Let’s put on a show

At some point, American politics completely ceased to be about what it was intended to be, that is, a battle of ideas to govern a democracy, and became what we have today: a tawdry and sensational television program in which some characters come and go, but each episode returns exactly to where it started.  Indeed, the reruns could virtually be played in any order, and hardly anyone would notice.  The process is as old as television, and media complicity has always played a role, with dramatic clips of  Nixon’s prime time plane landings and a willing, even loving, acceptance of Reagan’s faux cowboy schtick, but the presidency of George Bush represents the period in which the last vestiges of “journalism” joined the government in creating a vapid, character-driven fictional narrative for the “audience,”  whilst they all literally tossed the country down the crapper.

Mere politicians of course, (unless they happen to be indicted Republicans) are seasonal characters only, and the same crappy, predictable dustups are drily explained to us by the most unwatchable, preening, narcissistic boobs, year after year after year.  This is probably the longest-running television program so deliberately and successfully designed to make people loathe watching.  Never a syllable is uttered that doesn’t drip with contempt for the whole dreary process, yet those doing the uttering are so so obviously, transcendently lacking, not just intellectual firepower, but even a glancing knowledge of the subject, that one gapes in horror and embarrassment for them.  Or rather, one would, if they didn’t realize that this drivel, through sheer repetition, has had, and continues to have, an alarming tendency to come true, or at least be believed to have.

Who, in their right mind, would turn to a mendacious, snotty, know-it-all like David Brooks, who has done everything in life but have a job himself, for advice on doing their job, particularly if that job happened to be President?  On what possible grounds, much less qualifications, could such a casting decision be made, unless it was designed to insult and repel those it failed to narcotize?  And if trotting out Newt Gingrich, repeatedly, to talk about the need for bipartisanship is not specifically intended to drive the audience to the exits, than I have no idea why it happens.  The parade continues, with Friedman and his Units, Kristol’s joker-like, smiling bloodlust, and through each thudding and contrived inanity, reality becomes nearly as difficult to grasp as these cretinous halfwits endlessly tell us it is.

The result, of course, is that over time, really bad decisions are decided, disastrous undertakings are undertaken, deals are dealt, and massive, previously unimaginable mountains of money, and even mountains themselves, are made to simply disappear, and dumbfounded citizens have no idea what, exactly, happened.  Gosh,  maybe Maureen Dowd could tell us.  Or Joe the Plumber.

The networks scoff at the idea that they owe anybody anything, and with the help of dozens of embedded propagandists, convince us that spending half of the budget on the military is wise and necessary, and bring in legions of so-called “experts” to explain that tax cuts increase revenue, global warming is a hoax, and government spying keeps us safe.  They’d tell us the moon was made of green cheese if there were any money in it.  But the very idea that anyone watching might disagree with their pronouncements, much less have any say in the potentially drastic outcomes of the policies they toss about so airily, well, it’s only a TV show, after all.

And a crappy one, at that.

62 Comments

  1. rmp says:

    Great post. I have to admit that before Dubya, I was one of those in the audience that didn’t see all the theater that was going on versus real life. I knew there were drama queens and fakes, but I had no idea that almost all are putting on a show for their and their producers benefit.

    Some are clearly better actors and playwrights, they all write a script before appearing on stage, than others and Brooks is near the very top in those two skills. Even with that slimy smile, he continues to fool way too many in the audience. I have to admire how he moves around the stage at various speeds and effortlessly changes character and enemies without losing grip on the climax he craves.

    All the players have enormous egos and the limelight takes away any humanity they possess when the lights come on. GG more than anyone else has allowed me see the drama from the ceiling so I can watch how the audience and actors act and react.

    The sad thing is to finally see how even poor quality actors like Biden, Dodd and Specter are trapped and have sold a fair amount of their soul to remain on the stage. It is extremely rare to be a Lugar, Conyers or Kucinich and refuse to be part of the cast.

