Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Is It Spring Yet?

Well, maybe it isn't spring just yet. That doesn't mean there aren't interesting things all around us. For instance, last week I went to see a basketball doubleheader (women. then men) at the local State U. The womens game turned into a rout, which gave the bench players a chance to show their stuff to the hometown crowd. One of these was a freshman guard who wore one of those clear plastic hockey-style masks, presumably to protect a once-broken nose from getting busted again. I doubt she wears it off the court, but I couldn't help wondering - What if you went to pick up your date and she answered the door wearing this little device? Whoa, I'm thinking. Maybe not a good sign.

The Democrats aren't above trying a sneaky strategy as long as no one gets knifed in the process. Their latest is to informally pin the badge of "GOP Party Leader" on radio megabully Rush Limbaugh. It's just a psychological thing, of course, but you have to say that the Party is lacking a face for that role just now. I saw Limbaugh on network TV last night and was (what's the word?) repelled. No wonder the man makes his living on the radio. He must be pushing 300 lb. these days, and the open-collar shirt look was just short of disgusting. All he lacked was the trademark cigar the size of a cucumber which he often brandishes like a weapon. I admit - if I was a Democrat seeking office, I'd want Limbaugh's mug up there next to my opponent the way the Bush 41 campaign used Willie Horton's scary visage 20 years ago to beat Michael Dukakis.

Now some lighter stuff. A few weeks ago I wrote about the 50th anniversary of the founding of Motown Records. Stevie Wonder was just a kid at the time, so he wasn't in on the actual founding, but soon became one of the label's biggest names and remains a popular figure all over the world. He's accustomed to getting awards, but a few months back the Library of Congress decided to honor him with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Not your everyday "attaboy".
The White House somehow got in on the awarding, and that's how we learned some things about the new First Family. Michelle Obama talked about how her grandfather let her play Stevie records at home, and that the two of them listened as they played the records "over and over" with the volume turned up. The President said that he doubted that there would have been any relationship between the two of them if he had not already been a big Stevie fan. I liked reading that. It's nice to hear that the First Lady and I would like some of the same music. And it's nice to hear someone comfortable enough with themselves that they didn't feel compelled to tell some phony story about playing "God Bless America" or some cowboy song every day before breakfast. Hats off to the Obama family.


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