It was a week of regrets. There was future Justice Sonia Sotomayor saying, "I regret...," in regards to the endless refrain "wise Latina" on the lips of all the white guys, with the exception of Lindsey Graham, who couldn't seem to get the word "Latina" to come out of his mouth, preferring over and over, "wise Latino." Graham seems to be male identified, still unhappy that he is no longer traveling around with John McCain on his campaign bus tour of The Return of the Grumpiest Old Men . Nonetheless, Sotomayor went along with the crowd, beating up on her plain language, saying it was a rhetorical flourish gone amiss, blah, blah, blah. It doesn't take much imagination to imagine all the responses Sotomayor didn't give to the hectoring Republicans. She did get to spend a few minutes bathing in Fifties/Sixties' TV nostalgia with the fresh Junior Senator from Minnesota, Al Franken, who finally arrived in the august chambers, via the affirmative action of Minnesotans and their penchant for three-way elections, the same method that brought the second cast member of Predator to a governorship. Why can't Carl Weathers run for something in some state and make it a hat trick?
There are fewer admissions of regret from former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who told his inquisition-ers that he single handedly saved civilization, at least financial civilization, becoming the savior of Wall Street. Larry Summers, also a former Treasury Secretary, who may or may not want to be Fed chairman, also was able to smother most of his regrets as he continues to save the economy. Both of these guys patting themselves on the back is worse than seeing Sotomayor eating her tidbit of regret crow.
And there is the story of Democrats planning to remove the card-check provisions from the card-check labor bill (technically, the Employee Free Choice act) cooling its heels in Congress. What will this labor bill be called if the card-check part is eviscerated? The donut bill? The "victory" of this bill, given the critical change, is the notion that those secret elections (so valued by the GOP anti-unionists) are to be done quickly, within 5 to 10 days. I'll wait patiently to see how the National Labor Relations Board gets its act together to conduct these speedy bits of election magic. This is all very regrettable. Let's hope the first one isn't held in Minnesota.
The weird thing about President Obama speaking at the NAACP confab is the effect of his homilies about child rearing in black families. One fact sits there uncommented on: Obama was raised by a white family, mostly his grandparents and/or his "single" white mother, until she remarried. I suppose some folk have already written about the dynamics of his growing up (including the prez himself), but he knows more about raising a black family from his own current family experience than from his own childhood experience. He does share the absent black father, which is the primary link to the world the NAACP deals with. Dreams From My Father, etc. It's touchy, but mostly untouched upon. Regrettable, I suppose.
The producers of Bruno seem to have some regrets, too. I have seen snatches of Borat, Ali G, and Bruno, but they have equipped me to make only one point. Sacha Baron Cohen comes out of the same sort of high culture world (Oxbridge) as the creators of Monty Python, but Cohen's humor has chased the times and is much ruder and cruder. The trouble with stooping to conquer is that if society is getting dumber and dumber the fact that you become the one to point that out isn't much of a triumph. The crowd Monty Python aimed to amuse was the last of the book-reading culture; Cohen lampoons the unhip remnants of the land of the lost for the post-literate media-besotted culture. It's a Pyrrhic victory, at best.