    It is even sadder watching the M$M players who were given a role ready made to not be in any cast and yet these fools are more than eager to join any producer or director that will pay them in attention and bucks.

    We need more hags like Helen Thomas writing daily. The best exposure journalists have decided to write non-fiction books and even when producing best sellers, the players have much more power.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Yes, it’s insiderism, more than anything else, and from an ever-narrowing circle. We have people who not only write and plug books, but also have an NYT op-ed, also show up on the Sunday shows, are also FOX commentators, and on and on. Each one of these overexposed gasbags is taking up the space of twenty (Friedman, closer to 30) and contribute so little, most often saying the same things over again, regardless of the current situation.
      And for every slippery con man like Brooks, there’s a ridiculous caricature like Dick Morris or Bernie Goldberg, spewing utter bullshit, and they’re considered ok, too. No one on the right is considered too bonkers or demented for a life in the green rooms, whereas the best of the center-left like Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman is practically introduced as a commie, and Russ Feingold might as well be Abbie Hoffman.

    • Dirigo says:

      When I started my advanced acting program, nearly ten years ago now, it came after some years spent in commercial broadcasting – the dreaded MSM.

      Even with my experience, including an academic degree in speech and a lot of theater, my mentor (who is an internationally accredited master teacher of classical acting technique), confronted me and said, more or less, that a complete re-tooling of my “working parts” was required.

      I had to confront many bad habits as a performer, and try to purge them, from my mind and my body.

      This has taken time, but I have been broken down and rebuilt into the classical actor I wanted to be.

      In this kind of situation, you have to allow it, allow a real teacher of performance to tear you apart and put you back together.

      The first thing my teacher does, with any student – young, old or in between – is to help the student find his or her natural self, the true personality that must be the basis from which any performance is possible.

      In other words, the watchword is: be real.

      This is very hard to do, if an actor is to learn how to present a character which audiences will believe in.

      Now think of aspiring politicians, who may or may not have the vaguest notion of who they are, but do know they want to get elected. They may have a program in mind or some concept of public service or ideology, and they may have some “performance skills,” such as those lawyers learn.

      But they may start out with an artificially constructed set of interpersonal and performance skills; and if they are exposed to the kind of political consultants that are in business today, I’d wager that most of these aspiring politicians move away from their real selves fairly quickly. A lot of stuff is added on instead of stripped away.

      Throw in the party program – the boilerplate rhetoric, the programming, the dominant personalities – and it’s not surprising they all sound the same, and, mostly false.

      If they have to vote as a block, as has just happened in an effort to slap the new president in the face, it’s a lot easier if each of those block voters never learned to “be real” in the first place.

      • cocktailhag says:

        I think you’re probably right. Whatever true selves politicians may have, it is well and thoroughly consulted out of them, beginning with their first or second campaign. The necessity of communicating through such a tight media filter to so many disparate people and places turns everything into show business, and it’s the show business part that gets “reviewed.” Not the play, but the delivery of the lines. I kind of blame MoDo, although she herself would probably be flattered, for legitimizing sorority-girl gossip as political commentary, although even the estimable Frank Rich came from theater criticism and hasn’t stopped doing it either. He just separates the wheat from the chaff a bit better, when it comes to what’s important. MoDo wants to talk about Hillary’s looks, or coffee tables, instead of that boring stuff.

        • Dirigo says:

          It’s just gotten to be a very large, bad road tour: the artificial, binary TV clashes, moderated by the “neutral” moderator (who always itches to be part of the story anyway); the predictable jousts across the ideological divide and the screaming “talkers”; the canned floor speeches (with an occasional, breathtaking spontaneous moment like the House minority leader throwing the entire stimulus bill on the floor, in a huff); the droning analysis, night in and night out; and, as you say, the snark, snark, snark about dress, hair, ugly ties, and soap opera sub plots.

