Will's Coffee House

John Dryden, Dramatist, Critic, Poet Laureate, and my ancestor, frequented a coffee house called Will's almost daily, where he would hold forth on sundry subjects with great wit and aplomb. Same deal here, only without the wit or aplomb.

Location: Large Midwestern City, Midwestern State, United States

I am a stranger in a sane land...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Tonal Shift

I've been asked--and when I say "asked," that's me being polite in describing the tone that was used--to blog about something other than the imminent demise of Western Civilization/America as a whole. And I will. Honest. But before I do...let me just get one more in.

For years--decades--everyone thought that Barbara Bush was this sweet grandmotherly figure--the "nice" one of the Bush clan. Everyone, that is, except those who knew her. Sure, we caught a glimpse of her true nature back when her husband was running for Veep against the feisty Geraldine Ferraro, whose working-class manners were somewhat compromised in their credibility when, upon release of her tax records, it turned out she was rather well off. To which Barbara--whose own immense wealth had been used against her husband--responded by saying that she had never, at least, pretended to be anything other than rich, unlike Ferraro, whom she called "I can't say the word, but it rhymes with 'itch.'" Her aides later attempted to persuade us that she meant "witch," which makes no sense since "witch" isn't obscene, and couldn't 'not be said.' Ferraro knew exactly what she meant, and had a great comeback in "Why is that nice old lady calling me a bitch?" But that glimpse was quickly forgotten, and we all thought of her as that darling woman who wrote the first-person-narrative children's book about the White House dog, Millie. Adorable.

But now that Dubya is in charge, we've slowly begun to peel the mask away. Barbara, it turns out, is not a nice or good person. She is quite the nasty specimen, in the tradition of, say Joe Kennedy Sr. or Joan Crawford--her way of raising her children has been to encourage accomplishment by threatening abuse, and defending her family against the slightest criticism by declaring the WASP equivalent of fatwa upon the guilty party. She's Lucretia Borgia in a granny dress and pearls. Horrible, just horrible.

But I hadn't realized that she was an ugly-spirited racist, too. (Or at least, a classist who so despises the poor--most of whom, in the realms in which she travels, are black, and so you've gotta know there's a connection there.) Her comments on touring the huddled, food- and drink-deprived masses at the Astrodome in Houston--a city that, as a nominal Texan, she obviously feels protective about--are so jaw-dropping that of course they've made the rounds of the internet and I repeat them here only because they're so deliciously evil and because I am a pack hound at heart:

"What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."

It's "scary" that they all want to stay in Texas. Well, that COULD be a comment on how bad things are at home, except that she clearly means otherwise when she comments that it's the Texan hospitality that's the draw--which means that she views them the way a cracker in Miami views boat people. A little less hospitality, and those people--who are nearly all black--would go back where they came from--hint hint you silly Red Cross workers! As for things working out well for them--she apparently has so little clue as to the true lives of the working-but-managing poor, that she thinks that they ought to be infinitely grateful for being garrisoned in living conditions that make a dercrepit homeless shelter--where at least they FEED you--look positively swanky. As I said before, Horrible, horrible woman.

OK, enough of that--a blog about something other than how the End Is Nigh. Hmm. Haven't seen any movies to bitch about or praise--although that's an indication of what's out there, since I'll see JUST about anything in order to distract myself from the various miseries of my life these days. TV's still in reruns, and I care about the return of no sitcoms except Family Guy and American Dad--the latter having grown on me considerably with repeated viewings (thank you, Adult Swim!) I do wonder that every other new show appears to be either some attempt to cash in on the supernatural craze touched off by the only moderately successful Medium, or else part of the bizarre flood of shows about invasion from various sources--Space and the Ocean seem to be our main choices. Not an optimistic outlook for adult viewing. I may have to give it up altogether, which is sad--as a former devotee, it's hard to see your love for something die--but hey, George Lucas managed to kill off my Star Wars fandom with those prequels, so what the hell--to everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn (thank you, the Birds!)

Have to back to school soon--teaching, not studying, thank God. Sigh. And I have to face the miseries of the job market again, as soul-crushing an experience as an academic can face. Sigh, again. And--well, I have much serious interpersonal difficulty in my life, which is precisely the kind of juicy tidbit that one reads blogs for, and which I am NOT going to share out of gentlemanly decorum, thus failing completely as a blogger catering to the salacious (which is redundant, I know.)

I don't know, without the use of the bile that world events inspire me with, I just can't seem to summon the requisite creative fire to produce a really GOOD blog-entry. This has been one of my weakest in recent memory. Or perhaps I just shouldn't blog before coffee. We'll try again soon, post-caffenation, and see if that helps. I've been muddling around with the idea of another Top Ten list, so that might be good for a spark or two...


Post a Comment

<< Home