Sunday, February 17, 2008

Our Doubt Is Our Passion

Captive to History’s Caprice
Published: February 17, 2008

We work in the dark, We do what we can, We give what we have, Our doubt is our passion, And our passion is our task, The rest is the madness of art - Henry James
Maureen Dowd waxes unexpectedly philosophical this week as she wonders what we know about any candidate. And she does it with alliteration:
The passionate palaver about Hillary versus Barry rages on, with each side certain it is right about our fate if we end up with a President Obama or another President Clinton.

But is she right, that he’d be a
callow leader, too trusting of Republicans, dictators and terrorists? Is Bill right, that voters should not be swayed by eloquence and excitement? (Unless he’s running.)
"Callow" is also bit of a pun on "cattle" as Dowd reminds us of Hillary's entanglement with Refco but not of Barack's buddy Rezko. It was through Refco that she made her hundred to one long shot.
Hillary says Obama is “all hat and no cattle.” You’d think she’d want to avoid cattle metaphors, so as not to rile up those with a past beef about her sketchy windfall on cattle futures. She could simply say he’s all cage and no bird.
Because Maya Angelou, author of "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" has endorsed Hillary instead of the less experienced Obama.

But as they say in the commodities market, past performance is no indicator of future results. Dowd goes down the list of poor presidential decisions from The Bay of Pigs to Monica's Thong (not that I'm making any comparison there). She even mentions her beloved Poppy throwing away his popularity with a lippy "Read my hips."

Maureen also comes up with a new Rude Name® for The Big Dog in the only outright movie allusion of the week, making him the Tarantino-esque Overkill Bill while at the same time throwing in a Nixonian Hillary prediction:
Hillary could be ready on Day 1 — to make up her Enemies List and banish Overkill Bill to a cubbyhole in the Old Executive Office Building. But it’s Day 2 that I’m really worried about.
But the biggest pun is used on a hope-filled Kennedy legacy line that Barack has adopted:
Maybe we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Or maybe we are not.

Perhaps when Barack Obama uses that trippy line, he is just giving false Hopi, since the saying, which he picked up from Maria Shriver’s New Age-y L.A. endorsement speech, is credited to Hopi Indians.
The full Hopi prayer also includes these lines:
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we've been waiting for.
Perhaps that is advice as good for us as it is for our next president, whoever it might be.

1 comment:

Grace Nearing said...

Well, I have much lower standards than you do when it comes to MoDo's movie allusions. I also count "gremlins" and "golden boys" as well as "on top of the world, Ma."

Boy, she really packed it into this column, didn't she!