Take Five takes a weekly look at the news, or what passes for it.
ONE: Don’t think? Don’t talk.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), once a voice of optimism for repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, reportedly called Saturday “a very sad day” before the Senate voted to lift the military ban.
“I hope that when we pass this legislation that we will understand that we are doing great damage,” said the four-term incumbent before the vote, according to ABC News. “Today is a very sad day.”
It was a sad day, indeed, Senator McCain. A day to realize that someone like yourself, who once seemed pretty rational (especially by current Republican standards) is just another old bigot, a dried-out husk of a man born and raised in a world that no longer exists.
Fortunately, my sadness over the pathetic spectacle of your latest foot-in-mouth episode was quickly tempered by the final vote on Saturday, a much needed affirmation that sometimes, even in Washington, elected officials – including, in this instance, eight Republican Senators – can do the right thing. The Senate has finally put an end to the codified prejudice gay and lesbian service members have had to face since the odious compromise legislation known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was enacted in 1993.
So sexual orientation is no longer a barrier to military service, and we get a fresh reminder of what an absolute horror a McCain presidency would have been for the nation and the world.
Sorry, Senator. All in all, turns out that it was a great day.
TWO: Donald Glen Vliet, 1941 – 2010
Lest my comments about Senator McCain being old be construed as ageist, I must admit to being fairly deep into old man territory myself, and thus increasingly and self-servingly more admiring of cultures that respect the wisdom and life experience of the more senior among us.
One such senior was Captain Beefheart, formerly Don Van Vliet and even more formerly Donald Glen Viet, who breathed his last the other day.
“Captain Beefheart, Don Van Vliet, who has died at the age of 69, was one of the most influential American musicians of the 1960s and early 1970s. His status was always cult rather than commercial, and for most of his career he was broke…”
Multiple sclerosis was already burdening the man’s body and soul by the time Anton Corbijn made a documentary on him in 1983. A quote of his from the film should give men and women, old or otherwise, pause for quiet reflection:
“The way I keep in touch with the world… is very gingerly… because the world touches too hard.”
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