John Edwards

I have some thoughts about this whole event.  I kind of don’t know where to start.

Of course Edwards’s camp was right to switch from whatever kind of event this was supposed to be to something with a more appropriate tone.  It was probably a misstep to say that the event had been cancelled, because even when we got there, there was some confusion about whether Edwards would be there or if it was just going to be a public mourning.

It seems like Edwards was in a bit of a spot, too.  Like Mack said, before the thing, if he changed the tone of it, he risked seeming opportunistic.  But if he didn’t change the tone of it, he risked seeming tone deaf.

I think it came off as well as it could have, under such circumstances.

But I’m going to tell you what I think the drawback to Edwards as a candidate is–he appears to be very ordinary.  Nothing about his presense seemed more larger than life than anyone else’s.  He did not seem to be on some insane power grap, as if the world owes him a presidency.

He seemed like a genuinely nice, ordinary guy who’s trying to do the right thing.  Can a man like that win the Presidency?

I don’t know.

I think he’d be a fine President, but I don’t know that he has the ego to get to the Presidency.

I hope that makes sense.

I could be wrong.  I hope, for his sake, I am.

I only had two questions for him, which, of course, I didn’t get to ask.  One was about meth, about how he’ll work to keep the ingredients out of the hands of users and whether that will make it even harder for law abiding citizens to get cold medicine.

My second one was just going to be Marcotte and McEwan.  What the fuck?

Anyhow, I’m tired and I ate the word’s hottest pepper and so I must go to bed.

Guess Who’s LiveBlogging Edwards?

Yep, me and the Don Coyote ourselves. I don’t know if we’re going to have grand comment fun again, but I hope so. I see Sharon Cobb, I think, up on the media riser and I just got word from Mack that he will be joining us in the comments. So, yeah, let’s see who else from the Left we can alienate and piss off.

It’s pretty cool, where we’re sitting, just under the Confederate Balcony and we’re watching some vaguely handsome dude prepare his script for the event. No sign of Brittney or Kleinheider yet. I’m worried that they’re going to force us to sit on the press riser. Mack is worried that I’m going to ruin the whole event by worrying my way through it, I bet.

Nashville, wasn’t this thing supposed to start at 4? I swear to god, as long as I live in the South I will never get used to that. If something says 4 p.m., that is not the time you leave your house. That’s the time someone’s ass gets on stage. Am I right, Coble?

Well, hey, so here he is. Looking dapper and now Rodney Crowell is on stage explaining about how the nature of the events has changed and we’re going to “find the unity of what’s good in all of us.” Yes, a UU church has broken out. No, I lied–here comes a Methodist minister and we’re all going to pray, well, except for me, because I’m not a monotheist, and Mack, who has announced this afternoon that he’s an angel sent by God to watch over me on behalf of my dad (and believe me, if you listened to the ways they both nag me, you’d believe it) and so I guess he can just get the main office on his cell phone and doesn’t need to use traditional means.

We have a sign language person.

Rodney Crowell is back. He’s introducing the Del McCoury band. I gasped. They have an upright bass. Oh, upright bass, I love you. I feel a little like we’re in O Brother Where Art Thou? I hope George Clooney shows up and starts handing out smooches. Then I can sell photos of Mack and George making out to the Fugly girls.

Beautiful four-part harmony. I hope Sharon Cobb will have some footage of this later. I’m a little sad I’ve got no one to interview.

Okay, I’m sorry, but does Del McCoury not have the most haunting voice in the universe? Wow. I have chills. Though, in all fairness, that could be the breeze from Mack’s heretofore unnoticed wings. Mack just said it was pretty which I think marks the first time we’ve ever agreed on music!

Ooo. Sam Bush is coming out to join them. He’s doing “Poor, Wayfairing Stranger.”

Y’all, it tickles me so much to watch Mack watching music he enjoys. I should take a picture of the awesome smile he has on his face.

