Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"I Feel Like A Million Bucks"

Let me begin by saying I have a lot of admiration for Ted Kennedy, and offer prayers for his battle against a serious brain tumor. Having lost one of my closest friends to the same tumor, it will not be an easy couple of years ahead.

But think about it for a minute...what does it mean when a man easily worth nine figures says he feels "like a million bucks" after brain surgery? The stocker at the Wal-Mart who'll be making $6.55 an hour next month thanks to the senator's work on the Fair Minimum Wage Act might feel like a million bucks after having a boil lanced, but shouldn't Ted feel something like a billion bucks for the statement to have any real significance?

I worked for a Kennedy family member for a number of years, at a time when the matriarch, Rose, was "celebrating" birthdays in her late 90s and early 100s. Quotes planted in the press following these celebrations presumably coming from Rose's lips were warm and flowery prose along the lines of "how wonderful it is to be surrounded by my wonderful friends and family" as well as something topical indicating she had a clue about current events. Meanwhile, the eyewitness accounts I received from these parties reported the birthday girl as actually saying things like, "Blee blee blee banana tree sweep Gloria Swanson" as she ingested mass quantities of cake without benefit of a fork or napkin.

So while I can't swear that Teddy wasn't throwing out one-liners right after 3.5 hours of brain surgery, the Kennedy press machine is certainly capable of making us believe whatever they want as Camelot begins its final act.

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