Consider Republican candidate John Kasich. Back in December we mocked him for sending an email overloaded with unseemly first person pronouns. "I'm running, I was, I can, I'm running, I helped, I can, I'm running, I served, I was, I'm running, I can, I won."—we counted 'em up. Well after a strong showing in New Hampshire, Kasich's latest email reads: "Fellow Conservatives, we did it." WE did it? Someone has been reading Brandsinger.
Last night the Manhattan Symphonie performed Aaron Copeland's Lincoln Portrait, with the venerable former Mayor David Dinkins as narrator. What did Lincoln say? "Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history." — perfect advice for Ben Affleck about whom we wrote in November:
Ben Affleck urged the PBS producers of his genealogical profile to omit a distant ancestor who had owned slaves, or at least served as a trustee of slaves. This limb of the family tree “embarrassed” the actor, Affleck said. Obligingly, the producers removed the ancestral miscreant from the program, giving them more time to dote on ancestors who fit the actor’s self-image.
I can now add, inspired by Lincoln, "Mr. Affleck, you can intimidate friendly PBS producers, but you cannot escape history."
Last month we commented on the unpopularity of the term "politician"—which is a dirty thing to call anyone. As Donald Trump rolls on and on with his "I'm not a filthy politician" campaign, I am reminded of the quip of e.e. cummings: "A politician is an ass upon which everyone has sat except a man." Cummings clearly would have been a Trump voter. He was a Republican
Way back in 2013 I wrote a disgracefully sarcastic comment on librarians ("Ask Marian," 2.15.13) about which I often felt remorse. Who could possibly suggest that librarians are obsolete and irrelevant in the age of Google search? Well, here's a recent article in the Wall Street Journal that says exactly that... written by... a saddened but acutely alert and realistic... librarian.
Was Brandsinger kicking a beleaguered profession? It looked that way, and I regret what seemed to be glee. Mr. Barker ended his lament with a wistful: "The role for librarians and public libraries is shrinking. But I imagine that in another hundred years, we will still be here, in one form or another."
Speaking of the NFL, a recent New York Times article discussed at length how the NFL keeps failing to tackle the issue of "what's a catch." To help out, I quote from Brandsinger 1.15.15: "An object is tossed by a schoolchild, friend or colleague ... and it's flying in your direction and you reach up with both hands and gain possession of the object, bring it close to your body and then come back to earth on both feet. What do you call that?" NFL take note! 1000 lawyers won't help you answer that one. Get a child to do it.
Finally: A few posts back Brandsinger depicted WINTER as a brand, one full of mirth at humans' expense. Ha ha, winter laughs, as we labor against its mighty blasts. Just last Monday the Brandsinger chariot nearly became the latest butt of winter's joke when a truck up ahead lost its footing on the Interstate. "No injuries," winter snorts. "...this time."
Time? I've got news for winter: Time is on our side, pal. Just wait around a few weeks. Come April, we get the last laugh.