Daily Archives: May 20, 2007

The set-up is right there in the first graph:

We had moved on to complexity theory, which Gore would really immerse himself in if only he had the time, and then to the concept of nested systems, which of course had been developed by the late psychologist Uri Bronfenbrenner, when a woman in a blazing orange shirt emerged from her flight, did a double take and cried, “Isn’t that AL GORE?!” There was no ignoring this fan. As she came over to thank Gore for trying to save the planet, I saw that my bags were in the way. “I’ll move them,” I said; and Gore, before he could think, said, “No, don’t.”

So we’re all prepared when a few graphs down we get —

“And now, on screen, you could see that he was breathing free. He was dead earnest, but he was also wry; and though his torso still looked as blocky as a suitcase, he moved around the stage as if someone had loosened a vertebra or two.”

See? Al Gore is a suitcase.

But what kind of a suitcase. Surely not the sort designed by Peter Greenaway. For as the thug du jour reminds us —

The Gores live in a whitewashed neoclassical mansion with a pillared portico in the ritzy Nashville neighborhood of Belle Meade. Tipper Gore had agreed to meet me there, and we sat outside by the pool, which was then still covered for the winter; a servant brought iced tea on a tray, along with a vase of tulips. The whole setting was redolent of genteel withdrawal; but inside, as if in generational counterpoint, Tipper, in days of yore a drummer in a rock band, kept, and used, both a drum set and a conga set. The former vice president, the more sedate and cerebral of the two, was upstairs going over the galleys of his new book, “The Assault on Reason,” a learned screed on the demise of public discourse and “the meritocracy of ideas” scheduled to appear this week

Ah yes, the “genteel” and the “generational.” Iced tea and tulips. As for The Assault on Reason , it will doubtless get less “Mainstream” attention than the new collection of St. Ronnie Raygun’s random jottings.

But let’s get back to the most curious part of the meme : “before he could think.”

Jacques Derrida could really go to town on that one. So fitting that a man utterly despised by the Beltway whores for thinking in any capacity whatsoever is provided with a snapshot of him presumably declining to to think at all.

But there’s a concluding meme that brings such metaphyical matters down to earth.

“Gore himself is writing, and traveling, and presenting, at a maniacal clip. He’s even eating like a maniac: I watched him inhale the clam dip at a reception like a man who doesn’t know when his next meal will be coming.”

“Better whomp up a big batch of clam dip, Bernice — Al Gore is Coming!”

Elvis put it best (in a song written by Ed Wood’s ex-wife):

“Hey everybody gather round
Listen to that bongo sound
Grab the first one in your reach
Now we’re going to shake the beach
Do the Clam, do the Clam
Grab your barefoot baby by the hand
Turn and tease, hug and squeeze
Dig right in and do the Clam
You can get your heart to spin
On the outside looking in
Moon ain’t gonna last all night
Well let’s work up an appetite
Do the Clam, do the Clam
Grab your barefoot baby by the hand
Turn and tease, hug and squeeze
Dig right in and do the Clam
Everybody’s got that beat
Well listen to those happy feet
Ain’t you glad that you found out
What the Clam is all about
Do the Clam, do the Clam
Grab your barefoot baby by the hand
Turn and tease, hug and squeeze
Dig right in and do the Clam
Do the Clam, do the Clam
Grab your barefoot baby by the hand
Turn and tease, hug and squeeze
Dig right in and do the Clam
Dig right in and do the Clam”