Saturday, September 27, 2008

Digesting the debate

Ok, I've only got a few more thoughts about the day's events before I turn the page and focus all my energy on willing the Horned Frogs to victory in Norman tomorrow (or today, depending on the time this actually gets posted).

Let's do it, round-up style:

1. Who knows, who cares who won the debate? There's no objective standard upon which to determine a winner. What's important is that both candidates made it through without any major gaffes or YouTube moments and that their respective supporters turned off the TV feeling mostly satisfied. As for all this chatter about undecided and independent voters, I just don't believe they exist or that a single 90-minute debate would influence anyone's opinion that much this late in the game. If you don't know me by now and so on and so forth. Those people won't be showing up at the polls on Nov. 4.

2. Now that I've had more time to think about it, I really think Obama was using a traditional debate tactic in starting off statements with "John is right ..." or "I agree with John." Obama was allowing for the possible merits of a particular McCain claim and then setting it up to be dismissed. The problem was that his follow-through was weak; he rarely dismissed McCain's claims forcefully enough.

3. Henry Kissinger, shame on you. We heard what you said.

4. Chris Matthews is a putz. Between his weird obsession with McCain not looking at Obama during the debate and essentially trying to box Obama into the "effete elitist" stereotype, he's probably the most unlikeable pundit on TV. Assuming, of course, that Lanny Davis is no longer alive.

5. For a moment, back to Sarah Palin: I didn't get a passport until 2004 and I've only visited four foreign countries, including the border areas of Mexico. Most of this is due to the simple fact that money has been a tremendous obstacle (by choosing to become a journalist, I willingly signed on for a life of modesty). Not that I come from poverty or anything. But the cost was prohibitive.

Thus, I find it insulting for Palin to insinuate culture wars into her reasons for not procuring a passport until last year. The real issue is her lack of curiosity about the world beyond Alaska, a thread that seems to run through a lot of areas of her life.

6. I'm becoming a huge fan of Jeff Toobin. And Paul Begala, to a lesser extent. Donna Brazile was sort of missing in action tonight.

7. I'm wondering if it's finally time for me to reconsider my nearly lifelong grudge against Ole Miss. Most of my childhood memories of the Rebels are Saturday afternoon games in Oxford, with thousands of miniature Confederate flags waving throughout the stands. You might imagine how that might resonate with a black kid in the South.

I remember a guy from my neighborhood, star of the state championship basketball team at our local high school, going off to play for Ole Miss. I couldn't imagine a black kid willingly deciding to play there, especially one with no apparent roots in the state. But Ansu Sesay thrived in Oxford, becoming the SEC Player of the year as a senior and making it into the NBA for a brief stint.

So, I guess it couldn't have been all that bad. Ansu was no one's lawn jockey. Still, the school - and the state's - allegiance to Confederate mythology remains disconcerting. I'm still working my way through my feelings about this.


Zen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zen said...

That someone you speak of, that SEC player of the year you refer to is my cousin; he did indeed enjoy his time at Ole Miss (as most black athletes do).

The real question is how many out of state black students attend ole miss AND are not on any kind of scholarship. I bet the number is less than 10. SERIOUSLY

blackink said...

Zen, I didn't know that Ansu was your cousin? Damn. Learn something new about my kinfolk everyday.

And you're probably right. The First Lady never, ever, ever even considered the possiblity of going to Ole Miss even though it was the flagship school in her state.