Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A number of years ago the Gates Foundation donated several million dollars to the 3-county area north and south of Seattle, from Snohomish County (where Everett is) to Pierce County (where Tacoma is). I attended the announcement by William Gates Sr., a rich lawyer who in his quasi-retirement runs the Foundation. Gates Sr. was widowed and has remarried.

It was a press conference with questions from the public. Someone asked how Bill Gates Jr. could be so generous and community-minded.

Gates Sr., blunt, terse: "He had a perfect mother."

Some young guy asked whether Gates were making this donation to housing out of a sense of guilt for playing a role in driving up real estate prices.

Gates Sr., looking the guy in the eye, steely: "No." End of that line of inquiry.

This was a man who was used to being in charge, I could tell. A definite bad ass.

West Wing was the fantasy of a politics of integrity. But the plot of many episodes hinged on who was the tougher bad ass. Sometimes it was President Bartlett, sometimes someone bested him. That's why I wasn't convinced when Jimmy Smits won. I've missed a number of episodes, but I thought that Alan Alda generally was the tougher bad ass. But it's a Democratic Party fantasy show (where a secular pro-choice Republican can win the R nomination), and Smits was younger to boot, so it had to be him.

The final episode disappointed, but how could it not? Jimmy Smits and his team did not look psyched to be taking over the White House. Fine. Good-bye already.

Now I don't have "a show" -- one that I'm hooked into. My beloved spouse hooked me into the late Star Trek series, but we could never get in to Enterprise, and that got canned anyway. I'm still hoping for the first sit-com Star Trek spin-off, where 7 of 9 and Chakotay get married and raise a family in the suburbs. My Mother the Borg.
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