Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Perry's New Book: F 'ed Up!
From the Austin American Statesman:
Perry's book, the power of an apostrophe, and a slip with the f-word (freedom)
Ken Herman, AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMANKen Herman
Here at the Newspaper-by-the-Lake, routine is important. Each day, of course, begins with the Socialist Workers of America meeting during which we swear our allegiance to Marx (for me and Kelso, it's Groucho, not Karl).
Then we put out a newspaper. Sometimes during that process, some of us wander around and tell little newspapery jokes. Don't worry, it is always with the utmost of respect for the people we cover and the readers we serve.
It was during one of these little chats the other day that two of my favorite colleagues noted that with the mere insertion of a punctuation mark, Gov. Rick Perry's new book "Fed Up!" could have a funnier — yet still appropriate — title.
Let's see if I can navigate you to that title without running afoul of our standards about foul language.
The punctuation mark in question is an apostrophe. Insert it between the first two letters of "Fed" and we kind of wind up being something else'd up. You with me here? And the new title would remain appropriate for a book that begins with these words: "Something is terribly wrong."
Please be assured that I scolded the people who pointed this out to me and told them their behavior was immature.
Anyway, our recently re-coronated governor for life is on the road hawking "Fed Up!" (no apostrophe).
"Back now with one of the Republicans who could be a prime contender in the race for the White House in 2012," Meredith Vieira said Thursday in introducing Perry on "Today." (I think Hugh Downs was on vacation.)
"It's about freedom. It's about giving Americans their freedom back," Perry said of his book, noting that freedom has been compromised by the feds and the U.S. Supreme Court "in direct conflict with the Constitution, from my perspective."
He pitched his book as "a good primer" about the Constitution and the federal government's relationship with the states.
Vieira, noting that George W. Bush and Barack Obama wrote books as part of their presidential bids, asked Perry if he is running for president. He said no. Perry cited the book — with its attacks on Washington — as the best evidence of a guy who doesn't want to move there.
"Anyone running for the presidency is not going to go take on these issues with the power that I do," he said.
Vieira asked Perry if he might change his mind about running for president if Republicans said, "We need you in 2012."
"I don't see that scenario at all," he said, dismissing the possibility that his party might find itself in dire need of a self-styled constitutional expert with an animal science degree from Texas A&M.
Despite the ongoing denials of presidential intent, Perry clearly and cleverly is following a game plan successfully employed by a previous Texas governor who became president. There's the book. There's the national spotlight. There's the botched phrases, including this one on "Today."
"George W. Bush did an incredible job in the presidency, defending us from freedom," Perry said.
Defending us from freedom?
A couple of minutes later it was time for "Today" to move on. "Up next," said Vieira, "Laurie David on her new campaign to resurrect the family dinner."
I missed that because I had to leave the house and hurry in for the Socialist Workers meeting. But I did see a previous segment that had me waxing Perrylike about government and what it should do and what it shouldn't do. The story involved San Francisco's proposed ban on toys in kids' meals that don't meet the city's nutritional standards.
Yes, I'm aware that the toys sometimes have higher nutritional value than the food in kids meals. But how far down the in-loco-parentis road do we want government to go?
Your governor, in his book, on some of the things some of us are fed up about:
"We are tired of being told how much salt we can put on our food, what windows we can buy for our house, what kind of cars we can drive, what kind of prayers we are allowed to say and where we can say them, what political speech we are allowed to use to elect candidates, what kind of energy we can use, what kind of food we can grow, what doctor we can see, and countless other restrictions on our right to live as we see fit."
Some of that indeed may be fed up (with the apostrophe).
Editor's note, (That's me!)
I haven't seen Perry's book yet, I made a mock up on Photoshop of what I thought would make an appropriate cover.
Click on pic for larger image