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Good Morning Nanty Glo!

       Monday, October 11 2004 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

W and E

Today's postcard is what I've described here before as a "sodden thought."

George W. Bush and Elvis Presley have at least two things in common. Both are well known by a single initial, W for the President, of course, and E for Elvis, which was revealed publicly in the "tell-all" biographies that appeared after his untimely death. His relatives and the close members in his retinue usually referred to him that way.

The other trait common to W and E is the output of my sodden thought. I've never forgotten a column that appeared in the Tribune-Democrat in the 1950's by, I believe, an Associated Press Entertainment Writer of the period (could it have possibly been Bob Thomas, whose byline was still appearing earlier this year if not even this week?). He proposed that Elvis Presley's popularity—specifically the popularity of his songs—could be attributed to the fact that he had no singing talent. The journalist's rationale is that people, especially the teenagers who bought most of his records and thronged his public appearances, loved him because most of them could sing at least as well as he could. They could sing along with his records and feel good about themselves. They, too, might have multi-million dollar songs in their bosoms.

More than one pundit has observed in the past week that one explanation for W's popularity (the reason for which eludes them completely, absent this) is that he's no more articulate and even no smarter than they are. He's living proof that anyone can grow up to be president. One of those who said this, in so many words, was the nationally syndicated radio personality Don Imus who said W will win his second Presidential race because people think he's on their level and Kerry isn't.

I think that the claim about Elvis was completely bogus; for my record money he was a better singer than the acclaimed Frank Sinatra, for one. And of course I have much better reasons for my preference for our incumbent President than his common touch, which I've shared more than once over the past year or so and won't repeat here (but in a phrase, I vote my values), and I'm sure many others also do. But based on the weekly polls that fluctuate a few points with just about every headline that appears seeming to favor Bush or Kerry, I can believe a lot of people relate to the President mostly because he's more like themselves, or "more down to earth" than the elitist Kerry, whose elitist manners came in for razzing by even the elitist NBC Saturday Night Live comics on Saturday last.

Almost 50 years ago a lot of observers felt that Adlai Stevenson was not electable because he was too cultured for American tastes, so this isn't anything new. Whatever helps people decide works for me. I suppose in a sense, they're voting their "values," too.

Sodden thoughts, by the way, are an invention of longtime San Francisco columnist, the late Herb Caen. It's a play on the word "sudden" combined with the influence of alcohol or something like alcohol (sleep deprivation, writer's block, natural or chemical highs), which is the root meaning of "sodden."

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 


Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue.

Sent by Julie Masterson  

Thought for today

He who angers you controls you.

Sent by Trudy Myers  

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