Letters from Carol
(Another in an occasional series of letters from my friend, Carol -- wherein Carol opines on politics, debates, Wagner, Rhetoric and Barnum and Bailey)
As to the "debates," as I said what criterion do today's kids have? Do they learn Latin in schools? (Ah. My son did!) ... Do they learn Rhetoric? Or Logic? Ah. I got that in college, when I went. (Chosen! Rather than avoided. And, among my favorite subjects.) And, of course, Greek history, and theatre? Today, what the TV set boobs call debates, aren't.
But I wanted to say, "the short of it" ... is that Kerry as a debater is HOGWASH. Homer rolls in his grave at this stuff! Kerry is as close to eloquence as a stupid TV commercial that gets your attention by tooting the loudest whistles it can make. After he finishes speaking. And, I mean RIGHT AFTER HE FINISHES SPEAKING my mind wandered so far away that I couldn't repeat a thing he said.
Anymore than the crap they call music, is.
That's why I wanted to describe it to you in the sense of symphonic music. You'd never be fooled by garbage. By instrumentation that didn't work. You'd know better! And, yes, you can translate and also MUTE the stuff that came across, to get better views.
Helen, I can't hum his crappy tune. I can't repeat it. I don't know what it was. But getting my mental juices on a roll ... this he did not do. Maybe, that's why we're down to sound bites? You can't write a symphony if all you have is a mysterious plan that has no notes and no melody.
I have this mental picture of Dr. Fischer, my wonderful music appreciation teacher at Pasadena City College. The hardest geniuses to find, he said, are the ones who can write decent melodies. (Let alone write them consistently.)
And, how better to reach ya in this argument where we stand so firmly on common ground ... KNOWING YOU CAN SIT AT THE PIANO AND PUT YOUR MOODS TO MUSIC! Kerry lit no one's fires.
Ya know, even Barnum & Bailey could recognize the acts that weren't gonna make it with the crowds? The real failures belong to the elites who substituted this crap for what was once a great reach.
I think the "Global Test" ... And, the Mary Cheney gaffes, meant that both Edwards and Kerry lost all their debates. That's why I go back to the last "winner" and his stinking lockbox. That stinking lockbox is gonna get put to use. When people look for the remnants of the democratic party ... they'll find it got carted away to the dump.
Yup. We can laugh. The goons aren't winning. And, the one thing being on TV did to both Edwards and Kerry is that it let "slips" show us who they really are. (Just like Freud said. No mistakes are made without a reason. You want Kerry to say "he loves his wife?" How can that be, Helen, when he doesn't? You haven't sized phony couples up before?)
Also, when you're stressed and on your feet it is the softball questions that are gonna slip you up. Just as it did Dukakis.
Anyway, I think the debates will go down in history because James Baker did NOT make a mistake. He took the free publicity ... he built the debates away from the date we vote, just in case the crap did hit the fan. And, now everything, just everything, is pointing to Bush's victory. (I'm only hoping he's got coattails. And, we won't know that until we turn 11/2 around.)
Even though I gotta tell ya the biggest disappointment with the dems is how they've squandered what they inherited. While out here in California my gripe as a former democrat is a bit different. Bill Jones is unfit to be a senator. And, he's all ya got going to pick to throw Barbara Boxer out of gaining a 3rd term. The insides of the republican party in California is still very "elite" in its own right. Karl Rove hasn't gotten here, yet, to work his magic. (He will through Arnold. But it will take time.)
For some background, if this post hasn't gone on long enough is that Bill Jones is the money man who funded the recall against Grey Davis. When it picked up speed, and only then, did Schwartzenegger pick up these chips and he raced into the governor's mansion! (This killed Davis' chance to run as a presidential candidate in this race, by the way!) And, Bill Jones is pissed off! So they handed him the chance to run against Boxer. He's so lame, he just withdrew his $2-million from the race ... So he's not even putting up a fight. This is the republican crap that needs to be scratched off the stable's list of contendahs.
Parties end up having problems because the men who reach the top can be such turds.
And, I comfort myself since I'm not a republican by nature, telling myself that LINCOLN was a republican! Teddy Roosevelt was a republican! Reagan, a republican. And, this Bush a republican! Out of the presidential box the republicans are really fielding contendahs, now, for sure. It's not just a stupid rich businessman's party ... though looking at Bill Jones shows ya some of the political bedfellows are dogs.
We need two parties to keep the competition rolling. Just as we now need the NEW MEDIA to make big holes in the boob tube operation. We're gonna get there because the market is out there. And, if profits drop so what? There's still enough gravy to go around. Even today you'll notice Rush is a big star because the nutworks screwed up.
Very few revolutions really work. That's been our blessings. Ours seems to protect the COMMON GOOD in more ways than ever done before by mankind. We, it seems, can get together and do that ...
