aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Allen’s truth, Dean’s strategy & Hillary should tour!
Actually, I think Senator Allen got it right:
This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent. He’s following us around everywhere. And it’s just great. We’re going to places all over Virginia, and he’s having it on film and its great to have you here and you show it to your opponent because he’s never been there and probably will never come.
While everyone’s gloating about the odious truth behind Allen’s use of the term macaca, there’s another truth that doesn’t even merit mention: the Dems won’t go there. And they don’t come here. The more I think of it the more it annoys me.
Today I listened to a Times Talk interview of Howard Dean. I have to say I pretty much agree with everything he said.
Contributing writer Matt Bai conducted the interview and seemed to suggest that the Times might have a significant article on the 50 state strategy. If so I’ll be quoting it. I like it.
The notion of strategically writing off the South ticks me off. I live here. I vote here. I’m not alone here.
Which brings me to Hillary. I’m well aware of the revised view that questions the success of her listening tour and considers her upstate strength a myth:
The upstate voters she has won over she courted with retail politics: showing up in small towns, becoming fluent in the most parochial of concerns, and delivering federal dollars. In a region that historically hasn’t seen much of its senators, she has been omnipresent. Zogby says it’s these repeat visits that have done the most to expand her support base. “Presence is so important to upstate voters,” he says. “The psychology is: If you pay attention to us, we’ll give you support.”
But retail politics don’t translate well nationally.
Poppycock! Hillary Clinton, COME ON DOWN!
“Obviously, you can’t do a listening tour in all twelve zillion counties,” says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in Poughkeepsie, though he suggests that the same skills are useful during primary season.
Hillary should, right after re-election as senator, set up an exploratory committee and launch a listening tour that is the exact national replica of the one that won her first senate election. And she should start with a swing through the rural South.
Sontag: “Men burn out”
A meditation on the Metropolitan Museum’s small, grave, beautiful photography tribute to Susan Sontag has this passing reference to her sexual identity:
Sontag understood sickness from the inside. In the 1970’s she survived cancer and wrote a fiercely demythologizing book about it, “Illness as Metaphor.” A decade later she followed that with another, “AIDS and Its Metaphors,” an analytical indictment of social stigmatization through disease.
She dedicated that book too to [American artist Paul] Thek, who died the year it appeared. He was an old and influential friend. Like her he was bisexual. But, tormented by his appetites, he kept clear of gay politics. She seems not to have been tormented, but she also kept clear.
Just for fun, a Sontag quote from a May 2000 Guardian piece:
“As I’ve become less attractive to men, so I’ve found myself more with women. It’s what happens. Ask any woman my age. More women come on to you than men. And women are fantastic. Around 40, women blossom. Women are a work-in-progress. Men burn out.”
My experience hints it’s true...er, the women blossom part!
Save Your Space
Save Your Space is a website created by a Southern California organization called “The Friends of MySpace” (not affiliated with News Corp). They have put together a petition against DOPA and they’re trying to collect signatures of people of all ages who are opposed to the legislation. If you are (and you damn well should be if you’re reading my ramblings), please take a moment to sign. And then pass it on.
They want 1,000,000 signatures in one month. There’s only two weeks left. Here‘s the bill. Here‘s the danah boyd and Henry Jenkins public statement of the reasons they think DOPA is a really bad piece of legislation.
RELATED: danah’s putting together what may be the definitive compilation on peer-reviewed social network research sources.
Young & Wal-Mart
I find Ed Kilgore’s ”if Democrats decide to tell these voters they can’t be good progressives and shop at Wal-Mart, we will lose these people” argument persuasive. And I assume Wal-Mart’s days at the top are numbered - it’s the kind of lumbering giant that GM became last century.
So I can’t say that I was bugged that Andrew Young shilled for them. He could do worse:
Referring to the remarks as being singled out from a long interview, Mr. Young said Friday in a telephone interview, “I thought this was kind of below the belt.”
“Now I don’t blame anybody,” he said, a day after apologizing for his remarks and resigning from the Wal-Mart payroll. “It was stupid of me to say in that context. No, it wasn’t stupid of me. I said it in the appropriate context. But I didn’t think about how it would read.” [...]
Mr. Young made his comment to a reporter from a black newspaper, The Los Angeles Sentinel, responding to a question about Wal-Mart’s effects on mom-and-pop businesses.
“I was giving a rational explanation of a historic phenomenon,” he explained later. “Can you talk about ethnicity objectively without it being demeaning or stereotypical?”
He added that he had also discussed black merchants who overcharged the poor.
“The way this came out it makes me sound like I’m refuting everything I’ve done over almost 70 years, frankly,” Mr. Young said.
He defended his work, saying, “I still think that Wal-Mart is good for poor people.”
LATER: Posting as I did without comment - and with those introductory words - could lead you to think I condone his remarks. I don’t. But he has built up enough good will from me that neither do I condemn him.