          They really should tone it (or dial it) down to a sort of C-span droll for a while, before Rush simply explodes. I’m concerned about that boy.

          • cocktailhag says:

            While I’m notorious for being uncharitable to the fat anyway, I wish Rush the rubber room he deserves, each day.
            I guess that’s what I was setting out to write about, spurred by Glenn’s discussion of Brooks, which is the fact that they all barely even pretend to be talking about anything important. Ol’ Boner can cry his peanut butter tan off, and that will be the story, whether or not the depression is starting.
            I’m glad I have y’all to help me refine my thoughts, albeit belatedly.

        • rmp says:

          The “cliffhanger” vote in the senate was a real farce. The Repugs cast the three senators most in danger of succumbing to the left landslide in the Northeast. The Repugs wanted the bill to pass and if Brown would have been killed in a plane crash, miraculously, another Repug would have voted yea if Kennedy couldn’t make it by ambulance. As soon as it was passed, the RW horrified by the debt ridden bill, all of a sudden praised the parts of the bill that their constituents liked. The script was written well before the first House vote and both sides damn well knew how the play would turn out.

          The farce was heightened when all the chorus of idiots kept writing their own scenes of the great Uniter King who couldn’t part the seas of partisanship in two weeks even though the rough seas had been making nasty waves for many, many years.

          Beltway “truth” is really much stranger than fiction.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Not only stranger, but decidedly less interesting. Screw substance… They could keep everyone riveted with about a fourth of the stuff Rove alone did.
            Like Fitzgerald said, it’s just more throwing sand.

  2. rmp says:

    Obama, Your Treasury Secretary’s Plan Stinks — Assume Responsibility and Take Care of It
    http://tinyurl.com/d9p7k2

    This is the next dramatic series that will last seemingly forever. You have a young neophyte actor who refuses to play by a script and wants to actually tell the farcical players that he doesn’t have a script and is going to stage an improv and adjust as the facts warrent.

    This flabbergasted all players whose jaws dropped in disbelief. How could someone who is charged with instilling confidence not act over confident and lie or do whatever was necessary to be a star?

    The critics in the audience and other audience members were equally shocked because they entered the theater and expected the prince to wave his sword and the myriad of deep-rooted, castle toppling problems would immediately begin flowing into the sea. They didn’t really believe he had a magic sword, but they wanted him to act like he did.

    Princ Geithner despite having his suit badly soiled in the Wall Streets has a pure heart and might surprise a lot of people as long as he doesn’t stay too enamored by what he learned in the ’90s in Japan watching the recession Kabuki danced slugingly by the LDP.

  3. rmp says:

    I think I found the perfect Hag protest method

    INDIA/PAKISTAN: Peaceful Pink Panties to Tame Right-Wing Goons
    http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=45757

    • cocktailhag says:

      That’s hilarious, rmp… I look forward to seeing it in your blast. I personally don’t have pink underwear, especially since I got rid of the red towels. Maybe I can throw some curlers.

  4. rmp says:

    Right below it is this. Not funny, but interesting location for such a protest.
    St Valentines day Gay and lesbian activists take to the streets in Beijing
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a76_1234637835

  5. Dirigo says:

    rmp, I was going to put this comment in the “reply to the pink panties story,” but thought things might get muddled.

    That’s quite a diversion though, one which we should consider using at a significant, strategic moment in the ongoing debate about the future of our republic.

    However, I sent you a Truth Out piece earlier today, which lists the items knocked out of the stimulus bill, left on the “cutting room floor” as it were. Presumably, these “dropped” items were not in the stack of papers that Boehner toss to the ground and did not have time to read.

    Considering those items, it’s interesting to speculate whether some of them may yet find a way into another bill, yet to be filed by the Democrats, and to speculate further on the new president’s considerable persuasive powers.

