Your RDA of Irony

But First Let Me Say….

President Obama was supposed to give an important speech on the Middle East; at least that is what CNN told me.  Since the alternative was the Bowery Boys Sunday morning feature on Turner Classic Movies, I decided to listen.  The President began talking at 10; the speech started five minutes later.  Those first five minutes were a litany of thanks, hellos, asides, and how abouts….This was a Jewish audience, so the President mentioned who’s son got into Brown, Buddy Sorrell’s bar mitzvah on “The Dick Van Dyke” show and  Abe Vigoda’s 90th birthday.  Perhaps the President hoped that the audience would be so gratified or numbed that it would cede the Palestinians the West Bank and the Hillcrest Country Club. 

We will have to wait and see.

However, I generally find those rambling prologues to be annoying if not subversive.  I suppose that it is good manners to mention everyone at the speaker’s table, but unless the topic of the speech is etiquette it is also stupefying irrelevant.  I presume that the President wanted me to think about the Middle East, but he distracted with some allusion to a “Rosey” Rosenberg playing basketball.  Who and huh?

You have to wonder if the great speeches of history all had these introductory meanderings?  Did Pericles, in his eulogy for the Athenian dead, first praise Nestor Junior High’s spear and flute corps for the evening’s entertainment?  Did Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with a thanks to the Sigma Chi house at Caesarea Tech for raising 112 shekels with its chariot wash?  Did Lincoln feel obliged to mention that the Gettysburg County Republican chairman was great at horseshoes?  If they did, thank God for editing.

p.s.  Let’s not forget the historic significance of this day (and it will probably be an episode on the next season of The Borgias):

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