Sunday, October 23, 2011

Your Brain On of Koch-Cain

"Stupid people are ruining America." -Herman Cain

Herman Cain's ability to nutshell America's cultural quagmire with catchy one-liners that belittle the less fortunate and baffle honest commentators, has made him the GOP's flavor of the month. That there really is no "there there" is hardly a liability when it comes to campaigning for the nomination from a party that prides itself on a lack of intellectual heft. So what if the pizza mogul turned motivational speaker can turn what seems like a two for one pizza slogan into a vague economic plan that even its creator can't easily articulate?

Cain is just as shaky on social issues. Take abortion. He's flat out against it. Thinks "life begins at conception." Yet, if a woman is raped and chooses to have an abortion,"That's her choice." In the same Fox News interview he gets testy when John Stossel ( not exactly a purveyor of liberal gotcha journalism) calls him on the inconsistency.

Some Republicans and Indies fancy Cain's straight talk, though like Perry, the flubs are bound to catch up to him. Others think he's the right guy because while he babbles conservative drivel, he's also an outsider. Well, if you call a record as a DC lobbyist and palling around with corrupt corporate power brokers like the Koch brothers being an outsider.

None of this matters, of course, unless the Repubs take him seriously enough to give him the nod. Such a long shot would be delicious. Watching Obama eat him up on the first question of the first debate will be the Must See TV event of 2012. Listening to Rush Limbaugh's head explode at the mere thought of two black men vying for the top spot would be icing on that unlikely political cake.

In the meantime, Cain is buying his own books with campaign money and then re-selling them. Out Palining the half term quitter chick from Alaska. And if all else fails, he's got the Godfather Pizza empire to fall back on.
I'll make a deal with you, Herman. You can score that coveted Fox News gig; I won't watch, of course. But I'll take you up on that two pizzas for $9.99.

That's an offer we can't refuse.

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rock of Ages

"How terribly strange to be seventy."

Paul Simon penned this beautiful homage to enduring friendship in his twenties; back then turning seventy surely must have seemed as strange as an exotic, distant destination. But on October 13 the iconic singer-songwriter crosses over into that strange land. His "partner in arguments," Art Garfunkel will follow next month.

There was a time, early in Rock's hallowed history, when both the artists and genre were still so young, that many vowed to call it quits by thirty. Rock 'n' Roll, after all, was--and theoretically still is--a rebel art. But everyone, musicians and fans, grew older and many artists continued to toil in their chosen craft. Just like writers, filmmakers, visual artists.

Who says the best work is created by youth? It's true many rockers have burned out or faded away. Some still cling to the glory days, playing the golden hits at oldies shows. But there are a cadre of true artists who continue to create work that rivals their early output. Van Morrison, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen continue to make formidable stabs. But I think Paul Simon resides at the top if the list.

Think about this: Simon's first masterpiece the "Bridge Over Troubled Water" album came out in 1970 when he was twenty-nine. "Graceland, " considered by many his true masterpiece in 1986 when he was forty-five, already past his prime by Rock star standards. And his latest, "So Beautiful or So What," easily stands side by side with those earlier compilations. And let's not forget there's an amazing discography sandwiched in between the milestones.

Paul said in an interview a few year ago that he was surprised he could still work within a young guy's medium. I don't think his fans are surprised. Grateful. Delighted. But not surprised.

Happy Birthday, old friend.

Drive safe. Play nice. Think peace.