Monday, September 08, 2008

A Little Bit About Not Much

Various streams of consciousness of the past weeks or so - --

So Sunday morning I had more than a few folks ask me if I was at the Tigers-Rice game Saturday night.

I was.

"Didn't that ending (blowing a 15 point lead with 8 minutes left by allowing 22 unanswered points including a last second interception for a winning TD) just break your heart?"

"Heck no," I said.

"The Tigers broke my heart last April."

"Nothing these guys can do can touch that."

And speaking of that heartbreak, I'm in Grand Rapids last month in a small group workshop, sporting my new Tiger polo and khaki shorts (on sale now at Tiger Bookstore, proudly serving the University of Memphis campus since 1964, your off campus store for all of your on campus needs, they've got what you need and what you want, off campus - on the money), when a guy from the state of Kansas sits beside me wearing his KU shirt.

So help me.

Two UM clergy representing their teams sitting side by side.

Was d├ętente about to break out? A moment when "we could just all get along?"

He noticed me quickly, how could he not - the clothes are just that sharp.

The other 8 or 9 folks in the room noticed, too..they were looking on just a tad bit curious about what was about to go down.

My stomach started turning because I knew he was going to say something, and I didn't want to embarrass my Annual Conference (any more than I obviously already do) by punching out a Methodist Jayhawk.

"It was a great ga...." he started.

"Dude, I just can't, I'm sorry," I interrupted.

"It's just too fresh, too close for me...let's just focus on what we here for, o.k.?"

"I understand," he said. "My team has broken my heart more than once, too."

I was thankful..and relieved.

A moment of grace? Solidarity? Fear that if he said anymore I might have to spring up on him?
And speaking of Keith Olbermann (how's that for a segue), two things:

Seeing Dan Patrick and KO do their little version of "The Big Show" on NBC was a joy. No question, DP makes KO better.

That's the thing about collaborative partners - when you're working with those who get you and you get them, when you're doing the gig -it's a's a thing of beauty. It doesn't mean you always get along, either. But when the lights come on - Bam, it's magic.

And then there's KO with Chris Matthews on MSNBC...see my previous post on KO transitioning from Will Rogers of our time to stark raving blowhard.

It's clear that his zeal has gotten the best of him, and the network has done the right thing by pulling him back.

Or maybe zeal hasn't gotten the best of him...maybe it's something else.

Funny thing, zeal. It brings focus to things that others can't or don't want to see. But when the issue starts becoming the messenger and not the message, the message is lost, because your message is obscured. You get in your own way. You focus on ancillary things rather than the main thing. You become desperate to prove you're right, that you're relevant.

Don't believe me? Just ask The United Methodist Church.

Oh yes I did.

"Nothing about politics?" you asked.

Nope. Too much clutter for me to jump in.

Truth is, while I have a preference (oh boy, do I), which I will make manifest in November...more than wanting to persuade anyone to vote like I do, I just want folks to vote.

How is it possible for a country who claims to love liberty, not to engage as fully as possible in the one act that defines the republic?

Want to see real change? Understand the issues beyond the rhetoric, and vote.

Otherwise what we're left with is the product of the best financed, most effective media and spin machine.

Of the GOP's VP choice I'll only say this - her selection is either the most shrewed political move made in a very long time (if so, then "Well played, sir"), or the most disingenuous (if that's the case, "Shame! Shame!Shame!"). To bring someone in the process that nobody knows with two months to go - when these folks have been campaigning everyday for two years - and then complain that the media is trying to figure out who she is - and that we should just take the word of a campaign who has an agenda (no judgment here, every campaign has one) the pursuit of figuring someone out diverts energy from real issues. Any chance that's on purpose?


"The people have spoken," election winners often say.

No they haven't.

Maybe half of them have...

Some tried...and were suppressed (don't act like that doesn't happen, it always has in some form or another).
Some didn't try because they don't care. I guess you have the right not to vote, but such a choice does not a good citizen make.

I would argue that the there is a direct correlation between the insane polarization, slash and burn politics, and low voter turnout of our day to the disappearance of the teaching of Civics in our classrooms.

You get the whole of the population to vote...we can live with the results.

And in the words of Forest Gump..."that's all I have to say about that."

....for now.

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