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    "The slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts" ~ George Orwell





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    Sunday, September 19, 2004

    There's a walkoff happening here


    Update I realized in the shower that I actually used a pop culture reference to describe a pop culture reference to a current event. It's more deeply entrenched in me than I thought. And the HORSE metafur screwed the whole "don't mix metafurs" rule. But on the bright side I also thought of a quote from Raiders of the Lost Ark that fits CBS's latest response:

    [Discussing the fate of the Ark]
    Maj. Eaton : We have top men working on it now.
    Indiana : Who?
    Maj. Eaton : Top... men.


    Ha! Ok, see what happens when you put Durban Poison on it? --End update

    I think I am somewhat like Ed from Northern Exposure in exactly the way I believe the writers of Northern Exposure intended me to think. He invariably compares what is going on immediately around him to a parable situation remembered from his vast knowledge of mass media fiction.

    Movie and television fiction has perhaps eclipsed written fiction in a more obvious way than the way it has usurped actual history for the way a lot of people relate to the world's events, but I think written fiction morphing to acted fiction is a less stunning development of culture. While a lot of the pros out there are great at informing me about how x relates to y in two different historical contexts, and if the two events are both within my lifetime I can sometimes grasp these things on my own, it remains a pretty good assertion if I say that my peers and I use vicarious fiction much more commonly to understand our observations of the real world than we use any detailed knowledge of history. I do it so often that it scares me, no matter how endearing Ed's take on the world is to anyone.

    But that's how it is a lot of times, there's no denying it. The Bush twins at the convention was basically directed at the Ed thinkers out there. Almost any situation lends itself to a fiction that came before it, just like history. So what do I think about when I see that Kerry is hitting the Letterman show (after The Daily Show, Imus and Time) in order to get his credits for showing up to answer questions? Zoolander. There's a walk-off going down. Kerry has been pooching and trying to hide that he can't turn left and Bush is about to take off his underwear without first removing his pants. Brilliant!

    Ed might pick a better movie than Zoolander to post in a blog about when contrasting the candidacies of Bush and Kerry but that's the first one that came to mind when I read this footnote in Bob Novak's column today

    A footnote: While also turning down major television interviews, Sen. Kerry has agreed to appear on non-news venues: Don Imus' radio program, ''The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'' and ''The Late Show with David Letterman.'' Kerry has not held a press availability on the campaign trail since Aug. 9.


    Wow, that's a lot of time to get filled in with only fluff. Bush has had a few "gimmes" like appearing on the Rush Limbaugh show. But that appearance arose out of a legitimate sit-down with a real reporter. Bush is appearing on Bill O'reilly this week in what I consider to be the walk-off winning move here. Bush is going to face a tough interview, and he might still screw it up.

    But the fact that he is even showing up establishes his legitimacy where Kerry has none. To me this is an obvious sign that the Bush campaign thinks that people will get this idea whether Bush takes some shots or not. It doesn't have to be graceful. If he ends up with the bikini briefs held aloft, there is nothing for Kerry to do except try to do it himself. He might do just okay as well. Either way, he looks like he was afraid to do it until he his hand was forced. The walk-off strategy is basically the strategy from a game of HORSE. Make the shots your opponent makes, and then put up a shot that your opponent will have a hard time making. Kerry hasn't been real gung-ho about making that shot so far; maybe he doesn't think that is a shot he stands a good chance of making.

    It stands to reason that Bush only has to stick to his simple list of points to do okay, and Kerry has to defend multiple positions on single issues. The damage an anything-less-than-great O'reilly appearance can do to Kerry is worse than a just okay appearance by Bush. Why? 'Cause then Bush moves on to the next respected journalist, daring Kerry to keep up. I think this is a move Kerry does not want to see Bush attempting in the few weeks before the debates, the place where Kerry likely sees as his last, best place to make a stand. If you recall, Derek Zoolander made a brave attempt to copy that last move, and failed comically. Will Kerry?




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