Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I Could Sharpen Knives With His Teeth

James Lileks skewers Garrison Keillor again today. I don't read Keillor's columns. I'm not even sure where to find them. So I don't know if the pieces Lileks criticizes are indicative of the majority of his pieces. But considering the topic, and how it's addressed, I rather suspect so.

Keillor is in Massachussetts, and goes for a walk in a picturesque town. He stops to watch a baseball game and gets to talking with a parent of one of the players. This all leads Keillor, of course, to contemplate how terrible the future is for that girl, thanks to our current administration.

Everything makes Keillor think of the current administration and how loathesome it is. I suspect he could make an Anti-Bush column out of tripping over the sidewalk:

"I was walking, as I am prone to do, down main street the other day, contemplating the vagaries of life on the northern prairie and noting how the incessant sunshine draws us somehow closer to one another, as we sweat our summers away in our separate houses, gathered around our air conditioners the way folks early in the last century used to gather around the radio. It's our new shared experience. Suddenly I found my body propelled forward at an alarming rate. I caught myself, but not before experiencing that primal surge of blood and adrenaline so strong you can smell it that usually accompanies unexpected hurtlings of the body.

Looking back to ascertain the cause of my narrowly-avoided plummeting toward Mother Earth I espied that a section of sidewalk had been pushed up, like a great tectonic plate, above the pedestrial plane. As I considered this offensive block of concrete I couldn't help but compare it with the Current Occupant, who has in his infinite blundering managed to force eight years of our National Experience out of alignment with the otherwise smooth plane of American History, and I thought of all the others besides myself who had stubbed their toes there, wondering if any of them had required medical attention and been unable to afford it because of the Current Occupant's utter failure to provide health care for those below the line of undue affluence and power."

You know, I wish I could make Keillor's salary to write the same column over and over. Perhaps it's just a mental exercise for him, to see how many different ways he can say "I hate Bush" without actually saying it or repeating himself.

I hope we never see the day when it becomes obvious that Bush was right. I hope Keillor never has to write a column someday about how sad he is that the little girl he once watched play baseball on a boys' team now isn't even allowed out of the house, let alone play sports of any kind on any team, because Sharia law forbids it. But if he does, I suspect he'll find a way to blame that on Bush, too.

Because of course it's never Keillor's fault. He's just a Passive Observer, doing nothing more than reporting on the world he sees around him. Each column is an impartial sounding of the depths for all to hear: "Life still sucks! Bush is still in office! Tune in again next week!"

I have no use for such people. If, as his columns seem to indicate, everything he experiences reminds him of how aweful Bush is, then he has developed a psychosis. He is not alone in this. I know people on both sides of the political fence (or is it barricade, these days?) who are pretty much the same way. They can't pull their heads out of the political quicksand long enough to notice that the world is still going on around them. They can't do something as simple as watch a baseball game without getting into a stew over politics.

I can't live that way. I refuse to live that way. This morning there was a light mist (or perhaps smoke) in the foothills above town that caught the morning sun and transformed the scene into an impressionistic painting. Oddly enough, I found myself enjoying that brief glimpse for what it was, and managed quite easily not to draw any comparisions to Bush, Obama, McCain, Pelosi, Putin, Sarkozy, or Mugabe, et al.

I'm just arrogant enough to believe that mine was the proper way to enjoy it.

No comments: