Monday, November 3, 2008


Josh Brolin as George W. Bush & director Oliver Stone. Photo:

Tomorrow is the Election!! It looks very good for Obama and the Democratic Party as a whole; but I’m still apprehensive. I can’t wait until tomorrow night for the results. (Though in 2000, I ended up watching CNN at my friend Umur’s condo in Istanbul every night I was there, and, of course, didn’t find out the results until December!)

To get in the mood for tomorrow, I went to see “W” at AMC 1000 Van Ness on Saturday afternoon. On the whole it was pretty good. It was a typical Oliver Stone format with flashbacks and time juggling throughout. Josh Brolin did an amazing job as ‘Jr.’ (The ads for coming attractions showed him as Dan White in “Milk,” and it looks as though he really got that character down too. More about Harvey Milk, Mayor Moscone, and Dan White later in the month.) Back to “W”…. I thought the scenes at Yale were somewhat exaggerated, and as I wrote in an earlier posting, nobody I knew in New Haven would ever sing the Whiffenpoof Song (reserved for the Whiffs); but then most of my friends were in undergraduate a cappella groups and may have been more sensitive about the issue than Fraternity jocks.

George W. Bush and I overlapped one year in New Haven, 1967/68 (along with Garry Trudeau). I think I recall seeing George in April 1968 on Whiff Tap Night. I know I saw Don Schollander and think that somebody pointed out George as a friend of Don’s, and as the son of the new Congressman from Texas, though my memory may be somewhat blurry on that point. (On the whole, my recollection of people and details of past events is fairly good. If only my short term memory would improve; but I’m afraid it’s only getting worse!)

I know I did sing at Bush’s baccalaureate service at Woolsey Hall just before his graduation. Among other things we sang a TTBB version of Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus. I was back in New Haven rehearsing with the Glee Club before departing on a six week tour of Latin America.

Hillary Clinton was criticized a few months ago re: her comments about late primaries for her reference to RFK’s assassination. But I can empathize with her. I think her point was that even in June the Democratic candidate had not yet been selected. And even after the assassination of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr., my initial reaction – as I sat eating breakfast at the Yankee Doodle on Elm Street – when I heard that Kennedy had been shot, was to think that he had been shot down…. that is, had lost the California primary. I didn’t want to imagine the truth… and didn’t learn the facts for another ten minutes or so. Again, I don’t think Hillary was suggesting that Senator Obama might not survive the campaign season, but that historically candidates were frequently selected late in the process. Heck, I remember when they weren’t selected until the actual convention! Isn’t that what they were for?

The rest of this past weekend was fairly cultural with two standing room tickets to the San Francisco Opera and the opening of the Afghanistan Exhibit at the Asian Art Museum. More about these in a later posting.

No comments:

Titian in the Frari (Venezia)