Monday, March 17, 2008

"May You Live In Interesting Times"

It's St. Patrick's Day, when the world takes a moment from a hectic schedule to acknowledge the rich history and culture of Ireland and its proud people, and reduce them to green bagels, green paper hats, green beer and cardboard leprechauns. But I digress.
The last few days at work have been interesting, to say the least.

I suppose that sounds like the entries in countless other journals. Ho hum, why should anyone really care? Ok, so let me start this over again.

The last few days at my job working for the New York State government - yes, that New York State government - have been interesting, to say the least. The somewhat tumultuous times we were experiencing anyway took a you-can't-make-this-stuff-up turn last week when governor no. 54 became client no. 9.

It's not that this will affect my job directly - I'm way too low on the food chain for that. But with a new governor often comes new management for state agencies. And while they have no idea I exist, they do appoint people who promote people who designate people who, in some cases, have seen my name on an e-mail somewhere.  A change in top leadership can create turmoil under the most stable conditions. In recent months our agency has been seeing rapid organizational changes anyway, with more promised to come, and so a top-management change now would be turmoil squared. I've decided to take a wait-and-see approach, primarily because I'll be damned if I can think of any other idea.

Fortunately, events have wasted no time taking absurdity to heights Bill-and-Monica never got close to achieving. I don't want the state's economy being presided over by someone who thinks $4000 for two hours of his, um, special friend working under him (literally, in this case) is a good deal. (Some newspaper accounts of the recorded telephone conversations have reported this amount was agreed to after some haggling by the then-governor.) There's more absurdity in that the man who, as a hard line prosecutor, used wiretaps and monitored bank transactions to indict other people got caught by means guessed it...wiretaps and monitored bank transactions. Moral and legal issues not withstanding, the - sorry, I have to use the word - stupidity of that is stunning.

I think my favorite absurdity came earlier this week. It seems Ashley Dupre, the mistress in question, had some R-rated photos on her Facebook page and got upset when newspapers covering the story published them. Do you remember that old definition of chutzpah: killing your parents and then throwing yourself on the mercy of the court because you're an orphan? With the new century seems to have come a new definition: posting pictures of yourself on the Internet and then taking legal action against someone because you consider the pictures private. I love this stuff.

One of the saddest spectacles has been the now-former governor parading his wife out to stand next to him while he makes his various public confessions. This has been widely - and, I believe, appropriately - criticized. Her efforts not to look completely mortified are gallant but unsuccessful. It's hard to know what he's thinking having her do that, except perhaps that as long as they're in a public place she can't disembowel him. If that's the case, it might be the most common sense he's shown in this whole episode.
Unrelated Item 1: Heather in the Sky with Diamonds. Large, Expensive Diamonds.
With the American economy currently in an extended downturn (in economist terminology, it "sucks") I'm seriously considering flying to England and seeing if I can get Paul McCartney to marry me for a few months. I'll keep you all posted on my progress.
Unrelated Item 2: With Special Guest Appearance By...
It's looking like the latest fashion in Washington is making "unannounced" visits to Iraq. Every week it seems the "Survivor: Baghdad" show features a different surprise guest doing essential fact finding, as if facts ever had anything to do with our engagement there. And, ok, while we're here, I suppose there's no harm in having our picture sent back home looking iconic and statesmanlike while meeting with the troops or with local officials.
Unrelated Item 3: Memories are Made of This
I don't think Dean Martin will ever get the full credit he deserved as one of the most superbly well-rounded entertainers of our lifetimes. Just thought I'd mention that. 


silverdoe64 said...

Well your entry here pretty much sums up the state of our Country and the signs of the times.   How sad is that??  The visits to Iraq are almost too much to even watch-what are these people thinking? And how scary is it to have to actually cast a vote.  Anyway,  I'll race you to England and meet you on Paul's door step.

vkmay said...

Well, maybe look at it this way, if all this dysfunction hadn't finally surfaced (can't hide that nasty stuff forever...), David Patterson would not have been given the chance to serve his beloved New York State. The guy seems like a breath of fresh air in government, & not the mechanized, purified air from being processed through a, the genuine article, the throw-open-the-window kind & let the breezes blow. Yes, with every change in government, comes change in government...& as the trickle down will have it, you may feel the effect. But, given who these two very different people are, I think you & the State of New York will be in better hands. Spitzer, as it is revealed more & more, was a snake in the grass...a nasty little man, using nasty tactics for his own ego-driven agenda. Not to get too cosmic here, but I really do believe the energy around that kind of force can only manifest itself in a negative way. On the flip side, Governor Patterson, is already beloved in Albany...the turnout alone at his swearing-in is testament to that. Have faith in the blind ability of the political world of New York to tip the scales to the other side & right itself once again. This may be a change you should embrace (not like you have a choice anyway), you may be witness to New York once again entering greatness & you will have the good fortune of being part of that.
And who care about Ashley Dupre? I am just sick over the tabloid journalism that crams itself down our throats...ah, only in America.  
The ultimate shame was really when Spitzer thought he could salvage something by having his wife endure such public humiliation. For the sake of her daughters & all daughters out there, I wish she could have found the courage to not appear...or better yet, if only to haul off & slap him (& I mean SLAP him, Hard) on national TV.


vkmay said...

oh, and I agree about Dean Martin...a wonderful human being and entertainer.  Not for nuthin', but it does seem the bad boys get all the recognition...Sinatra was great, but with such a shady background.  Dino is my man...

gazker said...

Looks like Heather Mills screwed Sir Paul big time, the BIATCH!
Gaz ;-)

oldhousegal said...

"I'm seriously considering flying to England and seeing if I can get Paul McCartney to marry me for a few months."

Me first.