, who as often as not, are simply using the contestants as raw material for their own displays of ego, wit, sarcasm, and ridicule.
That's why the big network shows begin as cattle calls. Gong Show judges require Gong Show victims. Performers so bad we in the television audience can experience the double pleasure of laughing at them, like the invisible voyeurs we are, and feeling outrage at the merciless putdowns of the prominent public voyeurs who are saying exactly what we think while we congratulate ourselves on both our outrage and our superiority. Which is the more important trend, you ask? Mass media democracy or obnoxious judges? The answer is: obnoxious judges. The cable shows have neither the schedule control nor the money to harvest umpty million cellphone votes after a single broadcast. So they retain only the most important element: haughty, condescending judges.
Amazingly, the composition of judge panels conforms absolutely to the Simon Cowell model on shows which achieve network status. There must be an arrogant Brit, a loony female, and some sort of contrasting wild card. There is, of course, Simon Cowell on American Idol; Len Goodman on Dancing with the Stars; (was) John Nicks on Skating with Celebrities; and Nigel Lythgoe on So You Think You Can Dance. (We're not even going to mention Gordon Ramsay on Hell's Kitchen. Oops.) When did we cede to the Brits the implicit authority to stand in judgment of our accomplishments and our dreams? Or didn't we do that at all? Did we, instead, subconsciously agree that petty, catty, nasty, patronizing dismissals are somehow less reflective of our own worst instincts if they are rendered in a British accent? We can abjure the tone and vocabulary as alien while secretly taking credit for the acumen behind the damning words uttered.
People who claim to understand American culture keep intimating that the American Idol phenomenon isn't important in any profound way. They'd prefer to see it as proof that we're mostly shallow and ignorant, that its net meaning is as an indictment of a populace that votes in greater numbers for singers and dancers than for presidents. But I'd like to propose a different interpretation. I believe that all the phenomena I've described above are part of a deep debate we're having with ourselves about who and what we are as a people -- and how we really feel about where we seem to be heading. And if this is so, it's more important in the long run than who we elect as president for the current four-year term.
What's going on here? Are we really infatuated unto idiocy with celebrity for its own sake? No. Are we really mean at heart, so envious of any attempt by the average joe to poke his head above the herd and get noticed that we enjoy seeing him slain on live TV? No. Are we so bored and alienated from the ordeals of day-to-day living that we're prepared to toss it all in exchange for a sliver of participation in the making or unmaking of other people's dreams? No.
We are all judges, and we are deliberating complex issues. We know things the supposedly wise don't credit us with knowing. We know that the official judges, the so-called experts, all have agendas of their own. We don't cede them superiority to our own gut instincts, even if we agree with them on occasion or cheer them on when they voice our own views. We know, without having to formulate the thought specifically, that they are the politicians who ask us to trust their closeness to the issues. We accept the stereotyped roles in which they appear to us because it's indicative of a reality we've dealt with all our lives -- the overeducated know-it-all male who always insists he knows better than everyone else (Gingrich/Schumer, etc, etc), the somewhat crazed female activist acting on pure emotion (Pelosi/Schlafly, etc, etc), and the special interest insider who always claims to be closer to "the people" even though he really isn't (fill in your own hundreds of et ceteras). Sometimes we do agree with them. Sometimes we don't. They're the familiar face of government, science, art, media, academe, and evey other kind of institutional expertise. We don't dismiss them out of hand, but we reserve the right to call them an ass when they are. And we enjoy the rare opportunity to see them forced to put their expertise on the line in a human way, so that we get to observe, and judge, the personalities behind the self-proclaimed objective expertise. It turns out the way we'd expect. Sometimes they're on the money. Frequently, they're justifying irrational opinions no better founded than our own.
This isn't that big a deal, except in the context of the contestants. We're smart enough not to trust them either. Who is it exactly who's willing to subject himself to the scorn of the self-ordained priests of culture, be it singing, dancing, or cooking? Only three kinds of people. The truly gifted who have a passion that's proof against the slings and arrows of the pompous, the (uh) less gifted who have a passion but neither the talent nor the objectivity to see they've made a mistake, and the frankly delusional, who ignore every redlight to persist in a course that can do nothing but humiliate them in the long term.
One could argue that all three groups are deserving of compassion. One could argue that if we were all, indeed, idiot consumers of mass media tripe. But we're not. The participants in these shows are not innocents. Everyone who shows up for the cattle calls is declaring a willingness to appear on national television, even if it is to be made a fool of. More often than not, those who are rejected by the judges make a final defiant appearance in the lobby outside the audition theater to assert that they know they're talented and that the judges were wrong, unfair, or biased.
It's this phenomenon that the American people are thinking about. The truth is, most of the people who line up around the block awaiting their chance at fame are in the delusional category, and even the ones in the "less gifted" category are suspect. If you were serious about a discipline in which you had doubts of your talent and competence, would you choose national television as the medium in which to receive definitive feedback? Wouldn't you opt for more work and more private knowledgeable feedback as an alternative to being humiliated in front of an entire nation? The overwhelming majority of people who show up for such auditions are not serious about anything but their wholly unmerited self esteem. Whatever they say about passion, their chief need is for attention.
