Tuesday, May 21, 2019

This was supposed to be Beto

I'm reminded of the late playwright,
breakfast table habit of scanning 
the obituaries - did they die at an
age less than his, did they go on 
to actuarial heights he was doomed
not to reach? 

and we're always told that those
who persisted to a great age did so
with grace and style and full of en-
ergy, still climbing mountains at
eighty-three, conducting symphonies
at ninety-one -- I think, what right
did they have? who decides these 

Patently, this is the shirt our in-
tended Texan was destined to fill,
and (barring good health among his
rivals) may still do. But now it's
been absconded with, by another ver-
sion of the bright young thing, of
a more multi-faceted stamp. Flat-
footed, the 2-term mayor of South
Bend is not, in zigging and zagging
his compromises with the hardest-
hearted in the Resistance, and the
technicians of political necessity.

The phrase, "real man," has not been
deployed yet, quite probably for fear
of wasting it until the exquisite is-
sue of the ballot box is upon us. It
will be. Still, the mayor is filling
in the shirt awfully fast, and one
can almost see what right he has,
and who decides these things.

Simon Gray
Faber and Faber

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