i am not dead. i just got busy. i've been running around southern jersey at various labor arbitration hearings. when that happens my blogging inevitably falls by the wayside a little. i like hearings. yelling "objection" makes me feel like a real lawyer. on the other hand, doing one after the other starts to wear on me after a while. and then there's the matter of keeping the facts straight from one case to the next and remembering which cast of characters goes with which set of facts.
i generally hate driving to hearings, but one bonus is all the n.p.r. i get to listen to. at least sometimes i like it. this clinton mania is getting a little tiresome. today, at least, i got a break from that to hear about how cheney said "fuck" on the senate floor (whether he said "fuck off" or "go fuck yourself" to patrick leahy is still not entirely clear. i'm sure some future history grad student will get a dissertation out of that issue).
the n.p.r. story i heard today mostly focused on two aspects of the fuck-cheney story: first, they explored how the print-media referred to "the f-word." the washington post actually printed the word that cheney used, breaking new grounds in american journalism. other papers however, went with f--- and a few used f*** or "the f-word". not all that creative, when you think about it. there are plenty of other ways to refer to the word without hitting the "f" through "k" key in a forbidden sequence. but once again, no one asked me.
the other topic in the n.p.r. story was whether the news story would hurt or help cheney politically. first, they wondered whether it would alienated conservative voters, who might be offended by that particular word. personally i doubt that it will. among that brand of conservatives telling a democratic senator to "fuck off" and/or "go fuck yourself" will probably score you points. (who knows? maybe in future republican primaries, candidates will argue over who hasn't sufficiently cussed out senator kennedy)
someone on the n.p.r. story mentioned that cheney's utterance came just hours after the senate (with cheney presiding) voted to increase dramatically the fines for broadcasters guilty of "obscene, indecent or profane language.", which is pretty funny. or it would be if irony weren't dead in the post-911 world.
someone else on the radio argued that the matter might actually improve cheney's image. after all the questions about his shadowing business deals, his secret undisclosed locations, his possible behind-the-scenes control of the presidency and his secret energy task force, many people are beginning to see cheney as a kind of evil robot. having an outburst with profanity, the argument went, at least demonstrates that the guy has feelings. evil nasty vengeful feelings, but feelings nonetheless. "it will humanize him," they guy on the radio added.
what the n.p.r. story did not do, is investigate whether the statement was justified. i suppose that really isn't much of an issue. it may very well be the best comeback you have when someone accuses you of war profiteering.