Sunday, December 10, 2006

OH!, the Narrative of it all!

Do you have any idea what the “new narrative” is? OK. Do you have any idea what the “old narrative” was? Today for the first time in a hundred years I finally found it impossible to listen to political pundits having their say on the PBS radio network. It’s usually the place I go to hear fairly unbiased and accurate reporting, but today it was more painful than natural childbirth. And did you know that the Christian right are big penguin fans because penguins don’t have homosexual relations or abortions – well except the male penguins in the San Francisco zoo who adopted a baby penguin.

I know I have you on the edge of your seat about the state of the ‘narratives’. Alas, Paul Begala has found yet another way for getting paid to say nothing. I yearn to be Paul Begala. So, the old narrative was that George Bush was not responsible for any of the decisions made from the White House. The blame rested on the shoulders of Dick Cheney — who in case you haven’t noticed, has no shoulders, the Rovemeister – how quickly we forget, or Rummy — who went to Iraq to say goodbye, and “don’t let anyone tell you we made a mistake to sacrifice your lives in the terrorist ridden civil war.” The new narrative, according to Mr. Begala, is that all the blame for all the screw-ups in this administration lay with the head administrator, the Commander-in-Chief, Mr. “I never made any mistakes, nor do I have any regrets.” What does this all mean? WHO THE HELL KNOWS AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, CARES!? Yes, the caps are intentional because I am sick of the bull doody — who is not related to Howdy.

Best I can figure it means Democrats will blame George Bush for the war, the economy, high gas prices, the unfortunate state of public education, inadequate health care and an increase in preteen pimples. When haven’t they laid blame with “the buck stops anywhere but here, GB2?” It’s never as much fun to blame the staff (or as my mother would say, the ‘help’) as it is the principal. Further, it is not as effective or fruitful. So if the new narrative is supposed to mark a big change in the dialogue (that’s my word), then I don’t know how. But if the old narrative — which involves a lot of old men — which may be why it’s old, revolves around blaming anybody but Bush, then of course it is not politically advantageous. Or maybe it is. Remember, the President isn’t running again so you can’t campaign against him. But you could campaign against the entire administration and draw direct connections to all Republicans, large or small. You could ridicule (my personal favorite campaign tool) all the Republicans for Mark Foley’s Foible and their inability to demand satisfaction — or is that what Mark Foley got. (I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist).

But seriously folks, I’m not sure if I’m more appalled by the ludicrous Begala narrative conversation or by the fact that PBS was treating it not only with seriousness, but interest. I guess everyone is obsessed with naming things — events, issues, and now campaign rhetoric. Can you imagine how inspirational these appearances would be: Obama addresses “THE Narrative”. Hillary comments on THE old Narrative. John McCain claims he is a part of THE new Narrative.” What does any of that mean? Exactly what is a narrative? It used to be the meat of the story. Maybe it didn’t have a beginning or an end (like a campaign) but you did learn something about something when you listened to a narrative. This cannot be said of anything campaign pundits say. They don’t know anymore than you do but they have a bigger audience and they are able to keep reinventing the same thing in order to continue to charge the big bucks.

I don’t want to cheat the penguins in my narrative. They are certainly the Bird (or the plane) of the Year. If there were anymore books, movies, cartoons, or musical compositions written about these cute little critters, maybe they could be President — all of them. Given the way this President has governed it couldn’t be much worse. But here’s another thing I don’t get; how do right wing Christians know that penguins don’t have abortions and aren’t homosexuals? Have any RWC lived with penguins? Have any RWC had meaningful conversation with penguins? More to the point have any RWC slept with any penguins? I think not. So I would suggest not pinning their hopes for salvation on bird-like creatures that can breathe underwater, walk gingerly on ice, pass eggs between feet, and disappear for months at a time without an excused absence. You know what, I don’t care if there’s an old or new narrative and I certainly don’t care if RWC have disappointed expectations. We’re just sayin...Iris

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