Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Maureen And The Bard

When we are born, we cry that we are come
To this great stage of fools
-King Lear IV:vi

Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
And take upon 's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies: and we'll wear out,
In a walled prison, packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.
-King Lear V:iii
Stage of Fools
Published: March 3, 2009

Maureen Dowd sees John McCain, now retired from the campaign trail and re-ensconced in the Senate as the angry geezer yelling at kids to get off his lawn. Or as a dottering mad King Lear with flowers in his hair.
If only Shakespeare had known how to Twitter.

There was a bit of King Lear in the scene on the Senate floor, a stormy, solitary John McCain on “this great stage of fools,” as the Bard wrote, railing against both parties and the president in fiery speeches and rapid-fire tweets.

“He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath,” the Fool told Lear.
The truly snarky would remark that when it comes to whore's oaths, Dowd should know, but we'll take the high road here, so continuing:
And he’s truly mad that trusts in the promise of a presidential candidate to quell earmarks.
She also ridicules his new-found familiarity with a new form of technological ranting.
The 72-year-old senator who seemed hopelessly 20th century when he confessed during the campaign that he didn’t know how to use a computer or send an e-mail has now mastered the latest technology fad, twittering up a twizzard to tweak his former rival.
I do like "twizzard" as an imaginary word in her four-fold Alliteration Alert™.

Maureen then pads half her column with the full list of McCain's top ten pork projects including things such as astronomy promotion, but he seems particularly incensed by anything having to do with agriculture, livestock or wildlife, singling out things that have to do with grapes, honey bees, pigs, crickets, catfish, and beavers (insert Beavis and Butthead snickering here). The top ten list seems to be a recurring feature of his and you can read his latest senile ramblings on the SenJohnMcCain Twitter page.

Maureen than goes on to catalog the earmarks of various Administration members' favorite items from when they sat on the Legislative end of Pennsylvania Avenue. That campaign warhorse, the Chicago planetarium, even gets trotted out again. McCain sure hates science.
And then there are the 16 earmarks worth $8.5 million that Emanuel put into the bill when he was a congressman, including money for streets in Chicago suburbs and a Chicago planetarium.
Which returns Dowd to her Shakespearean fury.
Blame it on the stars, Rahm, or on old business. But as Shakespeare wrote in “Lear”: “This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune — often the surfeits of our own behavior — we make guilty of our own disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars.”
But we could also go with a different quote just a few lines before the line about the titular stage of fools:
Get thee glass eyes;
And like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou dost not.
And as for McCain, all I can say is:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;
And, to deal plainly,
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.

1 comment:

mark hoback said...

A whole blog dedicated to MoDo? You are so bookmarked!