HARVARD SQUARE COMMENTARY

November 3, 2008
Potpourri

Ernest Cassara


Guns, Guns, Explosions

One of the great pleasures of our monthly sojourn in London, UK, is the ability to stroll over from Tavistock Square to the Renoir movie theatre.  It features pictures from around the world.  Movies with no guns or explosions.  For instance, they showed a movie in which Mahatma Gandhi would appear at the side of two former ruffians, who were inspired to straighten out their ways.  Whenever they thought of going astray, he appeared and shamed them into doing the right thing.  Can’t tell you the title of the movie, for I could not understand Hindi.  (Needless to say, I enjoyed the subtitles.) It reminded me, also, of the days when Boston had a similar theatre on Exeter Street.  Many years ago.  I would hazard a guess that Americans are so used to guns, guns, and explosions that such a theatre would not survive today.

As an avid fan of the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a great combination of comedy and serious interviews, I am always shocked at the commercials, which invariably are of movies with guns, guns, explosions!


Newspapers Committing Suicide

It is commonly said that the Internet is making it difficult for newspapers to survive.  Well, true or not, I have an example that would tend to confirm it.  We subscribe to the Boston Sunday Globe.  One of the features that we have found quite useful is the booklet that gives information on the week’s offerings on television.  Now the Globe is discontinuing it and including a full page spread on how we can subscribe to a new, large TV Guide.  If we should do so, we may very well have a reason to give up the Globe.  Yes, I will miss the columns by Ms Joan Venochi, with whom I agree 99 percent of the time, and the columns by Jeff Jacoby, with whom I disagree 99 percent of the time.  But, subscribing as I do to Liberal Opinion Week, which reprints columns from all over the country, I’ll be able to live without the Globe.  So, I may contribute to the Globe’s demise!


Illogic on the Campaign Trail

The thought of Sarah Palin succeeding to the presidency should a president McCain succumb to his Melanoma cancer sends chills up and down my spine.  She may provide Saturday Night Live with great material - Tina Fey is the spitting image of Palin - but I do not see any use to her candidacy, unless, indeed, McCain chose her to provide badgered Americans with comic relief.

She, indeed, is a pitbull with lipstick.  She keeps harping on William Ayers, whom she accuses of being a terrorist, and a neighbor of Barack Obama.  Of course, she does not allow truth to get in her way.  Whatever plot Ayers allegedly was involved with, it was when Obama was eight years old.  Ayers was never convicted of anything and is a professor of education at the University of Chicago.  I suppose as a public figure he is not in the position to sue her for libel.

She implies that Barack is a Muslim.  As far as I know, if it were true, it is not an indictable offense.  (At this point, I will not go into the religious nut jobs that Palin has been involved with.)

Those who have cottoned on to the idea that Obama is a secret Muslim are able to hold a diametrically opposed idea that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who has been filmed saying some critical views of American governmental policies, is his pastor.  Wright, of course, as any should know, is a minister of the United Church of Christ, known in our New England neck of the woods as the Congregational church.


Americans in a Coma!

The polls, we are informed incessantly, claim that a number of our fellow citizens still have not made up their minds whether to vote for a vigorous, fortyish, Obama, or an old duffer,  seventyish McCain.  My suspicion is that these people just say that to pollsters, because they are too polite to respond that “it is none of your goddam business”!


Pity the Candidate’s Wife

It may be too painful, but if you have the stamina, imagine that you are Cindy McCain, having to stand hour after hour behind old John on the campaign platform, smiling, smiling, smiling!

Michelle Obama has the luxury of staying home with their little girls.  Occasionally she is on the platform, but being a brilliant professional woman, she can speak with authority on many subjects.


Americans Love of Technology

When I vote just down the street from our home, I will mark a paper ballot with a wicker pen, which will then be “read” by a machine.  But, if there is a problem, the paper is there. There are places in the country which have voting machines which leave no paper trail and can be easily hacked.  The Diebold company, which has been suspected of being in cahoots with the Republican Party, has found it necessary to change its name.  Suspicious?


Ted Stevens Indicted

Alaskans love the old so and so, for he brings home the bacon.  On our several trips to Alaska, we have landed in Anchorage at the “Ted Stevens International Airport.”  You can guess that the impressive place was built with money from an earmark. How modest of Ted to name it after himself.  He may not be landing at his favorite airport any time soon, if the feds succeed in convicting him of accepting many gifts from oil companies, without declaring them on his tax forms.

Incidentally, The Anchorage Daily News has endorsed Obama!


Ralph Nader’s Quadrennial Ego Trip

Nader, as you know, is running for president again.  Has he no shame?  He has been blamed with siphoning off votes from Al Gore, leading to the election of Dubya!  He had the gall to say that there was not a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore.

I think he has a death wish.  He is systematically destroying his reputation as a consumer advocate.


The Immortal Words of Mo Udall

Finally, I leave you with the words of Mo Udall.  These will be particularly apt, should you be running for political office.

On having lost an election, Mo Udall, said, “The voters have spoken.  The bastards!”


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