Monday, March 31, 2008

Polls, Like People, Are Fickle

In my two centuries of experience, I have witnessed quite a bit of human interaction. Between the graceful mannerisms of my day and the more outspoken dialogue of yours, I have learned this foolproof adage: People rarely say what they mean, and when they do, they rarely stick to it.

The political polls, which measure the current perception of the populace, are about as predictable as the weather in Hyde Park; when it rains, it often pours (or hails), and yet it dries up shortly afterwards. How else to make sense of the up-and-down, see-saw, Pemberley-to Longbourn-to Netherfield- to Pemberley- to Rosings Park-to Pemberley-to London- to Longbourn- to Pemberley capriciousness?

Let's break it down further:

Pemberley - Clinton the clear favorite (January-August 2007)

Longbourn - Obama gains momentum, becomes challenger (Fall 2007)

Netherfield - Obama wins Iowa caucus

Pemberley - Facing political death, Hillary eeks out a win in New Hampshire

Rosings Park - Obama wins huge in South Carolina, splits Super Tuesday, then wins 11 in a row

Pemberley - Clinton strikes back in Ohio and Texas

London - Wright Controversy

Longbourn - Obama regains momentum, Bosnia sniper fiasco (where we are now)

And to come?

Pemberley - Clinton wins Pennsylvania big, catapulting her into the popular vote lead and a happy ending for all when the Convention chooses a Clinton-Obama ticket.

We can only hope for the Pemberley ending, but sadly, many things go the way Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's a Popular (ity) Contest Now

The common media epithet for the January 29th Florida Democratic Primary was "beauty contest." Furthermore, the biggest issue surrounding the New Hampshire Primary was likability. Having delved enough into the history of your High School culture, I question whether this political race is just another popularity contest, pitting Socs against Greasers, jocks against T-Birds. Is it indeed a popularity contest?

I say it is, but in a different way. If this were, in fact, a beauty contest, my choice would be obvious. 60 years or not, Hillary Clinton is one sumptuous temptress. Deep inside, every male journalist has to be wondering what lies behind the pants-suit curtain (is it the fear of rejection that makes them favor Obama?).

But leaving the Meryton gutter behind, let's focus on the word "popularity." Pundits for Sir Barack Obama have argued that Mrs. Clinton has no chance to catch him. Some have gone even further, suggesting that she should drop out (Mr. Obama - to his credit - retreated from that position yesterday).

I am the first to accept the pledged delegate differential as daunting, but the "popular" vote can still be accomplished. It was universally acknowledged that - with Florida and Michigan - my dear Hillary Clinton would have had an excellent chance to catch up in popular vote. When Mr. Obama tramelled that attempt, many saw Mr. Obama's lead as insurmountable.

I entreat you, readers, to examine this chart from the illustrious Jay Cost. As Michael Barone shows here, my dear Hillary still has a decent chance. She will need her strongest showings in Indiana, Montana, and South Dakota, states that may or may not be favorable to her. She must exceed expectations in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia, while minimizing the damage in North Carolina and Oregon.

The other critical contest is Puerto Rico, where lawmakers have successfully changed the vote from a caucus to a primary. Clinton has soared with Latino voters (a large percentage of the Puerto Rican population, we assume), so if she can gain over 300,000 votes there, she would be in a prime position. Let's also factor in the growing trend of states wanting to feel important. The best way to have an impact on the race is to vote Clinton, so I expect her to gain a few supporters that way too.

In sum, Mrs. Clinton may not win a High School popularity contest with Mr. Obama, but she can win the popular vote. It was much the same way with Mr. Bennet, as he was first inclined towards Mr. Wickham, but later settled on me. The United States can do the same.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Howard Dean Decides to Speak Up

After months of silence when he should have spoken, Howard Dean (once compared to Mr. Bennet) has decided to speak up. And what has he said? Naturally, that the candidates should tone it down.

This, coming from the master of "toning it down," save for that little squeal four years back. He successfully toned down the Florida and Michigan electorate too, which is proof that the real genius in Dr. Dean's toning-down has been his muted support for Obama.

It reminds me of when I instructed Mr. Bingley to tone it down, wrongfully interpreting Jane Bennet's bashfulness for indifference. My ill-advised interference delayed their happiness for a good year; Howard Dean's will rob his party's happiness for four.

Obama, Clinton in Lyme?

The desire to discover one's origins is present in nearly every human, so it should come as no surprise that I have actively sought information about Jane Austen, the woman who brought me to this world (before I was hijacked to a different world by Lady Catherine).

It was to my great pleasure, then, that I stumbled across a brilliant piece on Austen in Lyme. Most of you will associate the word Lyme with Lyme's disease, but the lovely waterfront town in England serves as an outstanding relaxation spot, a soothing distraction from the hustles and bustles of daily life. In fact, I would recommend it as a place for people ailing from Lyme's Disease, almost as a British Lourdes of sorts.