    Scott Horton ran a clip (harpers.org) today on Obama in Springfield, Ill., celebrating Lincoln’s birthday. He was terrific, and I wonder if part of the confusion among Republicans rests simply on the huge difference between the stiff who just left the White House and this new tenant, who is a star in performance terms.

    He’s only beginning to hit his stride, while trying to find the notes. It will take a bit more time, but the “loyal opposition” has no one to compete with him on a performance level.

  6. rmp says:

    Speaking of Obama-Lincoln:

    Tastiest Obama-Lincoln Comparison Ever
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/14/tastiest-obama-lincoln-comparison-ever/

  7. cocktailhag says:

    Great clip, but almost too great. I confess to moments when I’m as nervous as a whore in church that Obama is the perfect new actor playing the same old role. Not meaning to sound Adnoto-ish, but performances that flawless scare me.

  8. rmp says:

    There is a part of me that holds back too. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses. Two reasons he looks good giving speeches is the outstanding writing and the fact that he followed Dubya.

  9. Dirigo says:

    Obama followed Dubya; but he ain’t Skull & Bones.

    There’s some Lincoln in him, and some Emerson too, plus R & B and jazz. He said he inhaled; and said that was the point.

    Dubya had none of that, as far as I can tell.

  10. William TImberman says:

    Think of television as Goya that moves, and you’ll be just fine. El sueño de la razon produce las imágenes de FOX.

    Schizophrenia is, after all, the first and most important obligation of the citizen.

    • Dirigo says:

      William !!!

      • Dirigo says:

        On today’s Times front page: “In Gingrich Mold, a New Voice For Solid Resistance in G.O.P.”

        It’s about Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor picking up Newt’s shtick.

        • Dirigo says:

          David Axelrod has suggested, in this week-end’s news cycle, that Obama may still be observing things through his Chicago “eyes” – perhaps hoping to maintain some distance from the Washington echo chamber for as long as possible, while letting the GOP dead-enders in Congress do their thing, portraying it all as a great victory.

          His speech in Springfield may reflect that. He set down a marker about unity, regardless of what those jamokes did last week.

          • William Timberman says:

            An interesting speech. President Obama still wants to heal the sick and raise the dead. Well, the best of luck to him. If he can convince people that he means well while knocking the requisite heads together, it might give him — and us — a little breathing room.

            It’s risky, but one assumes that he understands the risk. It’s not wrong, but in the present context, it does sound a bit fatuous. Judging by my own experience, I’d say he’s either Sun Tzu or Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. At this point, I wouldn’t venture to say which.

          • cocktailhag says:

            Let’s hope it’s not Rebecca, WT. I remain, as ever, cautiously optimistic.

        • cocktailhag says:

          I read that. I bet in two years that blow-dried simpleton, Cantor, will get mixed up in a restroom sting, or something.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Admittedly, WT, my association with television is quite slight; I’ve never had one in my adult life. That way, the head-banging stupidity rather creeped up on me, assaulting me in airports, etc, and now via internet clips. Glenn wrote the other day that watching cable news, he could feel his brain shrinking. I know what he means.

  11. rmp says:

    On WT’s comment about whether he is Sun Tzu or Rebecca. Ron Brownstein had an interesting interview on Air Forece One on the way to Chicago for National Journal that provides a view of who he is.

    An Eternal Optimist — But Not A Sap
    The common theme of Obama’s early efforts has been the solidity of his goals, and the pliability of his means for achieving them.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/politicalconnections.php

    “I also think that there was a decision made… where [Republican leaders] said… ‘If we can enforce conformity among our ranks, then it will invigorate our base and will potentially give us some political advantage either short-term or long-term.” He paused. “Whether that’s a smart strategy, I think you should ask them.”

    “I am an eternal optimist [but] that doesn’t mean I’m a sap,” he said pointedly. “So my goal is to assume the best but prepare for a whole range of different possibilities in terms of how Congress reacts.”

