Tuesday, July 05, 2005

A future committed to the freedom

This weekend L and I went home for a "Meet the Fockers" style summit between our two families. It went well, everyone was pleased and friendly, yet I was reminded once again that our families are just different. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

After taking an inordinate amount of shit all weekend for taking the train home while L rode the cheap Orthodox Jewish bus, I caved in to the pressure and bought a bus ticket for the return to New York. I thought this could be a time of prenuptial reverie and bliss, a chance to enjoy the wilds of I-95 and maybe indulge in a Cinnabon or two, but, sadly, the video bus sucked. The air conditioner was broken, so we were baking in a plexiglass oven for four and a half hours. On my shorts you could see the sweat where my arm had lain over my leg. The driver, a friendly Morgan Freeman kind of guy, offered as the first movie "The Battle of the Bulge," in honor of the July 4th holiday. Then we endured the actual "Meet the Fockers" in patent-pending skull-wrenching IntensaSound, thanks to the idiot deaf person who asked to raise the volume. That's a real red-state/blue-state kind of movie, once you start looking for the political subtext.

Also on this bus ride the clasp connecting the cap of my water bottle (the one I got for free imprinted with my law school's name on it) broke off, which was another disappointment, and which I can't help but hold L personally responsible for. The ride was horrible, but I can see how it would be pleasant in mild weather, if you had no concern for time, and if for some reason the entire railroad infrastructure of the east coast was utterly destroyed.

Best part of the ride, though: I'm reading Hendrik Hertzberg's "Politics: Observations & Arguments," and I was laughing out loud at his articles about Dan Quayle. On page 229, discussing the 1988 vice presidential debate, he refers to "[Quayle's] demagogic promise never to have another grain embargo - or, as he jumpily called it, 'another Jimmy Carter grain embargo, Jimmy, Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter grain embargo, Jimmy Carter grain embargo." I'm actually laughing out loud as I type this. As part of the closing statement in the debate, Hendrik writes that Quayle "ended by saying, in a flourish that sounded like a literal translation from some language other than English, 'George Bush has the experience, and with me the future - a future committed to our family, a future committed to the freedom.' What?" (231).

I love it. The day ended well, with a nice run through battery park as people gathered to watch the fireworks, and then drinks and tapas with Ashesh and L. A good declaration.

"Jimmy Carter grain embargo" is now, like, the phrase of the month.

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