And, here I go again ... where else is this demonstrated but in the best music and the best symphonies? (Even Wagner touched greatness by salvaging his Viking mythology ... And, yes he did, Helen. He created great themes set to TONES. You know. More than just the scale as we knew it ... but grander ... And, if you sat on the wooden benches ... and you realized he hid the orchestra ... you'd find the music soaring up through your bloodstream.) Now, that takes debating skills!
Until then, here's hoping ... To be a successful country ... even though stupidity reigns 50/50 by our Maker's design ... I'm hoping MORE Americans have the brains that they've also shown in the past. Not based on schools. So many immigrants didn't have schooling. We can make up for the shortfall. As a matter of fact the daily tapping on computer keyboards ADDS to what people can do with their brains. They can write words far in excess of what people used to commit to journals. AND, they can communicate. Those that can't just drink their beers. And, many won't go to the polls. Some are even too ashamed to admit they can't sign their names without difficulty.
SHALOM. PEACE. HOMELAND SECURITY IS WORKING SO HARD TO KEEP US SAFE. And, lots of Americans are alert! � We really are not surrounded by dummies. FAITH! The rocket ship is now on the launching pad. And, we're in countdown mode.
Well -- Aussiegirl here again -- and you can see why I love this correspondence I have with Carol. For this I have the internet to thank, and the great lady of the web, Ms. Lucianne Goldberg, where I first had the privilege and delight of meeting Carol. I wanted to pick up on her marvelous comparison of these debates to music. Mark Steyn, who has written a wonderful book on the Broadway musical, called "Broadway Babies Say Goodnight", writes that you know a musical is going to be a hit if the audience leaves the theater humming one of the tunes from the show.
Similarly, Verdi, that greatest master of the opera, knew the same thing instinctively. For instance, he knew that "La Donna e Mobile" from Rigoletto, would be such an instant hit with the audience that he forbade the tenor to sing it during rehearsals, for fear that the stage hands would hear the tune and start whistling it or humming it before the premiere. He was right. It is probably one of the most recognized opera arias, and even people who know little of opera will probably be able to hum a few bars.
So the fact that Kerry did not leave us humming any tunes is just an indication that the debates are not going to put Kerry on the Broadway hit parade. As Carol said, as soon as he finished talking most people promptly forgot what he said. But somehow, all we remember is "Global test" and "Mary Cheney" -- both disastrous, clanging wrong notes that hurt everybody's ears and that continue to echo in the polls.
And she makes some other fine points as well that I'd like to touch on. The democrat party is imploding, and has squandered a lot of capital that it had over the years. It has sullied the reputations of some of its finest forebears and standard bearers of the past. And has strayed into a lot of blind alleys. Who is going to rescue it and how remains to be seen. And she's right that our system does need a strong two-party system, as much as we Republicans would love for everything to be in our hands forever. But we can see that power corrupts, and the old saw about absolute power holds no matter who wields the hammer. Even now we can see the dangers with an out of control Congress which is tempted to spend money like there's no tomorrow. But there always is.
But right now the democrat party has not earned the right, in my opinion, to lead this country for the foreseeable future because they have become hostage to all their wacko special interest groups, the gays, the minorities, the peaceniks and leftover nuclear freezeniks, the eco-freaks, and other assorted globaloneyists and leftist internationalists.
But the Republican party, as Carol suggests, from her vantage point as a "new Republican", and by her own admission feeling a bit uncomfortable in her new clothes, also has some lingering problems. And in a sense, Karl Rove and George Bush need to do more than simply remake the world, reshaping the Middle East as a place where democracy and freedom might find a toehold. They need to carry on the work of Ronald Reagan, who reshaped the party into his image after the disasters of Goldwater and the wilderness years. Yes, there is still a bit too much of the "clubbiness" about Republicans sometimes -- we have to open that tent even wider to bring in more people than ever. Those who call themselves patriotic Americans can differ on a wide variety of issues while still agreeing on fundamentals. And it's quite true -- and very frustrating -- to see weak candidates trotted out time and again against democrat candidates, because they are insiders or are "owed" something by the party. I don't understand all the machinations that go into these decisions, but they often appear bizarre and counterproductive.
I think George Bush and Karl Rove understand this fundamentally, and that Bush's "compassionate conservatism" is the name he gave for his vision of a new direction for the party. A party which needs to constantly look forward. Karen Hughes said she got involved in politics when George Bush asked her to join his campaign in Texas, because he seemed like a "new Republican" to her, and not the same old, same old.
In a sense, we can see that it is the Republican party which has a vision of the future. And ironically, it is the democrat party, that used to call itself the home of progressives and claimed to have a vision of the future, which instead harkens only to the past. The party of -- woulda, shoulda, coulda. The party that proposes to lead by hindsight. That proposes solutions that have failed time and time again in the world's history. The failed prescriptions of the past is no way to lead.