But all this talk of relaxation got me thinking about the stresses of the political trail. Would it not benefit my dear Hillary and Sir Barack Obama to find America's version of Lyme, to come to an accord and save the Democratic party of more fracture, perhaps over a spot of English tea?

Let's review some possibilities:

Palm Beach, Florida: At first, I was sure this would work, but then I remembered a key obstacle: Mr. Obama does not recognize Florida as a state.

Sleepy Bear Sand Dunes, Michigan: Another great spot, but alas, not one on Mr. Obama's lists either. No delegates, no tea party.

On Lake Michigan, Illinois: Mr. Obama does recognize his own state as far as I know, but so does the Reverend Wright.

Charleston, South Carolina: The perfect Lyme, except Mr. Clinton - who did more for civil rights than any prior President - would not be welcome because he's presumed a racist there.

Boston Harbor, Massachusetts: Perhaps not the best place for a tea party.

Long Island, New York: They prefer coffee.

Seattle, Washington: Too much rain.

Laguna Beach, California: Too much Tom Cruise.

Alas, it looks like the real Lyme is the only alternative. Perhaps they'll meet Anne Eliot there. Oh, and they should make sure to watch their ankles.

Drop Out, They Say? Hah!

Add Pennsylvania to the bulletin of states the Obama campaign finds irrelevant, and go ahead and include North Carolina and Indiana for good measure. Brush them aside with those undeserving constituencies in Florida and Michigan, because the only states that should weigh in on the Democratic party's choice for President are the ones that support Mr. Obama.

Am I being a bit harsh? Am I engaging in hyperbole? Not at all, if you examine these reprehensible remarks from supporters of Mr. Obama. Is not the concept of counting every vote an essential component of any true democracy? Only my dear Hillary seems to comprehend this.

What is Mr. Obama afraid of? If he were so certain of his position, he would gladly support revotes in Florida and Michigan, and subsequently first-votes in the remaining twelve states, commonwealths, and territories. God forsake Pennsylvania of its statehood, because it dares to vote against the chosen one!

Fortunately for all rational-minded folk, the day of reckoning will be April the 22nd, and I sincerely hope the good citizens of Pennsylvania turn Obama into a toothsome miscellany of Quaker oatmeal. What a tasty instant breakfast!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cupid Strikes Again

Do you hear that sonance, that swishing sound of Hillary Clinton sinking? No, not in the polls (okay, perhaps there too), but in the open wound that is my heart.

I recently opined about how my dear Hillary plagiarized my words to express her affections, and today I was given more proof. Take a look at this lovely illustration of the glorious Lady Hillary unleashing arrow after arrow in search of love.

Now look at the artist's name. Yes, it is indeed a gentleman named Mr. Darcy (in this case Jeff...mine is the much more regal Fitzwilliam). She simply sought the wrong one.

In light of these new developments, I may just overcome my fears and extend my shaking hand. As many of you are painfully aware, marriage proposals have not been my forte (though I still claim to be more adept at it than Mr. Collins). Please tell me readers; will my efforts be in vain? Will she accept my lessened fortune and twentieth century inexperience? My goodness, I sound like Mr. Obama! How unworthy I am!

I am almost certain to be rejected, and yet I still cling to the tiniest shred of hope from those potioned arrows so beautifully depicted in that drawing. She must take pity on my pour soul.

If Hillary is to decline my heartfelt affections, then lay me down in front of those Bosnian snipers.

If she accepts me, well then, I will be the happiest of men.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Divisive Dance

The Democratic political race has reached a new level of chaos, thanks to a growing rancor between supporters of Mrs. Clinton and Sir Barack Obama (Trinity United Churchgoers is difficult to imagine them any angrier than what I witnessed in my whirlwind church tour last week). Opinions on the potential ramifications of this "house divided against itself" conundrum fall into two factions:

1. Some say the issue is overblown, and that the Democratic party will unify once a nominee is picked. It's just a mere stain (a la Monica Lewinsky's dress).

2. Others see the party as ripped apart at the seams (a la any dress designed by my mother-in-law Mrs. Bennet. The only things worse than her knitting are her poor nerves).

As a self-declared optimist, I was inclined to go with the first group, until those virtuosos at CNN dropped this bombshell on me:

19% of Obama supporters will vote for McCain over Clinton and 28% of Clinton supporters will vote McCain over Obama.

Even if inflated, those are some frightening numbers for the side of the donkeys (who will soon find themselves escorting tourists up and down Santorini if the status quo maintains). This is no small matter. My decision/indecision to dance at the Netherfield Ball was a small matter (save for a few ladies who might have developed a fateful attraction). The President of the next four years is a gargantuan concern.