    “Here’s the bottom line,” he said. “We will do what works. It is going to take time to lay out every aspect of this plan, and there are going to be certain aspects of any plan… which will require reevaluation and… some experimentation — [a sense that] if that doesn’t work, then you do something else.”

    • William Timberman says:

      The signs are looking better, I admit. He’s in a tougher place than I’ve ever been, but I honestly don’t believe that the essentials of political leverage are necessarily defined by the scale of the enterprise to which they are being applied. He seems to be making slow but steady progress in convincing the American people that — all pieties to the contrary notwithstanding — the economy is being run by a dysfuntional oligarchy, and that the consequences are, and will be dire.

      When it comes to foreign policy, though, the America is strongest and must lead fetish is likely to undo him, especially since he actually seems to believe in it himself. If he doesn’t understand, or can’t convince the people that the delusions of empire, and the delusions of free market ideologues are inextricably and fatally linked, then no amount of grease applied to the wheels of the domestic economy is likely to get them rolling again.

      • cocktailhag says:

        Ah, yes. Empire, the most sacred cow in the herd. I think, William, that the MIC is now really more powerful than the government it “serves,” and no President can really stop it. More’s the pity, because as you say, that staggering expense will never let us do anything useful. Orwell, once again, was right.

      • rmp says:

        The congressional-M$M-military-industrial complex is indeed the crucial system that he must change. It is exceptionally hard to do that with the economy so broken. I hope that the pragmatic, I will do what it takes to fix the problem, Messiah realizes that he has to fix systems, not symptoms. The only way I could see that happening is for a deep depression and I don’t want to see that. Without that shock, he will have to do it gradually by building an economy based on non-military production. The problem is we probably don’t have that much time.

        • cocktailhag says:

          True, but retooling can be done. Portland ran into this problem when it bought its first streetcars, and the only place they could get them was the Czech Republic. Our congresscritters put together some “pork” for Oregon Ironworks to build a prototype, and now we can get homemade streetcars. Could Lockheed make high speed trains? Could Northrop/Grumman make wind turbines? Of course. And we’re already paying them too much as it is. Hopefully some long-term investments might start being proposed, particularly in the fields of energy/transportation, where the need is direst.

          • William Timberman says:

            I agree with you both, but I’d also point out that you can’t claw back the money until you first recapture the ability to define the mission. Does national security mean whatever the foreign policy and military establishments say it does?

            Putting them in their proper place will take deeds as well as words. The President would do well to start with a thorough re-think of Israel, Iran, and Afghanistan. A diplomatic success or two, especially those won with the tired dogs of the Cold War still firmly attached to his achilles tendon, could conceivably give him the freedom to begin re-directing budget priorities with at least partial public support.

            I should say, though, that at this point I see absolutely no sign that he has anything of the sort in mind. For every Mitchell you thrown down, I’ll see you and raise you a Holbrook, a Biden, and a Hillary. (Being merciful, as well as just, I won’t even mention Gates.)

  12. Dirigo says:

    Today on ABC’s This Week, Maxine Waters got quite a rush after Lindsey Graham said nationalization of the banks should be on the table as debate continues on the economy.

    Maxine, embracing the notion that “we’re all Swedes now,” looked at Graham and said, “We’ve come a long way.”

    What is going on?

    Not everyone can or should be a Swede. It’s appealing I know, knowing what I know about these things. As a Swede that is. But there can be many, many regrets. Dire implications. A helluva downside.

    Let’s think this through, people.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’ve thought Lindsey Graham was a lot of things, but Swede is not among them. Did the saucy senator throw anything today? Or pull anyone’s hair?

      • Dirigo says:

        Lindsey doesn’t look like a lutefisk sort of guy.

        Might have to introduce him to a few Norse tales for starters. Explain what long, dark winters really mean in the Scandinavian tradition, pointing out some of the benefits, like free sex.

        He’ll come around. Hell, seems like he’s halfway there!

