Monday, April 16, 2007

Moth-eaten comments

Until today, "moth-eaten" was a word I mainly used metaphorically. But today, it became startlingly literal.

I was getting dressed in my hotel room for the AMT panel on C-Span 3 that I mentioned in my previous post, just 20 minutes to go and with a 5-minute walk to get there, when I realized that my suit pans were, well, no longer feasible to wear in public. They're from a summer suit I had't worn since early last fall, and evidently I didn't check before hanging them in my garment bag. Certainly a grim moment when one is on the road, about to be televised, and has no time to go to a men's clothing store.

Luckily, as it turned out, we did the panel seated at a table that left viewers none the wiser that I was wearing rumpled jeans. And, for what it's worth, a co-panelist told me that William Bennett has been known to do panels looking splendid from the waist up and decidedly less so below. (Maybe he lost his dress pants at the craps table?)

On the panel itself, I tried to be lively enough to hold the TV viewership (all 30 of them). I suppose the word "moronic" doesn't frequently turn up on televised PowerPoint slides, but it did this time, in reference to having a tax system with gratituously built-in instability. (I used it to describe a situation, not any particular actors.) And I did not stint on the pessimism about our political system's capacity to respond to problems these days - this not to be lively, but because it's how I currently see things.

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