So how do I propose the Democrats resolve this conflict? By nominating my dear Hillary, of course. 19% is considerably better than 28%, especially when you factor how many of those 19% are in states never likely to go Blue (ie. Deep South), whereas much of Hillary's 28% are in battleground states.

My fellow Democrats, the choice is evident, and besides...if in doubt, dance with a lady.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Consulting the Baronetage

Those of you familiar with Jane Austen's Persuasion must recall this illustrious opening:

Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed. This was the page at which the favourite volume always opened:


"Walter Elliot, born March 1, 1760, married, July 15, 1784, Elizabeth, daughter of James Stevenson, Esq. of South Park, in the county of Gloucester, by which lady (who died 1800) he has issue Elizabeth, born June 1, 1785; Anne, born August 9, 1787; a still-born son, November 5, 1789; Mary, born November 20, 1791."

What relevance does this have to today's affairs, you might ask? I would have wondered the same thing, until I stumbled upon this shocking genealogy report today, courtesy of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. This is absolutely amazing material, and they ought to be commended for their researching efforts.

Let's examine this a bit:

Barack Obama is related to Brad Pitt, Hillary Clinton to Angelina Jolie. Well now we have a much greater understanding of the film, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. More significantly, could these new developments encourage Brad Pitt to break ties with Angelina Jolie and return to Jennifer Aniston? I dare not conjecture.

Mr. Obama also shares an ancestry with President George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry S. Truman, James Madison, Vice President Dick Cheney, British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, and Civil War General Robert E. Lee. One has to wonder how many of these prestigious figures (save the Bushes) would have felt about their descendent taking part in Reverend Wright's sermons. Is Sir Barack Obama the family disappointment?

As for Clinton, her list is not quite as presidential, but it certainly is cultural: Jack Kerouac, Madonna, Celine Dion, Alanis Morissette, and Camilla Parker-Bowles, wife of my own Prince Charles.

If we were to base the presidency on ancestry alone, the tenderest meat would go to Mr. Obama; certainly, Winston Churchill was much more the statesman than Camilla, who aided Prince Charles in desecrating the British royal tradition.

Fortunately for my dear Hillary, the quality of one's relations is a monstrous barometer for measuring the worth of a person. Need I remind you of that tactless Mrs. Bennet I have the misfortune of calling my mother-in-law? As you Americans are fond of saying, "enough said."

I Was Plagiarized!

This would not be the first time plagiarism has surfaced in this election. As some of you may recall, Sir Barack Obama was accused of the very charge, taking his now infamous "Just words" speech from friend Deval Patrick.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that my dear Hillary Clinton had plagiarized my own words! In today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review interview, Mrs. Clinton had this to say about the Reverend Wright:

"He would not have been my pastor," Clinton said. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."

Is that not a paraphrase of one of my earlier postings, when I compared my inability to choose that wretched Lady Catherine for my aunt with Obama choosing his preacher? Hillary Clinton swiped the words directly from my fingertips.

Now how seriously am I taking these charges? With the utmost care, let me assure you. Am I to write this off as "just words," as Mr. Obama and his operatives might say? Of course not. These utterances have penetrated my heart deeply, like arrows sprung from the fingers of a master archer, striking bulls-eye in my left ventricle.

Yes indeed. Only Cupid's hand could aim so adroitly. I almost dare not think it, but could it be that my lady Hillary Clinton has come to love me? I can only hope.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Would Austen Have Picked Hillary?

At this point, there can be little question regarding my political preference. Only an illiterate dimwit from Yorkshire would fail to discern it, and even he probably has an inkling. Let me just quickly state, however, that if there should happen to be one of those in need of clarification, I am boisterously in support of the lovely Mrs. Clinton, pant-suits and all.

A more poignant question, however, would be whether Jane Austen agrees with me. In a sense - since I am a creature of her machination - it could be said that I reflect her viewpoints. I would like to think that's the case, but I am just one small facet of her complex brain, one character among a slew of differing opinions. I could no less make that claim than disown the Austen community.

The Austen Blog (a wonderful potpourri of all things Austen...highly recommended) expounded on this very point, precise location Exhibit C. It seems some are of a mind to associate Miss Austen with Mr. Obama, an assertion I hope to dispel for good through three impenetrable persuasions:

1. Jane Austen may not have been a feminist in the Wollstonecraft vein, but she certainly championed women's rights, and while my dear Hillary has her flaws, so did Emma. If I remember correctly, Austen managed to make a heroine out of her, so why not the same for Hillary? If Austen were here today, I say she would embrace the possibility of a female leader, perhaps rallying behind her with a sharp-witted endorsement (so long as the inauguration had the appropriate amount of satin).

