Addicted to Fame

It’s worse than crack, booze or tobacco. More deadly than heroine. It affects absolutely everyone on a daily basis. Your relationship to it might change but it is always there. The need to learn how to fly and live forever.

Maybe you don’t want it yourself. Maybe you do but can’t admit it. More than likely you know someone who does or you brush into it while driving or surfing the ‘net and most certainly with the TV on in your living room.

It hurts us and might be the weak spot no one is talking about during all this time of change. People want an easy road to fortune and recognition without having to develop a skill or do any work. During this past election cycle people were bemoaning the media and what the candidates were doing. How can they be blamed? They were bit by the fame bug. That insidious little bastard that most certainly will destroy what’s left of our civilization.

People are so ready to give up whatever dignity they might have to be seen they will go on the most repulsive reality shows and humiliate themselves. And we watch to see people who are doing better than us get destroyed either literally or figuratively.

I saw John McCain talking on Larry King about the closing of Guantanamo Bay. He said it was easy to close it down without a plan on where to put the prisoners. I agree we need to figure out where to put them. But remember Mr. McCain is also the guy who said he is against torture. So what’s your point, John? To see him now spouting what he would do differently at the first chance seems not only like sour grapes but like a fame addict going for another shot. Does this mean he will try again in 2012? Good luck.

Wouldn’t it serve him better to “reach across the aisle” now? If he says he would have figured out where to put the detainees before closing Gitmo, why doesn’t he do that now? I guess it doesn’t serve him to do that. It’s better to cash in on the opportunity for fame. He has great comedic delivery. He could make a lot of money endorsing Viagra, Ben Gay, ESPN or Budweiser. Seriously. He could be in the public eye and retire. But, really, right now things are only beginning to go into remission. He should understand that and either help or stay out of the way.

Round One

The debates on Friday have left me feeling even more nervous about this election and its importance. My brother, Ben, made these great paintings of the candidates.

I think they capture the essence of both rather nicely. It’s like he’s brining out the souls of each of them. For me the auras of both men in these portraits were exemplified during the first round at Ole Miss.

McCain’s Position

After a slow start, the DNC Convention ended on a high note with a rousing speech by Mr. Obama. The man exudes leadership and wisdom. Taking the issues out of it for a moment, he has 100% what we need for a leader at the moment to take us out of this death spiral. (I agree with everything except for some of the fuel alternatives but there aren’t truly perfect answers on that one.)

Did you see McCain’s ad wishing Obama well? I don’t know. Something about it strikes me as odd. On the surface it seems nice enough but my initial gut was there’s a seething jealousy and anger to it. Part of it was the historical aspect of the event plus the “I’ll see you outside the bar” with reinforcements tone.

So the next day he picks Sarah Palin out of seemingly nowhere as his veep choice on the week of the 88th anniversary of women’s suffrage. It’s to take care of some problems: distancing himself from W, even though he still carries a 65% approval among conservatives, and to pick up the disenfranchised and bitter Hillary supporters.

I think Mr. McCain has a difficult ride ahead. I don’t care about the polls. They’ve proven at this point that they serve mostly to push anxieties and to shift the focus of the campaigns. His message is already changing. The words are sounding more and more similar to what the Democrats have been saying about changing things. But he needs to stick to what has happened previously. Plus I think he HATES Bush for the relentless way Bush handed him his dignity in 2000 after McCain took New Hampshire by going after his family. He looks desperate to me and he is playing to win the election, which is how Gore and Kerry lost. Obama is playing this time and place in a greater sense and talking like he already has it.

My heart was in my throat when they played Van Halen music to announce Palin. They were not happy about it and said they should’ve used Twisted Sister instead.

I understand Bush and Cheney will NOT be attending the Twin Cities Convention to avoid the “he’s just like them” argument. This is going to be a tough time for McCain as he bristles against all the make-over attention trying to win this thing. Why does he want it other than that it would be a crowning achievement? Obama has a message and policies. To me the underlying message is that he came from nothing and made himself a leader. He saw his dad once but is becoming something beyond anything he had experienced to take the world closer to where it should be.

This is a shitty thing to say but I think McCain is running to appease Cindy who has all this family money and wants to be First Lady. To throw big parties. It’s very Lady Macbeth.

I’m scared. Really and truly.

Enough

Mr. McCain, you need to stop. Take a deep breath John. You are so lucky this isn’t a contest about character. Your opponent is on his first marriage. He doesn’t fly off the handle for no reason. He doesn’t attack your efforts. He didn’t graduate so low in his class at the Naval Academy his grandfather, who happened to be an Admiral, had to help him out.

Like some people.

It’s close now, I understand. You want to push things over to your side. You’re upset because the mainstream media isn’t making you the pin-up boy. Your photo op was ruined by an avalanche of applesauce. Instead of going to Germany, you take pot shots outside a German restaurant. You continue your staycation version of an overseas trip by holding hands with the Dalai Lama in Denver.

Let’s clear it all up please. You served in Vietnam. So did my father. I love my father but his service there as an Army pilot doesn’t qualify him to run the military.

My grandfather was also a Naval pilot in WWII. He also went to the Naval Academy. He also had a temper in his 70s. His service and character didn’t qualify him to be President or run the military.

Neither does yours. General Clark was right about that. Your opponent wants to run a clean campaign so he didn’t clip your legs right out from underneath you on this. He ordered everyone to give you respect on your service.

You are betting the farm on being the guy who can lead our wars overseas when the world is clearly saying THEY DON’T WANT YOU. A poll of five countries-Britain, Germany, France, Italy, and Russia-said they want Obama. Most countries think America is a “force of evil” with Italy being the only one with a slight majority saying America is a “force of good”, according to the Telegraph.

I don’t know about anyone else but I’d sleep better with more countries around the world thinking good of us and wanting us to lead the world into a better future. Our economy is hurting over this and we are going to bankrupt ourselves fighting every chance we get.

Mr. McCain, you failed in your photo op with the Dalai Lama. Why? Because His Holiness Dalai Lama practices non-violence and seeks opportunities to use tolerance. In responding to Robert Thurman about the possible futility of these actions His Holiness said, “This is hard to explain. In our own case, we don’t consider the loss of a monastery or a monument the end of our entire way of life. If one monastery is destroyed, sometimes it happens. Therefore, we don’t need to respond with desperate violence. Although under particular circumstances, the violence method — any method — can be justified, nevertheless once you commit violence, then counterviolence will be returned. Also, if you resort to violent methods because the other side has destroyed your monastery, for example, you then have lost not only your monastery, but also your special Buddhist practices of detachment, love, and compassion.”

Shock and awe failed. The wars are failing. The initial response failed. We did not need to send that many soldiers and contractors over to die. Adding the Halliburton cabal did not make this better. How the soldiers are abused coming home is a failure. The money being wasted is a failure. The whole damn enchilada is a failure.

Of course, the surge was a rotten idea because the whole thing is a festering pile of ill-conceived lunacy. I know you are in a tough spot trying to get the fans of Bush’s positions so you don’t break away from your party entirely. You also must distinguish yourself from your candidate. But to say he failed a real-time test on being Commander-in-Chief because he voted against the surge 16 months ago is a load of crap. It’s also like picking a fight with your spouse because she didn’t do the dishes a year and a half ago.

If you are going to take this tactic, you must amend your commercials in which you say you hate war.

Everyone needs to sit down and re-evaluate the function of that office. Take another breath and don’t mess it up. Please. Fight a fair fight. Say some truth.