    • rmp says:

      It would be very hard a year ago to convince me that such a conversation on TV would eveer take place. If the congress critters can make such a leap as to consider nationalizing banks, maybe other heretofore, crazy things are possible, even fixing or tossing out major systems.

  13. cocktailhag says:

    That certainly is the problem. “Defense,” and its lavish expenses has been the Washington religion for far too long. It’s even worse, now, since wars are added to the top of, not included in defense any more, which is semantically more correct, but nonetheless hides the astronomical amounts involved. Toss in a recession, and the choices will simply never be made.

    • Dirigo says:

      One minor historical note: Sweden hasn’t been at war since about 1812.

      What is wrong with these people?

  14. rmp says:

    I wouldn’t put this on my Blast, but it points out the idiots that comprise our so called experts. GG is so right in trying to reduce their influence.

    David Frum: ‘Ottawa, not Washington, that has met this crisis best’
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/02/14/david-frum-ottawa-not-washington-that-has-met-this-crisis-best.aspx

    “Barack Obama’s presidency is already going seriously wrong. His own administration concedes that their trillion-dollar stimulus plan will create few new jobs in the next 18 months. Public support for the huge plan is plummeting. And meanwhile Obama has neglected the single most urgent and important challenge facing the United States and the world: fixing the broken American banking system.”

  15. cocktailhag says:

    You know, Frum wrote a book a few years ago called “Dead Right,” and I actually liked it. Sadly, he took to the Koolaid during the Bush years, and has become another one-note propagandist.

    • Mona says:

      You know, Frum wrote a book a few years ago called “Dead Right,” and I actually liked it.

      I own it, and reread it about 6 mos ago, and was simply left to wonder: Where the hell did that Frum go? Not that I agreed with the entire book, but it was far more sensible than anything he has written in the last 8-10 years.

      • cocktailhag says:

        It’s funny, Mona… Last time Republicans faced defeat, they at least sort of looked in the mirror, as in Frum’s book. This time, they look, and lo and behold, they’re the fairest of them all. Somewhere in the blogosphere today somebody compared them to Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, “I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille,” but I myself would pick, “I’m still big. The pictures got small.” (Sorry, but I always look to Cocktailhags for political insight, why not?)
        The delusional narcissism… it hurts.

  16. rmp says:

    Was Haroon listening in to our discussion?

    Naomi Klein, who shot to fame after her first book, is withholding judgment on Obama
    http://www.thestar.com/comment/columnists/article/587538

  17. Karen M says:

    I just managed to get through this thread… I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to follow the links.

    Right now, I have to watch “Entertaining Angels,” a film about Dorothy Day, so that I can write something up for our small film venue’s program.

    T: I really think you have something good going on here. See! William dropped in.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Thank you, Dear…. I appreciate your saying so. I’ll try to live up to the quality of my guests here.
      Enjoy the movie.

      • sysprog says:

        Karen M – - you say you’re going to watch the film before writing about it?

        A commendable thing, to first examine, and expound later.

        But it makes it hard for me to see a future starring role for you, in the mainstream media.

        • Karen M. says:

          Hi, praise, indeed, coming from you sysprog. Your opinion is more highly valued than the M$M’s… at least among the cognoscenti. ;~)

          In fact, I have already submitted my short piece via email. I would have liked to spend a bit more time on it, but I also wanted to meet the deadline. We open for our next series soon, and the layout folks need to have enough time do work their magic. Our little magazine actually looks pretty darn good, considering our shoestring operation. (Donations in kind really help.)

          I actually liked the film. Some of the other comments I read about it were critical because it did not show enough of the complexities of Day’s life, but I’m not sure that would have been possible in a single film. A mini-series might have been necessary.