2. What type of character is Jane Austen most wary of? The dashing, philandering male suitor! We see it time and time again, between Mr. Willoughby, Mr. Wickham, Henry Crawford, and even Frank Churchill (I think it's safe to say Mr. Collins does not grace this list, as he already inhabits the current presidency). This, my readers, is Sir Barack Obama, the sorcerer of seduction.

3. Hillary Clinton has oft been called the "iron lady" for her wilful determination and steely resolve. Is that not a trait common in Austen heroines? How about Fanny Price's insistence on denying Henry Crawford despite Sir Thomas Bertram's implorations, or Elinor Dashwood's fearlessness in the face of misfortune? My dear Hillary embodies these qualities in their finest form.

So there you have it. Not only would Hillary Clinton garner Austen's support, but she would also transform into a true Austen heroine (perhaps leaving Bill - the greatest seducer of them all - behind). And if such were the case, count me among those in pursuit of her charms.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jane: You are NOT Plain

Let me respond to your post, Miss Eyre, with a bit of a pick-me-up. Your own physical appearance has been the subject of much questioning, by readers, literary theorists, and most notably, yourself.

You are famous for saying: "Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless?"

Let me respond with this interrogative: "Do you think because I am rich, famous, handsome, and large (interpret that as you may), that I am soulless and heartless?"

Let's focus specifically on the words "soulless and heartless." When you voiced them in your beautiful speech to Mr. Rochester, you intended to say that you have a soul, a heart. That you had feelings. When I proclaim them, I mean it in terms of sympathy. I may be all those great things on the outside, but I have a heart and a soul too, and they feel for you in your self-deprecation.

In fact, I find you quite beautiful, Miss Eyre. I have always been one to go for intelligence (hence, Mrs. Clinton), and I can proudly say that I find neither of you plain.

Unfortunately, your Mr. Obama - just like Mr. Rochester - is not all that pure either, in fact far from it.

Victorian Ideals in A Victorian Age

While speaking politics, a friend recently criticized Hillary and added, in jest, women should be seen and not heard. I know that my independence put me at odds with Victorian ideals, but come on! Now I don't support Hillary any more than Mr. Darcy supports Obama, but I definitely think that her candidacy is quite important from a social standpoint. In a brilliant speech, Obama recently discussed race from a social standpoint in modern society. I think that Hillary is doing for gender what Obama is doing for race. For that, I definitely respect her. But really, has this modern society really regressed back to a Victorian one? I should hope not.

And of course what did I respond to my friend's platitude "women should be seen and not heard"?

"Well, I'd much rather hear her...she's not much of a looker."

I'd wager that Mr. Darcy would disagree.

Times Change, People Don't

The more I learn of your political figures, the more perplexed I am by their parallels to those from my time.

Already, I have made a persuasive case for George W. Bush being Mr. Collins. The time has come to make a few more comparisions.

Mr. Wickham: Easily Sir Barack Obama, as the articulate manipulator, making use of good looks and a swift tongue to deceive the populace.

Lady Catherine: It must be Ann Coulter. Both are vile, and both think themselves more important than they are.

Lydia: Michelle Obama, whose newfound pride in her country must certainly be due to the attentions of attractive soldiers. How else to explain the silliness and conceit?

Charlotte Lucas: Laura Bush, because she must have had serious reservations about wedding George W. (one hopes anyway)

And lastly (and the point of this piece), Mr. Bennet: Howard Dean. This is a complicated correlation, but it holds strong. Like Mr. Bennet, Howard Dean's progressive 50-state strategy netted him some early victories in 2006 (Jane and Elizabeth), but his hands-off approach to Florida and Michigan (Lydia and Kitty) will lead to their ruin (in this case, elopement with John McCain).

Furthermore, Howard Dean presides over a party dominated by female voters - just as Mr. Bennet did daughters - and he struggles to coexist with women his age (Hillary Clinton, or Mrs. Bennet).

As in the immortal words of Austen, Mr. Dean has put Democrats in an untenable position; select Obama and women will never vote for him again, select Clinton and blacks will never vote for her again.

Finally, it must be said that Howard Dean, like Mr. Bennet, has one more fatal flaw: he plays favorites. At least Mr. Bennet had the judgment to favor the most virtuous one.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Out with the Dishwater, in with the Ditchwater

In a past posting about the delegate mess, I implied that Sir Barack Obama might end up drinking dishwater, among other references to Charlie Crist being served a crusty blueberry muffin.

Now, in the wake of reports that Mr. Obama has singlehandedly trameled/trammelled (British) the Michigan revote, it seems I was all too kind. Dishwater is too clement a medicine for a candidate so fond of disenfranchisement. I say give him ditchwater.

Now some will maintain that dishwater and ditchwater are one in the same, but I beg to differ. One of my servants once had the unfortunate accident of finding himself stranded in a ditch with nothing but the prior day's rain to quench his thirst. We rescued him after a thorough search of the Pemberley grounds, and he vowed never to indulge in ditchwater ever again. He drank dishwater every day.

