Re: the February blahs: It's still friggin' cold outside… but the days are slowly getting longer, & the added hours of daylight are a welcome sign that February (my absolute least favourite month of the year) is ALMOST over…!
The bright light in my week thus far was staying up late to watch the Oscars on Monday night (even though I was soooo tired the next morning). As I wrote last year around this time, I am an Oscarphile from way, way back. The icing on my Oscar cake (and a definite day-brightener) was winning the office Oscar pool! -- I got 17 out of 24 categories correct. (Two of them that I missed, I went with who I thought would win vs who I thought should win -- and I should have listened to my gut!). I even got to give an "acceptance speech" via e-mail. ; ) It's not an Oscar but it was $57 and a lot of fun. I'll take it. ; )
I haven't written about "Octomom" yet (so many other bloggers are saying it so much better than I can…!) but I did find this column by Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal last week that I thought had an interesting perspective to share on the situation (within the context of the overall mood of anxiety that's gripping not only America but so much of the world these days). Although Noonan's politics are more conservative than mine, I find her to be a thoughtful & well-spoken writer and commentator, and I enjoy hearing her perspective on various political talk shows. As a sometime speechwriter, I absolutely loved her 1990 memoir of working as a speechwriter for both Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr., What I Saw at the Revolution.
This is the part about Octomom that I liked (you can read the entire column here):
And there's something else, not only in Manhattan but throughout the country. A major reason people are blue about the future is not the stores, not the Treasury secretary, not everyone digging in. It is those things, but it's more than that, and deeper.
It's Sully and Suleman, the pilot and "Octomom," the two great stories that are twinned with the era. Sully, the airline captain who saved 155 lives by landing that plane just right—level wings, nose up, tail down, plant that baby, get everyone out, get them counted, and then, at night, wonder what you could have done better. You know the reaction of the people of our country to Chesley B. Sullenberger III: They shake their heads, and tears come to their eyes. He is cool, modest, competent, tough in the good way. He's the only one who doesn't applaud Sully. He was just doing his job.
This is why people are so moved: We're still making Sullys. We're still making those mythic Americans, those steely-eyed rocket men. Like Alan Shepard in the Mercury
rocket: "Come on and light this candle."
But Sully, 58, Air Force Academy '73, was shaped and formed by the old America, and educated in an ethos in which a certain style of manhood—of personhood—was held high. What we fear we're making more of these days is Nadya Suleman. The dizzy, selfish, self-dramatizing 33-year-old mother who had six small children and then a week ago eight more because, well, she always wanted a big family. "Suley" doubletalks with the best of them, she doubletalks with profound ease. She is like Blago without the charm. She had needs and took proactive steps to meet them, and those who don't approve are limited, which must be sad for them. She leaves anchorwomen slack-jawed: How do you rough up a woman who's still lactating? She seems aware of their predicament.
Any great nation would worry at closed-up shops and a professional governing class that doesn't have a clue what to do. But a great nation that fears, deep down, that it may be becoming more Suley than Sully—that nation will enter a true depression.