Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bar Punditry

Anyone in America watching the news this week is numb from Katrina, yet the bombardment of panels, round tables, town meetings, and punditry duels has only just started.

Every time I watch policy wonks (I have visuals of Cokie Roberts, William Safire, Peggy Noonan, Rahm Emmanuel and Al Sharpton), I'm so frustrated, because they sound really smart, and they seem to have their "pulse on the nation," but it's abundantly clear they've never set foot in a neigborhood pub.

I think it's high time they gave a bartender a slot on one of those Sunday morning talk shows. I'm telling you, we can mediate a debate at least as well as Bernard Shaw or Jim Lehrer. We don't need to ask anyone's opinion, because we hear it all day, from everyone. We're our own pollster. We know exactly who you voted for, and why. We're a font of neighborhood knowledge and current cultural thought.

When you've gone too far, talked too long, or just generally fucked up and offended somebody while running your mouth, we step in and make you and your opponent do a shot and hug each other (the last part is selfish, really... a tip, if you will. It amuses us to make you hug while everyone in the bar says, awwww!). We also tend to be much cuter than Bernard Shaw or Jim Lehrer.

I can see it now... Cokie, Peggy and Rahm give their varying opinions of what people are saying about Katrina. They analyze a poll or two, talk about the president's advisors, and ponder whether Bush really needs a "bullhorn" moment (does it get lower than that, as if a bullhorn is the only thing standing between this president and the people? And yet I've heard this all week, it's so simplistic and lazy and insulting). Viewers vomit spontaneously.

Then, George Stephanopolous says, "let's bring in Lindsay, everybody's favorite happy-hour bartender, at BW3's in the new Burlington Crest shopping center! Lindsay?"

"George, I don't know who those boring assholes you just talked to were, but Jesus, are they stupid. Talk around this bar today centered around the start of the NFL season, but people are pretty mad at the government right now, too. Who doesn't love the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans, dumbasses? Mostly, they say that gas prices are killing them, and we have no leadership, and we're not one bit safer four years after 9/11. They also say you guys should watch more Jon Stewart. Hey, ask Cokie if she'd take Carolina with the points, wouldja?"

But it never happens, the cut-to-the-bartender. It would be a more realistic view of the world. At least my world.

It's been a strange several days, we have a sad anniversary today, and it's the official kickoff of the NFL. So here we are.

I hope everyone affected by Katrina has a better week than last, in fact I hope we all have a better week than last.

May your favorite NFL team never disappoint you, piss you off, make you throw stuff at people you love, or break your heart this season.

Go Bengals!!!! Heh.

Summer has come and passed, the innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends
Ring out the bells again, like we did when spring began
Wake me up when September ends

- Green Day