So the moral of my little anecdote is that ditchwater is quite a bit worse than dishwater, and that Mr. Obama - should he win the primary - will experience that awful taste for himself when he loses Michigan to John McCain.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Michigan Reminds Me of the Dark Ages

In my nation's long and proud history, there are splotches of shame scattered within. I could lay out a laundry list for you (I just learned how to use your washing machines, by the way), but I prefer not to sear too deeply into periods I should rather forget.

The question of a revote in Michigan, however, reeks of the same sort of self-interested corruption. Relying on fragile arguments, those connected with Sir Barack Obama mean to deny a fair calculation at any cost, including that of losing the state in the General Election.

I understand their reasoning. It is clear as the chalk on England's southern cliffs. Mr. Obama wishes to thwart any possibility of my dear Hillary obtaining an advantage in popular vote. If he gets his way (which it seems he very well might), then justice will be tossed about like a wife wearing the Tudor emblem.

On the heels of such a landmark speech, I say shame on you Mr. Obama! If my greatest desire for the Reverend Wright would be for him not to practice what he preaches, then it would be decidedly the opposite for Mr. Obama, who must live up to his own billing, a billing that might see him second if such an event fails to occur.

Obama's Speech Fit for an Englishman

Those of you who have read my prior commentary know that I have been critical of Sir Barack Obama in many respects. Much of that is due to my growing affinity for Hillary Clinton, but I also attribute a good portion to sound logic. I still hold the same reservations, but I want to step aside and give credit where it's due (as you Americans are fond of saying).

Mr. Obama's speech on race was unquestionably brilliant, if for no other reason than that he was uniquely qualified to give it. Put any other human being in the world in front of the same words and the effect is lessened. Perhaps Nelson Mandela could have delivered it with more authority, but even that is doubtful.

As the first prominent biracial presidential candidate, Mr. Obama has the genetic formula necessary to quell racial strife in America. Throw in his political stature, and the stage was set properly for a speech for all ages (both in terms of human ages and eras).

Yes, I can step aside for a moment and praise a truly elemental moment in human history. For a day, you, Mr. Obama, are king of the world. As for tomorrow, I still have yet to hear a real policy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Couldn't Choose my Uncle Either...Oh Wait, He Could

Sir Barack Obama's defense of his longtime cohort, Pastor Wright, has been summed up as a relationship with an old uncle. To give you the exact quote: "[Rev. Wright] is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with."

That got me to thinking about my relations, and I recalled how little say I had over my own Aunt, Lady Catherine, the villain responsible for my current whereabouts (I think, anyway). Interesting, though, how I did manage to show enough judgment to defy my aunt and marry the woman I loved. Mr. Obama has done no such thing.

Then it occurred to me that Reverend Wright is not even Sir Barack's real uncle, but a friend close enough to be considered family. Hrmmm. Something smells like the Thames.

Choosing the Right Church

This past Sunday, I embarked on a pursuit of the right Christian institution for my membership. Between all my ephemeral stops, I likened myself to Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, when they famously criss-crossed between Ohio and Texas several times a day.

Needless to say, there is little that resembles the old Anglican church I used to be a part of (nor do I mind escaping Mr. Collins' sermons). Let me describe my journey:

I made my first stop at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Aside from feeling slightly out of place (I did not quite fit with the demographic), I found myself put off by the explosive preaching, particularly in regard to America being the KKK and the support for anti-semitic leaders like Louis Farakhan. To make matters worse, things were not exactly pro-Hillary, which to me is the greatest desecration of all. I left aghast, though still with the audacity to hope for a better congregation.

My next visit was to Virginia Beach, where I figured Pat Robertson would give me a warm welcome. How wrong I was! Never have I heard such absurd hate-speech. I could be wrong, but I think Pat Robertson blamed my "godlessness" for the tornado that befell Georgia this past weekend. He also predicted a number of apocalyptic events, brought on by such terrorist groups as the gay and lesbian community. So reprehensible were his words that I suddenly considered Reverend Wright and his Trinity United a rational place of worship.

Dismayed by my first two attempts, I made the trek out to Los Angeles (what speedy transportation your world has!) to hear about a promising new sect of Christianity: Scientology. I found myself in the company of such wise people as Tom Cruise (the gentleman from Mission Impossible...he must know miracles). While their congregation was not as motivated by hate, it was equally nonsensical, cult-like even. For a moment, I thought I might be at an Obama rally.

Finally, I set my sights on St. John the Divine in New York. At last, an accepting establishment that boasted itself as a Christian haven for all Americans, no matter their faith. They were even kind to Jews! It would behoove Mr. Obama to switch here if he decides to leave Trinity United, just as I did. Of course, it also helps that the architecture reminds of old Westminster Abbey, but I think you Americans can appreciate that.

