Monday, August 11, 2008

#434 The Debate

#434 The Debate

They must have had a name shortage on Long Island about 400 years ago. You can see this because there are several different places that share the same name. Like the Town of East Hampton and the Village of East Hampton. And then there's the Village of Hempstead and the Town of Hempstead. The former sits inside the latter, is much smaller and has been shooting itself in the foot for at least the last 60 years, but never fatally.

Siting partly in the village and partly in the town is Hofstra University, site of one of this year's super exciting presidential debates, the one in October. The building in which the debate will take place is not within the borders of the village. But that's the mailing address, so the debate will be in Hempstead. (Actually, the debate will be in Uniondale, but who wants to give publicity to the decaying Nassau Coliseum and the equally decaying main tenant, the New York Islanders of the National Hockey League, also good foot-shooters.)

The school (we called it America's Unintentionally Funniest College back when it was a college) is so excited about this thing that it's posted a countdown clock on its website, which we offer herewith: http://www.hofstra.edu/debate/debate_publicviewing.html

Handy for political junkies and Hofstra fans and people who like places that generously share their names with other places.

The best part of all this is that it's the third of three debates, the final one. So the combatants will have gotten used to the battle. Also Bob Schieffer from CBS is going to moderate, which means it will be a dignified affair, but not a pompous one (unless the Hofstra Communications School population gets to write the script, which is unlikely.)

Actually, the candidates and this particular moderator would put on a good debate, even if they held it in a Hempstead pool hall, a more interesting, intimate and multi-linguistic venue. So Hofstra will be able to add another public relations notch to its belt, America will get a good debate and it will take the participants and audience only five or six hours to get out of the parking lots. Many of them with Hofstra Security Patrol tickets on their windshields ("I'm sorry Senators, you can't park there. The spaces are reserved for the Dean of the College of Recycling Arts and her assistants. There's plenty of room at the back of the lot for both of you.)

Let's hope some of that fun attitude rubs off on the rest of us.

(Disclaimer: your blogger laughed his way through three years at Hofstra College in the late 1950s and early 1960s.)


Shrapnel:

--If you think the radical right is the only group that's "ignorant and proud" think again. That's not nearly as scary as the current youth culture that can't add, but knows all about which leading man or lady wants to co-star with whom.

--That same right wing is proud that since it has started talking about expanding offshore drilling, the price of oil has dropped. Logical fallacy here. One action that follows another does not guarantee that the first caused the second.

--And that same right wing is trying to stop stem cell research. They're trying to codify ignorance, but instead are sending it off shore. Meantime, some Harvard types have found stem cells that can eradicate almost a dozen serious genetic diseases.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own and you're welcome to them.(R)
(C)WJR 2008

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