Friday, June 25, 2010

Call Me Al

Turns out all those whispers about how stiff Al Gore always seems to be may be right on the mark, if a story that originated in the Portland Oregonian (that's up there with the New York New Yorker as a finalist in the DOH! name competition) and showed up in the online issue of People magazine has any credence. It was Marshall McLuhan who said the Medium is the Massage. What? Oh. Message. I prefer mine well done.

We cannot get enough of this stuff. This story has a double dollop of schadenfreude, that delightful deutsche turn of phrase that means 'rejoicing at the misfortune of others.' It's not that former Senator, former Vice President and (for some people perhaps) former President Al "Earth in the Balance" Gore hasn't worked hard and done his very best for so many for so long. It's just that large numbers of us, deep down, really envy him all of that success while not seeing the work he did to earn it.

As funny as a slip on a banana peel is, when it's Margaret Thatcher who does it, or should the Pope get a cream pie in the face, the hilarity trebles. And this one promises to be a doozy-how's this for fair and balanced (=saucy and salacious). It would have to be a slow news YEAR in a world of broadcast journalism for this to be getting the play it has already-but I have a feeling that what has been will seem quaint in light of what is yet to come. Had he known where we'd be after the first decade of the new century, Edward R. Murrow might have fired a flare gun from a London rooftop to help a Junkers bomber auger in or arranged to drop a pallet of cigarettes on himself in '55 just to get it over with.

And, cynics that we both are, neither of us are really surprised to read in the People account, "(T)he woman, who did not respond to several attempted follow-up interviews with police, revealed in the complaint that she grappled with her decision to come forward – even consulting with attorneys – but ultimately decided to do so to protect other women who may have experienced the same trauma. She told detectives she only wanted 'justice' and that her complaint was not an attempt to receive money." Yeah, that's exactly how I'd do it, too.

Perhaps there's an orphanage named for Werenfridus ('against stiffness of joints' was as close as I could get; you look) that's about to come into a windfall. It'll really be something-close your eyes and you can see it, too. The last laugh may be on all the Haters who said Al was too wooden. NO MORE CALLS, PLEASE! We Have a Winner!
-bill kenny

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