Monday, February 04, 2008

Bob Redford on the phone. Tell him I'm busy.

With Super Tuesday almost here I’m getting three calls an hour from my “close personal friends” Ed Begeley Jr. and Sally Field pimping some candidate or proposition. If I’m on the fence over whom to vote for do I study up on the issues or take the word of the Flying Nun?

And for that matter, do I want Martin Sheen knowing my home number?

I have half a mind to call Senator Barbara Boxer’s office, get her on the phone and say, “Yes, I'm returning your call.”

On the other hand, I got a recorded call from Larry Gelbart last night asking to keep picketing until the WGA strike is resolved. Even a recorded call from Larry Gelbart is very exciting to me.

But returning to politics, here’s a novel concept: how about thinking for ourselves? Or at the very least realizing that celebrities are there to merely amuse us and when we do need to seek the counsel of others we turn instead to people who actually are qualified to help – namely BLOGGERS.


Anonymous said...

"seek the council of others"? It's COUNSEL.
You are hereby expelled from the WGA. [*]

[*] Not really. But please, do a spellcheck once in a while.

Anonymous said...

In Ken's defense, that would have have never come up in a spell check as "council" is spelled properly. I could be mistaken, but I don't think of word processor that has a grammar check.


Anonymous said...

"but I don't think of word processor that has a grammar check."

And, obviously, neither does Blogger.


Anonymous said...

Ken, I couldn't agree more. Here's something I posted on my MySpace blog...

I'm one of those guys that really hate discussing religion or politics. Having said that, let's talk about politics.

I'm of the opinion that the upcoming Presidential Election will be one of the most important in the history of our nation. And I'm spectacularly unimpressed with our options.

I'm hearing catch-phrases and generalities. I'm not hearing clear and specific solutions to the problems that plague our nation and the rest of the world.

I hear the same old rhetoric - we need to fix our schools, focus on our families, create new jobs etc etc.

Okay, how?

Tell me how you're going to do it - in detail. Show me your business plan.

I've worked in television for some time. Any good looking idiot can get in front of a camera and say things.

That's easy.

I now work with politicians on a daily basis. Wait, strike that, I work with elected officials - some of whom happen to be politicians - on a daily basis. Most of these people are truly dedicated individuals that are willing to deal with the day to day BS of government. Most of them want nothing more than to make things better.

But they're not running for President.

The individuals that ARE running for President leave me wanting more.

An analyst on CNN just said that Americans want to feel like their government cares. I really don't care if they care. I just want them to do a good job.

President Bush made a political visit to Bakersfield a couple of years ago. A photo op and a gesture to some deep pocketed party members - nothing more. Our Mayor rode in the limo with the President from the airport to the event. The Mayor asked the President for some leadership advice.

President Bush told him, "Fix the potholes."

Our Mayor took that to mean that leadership involves taking care of peoples needs at the very basic level.

Now it should be noted that the street they were traveling on is one of the most badly maintained in town. I don't think the President was offering any sage leadership advice. I think he wanted our Mayor to literally fix the potholes.

But the advice does make sense, and scanning the crowd of contenders to the throne, is there anyone running that can fix our potholes?

I'm waiting to see.

Anonymous said...

I don't get those annoying calls any more. All you have to do is re-register but leave off your phone number (although they will claim it's mandatory, it isn't) and now I'm able to get through election season without a million chirpy messages telling me how to vote.

Tom Quigley said...

My mother told me she got a call from Hillary Rodham Clinton today. She wasn't asking Mom to vote for her -- she was looking for her husband...

Ricky said...

Hi Ken,

I don't agree with you. I wouldn't know who to vote for if some celebrity didn't tell me.

Without them on election day, I'd just be sitting at home wearing my helmet and drooling onto the sofa.


gwangung said...

Would you know what candidate would plan the fill the potholes since it seems the mass media tends to filter that kind of stuff out as being unphotogenic and dull?

