Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What is the deal with Condi Rice?

Last night my friend and I were sitting around watching crappy preseason football and some how the topic of Condi Rice came up and I haven't been able to stop thinking about her ever since. Inquiring minds want to know:

What is her deal? Is she a robot? What's up with those dominatrix boots she's always sporting? Does she have a boyfriend -- a girlfriend? Why does the question of who she's with ever come up? (And if she doesn't have a squeeze on the side, then that just makes me even more worried about her.)

Of course, I'm not really concerned about who she's doing, I don't need to see an Access Hollywood special on her, but it just concerns me that we have a Secretary of State who appears to be slightly less emotional than Mr. Spock. It also concerns me that while they were picking people off roof tops in New Orleans she was shopping for shoes in Manhattan. And it really galls me that while the entire world was clamoring for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon last summer, she was tickling the ivories in Kuala Lumpur.

Whereas I know Colin Powell's slow-boat-to-China act while Yasser Arafat was being bulldozed into a closet in Raffah was not his idea [See below], Rice's whirlwind diplomatic road show to nowhere in July of '06 was her idea. As thousands of Lebanese civilians were being buried under tons of rubble, she was staging phony peace conferences and singing the praises of the "Birth pangs of a new Middle East." Scary!

This last July 21st, Judith Warner wrote an Op-Ed in the NYT about what a refreshing change it was from Condi's usual "robotic equanimity" to see Sec Def Robert Gates wiping away tears as he spoke about a Marine who was killed in Iraq this past May. Such human emotion has been seriously lacking from all of Bush's Gods of War. Warner quotes a very revealing passage from a biography of Rice called "Twice as Good," in which, Rice in her late teens after many years of "assiduous and ambitious practice," washes out of concert piano school. It seems Rice's teacher felt she lacked the "interest or inclination" to "make someone else's thoughts or emotions [her] own." I don't know about you, but that sounds like we're getting into sociopath territory to me.

[Definition: Antisocial Personality Disorder is chronic, beginning in adolescence and continuing throughout adulthood. There are ten general symptoms: Not learning from experience, no sense of responsibility, inability to form meaningful relationships, inability to control impulses, lack of moral sense, chronically antisocial behavior, no change in behavior after punishment, emotional immaturity lack of guilt, self-centeredness."]

The epiphany I had last night whilst watching the Eagles stink-up M&T Bank Stadium [that just rolls right off the tongue doesn't it?] was that Rice was Diane Thorn, Fay Dunaway's character in Paddy Chayefsky’s Network.

Well, kind of, in a round about way . . . If Condi was a Network executive:

Max: (William Holden's character)

"You are television incarnate, Diana. Indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality. War, murder, death are all the same to you as bottles of beer. The daily business of life is a corrupt comedy. You even shatter the sensations of time and space into split-seconds and instant replays. You are madness, Diana, virulent madness, and everything you touch dies with you."

[Factoid Time Magazine April 2002 : "Many commentators, both Arab and Israeli, saw in Powell's tarrying a deliberate strategy by the Bush administration to give Ariel Sharon more time to finish his offensive against Palestinian militants in the West Bank. Perhaps. Sharon's apparent indifference to the administration's calls for immediate withdrawal suggest the Israeli leader read Powell's circuitous itinerary as evidence of a tacit understanding by Washington of his objectives." Sounds errily familiar doesn't it?]


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