"Things that interfere with writing well: Earning a living, especially by teaching."

-William H. Gass

Sunday, August 30, 2009

i'm going to miss my senator

Like most Americans, I spent a good portion of yesterday on the couch watching television. Unfortunately, I was watching my beloved senator get lowered into the ground to be among his brothers. Ted Kennedy was my senator since before I was born; he's been as much a part of the world I live in as air and trees and grass. Even if we didn't personally communicate, I have needed and appreciated his presence in my landscape. Sitting there on the couch next to my fiance, who also grew up in Massachusetts, we were both more overcome than we expected to be.

However, since Wolf Blitzer is incapable of leaving a tender moment alone, I mostly felt like watching it on mute. Wolf only shut up when the priest began to speak. Of all Ted Kennedy's flaws, I count Catholicism as one of the worst, but I forced myself to listen to this robed maniac. I nearly vomited when I realized that the bulk of what he planned to read was a letter to the Pope from Kennedy, written very soon before his death. Did Ted really want his last words to be begging a Nazi for prayers?

Nope, Ted Kennedy wanted his dying wishes to be heard on national television. Fox included. That letter, after talking about prayers and crap, was a plea for national health care.

For once, the Pope was useful.

It was a talking point for politicians all over the country. Something for them to say to the folks in small town America who think health care for everyone is the work of the devil. He was trying to do one last good thing for regular people, which, with a few exceptions, is what he did his whole life.

High five Ted Kennedy. If there is reincarnation, I hope you come back as universal health care. Peace be with you.