If Barack Obama is smart--and I think he's damned smart--and if he wins the Democratic nomination, which, barring an explosive scandal, I think he will, he should choose a woman as his running mate.
I don't think it'll be Hillary Clinton. There's just too much bad blood between the two at this point, and I think Clinton's frankly too proud to accept second place. (As well she should be.) But Clinton's candidacy has genuinely thrilled women with the chance of breaking the highest of glass ceilings, and I think Barack would be squandering that good will and all those motivated voters by, say, going with The Southern White Guy. Raises some interesting questions about who he might turn to--Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein come readily to mind, but they both have high negatives outside of California, and he's probably not going to need them to win that state. Same with Washington state's governor or senators. There are a couple female Senators in the Midwest, but they're relatively new, and defending someone new is the last thing Obama needs. Barbara Mikulski's great, but she's getting too old for the job.
However, two sitting governors might make good running mates. One is Janet Napolitano of Arizona, who has a stellar record and would challenge McCain on his home turf, and the other is Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, who's extremely strong on economics, having turned her state's economy around after some dismal early numbers. She's also from a traditonally conservative state where Obama ran poorly, and which might prop him up with independents.
If I had to put money on it (and I never put money on politics), I'd go with Napolitano. She'd also help bring in Latinos and put the West/Mountain States in play. It'd be a hell of race, especially if they forced McCain to spend money in his own back yard. He would, in a word, look lame.
You know Barack Obama, that elitist guy who's whining about folks on the Backstreet being bitter? The one who's out-of-touch with salts of the earth who live in My Home Town in the Promised Land or out in the Badlands in the Darkness on the Edge of Town?
Well, he just got endorsed by the guy who wrote Born in the U.S.A. (which, I recall, was about bitter folks left behind by an uncaring government).
I received the following from the inimitable Sha Sha Sassone of The Bluestockings....
Portland Dramatists Workshop is returning!
You're invited to come enjoy and participate in the inaugural meeting of
What: The Bluestockings' Portland Dramatists Workshop
When: On-going Saturday afternoons, beginning May 10, 2008
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Where: Robie's Deli & More 6504 SE Foster Road Portland, OR 97206 503) 788-7704
How: Every Saturday afternoon, whomever is interested will meet at Robie's at 2:00 p.m. for a reading of a previously-chosen local playwright's play-in-progress. After the play has been read once, everyone there will be asked for feedback. The playwright then has the option to make some changes, tweak this and that, and ask the actors to read it again. More discussion can then ensue. This is a workshopping format, very informal, and, hopefully, creative and fun.
Who's up first? PDW's Artistic Director Sha Sha has first dibsies. Her one-act play, "Kama Sutra Sundays" will be workshopped May 10th.
Interested in participating as a playwright, actor, or director? Come on out and talk to us on Saturday. We are looking forward to seeing former PDW friends again as well as meeting new dramatists!!! The fabulous Bluestockings....
Summer. Night. Car headlights pass. Sitting on the porch. Lighting the pipe. Lonesome in a way that reaches down to the bones. Seeing couples pass. Trees hang heavy and dark below streetlights. There’s yearning in the air, hard to explain. It pulls your head back and to the side. You squint against it. Somehow you can feel life in motion around you. Cars, sirens, voices, sound of feet. The hum. The sky orange black, no stars. And you wonder where you should go. Where you should be. No answers. You wonder how you got there. It all just seemed to happen. You wonder what will happen. You question whether you’re doing the right things and feel a certain danger in that you really only get one shot at it. In stasis, life flowing around you like a stream around a stone. You think of places you’ve yet to go. Feel the loss of places you’ve been. On a dark summer evening, alone.
And years later, the memory of an inconsequential night so piercing, so sharp. So sweet. Who can tell what you’ll remember?
It's so damned difficult, both doing it well and getting it to the stage. But once a picture appears in the mind and characters speak and become real, there's such a compulsion to see it become flesh. It's hard to explain. Productions seldom live up to those images, though once in awhile they transcend it. But the odds are long. What's that Villon quote Hunter liked? "Life is short, art is long, and success is very far off." No kidding.
Pause to crank up "Have You Ever Seen the Rain." Heh.
You have to believe in yourself. Not always easy. Self-doubts come with the job too or else you can't judge what's working and what's not, and that's tough because you have to fall in love with each play a little bit to get it written, to sustain the process. Love it, measure it, hate it a little. All the while, it's replaying, replaying, replaying in the mind's eye/ear, like a video loop. You're ready to scream if you see it one more time but you can't look away. Hello, Alex. Ready for a little Ludwig Von? Definitely fucks up your perspective.
When it gets that muddled and you can't tell what's working, what's wishful thinking, what's inspiration, what's madness, it's time to walk away for awhile. Go to the beach, crack open a bottle of Cuervo, slip on the shades, light up, and watch the waves. All goddamn day if necessary. Until the sun goes down and the rain comes, and you sit in the dark, in the rain, listening to the surf, until finally that deep breath lets loose, sometimes tears, sometimes laughter--you are completely nuts, thank you, emotions climbing and crawling and falling on their backs and wiggling their legs like helpless beetles--and you gather up your stuff, and trudge back to the motel, where the open page awaits.
Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian.