Monday, September 24, 2007

Wait, Who Am I Here

Dennis Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth in Santa Barbara on Sunday.

They look solemn for a reason, as they had just visited Arlington West on the other side of Stearns Wharf prior to the brief speech that was long on big ideas and short on any way to get there. (Sure, let's take back our country, but what does it mean that your very state, Dennis, ran one of the whackiest election days in 2004? Let's not forget the Biblical line about the plank in your eye, although clearly Bush is much more than a speck in ours.) But the point of this entry isn't to say anything about whether Kucinich is or isn't fit to be president. OK, beyond this--why do we immediately want to dismiss a candidate for looking geeky and being short-ish? I want to vote for a president, not date him (or her).
No, the oddest thing is politics itself. For on Sunday we were part of a gathering of 150 or so watching Kucinich and his wife respond to Arlington West. For those of you not in Santa Barbara, or those of you who live here but think like your President and believe that wars are much eaiser to fight when we don't think about the people who get killed in them, the sight of 3000 crosses is mighty powerful. (They stopped at 3000, even though the figure is now 3,845, as it just got to be too time-consuming to set up all those crosses....) What should be a private moment, at least an un-mediated moment, can't help but be one, even for a candidate that the media tend to ignore, or treat like a sideshow (he gets to be the Dem's Tom Thumb).
It's a lose-lose, in a way, for if you over emote, it seems calculated, yet if you under-respond, you seem callous. But, of course, the real issue is that we now live in a world where every moment of a candidate's life is more than fodder, it's necessary feed for the 24-hour news cycle. They have to talk about something, and if it weren't for O.J. and Britney, the news would have to discuss how the Republicans are obstructionist and wield the veto after telling the Democrats if they ever used it, they'd abolish it--or something boring like that. You know, something about how the country actually works, or fails to.
Meanwhile we can watch Dennis Kucinich look sad, maybe because he is, maybe because he has to, or maybe both. Or maybe none of us--actors or those watching--can tell anymore. I mean, I catch myself wondering what's the face I should make, what's the thing I can say, as people kindly try to offer condolences for my dad, and I'm not running for anything.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here http://www.swt.org/act/kucinich-2007-0923/ are a lot more photos from the same day. Perhaps this will help decide.

11:51 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

She looks a bit like Julianne Moore in that pic.

4:29 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

Okay quick question readers: Do any of you men, or have any of you men, dated/gone out with/married a woman that is taller than you? In my experience this never works out for the guy. It's just awkward. It looks weird. You have to strain to give a kiss on the dance floor. The bigger girl could probably beat the crap out of the littler guy. Just a bad idea, going with a girl that's taller than you. Any thoughts?

BTW, 150 people to hear Kucinich speak? What a joker this guy is. Hang up your hat Dennis. Your race was over before it ever began. Talk about an irrelevant! Cindy Sheehan thinks this guy doesn't matter.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I dated many women who were taller than me.

And they worked out just as well (or as badly) as those who were my size or shorter.

4:37 AM  
Blogger theaverageman said...

"What a joker this guy is. Hang up your hat Dennis. Your race was over before it ever began."

Huh. This from someone who started a blog (and posts everywhere else) because he feels outnumbered and marginalized.

I admire Kucinich for putting himself out there, saying what he believes, and keeping the other candidates on their toes. Like him or not, disagree with him or not, the guy is the real deal.

10:00 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

zTAM: I started the blog because I felt outnumbered and CENSORED. Apparently some folks in your camp didn't like what I had to say so they didn't put it up there, and that's how the SBMR was born.

I don't dislike Kucinich, and in fact if you read my piece on his visit, you'd see I commend him for the same reason you do. Of course my language is a bit more crass, as I commend his testicular fortitude, but where I'm from when you say a guy's got balls it's a compliment.

ALSO, by your own words I would surmise that you admire me, for putting myself out there, saying what I believe, and keeping you guys on your toes.

To Mike, thank you for the response to my query. How about you other folks: tall chicks, can you get with them or not? I never could...

12:51 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

The taller presidential candidate usually wins. The only exceptions since 1912 were Coolidge, Nixon vs. McGovern (Humphrey was shorter), Carter, Clinton vs. GHWB (Dole was shorter), and GWB vs. Gore and Kerry (more evidence of theft :-)

Of course Kucinich isn't running with the expectation of winning, any more than last time, or any more than Nader, the Libertarian Party, Peace & Freedom, etc. But the U.S. media has done a fine job of conditioning us to ad hominem horserace coverage of elections, where the substance of a candidate's platform is secondary, if it gets mentioned at all.

As for McC, that he judges relationships by who can beat the crap out of whom is typical. It's useful to keep in mind that everything that makes sensible people wince when they read what he writes applies, to some degree, to the thinking of Bush, Cheney, and their various enablers.

5:58 PM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

I just think he'd be better off with Barbara Boxer. They're both midgets. I imagine the two of them starring side by side in a stage rendition of the Wizard of Oz, or even an episode of MTV Celebrity Deathmatch would be funny. They could both climb into the ring UNDER the bottom rope.

9:25 AM  

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