Who Ya Gonna Call?
You're just gonna make people jump and roar
Whatcha wanna go and do that for? - Bob Dylan
American politics isn't just theatre; it's dinner theatre, on par with a Medieval Times franchise. It can put on a decent show: the way the white and black knights joust you'd think they meant it, and that the guy who falls off his horse really gets hurt and the champion wins something of meaning. Voters are "treated like royalty" - every man a king! - but their crowns are made of tissue paper. And while the menu is all you can eat, all you can order is bullshit.
Since even those who say it's real can't seem to do anything about it, we may as well enjoy it for what it is, even if the pleasure is perverse. (And I admit to have found some, reading the futile screeds of flummoxed Democrats forever moving their lines in the sand. If they steal the next one - that's it!) And it's hard not to dispassionately appreciate the Herculean effort required to sustain such cynicism.
For instance, John Kerry's accustomed clutch performance. While uselessly stumping in California for designated sap Phil Angelides, Kerry horks a virtual gob in the eye of America's volunteer army, as if to scream "Over here!" to the Republicans' sputtering Noise Machine. It's enough to make even the relentlessly conventional Wonkette suggest, if only for rhetoric's sake, that "it’s like the White House is paying Kerry to be out in public screwing things up."
Kerry says he's earned another chance to run for President. Doing his bit to scuttle the Democrat's "Big Mo" in the final week so the right's talking heads can talk up a comeback scenario enabled by voting machines playing the margins could be his way of proving again his value. And since this is theatre, the significance of the outcome lies chiefly in the personal fortune of the players. Do well with your part, and you may get a juicier role.
Like I wrote a couple of years ago, watching an earlier Kerry flame-out, "Skull and Bones remains to some a silly issue, but an issue it will remain so long as the question 'Do you know General Russell?' can send an old boy into a trance faster than 'Why don't you pass the time by playing a little solitaire?'"
We can't say that Kerry took the call. We can only judge his actions, which appear to be those of a man who knows his part well.
All of which reminds me: The Brotherhood of the Bell has been kindly uploaded to Youtube. You may want to see it before Google disappears it.