A lot like our kids these days. Here's a fascinating author talk about the book "The Epidemic of Narcissism." I urge you all to watch it. It makes two points relevant to this discussion. First, that contrary to psycho-babble mythology, Narcissists do not suffer from low self esteem at any level. When you tell them repeatedly for years that they are special, they believe it. Who'd a thunk it? Second, that a Narcissist personality is a recipe for failure in every part of life -- financial, emotional, and spiritual. It also turns out that passionate self confidence has almost nothing in common with Narcissism. The former is rooted in character and talent. The latter is rooted in lies and vanity.
And there's another result as well. It has to do with personality tests. All kids these days are scoring much higher than generations past on the scale of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Celebrities score higher than the rest of the population. But not nearly as high as reality show contestants.
I believe that when the television audience watches American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance, they know the underdogs they're rooting for are not like themselves, but needier, more self-absorbed, more inflated in every possible way. Sure, they respond to the personal stories of loss, deprivation, and ordeals overcome, but they remain keenly alert for signs that these are people who are living for themselves alone. They also know, without being told, that the fame they're being asked to help generate is an ephemeral thing, a brief moment in the sun that may prove more curse than blessing. They're conducting a laboratory experiment of sorts. These shows will all go away when the audience finally concludes, as I believe they will, that the celebrity lifestyle the mass media have tried so determinedly to sell them is insubstantial and not at all worthy of their support. They will want better for their own children.
Which brings me, at last, to the current season of both American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Even the pundits who scorn American Idol are trying to make an issue of the fact that a straight guy beat out a gay guy in the final showdown. They wanted to cast it as a Red State vs Blue State showdown and now that the Blue State lost, it must have been the result of some conspiracy by AT&T or somebody. Fools. The straight guy won because he comes across as more genuine. It's possible to imagine him having a normal life after the flurry of celebrity goes away, as it has done very quickly for all but one or two of the American Idol winners.
I admit this post has gotten more complicated than I envisioned it at the beginning. But I only have two unsimple points left to make. And they're related. They both have to do with the phony, media-created passion for egalitarianism. Why doesn't American Idol produce real stars? Because they force every contestant to sing in every possible genre of music. Which guarantees that the survivors of a process designed to reward generalists will produce mediocrity rather than individuality. American Idol is dedicated to finding a 21st century Rosemary Clooney, not a Janis Joplin or Nina Simone.
That's why I prefer So You Think You Can Dance. It also drives its contestants toward generalism -- witness the standard practice of forcing Hip-Hoppers to pass through choreography while idiosyncratic modern dancers get direct tickets "for Vegas" -- but what's different is the art form itself and, thanks to Nigel Lythgoe, a majority of the judging.
At the beginning of the show, Lythgoe was a kind of clone of Simon Cowell. But after the first or second year, he underwent a conversion of sorts. He announced that he was through with being needlessly snotty. Since then, he has not only enforced this rule on himself but on other judges as well. He has not abandoned his standards. Rather, he has traded in the easy insults for seriously educational comments about dedication, motivation, character, talent, technique, and maturity. He has become a pedagogue of dance. The show still features heartwarming personal stories and personal oddities, but as executive producer, he has grown into the role of wise elder to a dregree I'd never have expected from a tycoon Brit. His show is showing signs of integrity. During the audition phase of the current season, he has publicly (severely) rebuked two of his "guest" judges who were unable to focus more on contestants than themselves. And he has shown a sense of humor about the less talented when he detected that they simply loved dancing and evidently wanted to share that love with the audience.
Here are two clips from the show's audition episodes.
He's presently drawing fire for his comments on the second clip. I ask
you to note both the rebuttal represented by the first clip (Who cares
what her ethnicity or sexual orientation are? She can dance. The judges' comments affirm
it.) and the parallel with current events -- a Supreme Court nominee
whose story is supposed to be
more important than her talent at her chosen profession. Lythgoe seems
to be drawing an important line in the sand. Dance well and your
personal details don't matter at all. Dance like your personal issues
matter more than being good or winning a competition, and you'll get
the scorn you deserve. That's not homophobia or racial prejudice. It's professionalism. Something Americans know something about.
And there is a bottom line which relates to the difference between singing and dancing. Singers are bound to specific words and therefore a kind of acting. Dancers operate at a deeper level not involving words. The movement of their bodies is a manifestation of being. A much harder thing to fake. So when the audience asks itself who is trying, who is posing, who is real, who is an opportunist, they have a much better chance of determining who to believe in and who to scorn. Unlike the tongue, the body does not lie.
We have a president with a very talented tongue. But I regard it as just possible that a much deeper education process is underway. Maybe the puff piece before the dance isn't as important as the dance itself. Even to moron American voters.
We're at a crossroads right now. Do we believe the tongue? Or are we prepared to vote on the damned dance?
Y'know, in the end we ARE going to win. Because we do have the talent and the drive, and the place where everyone else in the world knows they can make their talent and drive turn their dreams to reality. Obama and his Stalinist urges notwithstanding.