Friday, November 30, 2012

The Return of Nebraska's Greatest Perfomance Artist

Well, probably not.  But maybe.

Lincoln's own Don Walton is every bit the conventional 'horse race' political journalist.  And yet conventional is hardly the word for how he does it.  The old man is filled with such an obviously sincere puppy dog enthusiasm for the horse race that the reader is left little choice but to drop her own cynicism and join in.

Chuck Hagel, on the other hand, is the very epitome of cynical post-modernity.  I mean that as a compliment.  I have long been convinced that the man has deliberately made himself into a piece of living art, a walking parody of the contemporary politician and how the media cover them.  Just think about it now. How many rumors of Chuck Hagel going to this or that important post have there been over the years?  How many of these rumors have ever been based on anything but their own verbal momentum? 

This wealthy white man won a major election in a small, demographically simple state. Once this comparatively easy feat was attained he is now always and forever able to start a media storm by basically just standing there.  It's fucking brilliant.  I remember the whispers that he would run for president in 08, a long time ago now wasn't it?  I remember most especially his Magritte-style anti-press conference where he announced that he had nothing to announce.  My God it was God.  It was and remains the only time in my life that I have ever truly wept at the beauty of a performance. 

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