Friday, September 22, 2017

Adoring Mr. Joseph Lieberman

Recently, I've been burdened by something I desperately need to get off my chest. I have a crush on Joe Lieberman. That's right. The democratic vice-presidential candidate with a charming smile and a winning personality strikes me as just the type of guy I should have taken to prom.

That's why, when I was recently offered a ticket to hear him speak at a local high school, I could hardly contain my delight. Here was my chance to prove to the world that I could score an interview with a charming, funny and intelligent man who may very well be the next vice president of the United States.

I knew I had many obstacles to overcome if I wanted to have a one-on-one conversation with Lieberman. For one, I figured that as soon as security saw me, they would haul me somewhere in the middle of the desert, where they could easily dispose of my body. Second, I needed a disguise that would give me the illusion of being a mature and hip journalist. The latter was quickly ruled out when I realized my chubby cheeks make me look four years old, and the only tools I had to question Lieberman with would be the notebook and pen I bought from the UCSD bookstore, instead of the microphones and Palm Pilots allotted to real journalists.

But, being the stubborn hairy goat that I am -- I am a Capricorn, after all, and I haven't waxed my eyebrows in a week -- I decided ""what the hell"" and quickly drove to the high school, my heart throbbing as I realized my eyes would soon feast on Lieberman's magnificently adorable face.

When I arrived there, I was confronted by a noisy crowd of political junkies clad in black and tough-looking special agents. As if that wasn't daunting enough, I soon saw a sea of adolescents approaching the crowd. My heart, which, up until this point was throbbing happily, was suddenly replaced by a paralyzing fear as I recalled one tactless teen-ager who called me a ""hairy, toothless wolf"" in junior high.

Anyway, I tried to calm myself down until a questioning stare from one student behind me frightened me again. He was staring at my legs. This was not a compliment, as I looked down and realized I had only shaved the front of my legs and had forgotten the back. How was I going to catch the eyes of Lieberman now?

I pushed that thought aside, though, as the line began to move toward the door. If you thought line-cutting at Disneyland was bad, think again. You should have seen the adults try to cut in as they attempted to get good seats. I glared at one lady as she tried to sneak in front of me, only to later see her at the front obnoxiously waving her VIP ticket at the guard as if she were the Queen of the United Kingdom.

Little old me, on the other hand, only had a ""regular"" ticket. I looked like a loser while the guard investigated my chocolate-stained Snoopy bag for bombs and other impractical materials that only an idiot could manage to hide in a purse as small as my dwarf rabbit, Coco.

After I was finally jostled in, I couldn't believe how many people were standing in the hall. There were no seats to sit in and I simply could not stand the whole time. Not that I'm a diva of any sort, but I haven't worked out at RIMAC at all this year, so I couldn't depend on brain-leg muscle coordination.

My dilemma was quickly solved, though, when I saw a large area separated from the rest of the room by a wall just high enough so I could see the raised podium, but not the heads of everyone sitting down. I plopped myself down amid a plethora of kids and clung to my Snoopy bag like Linus to his security blanket. In front of me, there was a large screen where the unfortunate souls who couldn't snag a seat in the adjoining room could view the second presidential debate as it was being televised.

The rowdy crowd soon became even rowdier as Lieberman, who was supposed to give a speech before the debate, arrived literally minutes before the debate began. I stood up on the chair waving desperately, screaming, ""Joe! Joe!"" but to no avail. I think he may have seen me, but then again I may have been delusional and blind; I did not have my glasses. Anyway, I quickly quieted down when I noticed the kids were looking at me like I was some sort of raving lunatic -- which I was, but were weird looks really neccesary?

As the cameras all around me flashed and television cameras zeroed in on Mr. Congeniality, I struggled to maintain a feeble sense of dignity. Sure, I don't have Cindy Crawford's legs and perhaps I'm not as intelligent as Bill Gates, but I was a love-sick teen-ager, and in this cruel world it must have meant something, I thought. Yet, my vain attempt to regain my self-confidence was dashed when Lieberman flashed a smile (not to me, of course) but to the audience beyond the wall, said a few words, and got off the stage. I couldn't believe it. Not only had I not been able to get a seat with the elitist political crowd and see Lieberman up close, but my ears weren't even blessed by his humorous dialogue!

As the lights went down so everyone could watch the debate, so too did the emotional high I had experienced just a few moments before. Luckily, I escaped my pain when I sneaked over to some computers in the hall (It's called High Tech High, after all) and checked up on my horoscope. My forecast said it all when it implied that I had about a 1.5 percent chance of a good day.

After all the hooplah was over and Al Gore and George W. Bush concluded their lackluster second debate, I heard someone say over the microphone that if we wanted to stay 15 minutes or so to hear Lieberman speak, we were more than welcome to do so (translation: Joe's gotta shake the hands of Democratic party donors so all of you middle-class little people and students in the way back of the room, seperated by that handy partition, can wait if you want to, but we doubt 15 minutes is all he's going to take).

With a faint glimmer of pride still resonating deep, deep within me I decided I would leave. Sure, I might blow the opportunity of making a fool of myself by rushing toward Lieberman to ask him what he really felt about Gore, only to get the wind knocked out of me when security crushed me and my Snoopy bag, but I figured there were always other opportunities to embarrass myself.

I was a bit disillusioned by Lieberman, too. I don't think he looked as cute in person as he does on television. Come to think of it, maybe it's time to move on. I wonder if George Stephanopoulos is single.

Editorial

The UCSD Guardian applauds the A.S. Council's approval of the 2001-2002 executive budget last week and agrees with most of the changes made in the new budget's allocations.

Primarily, the Guardian applauds A.S. President Jeff Dodge for spearheading the effort to eliminate the line-item allocation given to the Committee for World Democracy in past budgets.

Although the CWD's events bring essential messages of global awareness to UCSD, the Guardian acknowledges that it is still only one of hundreds of student organizations and does not deserve the guaranteed, fixed funding sent its way by past budgets.

Forcing the CWD to annually apply for funding through the Student Organization Funding Allocation Board, as all other student organizations must do, will eliminate the unfair financial advantage that the line-item allocation gave to the CWD over other student groups.

The decision to almost double the amount of money set aside for FallFest is another laudable change included in the 2001-2002 executive budget. The recent success of the Sun God Festival proved that the A.S. programming office is capable of organizing well-rounded, lively events in spite of how tame this campus typically may be.

The increase in FallFest funding is also a smart move, considering that bands traditionally tour in fall or spring. This way, there is double the chance that there will be at least one great concert at UCSD next year.

Increasing the FallFest funds from $35,000 to $70,000 (keep in mind that the Sun God Festival, in comparison, receives $75,000) will hopefully boost the programming office's ability to reel in top-notch touring acts for its first major event of the academic year.

Further, using the new funds to put together an impressive FallFest concert could set the mood for an alive and involved student body for the rest of the year.

Finally, although the A.S. Council also deserves praise for passing the executive budget in record time -- the process took only 11 minutes according to A.S. Vice President Internal Jenn Brown -- this fact nonetheless evokes some concern.

Remember that the Unity slate swept A.S. Council elections last quarter, and perhaps the speed with which this budget was ratified proves that this council lacks a diversity of viewpoints.

While diversity could bring legislative gridlock, which certainly would be equally detrimental to the students represented by the A.S. Council, passing a $1,133,400 budget in 11 minutes can only indicate one thing: The Unity candidates who now hold office will get a lot done this year, but maybe only because they are not faced with empowered opposition and viewpoints from other council members.

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