Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Apologies for the dearth

...but I've been upset about Ted Kennedy's death for at least a week now.

Plus, I'm working on a secret project and it's been consuming all my thoughts.

Back to Ted. The Lion of the Left...

A couple of months ago, several people told me I should have painted Michael Jackson and exhibited the work for annotation. And I wondered about that.

Then Earl from Denver texts, in response to my "Ted dead" opening gambit, "Missed another annotation opp." And I've been wondering about that.

Truth is, you could probably, were you me, bang out a serviceable portrait of Ted Kennedy in about five hours. I mean, he's that easy to paint. Maybe in black and white. For a while, a while ago, I was thinking about painting all three Kennedy boys. Maybe now is the time for that.

Push comes to shove, and don't take offense, but I don't give enough of a damn about Michael Jackson (despite posting quite a bit during the immediate aftermath of his death) to spend the time painting him. Plus, who's gonna buy the painting?

But Ted.

Did you read "Black Water" by that Oates woman? The entire first chapter goes something like this:
The rented Toyota, driven with such impatient exuberance by The Senator, was speeding along the unpaved unnamed road, taking the turns in giddy skidding slides, and then, with no warning, somehow the car had gone off the road and had overturned in black rushing water, listing to its passenger's side, rapidly sinking.

"Am I going to die? -- like this?"

Actually, it goes exactly like that. Yes it does. It's a novella, really, told in flashback, while drowning, by a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Mary Jo Kopechne. And The Senator--note the caps--is, of course, meant to be Ted.

I wish I could find the line, but somewhere in there, in those black cold waters, the narrator says something like:
"I could feel the sole of his shoe mashing against my neck as he tried to climb out of the drivers' side window."
Very rough recollection, but the image stuck with me.

Plus there's that moment in "My Man Godfrey" where Godfrey, in the scene where he both saves the family's financial bacon and tenders his resignation as butler, admits to Cornelia that he too had once been a spoiled rich kid. But that he'd changed, and that he hoped she would.

Here's Teddy's eulogy of his dead brother Bobby:

Godfrey would have been proud of Teddy.


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