Tuesday, November 11, 2008


beyond the obvious rhetorical lessons -- he takes us to school
on pathos and delivery -- i love the passion he brings to the
matter of gay marriage and the passing of Proposition 8.


bdegenaro said...

that's a great clip...i'm pleased that fighting (yes, i'm using the bellicose diction on purpose!) for gay marriage is shaping up to be a major social movement in the coming years.

btw, did you happen to see Olbermann on The View acknowledging that he doesn't vote?!

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

don't hate me, Bill: i think it's too easy to judge people who don't vote. the ease of judging underindulgence is similar to the ease of judging overindulgence. but there are many reasons (most, probably very personal; some, maybe professional) why someone might not do so. as a member of the news media -- and a critic, at that -- i could see reasons for avoiding it.

speaking from my experience, i have to say (as i've said publicly on several occasions) that in *this* election, i have been practicing so much avoidance that i can't say i find room to criticize anyone's decision regarding their level of participation (although i did vote, i didn't engage much with hope, and i regret it but can't say i could see myself doing it differently in a similar Bush-inflected scene). my own really troubling fear of hope, coupled with the immobilizing fear and sadness i've experienced over the past 8 years show me that even really smart people can be stunned in ways that destabilize the senses and render rational choices unavailable for serious consideration. that's probably a reach in Olbermann's case, but i offer it as a way of saying that i don't want to judge him for his decision.

i guess i'm more interested in knowing WHY he says he doesn't vote (and even then, it will only be what he *says*). did he say?

bdegenaro said...

I definitely don't hate you--or Olbermann. Didn't mean to imply that I did. I agree that there are lots of complicated reasons and that many have made the argument, for instance, that voting is giving tacit approval to a corrupt system. I was just SURPRISED about Olbermann, that's all. I don't watch him very much, but in my limited viewing of his show, he's struck me as intensely partisan.

His reasons were a little vague, something about a "symbolic" gesture. (The clips was from The View, and it was hard to hear his follow-up over Elizabeth Hassleback hollering something inaudible-yet-loud) I think--and I might be wrong here--that he sees himself as a Journalist as opposed to a Regular Citizen.

Again, I just meant to express surprise, not loathing!

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

oh, i know you don't hate me! you *read* me, so there's that (thank you, dahling). i do know that you work very actively to campaign and so for you the matter is fraught with all kinds of complicated affective potential. and, eh, it's a cliché: "don't hate me, but . . . ". sorry for that. but so moving on ...

yes, Olbermann did say that not voting is his "symbolic gesture" toward something like journalistic objectivity. because, YES, he is partisan. and loud. and maybe not voting somehow liberates him mentally so that he feels okay with ranting and whatnot (and in both directions, although, yes, again, he is pretty clearly biased).

what you didn't hear because of the yelling was that he ALSO said that his New York vote might not be all that necessary, that if he lived in Kansas, it would have been a different matter. i can buy that.

i live in Utah. does my vote count? do we still have that vote-swapping process whereby i can trade votes w/ someone in a blue state? i didn't bother to find out but voted here instead. and it was cool. there was this one (the only) black man present, and he was so visibly, audibly excited. he kept saying (REALLY LOUD) "Brother's been watching! Brother's ready!", and then when the local volunteer explained how the credit card-type thingie worked w/ the voting machine by using the motto "stick it and click it," ... well, brother liked that, kept saying it over and over, very loud and happy and proud. it was cool :)

back to The View: they were horrible, though. jumped all over him. it wasn't just Hasselbeck (p-i-e-c-e of w-o-r-k!), but everyone. well, to be fair, Whoopi sat silently (i thought she looked as though she was silently seething, but maybe she was just thinking it over). that show's a mess, anyhow. i can't believe he went on.

thanks for writing, Bill :)

Anonymous said...

olbermann is my tv boyfriend. i know i should go w/ don draper, or hell, hank moody. both supreme choices, but keith is there every night while I'm cooking dinner or running on the treadmill, and i like him being around. it should be said that rachel maddow is my tv girlfriend, so i guess i should admit that i'm really into tv trysting with journos from msnbc (though chris matthews can suck it, homeboy sounds like he's 3 drinks in during every show...)

03frogs said...

Watching that clip makes me want to be a gay man & marry Keith Olbermann. That, or have him to give my eulogy.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

julk, absolutely. i've got many cable tv dates, and i'm with you on your choices, although i still think Matthews has a lot to offer (even or maybe especially if he's taken to the drink!).

frogs, yep. me too. but since he say's he's not gay, i'll just take him as he is/i am :)

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