Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Jor-juh Boosh

Most days, we have FIP radio on in the background. It's the best radio station I've ever listened to. You can listen to FIP online here, and you'll know what I mean.

In between the amazing variety of French chanson, American blues, manouche jazz and other familiar and exotic, contemporary and nostalgic music, they sometimes have a brief newscast in French. I usually ignore it. But today I heard them say, "...Jor-juh Boosh..." That Guy heard it at the same time that I did. We looked up at each other and he said, "Oh boy, what's he done now?"

I'm afraid to look at my newsreader. Maybe I'll put that off for another hour...or nine.

Meanwhile...I watched the video of George Bush being booed when he made the first pitch of the baseball season. You would think that I would enjoy such a thing, seeing how much I despise the Bush administration in general, and Shrub Junior in particular. But it saddened me to no end.

It reminded me of a friend that I have back in Arizona who is in the Secret Service. He disappears from time to time and then when he shows up, he has gifts for his wife and daughter from Baghdad or Dubai or wherever else he and the president happened to be. I met this friend casually and socially, because he is the next-door neighbor of another one of my friends. When I found out he was in the Secret Service, I avoided him like the plague. But he is such a tall, gracious, quiet and funny guy, that I was constantly drawn to him.

Finally, one evening after a few mojitos, I took him aside and told him why I avoided him. He astonished me with his response. His eyes teared up, and he said, with the utmost sincerity, "I think that you and That Guy are some of the brightest people I have met in a long time. It would break my heart if I couldn't have a relationship with you just because of my job. I want you to know that I protect the office of the president, not the personality. I worked just as hard for Clinton, as I do now for Bush."

Well now. Needless to say, before That Guy and I moved away, we enjoyed many more neighborly events, and deep, intellectual conversations with our new friend. He is brilliant, with a degree in philosophy, and I loved talking to him.

I also realized that I deeply respect the office of the president, but I deeply disrespect the man that holds that office. This may appear to be a problem, but actually, if you think about it, each person we meet along our path is a human being, regardless of the differences between my values and theirs, my morals and theirs, my actions and theirs. If George Bush was in trouble as a human being, based on my own values, I'd be compelled to reach out and help him. As does my friend who protects him when he travels.

And so, when the office of the president does the game of baseball, that so very American symbol, the great honor of making the first pitch, it is a momentous and important event. Everyone, from the sports casters, to the players, to the audience, should be honored. Yet...the man that is the president has made it very difficult for us to honor him.

I know that if I had been sitting in that stadium, I would not have cheered for the man who is president. I am not sure I could have made myself boo. I probably would have just remained silent, and very sad, that I had to make such a choice.


sctshep said...

I love your post. You and That Guy are pretty cool. By the way did you get my book I sent to you guys? The stress book? I hope you like it. Best to both of you.

Hungry Mother said...

When I was in the Army, I learned to salute the office, not the officer in it. I've extrapolated that experience to many other situations in my life.

Richard said...

Hey Lisa, sounds like things are going OK in France.

I watched the clip you are referring to in today's post.

1st--Mr. Oblivious to Public opinion seemed to ignore the Booing and in reality it was less than 1/2 the crowd that booed.

2nd--I am not a fan of our idea of a "Royal Presidency" and especially put off by the Uber-trappings of the Chief Executive's office.

I see him as first and foremost a public servant answerable to the electorate ( a naive dream I've been living since I attained voting age) and do not think the so called "Office of the Presidency" deserves any more respect than the men that attain the position.

We've had some good ones (few) some bad ones (more) some mediocre ones(usually) and some real stinkers (like this latest guy)

Yet this most heinous of Presidents has taken the "Royal Presidency" up a couple of notches during his 8 years in office.

Tell your friend I have more respect for him than some of the men he's guarded.