So there you have it. Come sit with me at St. John the Divine on Sundays and we can open a pint of brandy treat.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Know a Little Something About Pride

Any who have had the honor of reading Pride and Prejudice know that the first of these epithets was in reference to me. Yes, I was guilty of too much pride, and I have pride enough now to admit it.

That being said, who would know better than I about the vices of pride and arrogance? I read this piece on Mr. Obama's arrogance, and there are a few serious red flags.

Let me point out two quotes in particular:

"To know me is to love me," and "Every place is Barack Obama country once Barack Obama's been there." Aside from the Bob Dole-like use of the third person, we are dealing with a candidate far to full of himself to effectively lead a country. This nation needs the delicate touch of a woman, in this case my dear Hillary.

Jane Eyre, ON MY BLOG???

Just when I thought things had reached their lowest possible point, I discover that Lady Catherine has sent another novel inhabitant, Jane Eyre, to my world, and more specifically to my blog.

Let me preface my complaints by saying that I have since read Jane Eyre and found it quite superlative. I took great delight in Jane's character, and I very much look forward to conversing with her.

The pleasantries stop there. Jane Eyre, always known for her audacity (she had the chutzpah (a new word I learned) to turn down that domineering St. John Rivers), has made the most reckless of moves. She has....dare I say it...endorsed Sir Barack Obama ON MY BLOG!!! This was to be my shrine to my dear Hillary, and now I find it tainted. Are the shades of this blog to be thus polluted?

Despite my apprehensions, I have decided to allow her to stay. What better way to extol my lady Hillary's virtues than to defeat a spokesman (or spokeswoman, I should say nowadays) for the inferior side.

Miss Eyre, you are welcome, but do not expect kindness. You know those dreams of Thornfield Hall burning to the ground? Such will be your Mr. Obama.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Suppress'd

Mr. Darcy recently posted on the head/heart dichotomy. I am a woman of very few words, hence I will be brief. From experience, I tend towards responsibility and reason. Yet my one true love, my dear blind Rochester, has proven, in various manifestations, that it is the heart, not the head, from whence where the truest decisions originate (comma splice, possibly?).

For me, Clinton will always be the crazy lady, the Bertha Mason, locked in the attic--ever present, somewhat delusional, logically robotic to the point of insanity. In her quest to defy gender stereotypes she seems to have suppress'd any and all emotion (that I suspect would lead anyone to consider her "too feminine"). While this emotional suppression does in fact render her less womanly (which is perhaps one of her campaign goals?) it also paints her as less human. It is quite difficult for me to relate to her on a personal level, a woman in such disequilibrium. I offer to her kind words of wisdom, for I too have been on that path. I repress'd all emotion and nearly married St. John, almost the most disastrous mistake of my life. Yet herein lies the difference in our situations: if elected, it will be the lives of the entire American public affected. I am far more willing to entrust my life to a man of passion, integrity, and change (albeit somewhat ambiguous). How then does one reconcile reason with emotion, passion with responsibility? It is a question I have oft grappled with. For me, I can see my dear Rochester in Obama's sultry smile, his dark eyes, his long hands. I can see Rochester in Obama's strong shoulders; shoulders upon which I would entrust the weight of the globe.

And finally, To quote the great Amy Poehler: "One of Senator Obama's aides resigned after calling Hillary Clinton a monster. Clinton's response: RAWR!" That sounds just like Bertha Mason!

Superdelegates Should Follow their Heads, I My Heart

There's a certain timelessness to the question of "head or heart." Back in my former life, the obvious "head" choice would have been to marry Lady Catherine's daughter instead of Elizabeth, but my heart pointed uncontrollably for the latter.

The same question plagues the superdelegates today, as they debate between head (Clinton) and heart (Obama). The common argument goes that Obama inspires a new wave of hope, based not in policy but change. Clinton, on the other hand, is all reason and experience, with a robotic insistence on asserting policy over faux-idealism.

When it comes to choosing the leader of a country, reason should always prevail. That Obama inspires such optimism is nice, cute even, but will it bring results? Perhaps the real idealist, the true bringer of hope, is the one who depends on pragmatism to achieve those ideals. That, my readers, is my dear Hillary.

And as for me, I go with my head, but also my heart. With each passing day, I become yours all the more, my dear Hillary. You have my head and my heart, and perhaps you could have half my possessions too.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Evolution of Swing

By all accounts, the Swing era was a flourishing time for the arts and cultural advancement. My objection to dancing has been well documented (though not nearly as strongly as Mr. Knightley's), but I should have liked to give Swing a go. In fact, I would take myself there in an instant if not for a certain Hitler.

