By C. Antonio Romero
PALO ALTO, 26 SEPTEMBER 2007 A brief observation seems in order, in light of the latest
bizarre development in the stampede of pachyderms
(and thick-skinned asses) towards the 2008 US presidential election.
Like the bizarre saga of Britney Spears that
quickly outstripped the parodic gesture of the "Monument to Pro-Life", or
the revelation that someone was shopping a stolen
video of Anna Nicole Smith's breast enhancement surgery, the reality of the 2008 campaign is rapidly
leaving behind anything that, say, The Onion or even the Yes
Men might fabricate.
Today, former New York mayor and national
security champion Rudy Giuliani
will come to Palo Alto for a fundraiser, at which attendees are
asked to contribute $9.11.
In a long life in Silicon Valley, one meets a lot of
people whose politics a mature individual would have to call selfish,
ignorant, repugnant. But even the most misinformed examples in that vein
would recoil before a fundraising appeal this vulgar. One has to
ask: "Does he think he can come here and do this because the nerds here
supposedly have no taste?" (Such a belief would, by the way, be
misinformed; the engineer's aesthetic may be alien to the uninitiated, but
it is quite powerful, and prickly, quick to appreciate the
elegant and reject the ugly.)
Regardless of one's actual politics, this kind of grotesque puts
the offensive into being "on the offensive." The aesthetic faculty rebels
in the face of an impulse so misguided, it has to be evil.
Of course the campaign is backing away from this. But it's hard to
imagine that this happened completely off their radar. The only
consolation here is that, if Giuliani's
"people" continue to show this kind of tin-ear judgement, perhaps
the campaign will implode. Then this political bogeyman could finally sink
into to the obscurity into which he would have justly vanished, had 9/11
not given him a stage of gore
and wreckage upon which to strut (while we fret).
C. Antonio Romero is a writer and
engineer in Silicon Valley. He is also the Nouveau editor at
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