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The Apotheosis of Hillary

The Apotheosis of Hillary 

Saturday, June 7, 2008: I was, and am, a supporter of Barack Obama for president. However, my satirical  play notwithstanding - to which some of you have objected* - I have always had a very high regard for Hillary Rodham Clinton. If Obama had not been running, I would have supported her. However, by her speech today, Hillary has won, not only my deeper respect, but also my affection, by conceding defeat as graciously as she has. May she long prevail. Hillary for Vice President!

* Some people, I realize, don't believe in too much sincerity, in too much honesty or freedom of expression or freedom of thought. Some don't appreciate literary and intellectual provocation. Some believe in making nice at all costs, in not rocking the boat, in "being prudent," in not alienating people. Some have what I would call an overly cautious sense of humor. Alas, for better or worse, I am not one of them. I have often paid the price!

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Hi, Christopher

That "Some people" must be me, as I was the only person to object to your title.

I love your taste in books, and I would guess you have a dazzling mind and talent.

Why I have trouble with provocative material in America is because I think Americans live cozy, almost comatose lives. Americans are sleek and well fed and they write things that are in your face, provocative--like your title--just so they could be heard by the unconscious and sleeping. If more traveled (and I don't mean 2 week tours of Africa) and lived in developing and Third World countries, you wouldn't have to jar them/us with an offensive title.

I did "get" your play. You weren't against Senator Clinton, but making a stab at those who would hate her no matter what she did or espoused.

You sound offended by my being offended. You must know, it stopped my breath to see, "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton."

Do I make sense to you?

Pax,

Could you please take a look at this post. It is "in your face," in its own way. My excuse is that it was a very real event and people mustn't forget:

http://www.redroom.com/blog/belle-yang/life-and-death-beijing-a-photo-journal

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Thanks

Hello Belle,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful reply.

I have, in fact, lived in a "Third World" country (Mexico) and have traveled in Europe, North America, and Asia. Yes indeed, I agree with you that many of us Americans are "comatose," as you say, and need a fierce shaking up, at least on occasion. Provocation in such cases strikes me as a crude but necessary, and sometimes wonderfully effective, weapon in the battle for attention. It has an honorable history, back to the provocations of Juvenal in Augustan Rome and, before that, of Thersites in Homer's Iliad, to say nothing of the provocations of so many of Aristophanes' plays, Aretino's satires in Renaissance Italy, Swift in England, etc., etc. I don't claim to be anywhere near the stature of those minds, but I do claim to work in the same tradition. A Modest Proposal, anyone? Did that actually help the Irish? Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. But who, having heard it, can forget it?

FYI: "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton" is not my title: that is the title of an art exhibit that was presented earlier this year. My title was shorter and somewhat more elliptical.  

Thank you very much for the link.

Yours as fellow agent provocateur in a good cause,

Chris