Friday, September 26, 2008

Beacon of Manhood: Undecided

The Common Man is totally lost this afternoon. He has to pick a becon of manhood this week and doesn't know who it's going to. So, while The Common Man and The Uncommon Wife take a couple of days off to take The Boy up to the family cabin for the first time, he's going to leave you with a homework assignment over the weekend. The Common Man will lay out the case for each of the candidates for this week's beacon, and will ask you to make the decision in the poll on the right.

Rep. Mary Kaptur

The Common Man was all set to, for the first time, give a Beacon to someone not of the male persuasion. Kaptur, as you can see in the video below, clearly and effectively calls out Wall Street for its shiftiness, and advocates for a solution that will insulate taxpayers, have consequences for investment firms, and prevent future offenses of this kind.

It was exactly the kind of concise, useful, personable, and clear rhetoric that is often so lacking in Congressional debate and is as riveting as a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives is likely to get. For her manly speechmaking and wisdom, The Common Man was all set to close up shop. Until...

Benjamin Franklin

The long-dead founding father was The Common Man's next choice. According to many sources, it was Franklin and a group of associates, in 1731, who created the first public library in the United States. This is significant to The Common Man this week in particular, since he was able to get several DVDs, books on CD, Springsteen albums, and books for this trip. Even if the weather doesn't cooperate, The Common Man and family will not be hurting for entertainment this weekend, even during a five hour car ride. And that wouldn't be possible without the foresight of Mr. Franklin. Indeed, it is that manly foresight that makes him more than worthy of this week's beacon, despite not drawing a breath for 218 years. Plus he did some other stuff with the Constitution, being an ambassador, harnessing electricity, printing newspapers, starting a fire company, and some other stuff. Go read a book. The Common Man recommends David McCollough's biography.

Also, The Common Man found 100 bucks today. So that was awesome.

Alexi Casilla

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
--Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act II, sc ii

Contrary to popular opinion, Shakespeare's actually saying that while a rose is a rose, the names that we give something have great power. Indeed, it's the name that dooms Romeo and Juliet. If he were Romeo Jones, he and Juliet would have tons of little babies who looked like crosses between Claire Daines and Leo DiCaprio. So, since names are so significant, The Common Man is in awe of the Minnesota Twins' second baseman. Saddled with the name Alexi, he has nevertheless thrived this season, hitting .286/.335/.384 while playing excellent defense at the keystone spot. His crowning moment, however, came last night when Casilla singled home Nick Punto with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat the Chicago White Sox and overtake them for 1st place in the AL Central. Casilla has made The Common Man giddy with joy today, as he has visions of underdogs winning the World Series dancing through his head. And for that, and for doing so in spite of being cursed with a girl's name, demonstrates some manly fortitude and excellence that deserves to be rewarded.

David Letterman

In response to the economic crisis, John McCain has "officially suspended" his presidential campaign, claiming he needed the time to help hammer out the Wall Street bailout that his Republican colleagues have, to this point, short circuited. To this end, he tried to get tonight's debate against Barak Obama rescheduled and left the campaign trail (including cancelling an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. Leaving aside the important question of whether a sitting President should have the ability to multi-task, McCain's decision to cancel on Letterman may have been a poor one. Indeed, not only did McCain cancel, but told Dave he was "running to catch a plane" to Washington. Meanwhile, Dave, who (as someone with a national forum every night in which he's expected to poke fun and political figures) has a disproportionate influence on the American consciousness, finds out that McCain has instead chosen to skip his show to do an interview with Katie Couric for CBS News. Offended and angry, Dave called McCain out on his questionable strategy and his deception on the show (see the clip below).

For using manly wisdom to recognize the political stunt and gamesmanship McCain is using, and for having the guts to call him on it, Dave deserves a beacon.

So that's it. Go vote. Help your friendly, neighborhood Common Man. Meanwhile, he'll catch a fish and drink a beer in your honor.

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