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Norman Horowitz

Norman Horowitz

Posted: September 9, 2008 11:16 AM

Changing The Subject

During my 28 year marriage, conflict did occur between my wife and me concerning, as a rule, important things about my inadequacies in a variety of areas. I was petty, selfish, uncaring, inconsiderate, and such and much worse were she to get on a roll.

As a rule, when I would defend myself by accusing her of some violation or another, she would invariably change the subject. Now in truth it was difficult for her to do that with me, in that I specialized in changing the subject every day with various managements who would take issue with me when they disapproved of whatever I was doing at a given moment. That is what managements do.

Changing the subject is a tool used often by husbands and politicians among others, to avoid answering a direct question. Doing this is of course an art form.

Actor Charles Durning played the Governor in the Dolly Parton movie "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, and he explained how he avoided answering questions in the song "The Sidestep."

"Fellow Texans, I am proudly standing here to humbly see.
I assure you, and I mean it- Now, who says I don't speak out as plain as day?
And, fellow Texans, I'm for progress and the flag- long may it fly.
I'm a poor boy, come to greatness. So, it follows that I cannot tell a lie.

Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don't-
I've come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on.

Now my good friends, it behooves me to be solemn and declare,
I'm for goodness and for profit and for living clean and saying daily prayer.
And now, my good friends, you can sleep nights, I'll continue to stand tall.
You can trust me, for I promise, I shall keep a watchful eye upon ya'll...

...Ooh I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don't-
I've come and gone and, ooh I love to sweep around the wide step,
cut a little swathe and lead the people on..."

I get nuts when I hear McCain and Palin as they do "a little sidestep" and change the subject of the Republican]s HORRID performance running the country these last, soon to be, eight years. They of course distance themselves from Bush/Cheney and "change the subject" by unashamedly attacking Obama with misstatements and lies.

Both political parties have been selling "words" at their conventions, and it is particularly upsetting that the words that most of them speak are written by "unidentified others." Conventions sadly have become in essence "The battle of the political speechwriters."

As a member of the media (whatever that means), I have never been a member of the "mass media", an expression that has evolved into a pejorative, as a rule spoken with a word in front of it like "the liberal mass media." The mass media in our country seem to me unwilling or perhaps unable to report the truth following the "sophistry" of the nominating conventions, a process that continues for the Republicans after their conclave.

I love the definition of sophistry from American Heritage Dictionary: a subtle, tricky, superficially plausible, but generally fallacious method of reasoning, a false argument.

I hear Obama and Biden discussing issues and solutions to our country's problems. I hear McCain and Palin speaking in sophomoric generalities and character assassinations and of course I want to yell at the broadcast networks (aka the liberal mass media) to say SOMETHING when ANY candidate lies or misleads. I expect if these people were "called" on their intentionally dishonest character assassinations, they would stop doing it.

Notwithstanding this, the Republicans keep changing the subject. These are the same people who loved and adored George Bush when things were going well, and now you would think that he had a highly contagious disease the way they run away from him. Wasn't McCain a Republican last year as well?

Bob Herbert in today's New York Times said: "From the faux populist gibberish mouthed by speaker after speaker, you would never have known that the Republicans have been in power over the past several years and used that titanic power to lead the country to its present sorry state."

For a bonus, here is a lyric to "Show Me" written by Alan Jay Lerner from the Broadway musical My Fair Lady:

Words! Words! I'm so sick of words!
I get words all day through;
First from him, now from you! Is that all you blighters can do?
Don't talk of stars burning above; If you're in love,
Show me! Tell me no dreams
Filled with desire. If you're on fire,
Show me!

I can only hope that McCain/Palin "show us" whatever they have in the next eight weeks. Wanna bet that they don't?

Norman Horowitz
Changer of Subjects