Monday, December 20, 2004

Department of Just Don't Get It
A few hours after I called the subscription department to complain, my Washington Monthly finally arrived. Talk about service!

I got to read some of it at the gym yesterday and found this upsetting nugget in founding editor Charles Peters' regular "Tilting at Windmills" feature:

After the election, two things happened that I found close to heartbreaking. One came at the point in Kerry's concession speech when he said, “I wish I could take each of you in my arms....” There was something so touchingly genuine about him at that moment that I couldn't help wishing that he had shown more of this side of himself during the campaign.

Another was when I read in Newsweek that, when it became clear that the lies in the Swift Boat ads were doing serious damage, Julia Thorne told her daughter Vanessa that she was willing to break her silence about her relationship with John Kerry and speak out publicly against the ads. She knew how Kerry had suffered, that she “had seen the scars on his body and heard him cry out in his nightmares.” But the geniuses that ran the Kerry campaign said not to bother, they were taking care of the matter.


If you didn't catch it last night after the seemingly endless Jaguars-Packers game concluded, the "60 Minutes" interview with Ricky Williams was pretty riveting television. The video is available for free online. Williams himself seems like an interesting guy, with a lot more going on upstairs than many pro athletes (faint praise, perhaps)--I'm sure I'd hate him if he played for my team, but in the abstract I admire his decision to preserve his body and pursue deeper happiness by walking away from the NFL at 27, even if it took the embarrassment of having his marijuana use revealed to push him out.

The interview is really remarkable, though, for reminding all of us what a miserable and mean-spirited prick Mike Wallace is. His contempt for Williams is transparent throughout the conversation, and you can almost see him straining not to call the former Dolphins RB a "long-haired hippie punk" or something similar. The moment when Wallace asks whether Williams has tried any drug "worse" than pot, and Williams responds "sometimes I eat sweets" is classic.

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