"When in the course ..."
July 4, 2009 | Apart from the historical consequence of the Founders' we're mad as hell and not gonna take it any more rant, they've left us with a middle-of-the-year holiday that is pretty much a do-it-yourself kind of day.
To be sure, there are some predictable observances of the day: parades, fireworks, picnics, patriotic speeches. That being the case notwithstanding, everyone is pretty much free to observe the day in their own fashion or, indeed, ignore it completely.
Sarah Palin declared her own sort of independence this week, announcing that she'd had enough of being governor and would leave it to someone else to finish out her first term. The reasons she gave were incoherent — and what else is new? — so we're all left to put our own interpretation on it. My own is that it just confirms the assessment of the McCain staffer who called Palin "a whack job." If this move is supposed to further her political ambitions, it's hard to see how it would. She has an ardent following among the right-wing right-to-lifers, but they're no more grounded in reality than she is. Her national political career began and ended as a punch line on late-night comedy shows; it's going nowhere. My guess is that there's some new egregious scandal that she thinks she can forestall by leaving office or that she has a lucrative offer to become a talking head on Fox. And it will free her up from the distraction of running a state while doing the book tour for the best-seller that someone else will write for her.
Michael Jackson declared his ultimate independence by dying on the eve of his comeback tour. His entire adult life (now there's an oxymoron!) was an extended flight from reality. The media have used the occasion of his death for their own leap into fantasy land.
• Breaking news! Video of Michael Jackson's last rehearsal! And there on CNN was Sanjay Gupta giving his medical opinion based on that rehearsal video.
• Exclusive! Broadcasting live from Neverland! Larry King I get, but Matt Lauer? How many more "exclusive" broadcasts are yet to come?
Anybody with any possibility of making a buck from Jackson's death is working it as hard as they can.
Sure, the guy had a formidable musical talent, but in his personal life he was an ultimate "whack job" who pretty much got a free pass because he was rich — or at least lived rich. In the end, Jackson is a tragic figure, a creature of celebrity pop-culture, and its victim.
Meanwhile, I intend to observe this 4th of July by cleaning my desk and finishing the laundry. Life is normal.
Last updated on Aug 24, 2016