(For example, I knew that Obama's work in the Senate was based a lot on wonk stuff like developing a database on federal spending using more user friendly categories, beefing up chemical plant security, working on nuclear nonproliferation, etc.). However, the meme that "Obama hasn't done anything" seems to have taken over and written over the stuff that he has done.

Cap'n Bob said...

Hey, if we wanted Bill Clinton to stop having sex in the Oval Office we would have elected Hillary in the first place. Badda-bing, badda-boom!

Anonymous said...

Before Sally wore the habit, she wore the bikini.

And surfer girls in bikini's are very persuasive.

Rob said...

Super Bowl would have been HIGHEST RATED EVER if it hadn't been for one thing......

A little series finale of a show called M*A*S*H.

THe sad thing is that no network show will ever approach that record again.

Anonymous said...

Geez, you're getting recorded calls from Sally Field and Robert Redford?

You must be special.

I'm getting recorded calls from character actors Ron Masak and Polly Holliday. And they're not about politics... and they're not on my phone.

Anonymous said...

Never vote for a man/woman that WANTS the job. Our Presidents and Congress people should be drafted base on education, experience and smarts. Wanting to be King should be an automatic disqualification.

Anonymous said...

Since everybody's already wandered off to Ken's next post, I'll take a chance here with available space.

Telemarketer: Hello, is this [yes, anybody wanting to sell something over the phone knows – but here, I’ll have to say “Sorry we’re not allowed to giveout that information.]?
Me: Who’s calling?
Telemarketer: Well I’m calling to congratulate you. You’ve been selected for a getaway vacation in Colorado.
Me: I’m sorry, we’re not interested.
Telemarketer: You’re not interested?
Me: No.
Telemarketer: Why aren’t you interested?
Me: We don’t take vacations.
Telemarketer: You don’t take vacations?
Me:: No.
Telemarketer: Why don’t you take vacations
Me: Somebody’s got to be here to answer the phone.

Ken, I’m surprised you missed the primary (yes, intended) connection between politics and show business. It goes in the other direction. The subconscious reason half of these guys run in the first place is their sudden realization that Vaudeville is dead. It’s the running that’s everything; the job is secondary.

What do you do when you want to be involved with a lot of money, public adulation, get the babes, have people sit up and take notice, and come out just to see you? Only problem is you haven’t got any talent? Run for Governor. Can’t make it on American Idol? OK start with the School Committee. And when you are governor, you don’t even have to be any good on sax or guitar, or sing any better than Ashcroft, because, hell you’re the Governor, not a professional musician. I can’t think of a governor of Arkansas who didn’t play an instrument. Come to think of it, I can't think of a person in Arkansas who hasn't, at one time or another, sung with "Up with People."

Here in Texas we had Gov. Pappy O’Daniel and the Light Crust Doughboys, but played as the Governor of Mississippi by the estimable Charles Durning in The Coen Bros'. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Twenty years ago, when I left another state for Texas, the State Treasurer and his band The Treasury Notes -- all employees of the treasurer’s office -- played at my going away party. Whenever there was an opening in the treasurer’s office they’d post whatever job description was required – and then go look for a bass player. You play one-nursing-home-a-week for 4 years with a half-decent vocalist and come November you coast into office on the write-in ballots alone.

BTW, for anybody who hasn’t seen the (for real) Obama music video, featuring the Senator from Illinois creatively packaged with a Blackeyed Pea, John Legend, Kate Walsh, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Dylan’s kid, the omnipresent Herbie Hancock, and – Ken, your favorites – Scarlett Johansen and Scarlett Johansen. - here it is:

Anonymous said...

"Fix the potholes."

Chance the Gardener really has arrived.

Mary Stella said...

I didn't get a single taped telephone call last week before the Florida primary.

There are benefits to registering as an Independent (NPA in official voterese. I believe it stands for No Party Affiliation. I like to think of it as Not Picking Anyone yet.)

Anonymous said...

So if The Flying Nun calls you in support of a political candidate, does that mean the Catholic Church loses its non-partisan tax exemption?