WASHINGTON—Not unlike Congress, I have always been addicted to futile and meaningless resolutions. I don't know that they are futile and meaningless at the time, or I would not make them. Every year, without fail, I resolve to become an entirely different person.
OK, winter. That’ll do. It’s been real. It’s been lovely. It has been more than enough. But do you not take a hint? I’m serious now. Hit the road. Or, rather, get off the road so I can drive again. Here are your things. Here is your salt. Here are your scarf and your boots and your puddles and slush. I don’t care what the groundhog said. You need to leave. It was cute at first, but I am done with it. I’m over. I am through. My feet are cold. My shoes are soaked. Shoo. Scram.
Before these Games get too far underway, I would like to set the record straight. I keep hearing people insist that the Winter Olympics are the equal of the Summer Olympics. This is, quite frankly, completely untrue.
What’s in a name? A rose by any other name might still smell just as bad, but it could sound like it was someone else’s signature legislative achievement. Polls show the rollout of Obamacare — er, the Affordable Care Act — is doing a wonderful impression of a person who does not know how to swim but won’t let go of your leg, dragging you and everyone who touches you down into the vasty deep where no light penetrates and those weird fish with glowing protuberances swim to and fro ominously. Metaphorically speaking, that is.
“What do you do with a BA in English? What is my life going to be? Four years of college and plenty of knowledge Have earned me this useless degree. I can’t pay the bills yet ‘Cause I have no skills yet The world is a big scary place But somehow I can’t shake The feeling I might make A difference to the human race.” This verse from “Avenue Q” does a better job summing up the case for the humanities than a full 92 pages from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
With just two Mondays of decision left this month, somewhere deep in the Supreme Court, the nine justices are sitting at a table, staring at a whiteboard. The board is blank except for the bullet points “DOMA,” “VRA,” “Affirmative Action (this is BIG!)” and the word “Constitution?” in large, uneven letters from when Antonin Scalia was taking notes earlier. Around them are empty Chinese food containers, coffee mugs and the refuse of several days in a room without sleep. “Our deadline is coming up,” Chief Justice John Roberts says. He goes to the board and picks up a pen.
To be immortal is to be misquoted. Repeatedly, and often at length. It is to have words stuffed into your mouth by total strangers. It is to be parodied and caricatured and have your face shoved onto T-shirts and your name bandied about and slapped on street signs. It is to be taken out of context. It is to trend on Twitter for hours before everyone realizes you didn’t say what they thought you said. It is to show up in Chevy commercials for no reason at all.