  18. cocktailhag says:

    I’ll check it out, Karen. Especially now that I just got my new ad-free Salon Premium. I had no idea what a delicious luxury could be had for sixteen extra bucks….. I used to dread trooping into the “other” Salon.
    Boy, I know what you mean about deadlines. For the first few weeks of this blog I had sort of a backlog of ideas, and now I have to dream things up fresh, or track them down. Too bad I have to work for a living, or I could be a much better blogger.
    Send me a link to the magazine; I think I have it somewhere, but not immediately at hand.

  19. Karen M. says:

    Sorry, but I don’t have a link to the magazine. It’s only available in print format, but I did post a link (above) to the review in Open Salon.

    I know… darn jobs! So many more useful and aesthetically pleasing things we could be doing… right?

    • cocktailhag says:

      Actually, right now I’m working on a pretty neat project, on a condo in the hills just a few blocks away. The view there is incredible; the place, not so much. It’s a super fancy, late 70′s, get this, four story townhouse, yes, with an elevator. Built like absolute garbage, but dramatic and interesting, especially if you could drop a few hundred in it, which I’m unfortunately not doing. I am putting in a wood framework on the two-story, sloping (yep, sloping, like the Starship Enterprise) bank of six windows, some 20′ high, which are currently cased with skinny trim and sheetrock, and now will be like one big wood window. I’ll take pictures, and maybe blog about it.
      There! An idea!
      I’ll click the link now.

  20. Karen M. says:

    But here’s a link to the blog for our project.

    We have some interesting things coming up… but fewer showings. We were killing ourselves with the amount of (physical) work. Now, we’re teaming up with an independent video store/small theatre, and we have only to come up with our program. They’ll do the rest. Hurrah! (After the next show, that is…)

    • cocktailhag says:

      I was, now 20 years ago, Production Manager of Ballet Oregon, and before that a dinner theatre, so I know a bit about the backbreaking side of show business. I’m certain that if I had to run a tour today I’d tip over after the third town. That’s what they make 20-somethings for.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Nice piece, Karen. I hadn’t thought about Dorothy Day for years, although I remember initially learning about her in college. Sounds like a good movie. I was going to leave a comment, but apparently you have to be a member at open salon… Moi? I thought I was a super-duper premium executive now. Apparently not.

      • Karen M says:

        You do have to register for Open Salon, but it doesn’t cost anything, not even if you are not a subscribing member of Salon.

        As a matter of fact, it might be a good spot to post some of your project photos, if you are so inclined. Beautiful images, with a bit of text are often chosen for “Editor’s Pick.”

        • cocktailhag says:

          Well, as far as project pictures, I’ve never published any in such a broad medium, and can’t see any real reason to. Clients like a modicum of privacy, and I’m usually too busy to field inquiries from all over about stuff. I’ve been in the local rag, and one national one, and never got anything out of it except excitement from my Mother, and she’s dead.
          My life already is that of the Doctor at the party, but instead of hearing about aches and pains, I get to hear about bathrooms and basements. I would, though, like to talk about remodeling in an educational way; I feel that after 20 years, I could at least tell people what not to do, perhaps wittily and usefully. I’ve taught complete novices to paint woodwork, lay floors, frame structures, and finish drywall over the years, and might be able to share that knowledge, without the time and effort of doing it one by one. Any long distance design and advice is for friends only….
          Now that I have photo capability, though, I might put up a great Park Ave. sunset once in a while.

          • Karen M says:

            You’re right. I wasn’t thinking you should be diagnosing people’s housing problems… only that they might like to see some of your work.

            But, I hadn’t thought of the privacy issue. I bet that some DIY help/education might be well-received, though.

  21. cocktailhag says:

    I’d like to try it. And actually, if I didn’t love my work I wouldn’t be doing it, I hope. I like to talk about houses, but a thing like that can get out of hand. An ex of mine once memorably said, “How come whenever we’re with your friends, the conversation turns to 2 x 4′s and sheetrock?” I had no good answer, for a person who didn’t recognize the possibilities in those two humble materials. Becoming a spinster, I find, was no accident.