hail to whoever happens to be currently occupying the position of chief

Two centuries ago Catherine the Great made a tour of Russia to see what the life of the peasants was like, but she didn’t know or didn’t care enough about the basic rudiments of peasant life to realize that the happy-looking people and prosperous towns she was being shown were actually a bunch of actors in made-up fairy-tale-villages. Yesterday when I was walking along Brattle Street I saw kind of the opposite of that. There was a pack of people lining the street around the co-op bookstore, out of which the British Prime Minister was apparently coming. He might not be greeted with flowers and huzzahs in Baghdad, but at least in Harvard Square he can still attract the indifferent attentions of 50 bored people wandering around with nothing better to do.

Unfortunately it soon became apparent that no one actually seemed to be sure what he looked like. The secret service wouldn’t have even needed a body double to protect him. They could have had a degenerate brother-in-law or some fat bodyguard sitting in that limo for all that anyone would have noticed the difference. But everyone was still mighty eager to catch a glimpse of such a memorable statesman, whoever he might be. It was like the delegates to the Chinese People’s Congress: they just need to be directed who to applaud and vote for.

I don’t know if you can call it an image problem if no one actually has an image of you in their mind’s eye, but maybe Gordon Brown should spend more time hanging out with Bono. British Prime Ministers don’t enough of that. Speaking of which, it turned out that the Wu-Tang Clan was playing at Harvard’s version of the ubiquitous American College Spring Drunk-Fest at the same time. So, Gordon Brown and the Wu-Tang Clan were both on campus simultaneously. I don’t really know what that means, but that’s probably the next Live 8 concert right there.

One Response to “hail to whoever happens to be currently occupying the position of chief”

  1. Tom Says:

    Wow reminds me of the excitement when Maggie T popped over to see NCAR in the mid-1990s. I saw Denis waving out of the window but no sight of the iron lady as far as I can remember. Brown makes up for his lack of flair with some great facial expressions.

Leave a Reply

If your comment doesn't appear right away, it was probably eaten by our spam-killing bot. If your comment was not, in fact, spam (and if you're actually reading this, it probably wasn't), please send me an email and I'll try to extricate your comment from our electronic spam purgatory.