Various & Sundry, 12/13/09
Some things and stuff:
* For those of you keeping up with the Peter Watts border thing, David Nickle has some additional information, plus how to contribute to Peter’s legal fund even if you don’t cotton to the whole “send money electronically” thing. The Toronto Star, incidentally, has the most complete story on the incident that I’ve seen so far.
Also, if I may make a suggestion: While lots of us are interested in supporting Peter at the moment, let’s make sure that in supporting him we don’t add to his woes. Derryl Murphy has a point of view on this, which I think is worth reading. For my part, I think it’s fine and proper to ask questions about what went on and to get others informed and engaged (I mean, quite obviously). But I also think at the moment we have to ask ourselves what is useful and what is theater. The theater parts might not actually be of benefit.
Update, 2:40pm: The latest from Peter Watts himself here.
That said, I do find it amusing that people are harrumphing that Woods really needs to “put a face” to the apologies he made, which I take to mean that he should trot himself off to Oprah and ESPN and do some ritually-approved self-flaggelation for our delight. My question: Why? First off, I’m personally delighted he wants to deal with it privately, because it’s a private matter. Secondly, or what? Dude’s one of the greatest athletes ever and he’s also, after a decade and a half of being the best golfer of his era, ridiculously rich. I’m guessing at this point he really doesn’t need to work, and in point of fact professional golf needs him more than he needs it, and this is something Woods almost certainly knows. Likewise, when you could take the money you have, jam it into Treasury bills and still make annually off the interest more than most humans will make in their lives, the calculus of your economic considerations changes substantially.
Woods has made it pretty clear he’s said all he’s going to say publicly on the matter, and he’s in a position not to care what other people think about that. Fine, let’s all move on.
* Also been asked why I haven’t been commenting much on the health care discussion in the Senate and in particular the Democratic internal scrum on the matter. The short answer is: Because I’ve been more interested in other topics at the moment, and also because the internal scrum is what’s supposed to be happening anyway, so I don’t particularly find it grabbing my attention. I do think people forget that the Senate and the House are actually supposed to deliberate on law; in a general sense I really would rather have them do that than simply ram things through. That Democrats appear less likely to stay in lockstep than the GOP was when they were in power is likewise more of a feature than a bug, as far as the legislative process is concerned.
Beyond this, at the end of the day, as I’ve noted before, the actual big win for the Democrats (and for Obama) is not whatever bill passes but the fundamental concept that every American under the law should have access to affordable and comprehensive health care. Everything else is squidgy bits and details which can be fiddled with and modified at later dates. The fundamental concept, that’s the thing I’m interested in seeing if they ultimately pull off.
* I mentioned I was going to a series of wrap pieces on the whole decade earlier this month, and here it is mid-month and I’ve done exactly one (which was actually an AMC column). Sorry, I’ve been distracted by other things, and also to be blunt about it, a lot of those things I was planning to write about are angry-making stuff, and I discover I’m just not in the mood for being ticked off about the entire last decade. I’d rather shoot zombies and pet my cat, you know? I’m kind of scraped out on pissed-offedness at the moment. It happens.
I do expect to do some wrap-up stuff, and will probably do some personal lists and such. But the grand parade of proclamations regarding the last decade is looking less likely as the month goes along. Sorry, man. I’ll make sure you get a full refund of your purchase cost.