Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't It Make Her Brown Eyes Blue

No one knows what it's like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren't as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That's never free
-The Who "Behind Blue Eyes"
Blue-Eyed Greed?
Published: March 28, 2009

Maureen Dowd goes on a classic rock bender this week. The impetus is a third world dictator making some crypto-reverse-racist statements substituting eye color for skin tone.
At a press conference Thursday in Brasilia with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain — who has a talent for getting himself into dicey spots — [Brazilian president] Lula started off coughing from some cheese bread he’d wolfed down. Then he suddenly turned accusatory.
“This crisis was caused by the irrational behavior of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing,” charged the brown-eyed, bearded socialist president.
The first classic rock allusion is just a hint at the Procul Harum signature tune.
As the brown-eyed Brown grew a whiter shade of pale, Lula hammered the obvious point that the poor of the world were suffering in the global crash because of the misdeeds of the rich.
She interrupts the flow to use her new favorite Crossword Clue® to again slap at the morals-free actions of AIG and their ilk.
And it is true, of course, that the upper-crust, underwhelming Anglo-Saxon leaders who allowed America’s financial markets to morph into louche casinos, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, were very, very white men with blue eyes.
And the blue eyes finally push her into typing out the tune cootie in her head.
As the Who sang: “No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man, to be the sad man behind blue eyes. No one knows what it’s like to be hated, to be fated to telling only lies.”

And being a little more free-associative than usual she rambles past Jesus and Barbie to land on her favorite interview and Hollywood crush.
The cerulean-eyed Paul Newman once wryly predicted his epitaph: “Here lies Paul Newman, who died a failure because his eyes turned brown.”
And it's been a while since Maureen's mother made a guest appearance with her words of wisdom. This time she comes up with a great maternal ugly duckling-beautiful swan aphorism.
I obsessed on it so much, cutting out a picture of a beautiful brown-eyed model and keeping it in my scrapbook, that my mother finally reassured me:
“You look at blue eyes. You look into brown eyes.”
And the memory of her Irish mom sends her right back to the classic rock apple crate for that Celtic crooner of the 70s.
Later, of course, there would be the thrill of Van Morrison serenading a “Brown-Eyed Girl.”

Maureen ends the column with a wistful Alliteration Alert™ that is all peace, love and understanding.
With Michelle urging students to aim for A’s and the president promising to make school “cool,” brown eyes may finally — and rightfully — overtake blue as the windows of winners.
But she could just as well have used a different Who song:
I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again
Don't get fooled again


Grace Nearing said...

I asked Governor Cuomo if he was leaving the field to “the privileged blue-eyed WASPs” like Bush senior and Dan Quayle who felt entitled and never worried about their worthiness.

Holy frick -- I want to know what Cuomo's answer was! Nice of MoDo to quote herself asking the question and then not yielding the floor for Mario's response.

As the world battles the flames of economic collapse, the readers of the NYT are treated to an OP/ED column about the teenage insecurities of an Irish Catholic girl over the color of her eyes. That can mean only one thing: Another Pulitzer!

Mo MoDo said...

I searched really hard for the interview or column where she asked that and come up dry. Maybe that question only exists in her imagination.

mark hoback said...

As a blue-eyed American, I looked askance at Maureen's attempt at revisionist history. Brown eyes? Everybody's got em.