Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Swearing Foresworn

What the world needs now is a Swear Off between Andrew Breitbart and Rahm Emanuel. Just think of how many times the phrase "expletive deleted" would appear in the transcripts? Who would win? The age difference is only ten years, a lot in athletic terms but not much in foul language competitions, so to say Breitbart would have the edge due to his "youthful energy" or Emanuel gets the nod based on "cursing experience" might be something of a stretch.

I keep complaining about the apparent late 70s, early 80s redux. Previous examples included gripes about the New York Yankees winning yet another World Series and the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics competing for an NBA title, not to mention high unemployment and a shaky economy. But it doesn't stop there. Jerry Brown, governor of California from 1975 to 1983, is now running for--yes, that's right--governor of California.

Speaking of things that never change, how many years out of the last fifty-five has the mayor of Chicago not been named Richard Daley? Time's up. Thirteen. The Daleys have dominated Chicago for about three generations. There were five mayors between father and son, one of whom served for only eight days. The younger Daley has had his share of success but I think it's time for him to go. People can only remain in power so long before things turn sour.

Basketball players are turning into city mayors. Former Piston legend Dave Bing is now running Detroit; ex-Sun Kevin Johnson occupies Sacramento's top office. And for years Charles Barkley has toyed with the idea of running for Governor of Alabama, although the fact he keeps hedging doesn't say much for his decisiveness. Still, it would be any reporter's dream to have Barkley as an elected official. He was blunt and direct as a player, is blunt and direct as a writer and sports commentator, so there's no reason to believe his behavior would change as a politician, at least not at first. If he got a few controversies under his belt, then maybe. It's hard to say whether Barkley's DUI in late 2008 would undermine his electability; I never know with these things anymore.

France's reputation as a cowardly nation has not been enhanced by a decision to ban a garment worn by fewer than 2,000 individuals. The French are not cowardly or, at any rate, French people are no more likely to be cowards than Americans, Chileans, or Japanese, but this is a bush league move. Rather than get serious about societal difficulties that run much deeper than clothing, French officials have chosen to take legal action against the very people they claim are victims of oppression. It is reasonable enough to require people wearing veils to remove them when taking passport photographs and there's also no harm in asking someone to take one off during a face-to-face discussion or business transaction. But there's no logical basis for preventing people from covering their faces while they're walking down the street. And this approach doesn't seem like the best angle to confront the problem of women who are being browbeaten, pressured, and intimidated into wearing burqas. This is nothing new. I made largely the same points a few years ago in reaction to a similar campaign by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. To no a veil. Get it?!


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