MEGALOMANIACAL BRIEFINGReporting for Duty!
Aug. 27 - I haven't had many bites on my pathetic and humiliating solicitation of bids for employment earlier this week, and after due consideration I've concluded that it's probably just as well. I was aiming much too low. Current events have inspired me to take another look at my qualifications—and to take an altogether brighter view of the employment for which I'm not merely qualified, but am in fact entitled to.
Point: In March of 1985 I joined a group of friends to found igLoo, the theatrical group, in Chicago, Illinois. I endured every cliche of the starving artist for nine months before heading east to move back in with my parents and resume my college education.
Point: In January 1988 I began a video production company with a couple of friends in Los Angeles. Over the next six months we spent thousands of dollars on video equipment and produced one music video, one light industrial, and one promotional video.
Point: In the summer of 1988, cotemporaneous to my video production enterprise, I was hired by a statewide political campaign in California as the Director of Data Processing (or something). I worked feverishly on that campaign, sometimes more than 100 hours per week, until our triumph on the first Tuesday of that November.
Up until now I've considered those experiences mere seasoning in the spicy stew that has been my life. (I never did have any serious metaphor training.) A few months trying this, a few trying that, and me the richer for having extended the breadth of my experience.
Then came the Democratic Convention, the Swift boat vets, the 527s, and all the rancor and bile of a U.S. election cycle exploding into cacophonous splendor. And as in every previous election cycle, I've learned something important. Unlike every previous election cycle, however, I think I've also learned something valuable:
The nine months I spent co-founding a little experimental theatre on Chicago's north side back in 1985 were more than enough to qualify me to run the National Endowment for the Arts, or at least Lincoln Center.
The six months I spent co-founding a little half-assed video production company in a downtown Los Angeles artists' colony (read: gentrification project) were more than enough to qualify me to run a major American broadcast network—or at least a popular cable channel.
The five months I spent as a clueless young operative on a massive political campaign in California in 1988 were more than enough to qualify me to run either of the current presidential campaigns, and quite possibly both of them.
You cannot possibly disagree with me without relegating John Kerry's entire presidential bid into the ash-bin of history.
I don't care if John Kerry was the greatest hero of the Vietnam War. I don't care whether or not he earned his medals, and I don't care what he did with them afterwards. I don't care what he said about the war in 1968, 1971, 1982, during his latest stump speech, or in bed with his wife last night. The man was a U.S. Senator for 20 years and is running for president at a time when the U.S. is in the midst of a bloody global war—just three years after the bloodiest attack on U.S. soil since the Civil War—and in the midst of the most wrenching industrial changes since the industrial revolution itself. He's running against an incumbent who has three-and-a-half years of public record to run against. And the best he could do until this week was wax nostalgic about the stuff he did for one season thirty-some years ago? And, up until this week, almost all of the major American media let him?
Put me in charge of the NEA and hand over the reins of CBS. Greg Nagan is reporting for duty!
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Sorry about yesterday's skipped Almanac. Thursday was the birthday of Macaulay Culkin (1980), Geraldine Ferraro (1935), Ben Bradlee (1921), Mother Teresa (1910), and Christopher Isherwood (1904). It was Namibia Day in Namibia. But that's all behind us now.
Enjoy the weekend!
© 2004, The Moron's Almanac