Sunday, April 29, 2007

If You Can Find It

Introducing the World's Most Complicated Top. If you can't find this blouse exactly, pick up any other equally complicated, strange, well-made tops you can get your hands on. The photos of you in such a top will be solid gold thirty years from now.

Now, on to politics. Yesterday Marshall and I read John Edwards's 2003 book Four Trials cover to cover. A great read.

Explaining the germ of his interest in the law (he's a lawyer), Edwards writes:

There were no lawyers in my extended family. There were millworkers, grocery clerks, ministers, Marines, boxers--but not lawyers. And though I barely knew Doc Smith, who was the only attorney in town, television brought all kinds of dramatic justice, and injustice too, into my small world.

As a boy I was moved, and I was shaken, by The Fugitive, that series where the wrongfully accused Dr. Richard Kimble escapes prison and roams the land in search of his wife's true killer. The show's depiction of "an immocent victim of blind justice" made a powerful impression on me, as it did on my whole family, and I remember my building fury when--week after week--no one ever bothered to take Dr. Kimble's side and make things right for him, or even try. Instead there was that constant grim detective whose only job, bakrolled by some remarkably lush federal budget, I later realized, was to find this one, single man.

Maybe we need a lawyer as our next president. One who has spent at least twenty years getting pissed off on behalf of downtrodden and abused individuals and families.

When we asked some of our friends to donate to the Edwards campaign, one friend replied, via email:

Why don't I just give my money to a chimp or a
rattlesnake? They're about the equal of a Southern
Politician. Oh, wait... he's a lawyer too. Here's
your money, Spanish Wrestler, El Tigre.
So wrong! (Damn Yankees.)

In the New York Times Magazine today, Deborah Solomon interviews "hip-hop guru Russell Simmons."

Q. Are there any presidential candidates who inspire you?
I talk to John Edwards more than I talk to anyone. He has said more things about the conditions we need to think about. He went to yoga with me. He did the whole class, an hour and a half. He sweated like crazy. He's in good shape, but it was hard on him.


Blogger Landser said...

Golly, Edwards or not, what do you think the chances are we will have a lawyer as our next prez?

Lets see; Clinton = Lawyer, Obama = Lawyer, Edwards = Lawyer, Giuliani = Lawyer, Romney = Lawyer.

Edwards started out representing big banks, moved on to personal injury (ambulance chaser) and is now a consultant for Fortress Investment Group.

I'm not saying I won't vote for him I just have a hard time buying into the whole "champion of the downtrodden" shtick.

9:38 AM  
Blogger zp said...

I am quite intrigued that Edwards credits television as having a profound ethical influence on his life.

Not to be snide, or dismissive. I mean this quite sincerely.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Jeepers said...

dear landser, good points! You're right, it is probably true that the "champion of the downtrodden" posture in Edwards's book probably started out as occupationally required shtick. But we really think he's absorbed the view deep into his bones! And ZP darling, we too could listen to famous people talk forever about the influence of specific television shows on their thinking! What does Obama remember of Charlie's Angels?

10:34 AM  
Blogger Landser said...

Perhaps you're biogenetically predisposed towards smooth talking lawyer types...

I suspect you are right and that he is sincere. It'll never sell to Middle America, though. No way.

Clinton had Bubba Factor, W had that folksy good-natured redneck thing.

Big city liberals and the media elites consistently misunderestimate the general distaste that your average working schlob will have for this kind of candidate. His southern roots help but not enough.

2:55 PM  
Blogger tiny banquet committee said...

As a recent law school grad with ridiculous student loan debt and big bad corporate clients + hopes of one day being able to afford to be a full-time champion of the downtrodden, I would just like to add that I find Middle America's appetite for sincerity a little more oblique than other commenters. After all, since when is a Connecticut-born Andover- and Yale-and Harvard-educated oil man sincerely a redneck?

3:51 PM  
Blogger Landser said...

I tend to believe that W is sincerely a born again redneck and that Edwards is sincerely a champion of the middle class. But sincerity isn't the issue, perception is the issue.

Somewhere deep in the ancient reptilian portion of millions of American's brains is a voting calculus that goes something like; "Could I stand to watch the Superbowl with this guy?” Clinton yes, W yes, Edwards.... not so much.

To the great unwashed masses Edwards is going to be smarmyness personified by election day. The youtube hairdo video is just a warning shot over the bow.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Iheartfashion said...

I don't give a f*** if Edwards is "sincere" about helping the downtrodden! Look at George Bush's brand of "Christian compassionate conservatism" and where it's got us! Edwards has well-thought-out answers on SO many issues (like universal healthcare, global warming, the new gilded age and the poverty gap) that his sincerity (or how much he spends on a haircut) is patently irrelevent. After all, is there a candidate running (who has a chance) who isn't incredibly wealthy (with Romney leading the pack at net worth: $250 mil)?

4:10 PM  
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