Sunday, August 17, 2008

#52 Sunday Sundries

Worst of the Week

  • Hands down: The Saddleback Church "debate" (they weren't on stage together) last night between Obama and McCain. (Couldn't bring myself to watch; read excerpts.) How much longer, ye gods...Hark ye, I think this morning I can actually hear Thomas Jefferson spinning again in that grave (not so far away in Virginia) that George W. Bush desecrated last July 4th. Well, this pandering to the very worst "angels" of the American character, the so-called Christian White (sorry, "Right"), is enough to drive one crazy...and hear strange noises in one's head, as THEY do congenitally. Obama should know better--tonight he's speaking at a fund-raiser in San Francisco organized by the South Asian Heritage foundation. How many Baptists will he find there? I'm gonna come back to all of this meshugga later, and with a vengeance, but for now let me point out what's obvious and odious and odoriferous about it... gently, with the help of Rabbi James Rudin of NYC, quoted in USA Today: "The larger question is why there were not representatives from other faith communities who are also voting. [Or non-faith ones, for that matter, who could've questioned the whole business.] This is a multi-religious nation." Thank you, Rabbi, and that's why it should remain, if only for your sake, a SECULAR one, as Constitutionally intended from the beginning.
  • The House of Representatives Bill of Impeachment against G.W. Bush hasn't been brought off the table.
Best of the Week
  • The Olympics again. Everybody seems to be getting along...another small step on our inexorable march toward globalization. But how about that guy Phelps! If you've been tuning in at all. This is close to my heart (self-indulgence alert) because Swimming was my only sports "letter" in high school. In fact, our Bowen High team was good enough to go to the city (Chicago) championships one year. My specialty was back-stroke: 100yds and lead-off 400 medley. Phelps is butterfly, difficult as that is, but here's what makes him great: he can do them all, and at a superhuman level it seems. He has to excel in all four strokes, not just his specialty, to win the Individual Medley, which involves switching-over among them every 100 yards--comparable to one of those "-athlon" events in track and field, except on water. Anyway, I got my letter-sweater in high school, but I'm just as proud of the following statistic, sports fans: in college intramurals--as a student at "K" and on the faculty team at Coker College--I never lost the 100-yard Back. In fact, after a meet at Coker, some years ago now, a certain gunslinger-cum-student named Timmerman was overheard saying, "I don't know why I can't beat that old man." How bitter-sweet is nostalgia.
  • Russia-Georgia "cease-fire," however specious.

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