Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Failure of the Day: DemoCon

I’m probably going to miss Kerry’s acceptance speech tonight. It’ll be the first time I’ve missed the democratic nominee’s acceptance speech since—no kidding—1972. It wasn’t even my fault that I missed the ’72 speech; I was only 5, and it was on after my bedtime.

The spring before the 1976 convention, I was in the 5th grade. I was the head my class’s presidential debate team; our slogan was “Ford is a Farter, but Carter is Smarter.” (Yes. Even then, I was a poet.) I wanted nothing more than to grow up and be a delegate at the convention. I thought I would do it for sure when I was grown up. Oh well.

I was pretty cute back then, in a “little round girl with poofy hair and glasses” kind of way, and then as now, I was terrified of most everything except public speaking. My point is this: I’m 37 years old and I am seriously and painfully and pathetically jealous of Ilana Wexler.

I know nobody really likes Kerry, that he is a “consensus” candidate and all that. I know that these conventions are 4-day-long infomercials that have the production values of an 8th grade talent show. But I can’t help it; these things really get me. I get these big welling emotions, squirt righteous tears, and fill up with progressive pride.

If there is one word that has never, ever applied to me, that word is “faithful.” I am the antithesis of faith. I don’t have it in me to just go around believing and disbelieving things. If you wanted to bet me $5 that the sun would not rise tomorrow, I would not take that bet. Get it? No faith in anything.

But this week, here’s the thing: I would buy a bridge from John Edwards. And I don’t even want a bridge.


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