Keeping Score Is Easier Without Those Pesky Strikes and Spares.Posted: April 2, 2008
Here’s what really impresses me about Obama’s bowling a 37. Michael Dukakis does something he’s clearly not comfortable doing (wears a helmet and rides in a tank) and loses an election because of it. George Bush does something he’s clearly not comfortable doing (talks, tap dances), and a nation rises up in ridicule. Barack Obama does something he’s clearly not comfortable doing, and it only makes him more fantastic! At least I think so. If it is possible for me to like him more than I did before the bowling, I like him more after it.
Many of the commentators are saying, “What a fool. Doesn’t he know that if you’ve never done something, you should never do it for the first time in front of millions of people?” Blah blah blah. Here’s the narrative I put to the event: “I am a man with exceptional talents, but I am also a man with shortcomings. I am not afraid for you to know this. I have no need for you to believe that I am perfect, for I am not. There are things I cannot do. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that there are things you cannot do. Don’t be afraid of being human. And don’t be afraid, even, to make a fool of yourself from time to time. Don’t go around feeling that the only side of yourself that you dare to show to people is the ‘perfect’ one. Be brave.”
Bernadette Peters’ concert version of a song from Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George–which my iPod put on shuffle-play about an hour after I wrote the above, in another one of those weird iPod synergies–feels like the perfect soundtrack to Obama’s bowling. Click here to listen to an excerpt.