Tuesday, November 18, 2008

KV Chatter: The Obama Bandwagon Meets The LES

above the store window from the framing store on Grand Street near Essex. It also sells shoes.
Just like you might say that there are a lot of people now jumping on the Barack Obama bandwagon—naming their children, ‘Barack’, sometimes even when the toddler is a girl, they call her ‘Baracka’—and in many other ways people, in my opinion, are overdoing the ways in which they seek to identify themselves with the President-Elect. I myself have been accused of fitting into such a category but regard such accusations as, not only wholly ill-founded, but entirely the result of a competitive, envious tendency that has gripped the nation. Everyone is trying to one-up their neighbor with Barackier than thou declarations. I am not going to say I am like him in this way or that because such statements would be self-serving but because some of the similarities are so pointed and particular I do wish to articulate them clearly so that for those amongst us who feel they are the lost twin of the new President-Elect they may hold up these facts and profit by allowing objective cross-comparisons to sober up their otherwise overly optimistic views of such connectedness.
For starters, Barack and I both have spent a preponderance of our adult lives in large American cities. In or around them. Both of us, in a free association exercise when asked to state the word we think of first when we are offered the word, “court,” have responded, “basketball,” whereas 73% of the adult male American population has reputedly come back with “King Arthur’s” and a cool 26% responded, ‘yard”. So it seems that Barack and I, on this measure alone, rank in a one-percent cordon. Not the kind of thing that often occurs by chance, wouldn’t you agree? There’s been a lot of comments and no small bit of consternation about the season tix similarities as well. The both of us, Barack and I, choose to subscribe to professional sports franchises for whom we root. Exclusively. And only in sports which we follow and whose rules we understand implicitly. So, for example, were either of us to be asked whether we had on-going passes to the Lancaster PA jousting events—this is not an actual example, it’s more of a hypothetical for instance—the both of us would, if we had heard the question, respond, “Not at all.” Because, and it all boils down to this one simple but important point, neither of us follows professional jousting or is even certain about the rules or schedule of the games. “Games” is what they usually call jousting events. Like when Nero used to say, “Let the games begin,” usually that would mean he’d start unpacking a picnic lunch and watching the jousters go at it. Now these points are not even the main points, it’s just that they are so darn interesting that I figured I’d mention them first. We both have certain habits that mirror each other exactly when it comes to dress. By the way, neither of us wears one—a dress that is. But that’s not the main point here. We both enjoy lining our feet with socks before slipping those limb-endings into shoes. And neither of us uses a hand liner when donning the other limb coverings-be they leather, wool or goretex. As far as gardening goes. We both don’t. Strong coffee is enjoyed most mornings—by both. Often with some sort of pastry or bread item. The consumption of cream cheese on an average workday would neither be surprising or out of character for himself or myself. To say that the list billows on and on would be an understatement. So let’s say, billows geometrically. Look at travel habits. In the event that either of us needs to go from here to there we each manage in ways that are either identical or exactly parallel. When Barack needs to move northward, for example, he will be sure to have the vehicle of transport in which he embarks point in that particular direction and, should he need or wish to be momentarily diverted, for example in order to stay with the flow of traffic, he will then—as I do too—make the appropriate turns so that he will recover the northward direction from which he had been momentarily diverted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done the same thing. I occasionally do it without even thinking. When on a train, both of us are so confident of our sense of direction that we have each been known to doze and then, not simply as if on schedule—but actually on-schedule—have managed to wake and exit the train at the appropriate stop. There’s the use of the napkin that also distinguishes us as a pair. And the behavior is markedly similar whether we speak of linen, paper or ordinary cotton cloth. During meals, but especially at meal’s end, we gently brush our lips with the napkin and then look up cautiously anticipating dessert choices. Then we redo a similar action after dessert in the hopes that a second dessert might be offered. And so forth. A lot of his speeches by the way are exactly what I would have said had I been in his place and I have a feeling that a lot of what I’ve said to people, had he been with me at that time, describes exactly what he would have said, thought, felt and done. Do you need further proof or have I made my point? Thank you.

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