But all this talk of Swing has my head swirling, which generally leads me into another rumination on the political sphere. In this piece, the Washington Post breaks down the ten most likely "swing states" to, well, swing in the 2008 presidential election. I list them below:

Missouri, Minnesota, Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa.

Minnesota and New Hampshire are the only two blues. If I were making a list, I would add Pennsylvania and Michigan, but I will work with their list.

Of those ten, my dear Hillary has won five in the primaries so far, while Sir Barack has also taken five. If we were to assume that each would take his/her five, that would amount to 61 electoral delegates for Clinton and 50 for Obama. Advantage Clinton.

Of course, this is not to say that each cannot take all in the General Election. By my subjective analysis, however, I see Obama with very little chance in Florida or Ohio (47 delegates), whereas Clinton has nearly the same chance in Missouri and Minnesota (21 delegates). I see neither with much chance in Virginia and Colorado, despite what the Washington Post says, with Iowa being Obama's only clear supremacy. Again, Advantage Clinton.

And, she's more attractive (at least, to me). Threefold, Advantage Clinton.

Identity Politics, circa 1800

In 1800, the increasingly not-so-glorious era in which I lived, it is difficult to imagine whether a female or black candidate would have garnered more support. Neither women nor blacks had much voting power, if at all, so it would have come down to the wealthy white male landowners. Would they have preferred to take it on the chin from a race they viewed as inferior, or in the groin from the sex they so loved to dominate?

My personal theory is that there would have been a split vote. Progressive males would have supported the female - a Wollstonecraft as it were - while the more backward would have opted for what least affected them individually (anything but my wife aspiring to an opinion!)

By my estimation, 1800 would have gone for the latter, but not 1850 (an interesting paradox, since slavery would have been abolished by then). Either way, these prejudicial components do not make me much proud.

Now that I have become addicted to the Internet, motor vehicles, CNN, and a new hobby (American sports - more to come on that later), how can I possibly return to the horse-and-carriage days of my infancy? The only thing I miss from that era is Lizzy and my pal Bingley.

So there you have it Lady Catherine. You tried to banish me, and yet I find contentment. Banish them too! ( will Lizzy feel about my infatuation for Hillary. On second thought, let's hold off a bit).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Spitzers of My Time

In my time, more attention was paid to spinsters than Spitzers, but it was people like Eliot Spitzer who contributed to spinsterhood.

In your world, progressions in the feminist movement, materialized in the advancement of the female gender, make the once-dreadful thought of spinsterhood a mere bad noodle. With that being said, let sympathy go out to Mrs. Spitzer, who has had to endure not only the acidity of public shame, but the forced realization that her life has been a sham. She is Elizabeth's sister Lydia, except she knows of the disgrace (Lydia, in her ignorance, had not the slightest idea what I saved her from).

Some parallels have to be made with the current lady of my hour, Mrs. Hillary Clinton. From my comprehensive study into her life, I know the public crucified her under similar circumstances (see Lewinsky, Monica). If it is any consolation to Mrs. Spitzer, she should look proudly on HRC's rise from the ashes and find her own phoenix.

It is also fitting for those, who know neither Spitzer nor his wife, to make assertions on what they should do. These sentiments are expressed beautifully here: Let them be.

But if there is to be any cross-cultural summation on our two eras, let me leave you with this insight:

There will always be Spitzers and there will always be spinsters, but as society progresses, the Spitzers become more repulsive while the spinsters get along just fine.

Pastors Gone Awry

Yesterday, I began my exploration into race relations in America, and today I was supplied a fresher insight. If this is any indication, it seems the racial separatism is now perpetrated from both sides (And I thought having to suffer through one of Mr. Collins' sermons was unnerving. This makes that look like a stroll through Mr. Rushworth's gardens).

Certainly, Pastor Wright has the right and authority to express his opinions, but he should also realize what a damaging effect these sorts of statements have on Obama's campaign. If Sir Barack is truly the great uniter, he must declare a moratorium on old-seeded racism and direct the collective conscience of this country forward. And from a strategic standpoint, these monologues do little to advance his cause with rural white voters.

The unfortunate victim in these proceedings is my dear Hillary, whose devotion to civil rights goes unrecognized. For those accusations, I say shame on you Pastor Wright.

I also am no stranger to "prejudice," though in a different form, but as is often the case, those acting in prejudice act in the wrong. Do Sir Barack and your nation a favor and put a stop your unruly assaults.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Catching Up with the Times

Racism in America has been a foreign concept to me...up until now that is.

I've been doing my research on the history of American race relations, and I cannot help but react to the stark comparisons in yesterday's Mississippi primary voting:

As demonstrated here, my dear Hillary won nearly 3/4 of the white vote, while Sir Barack Obama took 9/10 of the black vote.

