Today's column actually brought a tear to my eye. HRC's candidacy had some flaws as a 'first woman' test case -- Clinton fatigue being the main, at least for me -- and she did, as Collins puts it, go 'over the deep in at the finale'. But she stuck it out. I've been a bit frustrated by the claims of 'sexism' I've heard in the media, because they don't ring true to me. Or they didn't. Some of the examples in Judith Warner's blog post yesterday helped make the situation more concrete, as I realised I'm inoculated from the worst of it, living in a different country, without access to, if nothing else, 24/7 cable news. That context makes her tenacity both more understandable and, in some ways, admirable.
At any rate, Collins makes me think two things: (1) HRC could have used someone sensible like her on the front lines, rather than Bill Clinton or Mark Penn or Harold Ickes or Terry McAuliffe or, let's be honest, Geraldine Ferraro. It's impossible to know what women like Patti Solis Doyle were saying behind the scenes, or how seriously they were taken, but in hindsight, you wish for Hillary's sake the public show had been run differently; and (2) once the dust settles, and the bruised feelings are smoothed over, America will be a different place. At the outset, before it all got so personal, it seemed so exciting that the Democratic Party had a black man and a (white) woman as its two possible candidates for the country's highest executive office. It made me proud, actually. It was easy to lose sight of that, but in retrospect, wow. As Bob Herbert suggests (since when did the Times's Op-Ed page turn into a tear-jerker?!), I'm proud again.
I hope the NObama folks will remember to be proud, too. Hillary's concession event is today, and I want so much for her to set the right tone and remind her supporters of the real opponent and the bigger picture. There's so much time between now and November and so much work to do. Even with an increasingly unappealing candidate like McCain, the GOP can never be underestimated. I guess we'll see.
- Current Music:O'Connor, Sinéad - 'Heroine (Theme From 'Captive')'
LIVE EAST DIE YOUNG [uploaded by 5500]
Some of the work at the Cans Festival was just remarkable (a few pictures). That came as something of a relief, considering the amount of effort it took to see it. Today being a bank holiday, I went around 3pm, only to find the queue to get in would take 2 hours. Going back around half six, though, the wait was more like 45 minutes, and the weather was cooler. Time was of the essence because, while the art will stay on the walls when the street reopens for cars, the massive installations (the CCTV tree and multi-car pileup, for instance) were set to be removed after 10.
So, yeah, it was one of those things where you say to yourself, I live in a city like this for a reason, and I'd be dumb not to take advantage of it. Although, to be honest, I wondered if a Boris administration would have let this sort of thing occur. Promoting vandalism innit.
As we enter the brave new world of Tory rule, I guess we'll see.
- Current Music:Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - 'Over and Over Again (Lost and Found)'
An old-fashioned left-winger with a fondness for newts and old-fashioned dirty politics, or a 19th-century “Masterpiece Theater” Tory with an embarrassing sense of humor, or a gay policeman? It sounds like the mayoral options from a “Tintin” book...So says Adrian Gill in a distillation of the coming London elections in today's NYT. (There was also a decent profile of the race by Calvin Trillin in the New Yorker not long ago; here's the weird abstract they've taken to publishing for the articles that don't get full online reprints.)
It's strange to exist amongst all this and not be eligible to vote. Sort of the inverse of my relationship to the US presidential election, I suppose. Despite the fact that I pay my council tax by monthly direct debit, I have no say, not being an EU national. (Unfortunately, the inverse isn't true of that: I'm still on the hook with the IRS.) So I can only stand back and watch. Nevertheless, I'm interested and even attended a husting, just to see the cartoon characters come to life. I can't say it did any of them any particular favours -- especially Brian Paddick, who came off thick as molasses -- although it made clear the ads that say 'Vote for London' and present only one tickbox, captioned 'Ken', are rather accurate propaganda. One could possibly imagine voting one's first preference for one of the well-meaning fringe parties (the Left List candidate is such an old-school true believer, you couldn't help but love her), but when it comes to the more-important second preference, Livingstone stands alone.
The vote occurs 1st May, and last night I heard from an acquaintance who works in City Hall that political appointees have had to clear out their desks (civil servants are safe -- for now, at least); there is, it turns out, no transition. We might have a new mayor on Friday. Which, again, is the inverse of the never-ending story of the campaign to become POTUS. Rather than hyperspeed, it seems to be happening in slow motion. On that score, I'm trying to trust the judgement of another writer on today's Times opinion page. Namely Frank Rich and his analysis of John McCain's 'loss' in Pennsylvania. His conclusion gave me a chuckle, and a modicum of hope: 'The Democrats’ unending brawl may be supplying prime time with a goodly share of melodrama right now, but there will be laughter aplenty once the Republican campaign that’s not ready for prime time emerges from the wings.'
‡ Just a side note to say I had two great musical experiences today, thanks to London itself, with no apparent help from the mayor. The first was hearing Stravinsky's Mass, sung by the Cathedral Choir as part of the service at St Paul's. The second was The Good, The Bad & The Queen covering The Specials' 'Ghost Town'. Amazing.
- Current Music:The Feeling - 'Rosé'