See, I’m surprised people actually read this, which is the big thing to come out of what I did last night. Although I also watched “Night at the Museum”, which was a satisfying experience.
Right now, I’m trying futilely to channel Nick Hornby, who has written several good books and whom I can recommend in print or on film (though I haven’t seen either Fever Pitch). I was reading one of his collections of book reviews this morning before I logged on, and true to form I am a pathetic sponge, my inner voice has now taken on a slight English accent. If I had read Robert Parker I would be trying to be self deprecatingly tough and terse (and I am sure the terse part would be a welcome relief).
Well, I went to a Dowd campaign victory celebration last night. I had stayed at one remove from the campaign throughout the campaign, for reasons both real and (in my mind) cowardly. Of course, I should point out “The Candidate” is one of my favorite movies, so I have high standards in my mind for the life of a campaign. But I met several very nice people there and was somewhat flattered, unfortunately, because then you feel tortured later. In the real world, candidates do let you down.
As an aside, Hornby wrote about reading Candide, which I gather, in my illiterate way, is an attack on optimism. I think we get the suppression of overt optimism done sometime around the third grade these days, replacing it with a cheerful if world weary and familiar cynicism. I’m scheduled (imagine pronouncing “scheduled” with a soft “ch”, my inner voice is such a, um, lady of ill-repute to the last thing I read) to see Shrek III tonight. Although almost all of today’s movies end with an implicit end of history type happy ending (the end of Night at the Museum is the implication that forever more all the characters will dance every night away, even the bad guys, for example), its only in today’s cartoons that adults (or their voices) express that that is the way things should be.
Political candidates are, by definition, supposed to be optimistic, and Pat Dowd probably abuses the definition more than most. But so he should, his campaign was staffed by literate, friendly people who were interested in making a positive change. Well, I assume literate, I didn’t talk to too many people (I have curious blocks, I have no trouble blabbing on the internet or rambling in the occasional class I take, talking people’s ears off while doing their taxes, but I will stand alone at parties for hours, not wanting to break into other people’s conversations), but I was introduced to some scary Ellis and (I believe) Central Catholic students. The New York Times had a painful article about how there are really too many accomplished teenagers now, and the competition to get into the best schools has gotten ludicrous, especially considering how un-accomplished we were when we got in (I went to a good, but not great school, FWIW).
But Patrick Dowd’s people were quite nice. I remember (a little hazily) that someone mentioned they had met quite nice Bodack supporters and/or workers too. Judging by the yard signs in Morningside and Stanton Heights, Bodack supporters and Dowd Supporters were neighbors, and they probably coexist quite well through the rest of the year (or three and a half years).Morningside and Stanton Heights were the fifty fifty neighborhoods. Now Pat Dowd gets to try to live up to his people’s expectations. To win the election (barely) he has set the expectations bar kinda high. I know he seems to be a driven personality, and will work hard. But as one other person (who had reason to be also at one remove from the campaign) told me, his last advice to Patrick would be “Be careful what you ask for”. Having had several of those moments myself over time, I can only sympathize.
Did you read this in the Post Gazette (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07136/786263-53.stm)? These contracts need to be talked about in the Burghosphere. Ironically, I can find no fault with the Housing Authority, except that maybe they should have been more clear from the start. I haven’t looked at the Housing Authority website (no research!) and anyway this seems like a done deal. Interesting article, though.
By the way, the only reason I am writing all this stuff is because my site meter has jumped. I will try to be less long winded in the future, if only to get a few of these moments back for my own life (I can’t worry about yours).