LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth
|by Brent Mundt|
|Sundays with FDR: The Times of Our Lives
Friedman, Dowd and Rich. Here's a column dedicated to the New York Times trioTom, Maureen and Frankwho enrich our lives immeasurably here at the Gay Kennedy Compound every summer Sunday.
The fact that their combined initials equal the iconic head of the "big D" Democratic Party may or may not be coincidence, but it's a delicious one for three brilliant boomers60 years since the New Deal and fireside chats. The trio of columnsall located within three square feet on a pagehave never been betterinversely proportionate to the direction of our country.
Throughout the long dreary winter, I still read the trio with brio religiouslybut in summer, I'm able to discuss their brilliant work and hysterical pithy perspectives with the smartest men on the planetmy compound mates. From our wicker rocker perches on the front porch, with the fans whirring above and the birds chirping in the trees, our weekly FDR coffee klatch is as regular for us as Sunday fried chicken was in our childhoods. While the grease is gone, the geniuses flourishPulitzers on our own porch, courtesy of the Times. If you're really, really, really angry at Bush-Cheney, Inc. (71 out of 100 Americans areon our porch its eight for eight)and if you would really, really like to tell them off, here's the ticket to the most incisive commentary you'll find. It's my Monday morning water cooler briefingand yes, I judge my co-workers by what they read.
F is for Friedman, the man who has mother earth's back and last week wrote poignantly on Mothers' Day about recently losing his own beloved mom. Having mother earth's back is a tough job when out front is Halliburton writing energy policy behind closed doors. Coaxing the kids of today to take on the environment as their Sputnik is lonely but important work, but the tide may be turning. Kids are more engaged today than during those dark Reagan years of yore when the only thing green anyone was taught to respect was printed at the mint. Hats off to Tom's mom for delivering us a very special human being.
D is for Dowd, and in full diva disclosure, I need to state up front that I would drink Maureen Dowd's bath water. If I had to choose a favorite quotable among thousands, it has to be the column after the new and even more conservative German pontiff was elected in Rome. No sooner had the white smoke risen than her black humor zapped. Quote: "For you 'cafeteria Catholics'cafeteria closed." Heroine worship doesn't begin to cover my love for the quips, quotes and belly laughseach zinging in brilliant sing-song prose. In the dream sequence, she visits us in Rehoboth and we all go shoe shopping. Amongst her other works, she wrote the book Are Men Necessaryand the answer is yes, yes, yes. Eight gay men await you on the porch, Maureenwe'll go for pedicures first and then shoe shop 'til we drop.
R is for "isn't it Rich?"is he a pair of journalists or what? Transitioning from the Gay Sports Section (Arts and Leisure) to commentary at Week in Review, our man isn't just Frank. He's brutal. Formerly taking aim at the Bard, we much prefer his takes on politics and homophobic hypocrites.
The Sunday Style section of the Times is read afterwards with guilty pleasure. After stimulating our grey matter, it's time to review the party scene and imagine party frocks descending staircases at venues for the very rich. A caterer I know calls them "dances for diseases." Then, the voting begins on the most pretentious names. Tinsley Mortimer receives the gold, with the silver (spoon, no doubt) a tie between Piper Perabo and Icy Franz. Now anyone who ever attended elementary school has heard the ditty "I see England, I see France. I see Betty's under pants." Icy Franz???? Don't blue-blood parents know the ditty? Or did she "take" the name of her husband, begging the question, "If you were named Icy and you met a man named Franz, wouldn't you move alongor keep your name?"
But as much fun as the party pages are, it's the trio with brio that sticks in your head. Read separately, each of the columns make impeccable points. Read together they recall FDR. Every time someone calls a building or an airport Reagan, I joke that in my head I go to the FDR Memorial and genuflect.
But now that spring has sprung, every Sunday FDR comes to our front porchfor only $5.
Now that's Rich.
Brent Mundt makes a living in Washington and a life in Rehoboth Beach.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 18, No. 05 May 16, 2008