These are certainly disturbing images, and it's perplexing how I suddenly find myself a pugnacious crusader against racism. In just a few meager days, I have transformed from a white aristocrat unfamiliar with oppressed minorities to one who wishes to fight for them.

Indeed, I have adapted quickly to the times. Perhaps I'm more adaptable because, well, I started out in a novel. After all, I was adapted into a number of movies if that's any indication.

In the course of my research, however, I could not prevent myself from noticing the cornucopia of civil rights acts performed by my esteemed Hillary, and as such feel all the more disturbed.

Why must my dear Hillary suffer under false pretenses? She is no racist! To all my devoted black readers (and I know there are many...I hope...wait, do I have any readers?), please give this fine woman another chance to convince you on her policies.

If my experiences are any indication, listen to Hillary articulate on subprimes and you will feel weak in the knees. Oh, how I'm falling for that damsel!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lovers' Vows

I call into question the theatrical production in Mansfield Park, composed so brilliantly by Jane Austen (to whom I owe my existence).

I watch the daily squabbles between my dear Hillary Clinton and Sir Barack Obama, and I cannot help questioning whether they would do better as team, uniting their political party, just as lovers do when they take their vows. Could they not join for the sake of the people?

I posed that question, and this week I received answers.

Hillary: Yes

Obama: No

All the more reason for that fine-looking woman to get my vote. My dear Hillary, I am hopelessly yours.

George W. reminds me of Mr. Collins

It confounds me that you Americans, who opposed our George III with such vehemence, would go and elect an inept George of your own.

I watched that inarticulate fellow on the television - CNN I believe they call it - and I was startled by his resemblance to a meanderer from my time: Mr. Collins.

His difficulty in pronouncing words and failure to pick up on social mannerisms were all too familiar. Fortunately, back in my age, Mr. Collins only stood as church leader of Rosings Park. How is it that you Americans would "elect" such a man?

This must be Lady Catherine's doing. I blame her for all my misfortunes. Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted in my absence?

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Delegate Mess

I've been studying American politics quite closely, specifically as it relates to the delegate mess in Michigan and Florida.

It reminds me of a similar situation back in my time, when speculators from Devonshire attempted to undermine the British government on a land surveying initiative by campaigning early.

Despite their actions (I punished them by serving sour tea and stale scones when they visited Pemberley), we knew that their voices were true, and that as landowners, they deserved a say.

Such is the same with these renegade states, whose juvenile actions ought to be frowned upon, but not silenced. Today, I would serve Bill Nelson and Charlie Crist a crusty blueberry muffin, but I would never thwart their constituencies.

If the prior vote is to be ignored, then surely there must be a revote. Otherwise, Mr. Obama might find himself sipping dishwater.

Do I really look like Colin Firth?

I ventured outside my mini-estate today, when I was overrun by adulating ladies, espousing their dearest initimacies to me. I could not imagine why, until I saw my reflection in the mirror.

Is my resemblance to Colin Firth so striking? And is he really that good looking? I must say, I've enjoyed the attentions, but these women were only tolerable. Not pretty enough to tempt me.

Besides, all my 21st-century affections have been allocated to my lady in pant-suits: Hillary.

No Lizzy, but there's Hillary!

I've begun to pay attention to the politics of your time. What a taxing affair! So much attention paid to healthcare reform. Thank goodness we weren't bombarded with hospitals in my time, or else I would have never set my sights on Lizzy when Jane caught a cold.

But that brings me to a somber soliloquoy...Lizzy. Alas, as a result of my unfortunate travels, I've lost my dearest gem, the magnificent Mrs. Darcy. Lady Catherine must be responsible for this!

The good news is that I've taken solace in a new dame, the lovely Hillary Rodham Clinton. Yes, she's a bit past her bloom, but I can't help the unmistakable shudders I feel when she graces the stage, articulating such romantic things as NAFTA and the economy. Why is it that I always fall for the intellectual girls?

Rest your doubts, my readers. I would never cheat on Lizzy, but that HRC (what a nice monogram for my Pemberley china) is certainly winning my vote.

How it Happened

Dear Readers,

It was the most unnerving thing. There I was, pleasantly entrenched in one of our language's most scintillating novels, when all of a sudden I found myself transported into a new era: the 21st century.

Needless to say, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a man of great fortune who ventures into the future suffers greatly from inflation, but my goodness, what an astonishing exchange rate! My sources tell me the Americas rule the world now, but thanks to the unprecedented decline of the American dollar, I've managed to find myself a comfortable abode overseas.

I may not be as wealthy as I once was, but my civility still goes unquestioned (thank you Lizzy), and as such, I'll be applying my eloquence to modern day affairs.

Your most obedient and humble servant,
Mr. Darcy

P.S. I'd like to get in contact with that old chap, Dick Cheney. Perhaps we could go for a hunt together. I hear he's a worse shot than I am!