Friday, 5 September 2008

double-long ramble (but actually 960. YIKES!)

It’s been two weeks since I’ve written anything. Awesome. I’ve got 500 lb block of cheese kind of writer’s block.

So here, a ballast-blowing emergency writing exercise. The stream of consciousness. The only rule is you can’t stop.

I’m still flossing, so I’ve got that going for me. And I’ve even begun exercising. I’ve resorted to getting up near-Starbuck’s early to make this happen, but I’ve been at it a week and I don’t hate it, which I usually do. Except the alarm at 4:30. I do hate that. And I hate rushing to bed so I’ll get up at 4:30. I’m not a morning person, but everybody else I work with is.

Shannon and I constantly talk about our need to exercise, but we never do. We claim victory when the kitchen is clean and the kids are all in bed. Sometimes just when the kids are in bed. But recently I’ve noticed that I get nervous on the stairs. The kind of nervous when you’re carrying something and can’t see the stairs. But I’m not carrying anything. Maybe that’s a bad sign…

Football has finally started. Finally. Again. Finally. It’s the new Christmas for me. And although the Olympics took the edge off my Jones this year, these last two weeks have been pretty jittery. But finally, salvation in the form of the G-men/Skins. Let’s just acknowledge how bad the ‘Skins looked. It’s the first game, sure. New coach, sure. But dear Lord this is the NFL!!! And when you’re down two scores with five to go you don’t hand the ball off!!! YOU CERTAINLY DON’T HUDDLE! You throw outs and screens and GET OUT OF BOUNDS. You HUSTLE to the line! These guys are getting paid astronomical sums of money and when it came time to get it in gear they looked like my movers that took TEN HOURS to move me one mile. Even I know when you’re down two scores you go to no huddle somewhere between six and five minutes to go.

But it’s football so I’m glued to it to the very last tick even though the ‘Skins have no chance but have FINALLY started playing with some urgency. I’m yelling “what’s the point? You blew it!” at the TV and I don’t even care about the ‘Skins, but still I’m not changing the channel because it’s football.

And then we have the RNC. Any person who ever studied Theatre History will be able to tell you that plays written in Renaissance and Post-Renaissance eras were over-written with frequent plot summaries inserted because of the nature of how plays were viewed back then—with people constantly coming and going, much like today’s sporting events. And this is exactly what the RNC was to me. I watched Giuliani out of the corner of my eye as I cleaned the kitchen, then gave Palin my undivided attention. Giuliani told me all about Palin. He told me all about McCain. Then Palin came out and told me all about McCain, (even using some of the same lines). Then she told me all about herself. Basically recapping what Giuliani had already told me. Last night I flipped b/n Cindy McCain and the ‘Skins debacle. She told me all about Palin. She told me all about her husband. Then we get a video. And what a video. I mean wow. A video that tells us…wait for it…all about McCain. And finally, McCain himself. It’s was like the Beatles. People went crazy. People were crying. He gets up and proceeds to do what? Tell us about Palin? Yes! Tell us about himself? Yes!

I know this is their moment. I know this is primetime and maybe the only time they may get the attention of a large part of the country. And I know there are distractions. I know people are idiots. But for the love, do I really need the “said no to the bridge to nowhere” line six times in two nights? Do I need four speeches (just the ones I saw, I’m sure there were others) and a video to tell me McCain spent five years as a POW?

I KNOW I’m a West Wing junkie. And I know EXACTLY what that qualifies me for when it comes to political speech writing, especially at the national level. But I really think I could have done a better job writing McCain’s speech. The opening was good. The respect to Obama was great. The personal recounting of his time in Hanoi was good, when he talked about his fundamental shift in perspective. The outdated policy stuff was excellent. But I would have stopped him there. I would have had him say something like this:

We’ve been here four days. You’ve heard a lot of speeches about me: about my life, my campaign. About our strategy to relieve your financial struggles, about our strategy to make good for our boys and girls fighting overseas, for my sons, for Sarah’s son. You’ve heard about our plan for energy alternatives. You’ve heard about our plan for schools, for teachers, for families. You’ve heard about how we will make a better America. And you’re going to hear a lot more. Senator Obama and I will discuss the issues for you in just a few weeks. But tonight I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your belief in me. Thank you for your support. I love our country, and I’ll do everything necessary to see we right the economy, right the war on terror, right the environment.

And that’s just off the top of my head.


There you go. Random ramblings and an off-the-cuff speech for the RNC.

I’ll eat my way out of this block yet.

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