Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Conventional Migraine"

Sometimes it really does go this wrong. I put this one in, because it has one of my favorite lines of all time - the Triumph of the Will one. It's also here because I wanted to admit that sometimes - by my own damn fault - that I'm caught flat-footed and have to fake it. (As my buddy Tony would say, "I'm dancing as fast as I can!") The editors at Planet accompanied this piece with my favorite picture of all time: Gov. Schwarzenegger, with the cutline: "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of the women." I nearly wept with joy when I saw it in print.

Well, damn. Deadline is upon me and I have nothing to write about. To be truthful, I do have something to write about, and that’s the problem. I actually had to get John Hicks, our fearless leader, to let me switch weeks this week so I could write about the Republican National Convention. I had every intention of writing a fair-and-balanced piece to go along with my previous DNC one. However, as luck would have it, that ain’t gonna happen.

First of all, there was ArtMix. Now simply put, I’d rather hang out with the folks who want to spend a Thursday night together enjoying the bounties of our dear arts community than sit at the TV and listen to The Great Pretender tell us why he’s the better choice for the job. So I thought, I’ll just tape it and watch it when I get home. Well, due to circumstances like The Beast attempting to eat the VCR that night and me being too stupid to 1) rewind the tape all the way and 2) notice that I had reset the damn thing from its 6-hour setting to its 2-hour setting, I unfortunately got about the first 15 minutes of the speech, and no mas. All of which allowed me to see pretty much nothing of interest, except for the delegates’ clear desire to stand and applaud even the most dynamic words, like “and” and “of.”

I prefer to blame The Beast; it’s easier than admitting I had an as-yet-unwatched episode of North Shore that I didn’t want to erase. (Man, that show blows. I love it.)

Regardless, I went into the weekend without seeing the speech, and without it, there was no column. I mean, yeah, I could have written about how that huge demagoguery-welcome-here movie set of a stage had that whole Leni Riefinstahl Triumph of the Will thing going on, and about how a certain portion of the population tends to start chanting when a fellow with a Germanic accent starts talking in front of it, but I don’t think that would be too fair and balanced.

Hm. Or maybe it would be…

Now I’m not making any statements about the RNC being similar to any European political rallies, but seriously, that stage was creepy. Of course, the Borscht-belt jokes went into high camp quickly and by the end, when the Governor of Austria was doing his “You Might be a Republican” shtick, he was simply stringing things together. “If you like cute puppies and apple pie, and you don’t like asteroids hitting the Earth, you might be a Republican.”

Anyway, I knew that C-Span would absolutely rerun the speeches and I found the time it would happen. I had every intention of watching it, so I didn’t set the VCR. Unfortunately, that decision was followed hard upon by a migraine which did to my frontal lobe what Hurricane Frances did to Florida. I used to get these blasted things regularly, back when I wore a white collar to work. Now they come and go at odd, strange intervals – like moments of lucidity from Zell Miller.

Migraine sufferers are strange people. We feel a need to compete in a sort of one-upsmanship to see who has suffered the worst. This one wasn’t my worst, but it’s still in its fourth day. (Somewhere out there, a guy is thinking, “That’s nothing. One time I had one that lasted seventeen years and made me bleed from my fingertips.” Yeah, I’m talking to you.)

So I was laid out in the bedroom, trying to avoid the light and The Beast, and I missed the damn thing again. I’m starting to wonder if I’m even meant to see it. But you know, I sat through Dick Cheney’s “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto” speech, so I figured I’m entitled to hear what the Pres has to say, even if it’s an hour and ten minutes of droning punctuated by a dynamite two minutes at the end.

Hm. Now that I think about it, maybe I’ll just watch that episode of North Shore instead.

Hey, kids! Count the pop culture references! For the record, there are 184. Stats courtesy of the Republican National Committee and Fox TV. Visit planetweekly to tell me why your migraine was so much worse than mine.

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