April 04, 2008


Sorry gang, it's been a busy and exhausting week. I've been "temporarily reassigned" to another division at work, and while I am resolved not to complain about work here (that's just good sense, it seems to me), I will say I don't know whether the doubling of my workload is a matter of punishing competence or assuming that I don't have enough to do. I have one of those jobs where if I'm doing it right, not too many other people hear about it or even know I'm there. Kind of like a spy, but not really. Not really at all. Sigh. I think I'd be a great spy, because a) I'm ingenuous and b) I compartmentalize.

But that's not what I came here to talk about. I came to talk about the election. So yesterday I briefly--very briefly--I got to meet--as in shake hands and exchange 1.5 sentences with--Chelsea Clinton. She told me to quit using so many dashes when I write. I was impressed by her subsequent presentation. I wish she were running for president; I'd vote for her.

I predict that my wish will be granted in my lifetime, even though it might not be my wish by that time.

I do think that Chelsea Clinton might be a better advocate for Senator Clinton's positions than the senator herself. She answered questions in detail, with poise and occasional humor.

Yesterday was the second time I've been in the room with royalty. The first time was in Monaco, back in 1991 or so, where I attended an event hosted by the Princess Grace Irish Library. The kickoff event was attended by Princess Caroline. I think it was Princess Caroline. It might have been Princess Stephanie, but I don't think so. Whoever it was, she was a princess, and she fell asleep on the stage while the academics droned on. That won me over immediately. She dozed, it must be said, with poise.

As a fairly classless populist, I don't think much of the idea of royalty, whether actual (e.g. Princess of Monaco) or de facto (Ms. Clinton), but I have to say that one hundred percent of those whom I've encountered are definitely unusually charismatic. The buzz in the US over the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana disgusted and embarrassed me and struck me as utterly unamerican and ludicrous, not to imply that those are synonyms. But I can see why people are impressed ... these people exude poise the way I exude apt similes.

I respect greatness, but greatness that is earned, not inherited. It's probably true, though, that as with money, the people who inherit it are a lot more comfortable with it than those who earn it. And I guess the question is, once you've got it, what are you going to do with it?

No comments: