Barbara Bush, Elvis, all the living presidents, ricin, “Legally Blonde,” gay marriage, France, a cardboard cutout of Nancy Pelosi and Boston. They all made their way into the national discourse this week. But how?
1.) No words: This Boston Magazine cover says so much with one inspiring image using shoes from the marathon bombed nearly two weeks ago. The murderous plot knocked Boston off its stride for a bit. But only for a bit.
2.) All the presidents men: This picture says more about our democracy than even the inauguration. That ceremony is the peaceful transfer of power. The gathering of all the living presidents — Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — at the dedication of George W. Bush’s presidential library and museum is more powerful. There are countries that jail, exile or kill their former leaders. Yesterday was yet another day to celebrate that we do not.
3.) Caption contest: Barbara Bush is known for her sharp tongue. So I’m dying to know what she said to President Obama that elicited this reaction. If “Tell me I’m lyin’” was any part of what Bush said, she’s my hero.
4.) They can’t handle the truth: Marriage was bustin’ out all over the world. France became the 14th nation to legalize same-sex marriage. Rhode Island took a step closer to becoming the 10th state to adopt marriage equality. And there are moves to do the same in Illinois, Hawaii, Delaware and Nevada, where state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson came out as gay. For those rioting in France and elsewhere who think allowing same-sex couples to wed threatens heterosexual marriage, Atkinson delivered some truth. “If this hurts your marriage,” he said, “then your marriage was in trouble in the first place.”
5.) Elvis has left the building: Poor Paul Kevin Curtis. He was accused of sending ricin-laced letters to President Obama and a U.S. senator who once hired him as an Elvis impersonator. Then the charges were dropped and a Curtis rival became the focus of federal investigators. When Curtis talked to reporters after his release, he said, “I thought they said rice, and I said, ‘I don’t even eat rice.’” And an already odd case took a turn for the weird.
6.) Legally dumb: Rule No. 1 of fame is to never, EVER, utter the phrase “Do you know who I am?!” or its equivalent. I should add that it is also frequently violated, much to our collective amusement. Thus, our delight at the recent rhetorical violation by actress Reese Witherspoon. Last weekend, her drunk-driving husband failed a Breathalyzer after being pulled over. But that didn’t stop the “Legally Blonde” star from raising an objection. “Do you know my name?” she asked the Georgia cop. “You’re about to find out who I am.” We all found out, sadly.
7.) Just for laughs: This instant classic of political theater (of the absurd) with Mark Sanford and “Nancy Pelosi” will never get old.
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