Ads ‘n’ Ends

Item: Mike Capuano Grabs the Mike

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley may have jumped the gun in the race to fill Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, but Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Ted Kennedy) has fired the first shot.

Capuano simultaneously launched his campaign and his first campaign ad on Thursday, asserting that he “stood with Ted Kennedy against the Iraq war and mirrors his progressive record.”

Still open for debate: Is Capuano a mirror of Ted Kennedy or a necro-stalker?

Item: Slapping Down High Five Nation

In an age of mecroblogging and The Daily Me on countless custom Yahoo home pages, humility is hard to come by.

Except in David Brooks’s New York Times op-ed column on Wednesday.

On Sunday evenings, my local NPR station airs old radio programs. A few weeks ago it broadcast the episode of the show “Command Performance” that aired the day World War II ended. “Command Performance” was a variety show that went out to the troops around the world.

On V-J Day, Frank Sinatra appeared, along with Marlene Dietrich, Jimmy Durante, Dinah Shore, Bette Davis, Lionel Barrymore, Cary Grant and many others. But the most striking feature of the show was its tone of self-effacement and humility. The allies had, on that very day, completed one of the noblest military victories in the history of humanity. And yet there was no chest-beating. Nobody was erecting triumphal arches.

By contrast, the 21st century triumphalism of the Republican party, the G.I. George “Mission Accomplished” aircraft-carrier mission, the whole “Wanted: Dead or Alive” ethos of the GOP in matters both foreign and domestic – all of it seems ludicrous in the face of the greatest accomplishment of the Greatest Generation.

Then again, as Brooks notes:

This isn’t the death of civilization. It’s just the culture in which we live. And from this vantage point, a display of mass modesty, like the kind represented on the V-J Day “Command Performance,” comes as something of a refreshing shock, a glimpse into another world. It’s funny how the nation’s mood was at its most humble when its actual achievements were at their most extraordinary.

Kind of makes High Five Nation look  . . . kind of low-class.

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1 Response to Ads ‘n’ Ends

  1. Curmudgeon says:

    Are you dissing pop culture?

    Shame on you.

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