Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Do The Bart, Man

Bartholomew Sullivan is back, with a three part editorial column in today's Commercial Appeal. It's only the first part that concerns us here, since it says more about Sullivan than about the subjects he's covering.
Maybe it doesn't matter that two-thirds of registered
voters didn't show up on Election Day. Maybe it's all right
that candidates for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee bicker
over who's more conservative or more unreasonable
about the Second Amendment. I don't know anyone who
is animated by these "issues," but these contests are just
absurdist drama anyway, aren't they?

Give me Ionesco.
That's Eugene Ionesco, the Existentialist playwright and proto-Absurdist comedian, for those of you who don't hang with Fredric Koeppel, the CA's resident aesthete and better-person-than-you.

Sullivan seems to have missed the point of primaries: they are designed to speak to the parties' cores. So, for Republicans to seek the activist conservatives is just good politics. As always happens, come Fall they'll begin to drift to the center. But what's this "more unreasonable about the Second Amendment?" Clearly for Sullivan, any pro-gun rights position is "unreasonable?" That speaks for itself.
These days, partisan politics is all dueling faxes, dueling press
conferences, photo ops with scenery and meaningless sloganeering.
How could anyone get interested in such pabulum? It's even worse than
prime-time television.
Yeah, he doesn't watch TV. He's better than that. And the politic process he decries is driven by the very paper he works for. Note that he calls dueling and sloganeering "pabulum." Dueling and sloganeering are exciting and blood-stirring; pabulum is bland children's food. I think he's got another word in mind, but far be it from me to offer one to him. He might get offended.
I missed my opportunity to cover a press conference at which I could
have asked one of the candidates whether he was genuinely passionate
about the rights of his urban constituents to own and use assault rifles,
or whether his rhetoric was just phony pandering, but concluded: Why
Hmmm...maybe because it's what you're paid to do? Or maybe you could start to write substantive articles, instead of vaporous fluff like this? Or maybe you could use the articles to slide your anti-gun propaganda into them?

He tries to make another point, but accidentally gives a slight lift to Van Hilleary's election effort:
There was music in the air in the hotel venues where candidates for
governor held victory receptions that hot Aug. 1 night. As television
screens showed Democrat Phil Bredesen with 78.3 percent of the
primary vote, piped in music played a slightly disconcerting Yankee
Doodle Dandy for the hundreds of people assembled at the Hilton Suites
Volunteer Ballroom.

A little later, the same canned music system intoned: "Go to sleep, little
babe." I was by then wide awake.

Across town at the Loews Vanderbilt, Republican Van Hilleary had hired
a classy five-piece combo called The Creek, replete with a mandolin,
violin and concertina squeeze box, that played understated but
decidedly Southern fare. Tunes included Aragon Mill and the 1964
Animals hit song The House of the Rising Sun.
Thanks for the view into your always-entertaining mind, Bart.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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