Lance Miller and Jimmy Stewart (on dobro) are next. He’s doing some song he heard at Tammy Wynette’s funeral. I don’t recognize it. I’m betting by the chorus that it might be called “If I could only fly.”

Now we’re going to hear Chely Write sing a song she’s never performed live before. And she’s new to the guitar. She was going to do “Bumper of My SUV” but now she’s going to sing this song, which she didn’t name, but for a person who’s just learning the guitar, she’s doing a passable job. Song’s okay, too. She’s not my favorite artist, but that was nice.

Some guy with a Jack White haircut just got my hopes up, but no, he’s just Rodney Crowell’s guitarist.

Here comes Vince Gill, wearing his golfing outfit. He’s come straight from the golf course. He’s got some pink plaid pants on. Oh, shoot, NM, who is that on the piano? Anyway, Vince is doing “Go Rest High on that Mountain,” of course. And damn, has he got a nice voice. And he makes it very churchy in here, but in that sad, but hopeful way. I guess that’s called healing.

Hey, Ashley Judd is here. I would vote for her. Is that wrong? And she’s talking about reproductive health and getting applause and dang, yes, dang I want to vote for her.

Here’s John Edwards on stage finally. He’s wearing his controversial haircut, a blue button-down shirt, and blue jeans. He’s talking a little bit about how he wants to save rural America. Folks are coming back on stage. He’s talking about how now is not the time for politics but for us to show that we are a community with the folks who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. He can tell us from personal experience that those folks need to know that their community is there. He keeps talking about what he knows from personal experience. Whatever our politics, we are a part of a national community and he wants this to be an event of healing. And now he’s talking about how much he loves Elizabeth and how awesome she is and she wants him to sing us a hymn (!). He read it and got a little emotional. Now he’s praying.

Now they’re inviting folks to come on stage and sing with them. I’m confused about who feels welcome to come, but here they go. They’re singing “Amazing Grace” call-and-response style with Vince leading and all the folks on stage, who keep coming, singing. Vince is doing his own little melody, closer to some of the old shape note versions I’ve heard John Work collect, but the rest of them are doing the regular melody. So, not quite true call-and-response, I don’t think.

And Vince has the words on a piece of paper in his hands. I’m guessing by that that he’s not Methodist, because we whoop this puppy out on all occassions, weddings funerals, baptisms, buying a new car, a particularly ripe fart, whatever.

But the nice thing is that, of course, the crowd echoes through the Ryman in a way that just makes the whole place hum so beautifully. Really, Vince should just step away from the mic and let the venue do its job. But very, very nice.

And that was it.

Striving For Life

Mrs. Wigglebottom would have made an excellent farmer.  She loves to dig through dirt, eat things right out of the garden (sorry, neighbors), and, happily, has taken a shine to tending to my tiny herb garden.

This morning, as we got back from our walk, we stopped by the herbs and I touched each of them and Mrs. Wigglebottom put her nose in each plant.  We both seem to like the smell of the sage the best.

The basil is unhappy.  I only hope it will hold on until the weather gets a little warmer.

I was telling the Professor the other day that something about the basil has freaked me right the fuck out.  I mean, we have houseplants, but in general, we have houseplants that will suffer a lot of abuse–succulents that can stand if you forget to water them and a spider plant I’ve had for years and years and not been able to kill.

The basil, though, is another story.  It responds quickly to light or too much water or not enough sun.  In other words, the things it does to respond to its environment seem to happen at such a pace that I notice it and that seems fast for something that doesn’t have a central nervous system or a brain.

The Professor says that I’m responding to the fact that the plant strives for life, that it makes rudimentary efforts to stay alive.

I don’t quite know what to make of that, or if there’s anything to be made from that.

I hope the basil lives, though.  Even though I will kill it later and grind it up.  Ha, I guess that’s what’s got me thinking.

Why are some life impulses worth protecting and others not?  Why does it bother us to kill some things and not others?  How do we draw those lines?  I don’t know and I don’t have a good sense of it.  But I like to think about it anyway.