Hot Air: Hot Dog

The Shoe Carries The Woman*

Politics is a funny game. Cathi Crabtree, one of our town’s biggest women’s boosters, came into Hopscotch Coffee this afternoon dressed to the nines in a smart navy blue top and black slacks combo. She also wore sandals but carried a pair of blue semi-high heels with her.

She was on her way to a meet-and-greet for Democrats who hope to win the state convention vote to be delegates to next month’s national party convention in Philly. Only she couldn’t make up her mind — should she wear the sandals or the heels? She was hoping to run into Hopscotch peerless leader Jane Kupersmith and ask her which she should wear. Alas, Jane was gone so she had to settle for me.

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Crabtree (L) With Julie Thomas And Hillary Clinton

“Whaddya think?” she asked, putting on one blue pump and leaving a sandal on her other dog.

“Which pair is more comfortable?” I asked.

“I’m okay with either one.”

I scratched my chin. “Go with the blue heels,” I said at last.

“Good. Thanks!” With that, she dashed off to shake hands and make an impression.

Crabtree’s been a diehard Hillary backer from the get-go. So, if and when Clinton wins the November election, I might be able to say I played a role in her history-making ascension to the throne.

A small role.

An infinitesimally small role.

Then again, chaos theory tells us the flap of a single butterfly’s wing in Brazil can set off a tornado in Texas several weeks or months later.

I’ve gotta grab my kudos anywhere I can find them.

[ * The full quote from French luxury footwear designer Christian Louboutin is “A woman carries her clothes but the shoe carries the woman.”]

Heroic Hillary

Columbia College theater maven Albert Williams points out this from Polly Toynbee in The Guardian:

Clinton is not some token woman who has inched into place by offending no one. All her life she has fought the feminist cause, for abortion and for equal rights, fearlessly, right from her college commencement speech. . . . Compare her to Margaret Thatcher, who made her way in a man’s world by refusing ever to espouse women’s causes, a queen bee who kept women out of her cabinet so she could stand out. . . . If women of the left do break into the bastions of power, the sisters often view them as sell-outs to the establishment, as if permanent outsiderdom and victimhood is the only true mark of feminism. Success just isn’t part of the script. To join the establishment isn’t the point, though that’s the only way policies get changed, good laws passed and funds spent on what women need. That’s a wider disease of the left among Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn supporters too. To win is to lose.

Toynbee is about as lefty as you can get w/o wearing Che’s image on her T-shirt to the exclusion of all other daily sartorial choices. She’s a social democrat and a strong supporter of Britain’s Labour Party, mainly because she loathes the Thatcherite Conservatives. Her reasoning is a Labour-Liberal coalition is the best hope to beat that gang.

Toynbee, granddaughter of noted historian Arnold Toynbee, espouses “strategic voting” — that is, you vote with the bloc that comes reasonably close to your philosophies, even if you strongly disagree with some of its positions, in order to defeat a far more unpalatable candidate. In other words, political purism is a losing proposition.

Tragedy Tomorrow, Comedy Tonight

You’ll pardon my mixed references* but the 2016 presidential election becomes more a skit from commedia dell’arte by the moment.

“… [It is] pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues,” sez Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Donald Trump.

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McConnell, of course, endorsed Trump for president as far back as early May — even though he believes the GOP’s presumptive nominee won’t know what in the goddamned hell he’s doing should he win election.

[ * The headline is a line from the 1962 Broadway musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The image is of Pantalone, an archetypal character from Commedia dell-arte, whom Encyclopedia Brittanica describes as “a cunning and rapacious… merchant” who “would starve his servant until he barely cast a shadow. If he discharged him, he made certain to do so before dinner” and who was “anxious about his reputation.” In other words, Donald Trump.]

June 11th Birthdays

Ben Jonson — 16th and 17th Century writer, perhaps second only in reputation to Shakespeare among English playwrights. He once described his wife as “a shrew, yet honest.” My favorite title of his: The Devil Is an Ass.

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Millicent Fawcett — 19th Century British suffragist, she fought for, among other things, criminalizing incest and outlawing parental physical abuse of children as well as child marriage and the white slave trade. Her efforts in gaining the vote for women earned her the encomium that she “won citizenship for women.”

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Bartolomeo Vanzetti — One half of the notorious Sacco & Vanzetti. He and Nicola Sacco were anarchists who were active at a time when anarchists, socialists, Bolsheviks, and other such rebels were perceived as real and extremely dangerous threats to America. The two were charged with the murder of a security guard and a paymaster in the botched robbery of a shoe company payroll in 1920. Legal, political, and social commentators around the world protested that the pair had been railroaded after being found guilty in 1921. Sacco & Vanzetti were electrocuted in 1927.

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Jacques-Yves Cousteau — Explorer and conservationist, he invented the aqualung. His film documentaries and books focused the world’s attention on ocean and sea ecology. He once said overpopulation was perhaps the greatest threat to the future of the human race. He suggested that the elimination of disease might not be “altogether beneficial… in the long run.”

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Vince Lombardi — Hard-nosed football coach who supposedly said “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” Lombardi was a staunch backer of civil rights for American blacks and, surprisingly, for gay Americans. In the summer of 1968, with Richard Nixon well on his way to the Republican nomination for president, it was suggested Lombardi’d be a fitting choice for his running mate. Lombardi shocked the world by saying he was a “Kennedy Democrat.”


Lombardi (In Fedora)

Henry Hill — New York City mobster whose biography Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family by Nicholas Pileggi was the basis for the Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. When he died of a heart attack in 2012, his girlfriend told reporters, “He died pretty peacefully for a goodfella.”

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Hill (L) With Ray Liotta


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