How to be flipping amazing in 30 seconds or less
Here in Summit County, we have all kinds of to-dos that go on with nary a squint or monosyllabic grunt elsewhere. Take, for example, Ullr Fest and the Ice Melt contest. (And even though St. Paddy’s is widely celebrated, let us bow our heads in memory of the St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl in Breckenridge.) Now, back in Wisconsin, it used to get colder than heck and snow like crazy, and in our Midwestern way of not getting terribly excited about anything, nobody attributed the phenomenon to any particular god. Similarly, the ice would go out with absolutely no ceremony, namely because it meant that you had to start thinking about getting your pier in, which meant that someone had to put on waders and tiptoe out to the place where the last pier section went, which inevitably meant that the waders would fill with water that registered at roughly zero degrees, and that there would be a lot of swearing and carrying on (this is a rare instance in which Midwesterners do get excited) as the waterlogged, hypothermic hero was dragged up to the house and offered a conciliatory Heilemann’s Lite and told that the pier looked better than it ever did before.
So I am a bit mystified that April is coming to a close and nobody here in Summit County has found reason to commemorate the 10th anniversary of young intern Monica Lewinsky getting moved from the White House, where she delivered the mail and other things to the Oval Office, to the lowly Pentagon, where she would meet confidante and mentor Linda Tripp. No parade, no drink specials, no Summit Stage buses or T-shirts bearing the words “flipping amazing.” I would expect the good folks up at A-Basin to pick up the slack at the Beach, but so far, nada.You do remember, don’t you? The deathless words uttered by Tripp when the erstwhile intern confessed to her the whole kit and caboodle? Given the substance of the K&C, strong, concise words were of the essence. Yet, Tripp, no stranger to the seedy vernacular of D.C. politics, chose to string the words “flipping” and “amazing.”
As we know, the whole sordid, flipping amazing thing unfolded for many months, with no detail spared for the American public. I got so sick of the particulars (but of course never turned off my TV) that I voted for Bob Dole, who upon losing the election, became a model-spokesperson for Viagra. Aghhh!I digress. I bring up Monica because everything’s different now. We made a big deal about her because we had space in our “what’s weird/important” bag to talk about it ad nauseam. Not many of us had gotten too stirred up about the war in the Balkans, we were starting a hot and heavy fling with the stock market, and by golly, things were pretty much flipping amazing. From an arm’s length, I look at America from the time we dropped The Bomb until the time al-Qaida dropped the Twin Towers, and save for the Bay of Pigs, our protracted visit to Vietnam and the disco scare, things in The Empire weren’t too awfully bad.
I’m guessing if George W. Bush had a Monica Lewinsky (and I’m going on my gut instinct that he hasn’t), that it just wouldn’t be the same thing today. America’s got too much in its what’s weird/important bag to worry about that garbage anymore. Playful cynicism no longer works. Instead, we have people threatening to take to the streets and obtain the resignations of Dubya and Don Rumsfeld, because this time they say they’re really, really mad. People are mad, yes, but if Dubya were to resign (and he won’t), then what? We’ve always got to ask ourselves those two words. I say let the administration ride out the tsunami and, meanwhile, the good people of America establish a “none of the above” box before the next presidential election.That in itself would be flipping amazing. Meanwhile, Summit County needs another party. Tara Flanagan writes a Wednesday column. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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