Thursday, October 30, 2008

I’ve Told You a Million Times

If I was allowed to read only one blog a week,
I’d whittle the list down to two and then alternate between Stan Fish and Dick Cavett
by Charlie Leck

“I’ve told you a million times…” Oh, how my mother would say those words to me when I was a little boy. I’ll bet she said them a million times.

Well now, I’ve told you a million times (Yes, you! You, my readers!) that you’ve got to read Stan Fish. He blogs regularly (about once a week) in the NY Times. Blogging is really not a fair word for it, but it’s the one he chooses to use. Fish is a word-smith and a genius at communications techniques. He also happens to be very acquainted with, and bright about, the poetry of John Milton.

This week’s blog is just too, too wonderful – especially if you want to understand the effectiveness of Barack Obama’s campaign and how Obama’s technique frustrates the heck out of John McCain and his campaign organization.

“What he (or his campaign) doesn’t do is bring up the Keating Five, or make veiled references to McCain’s treatment of his first wife, or make fun of Sarah Palin (she doesn’t need any help), or disparage his opponent’s experience, or hint at the disabilities of age. He just stands there looking languid (George Will called him the Fred Astaire of politics), always smiling and never raising his voice.

“Meanwhile, McCain’s surrogates get red in the face on TV when they try to explain away the latest jaw-dropping thing Sarah Palin has said, or proclaim that anything can happen in seven days, or respond to ever more discouraging poll numbers by saying (how’s this for a weak cliché) that the only poll that counts is the poll on election day. (I know things are bad when my wife, a staunch Democrat, feels sorry for them.)

“What’s going on here? I find an answer in a most unlikely place, John Milton’s “Paradise Regained,” a four-book poem in which….”
Sorry! I can give away the masterful “in which,” so it’s something you’ll have to go and read yourself in Fish’s masterful blog of 26 October 2008.

No comments:

Post a Comment