Of course, off the screen and out in the real world, we can't forget all the mini-scandals and PR disasters, chief among them this year Republican Mark Foley and Democrat John Kerry. Sadly for the Democrats, Foley's ordeal happened a full month ago and Kerry? Well, the guy's got impeccable timing to go along with his hair.
Still, we sort of long for the old days. Back then, politicians couldn't go on talk radio or Fox News and spin and yell and lie and insult one another. No, they spun, yelled and lied and insulted one another personally and in print. And if they felt an insult went over the line, they didn't offer a statement about how disappointed they were. They didn't unveil an ad or call their PR person. No, they challenged one another to duels involving real guns with real bullets.
Or take our favorite case: South Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks. Mr. Brooks, who felt a family member had been insulted by Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner, took to the floor of the U.S. Senate and beat Sumner with a cane until the stick broke.
Granted, Sumner knew his remarks would likely result in a challenge to a duel and he was right on about the issue at hand. But you almost have to admire a man willing to cross party lines, congressional houses and the bounds of decency and common sense to make a political point.
Sting (and his lute) still in the news, now attracting royal attention
Can someone please explain to us the fascination with Sting (and his lute)? Yes, we wrote about Sting (and his lute) a few weeks ago (AA, Oct. 16), but only because we felt that our readers deserved such hard-hitting news coverage. Then we see him on "Studio 60 on Sunset Strip." And now a source tells us that the Queen of England herownself is stalking Sting (and his lute). Jolie DeFeis, president of boutique agency Sugartown Creative, recently received an e-mail requesting Sting's contact info (we presume he and the lute share an address). Sugartown works with Sting and wife Trudie Styler on the Il Palagio line of organic foods. We're not sure if the lute is involved with the venture, but someone at the Royal Festival Hall in London figured DeFeis would be a good place to start. Apparently the program director at the Royal Festival Hall, at the behest of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, was looking to book Sting (and his lute) for a performance.
And now a word about apes and elephants from our copy monkeys
If there's one thing we've learned here at Adages, it's to always keep the copy editors happy--or at least not overly angry. (Full disclosure: We were once on the copy desk and lost a full 20 IQ points upon leaving it.) That being the case, we'd like to voice a complaint from one of our copy monkeys, who points with rage to the current AXA Equitable campaign running on TV. You may have seen the spot, in which a gorilla lectures a boomer couple about their financial situation. He concludes with: "What do I know? I'm just the 800-pound gorilla in the room." Writes our copy monkey: "You ignore the elephant in the room! The elephant. Not the gorilla!" Adages, as you know, is a big fan of monkeys and apes. And we find nonflying elephants terribly boring. But copy monkey does have a point.
Send your sticks and stones to firstname.lastname@example.org