Move on up

Still gutted after Wednesday’s debacle at the Emirates. I guess that’s the difference between Gooners and the Spuds. We see a 4-4 draw as an abject failure while to them it’s a triumph, no doubt worthy of a commemorative DVD and mug. So it’s somewhat of a blessing that 3 days later, we’ve another match to focus on, though the bad taste in our mouths will not so easily evaporate.

When I’m not obsessing about all things Arsenal, my focus has been on the current presidential election. I’m a crusty, cynical person at times, but the campaign of one man has truly been an inspiration. It’s been well over a decade since I actively worked on a political campaign and much longer since there was a candidate that I was excited about, who I believed could effect real change.

While there’s a lot of talk about the money spent (and yes, obscene amounts are being spent) and the usual red state/blue state blather (I’m as guilty as the next), one campaign has sought to put out an overwhelmingly positive message, rising above the bitter rhetoric of his opponent.

One man has told us in a calm and collected fashion, what he believes, and what he’d like to do for this country if elected. The other has spent most of his time railing angrily about the opposing candidate and the media, leaving very little time for substantive talk about himself or his plan for our future.

I’m not naive. I realize that you don’t get the opportunity to represent one of the two major political parties in this country without compromise, tons of cash, and being somewhat beholden to special interests. But after almost 8 years of The Worst President Ever, is it so wrong to want a president is articulate, intelligent, broadminded, and thoughtful? If you want to be President, for chrissakes, act presidential! Only one of the candidates has done that.

Hope. Change. Unity. Resist the temptation to mock these things cynically because our media-saturated culture has reduced them to sound-bites. From where I sit, one candidate has offered us a shot at these things, while the other is hoping for divide and conquer.

So don’t forget to vote. And c’mon you Gunners!

Cheers, Mark

Has normal service resumed?

The past week has been a bit maddening for Arsenal supporters. Last Saturday, one team played with heart, desire, and intestinal fortitude, coming away with all 3 points. Unfortunately, that team was Hull City.

Fortunately, we only had a few days to wallow before the Gunners were firing on most if not all cylinders to beat a hapless Porto FC in the Champions League group stage. There were still moments where our defense was – how can I put it delicately – completely unreliable, but once again we saw TW14 developing into the player we’ve all been hoping he’d become, and 2 goals apiece by Adebayor and van Persie help bring home the points.

Now onto Sunderland this weekend. Despite the presence of some Tiny Totts castoffs, the Black Cats are no mugs. Djibril Cissé, the former Liverpool player who’s currently on loan to Sunderland from Marseille, has added a spark to their play recently. So which Arsenal will show up?

Personally, I’d like to see Carlos Vela injected into the line-up up front, along with perhaps Johan Djourou in the back replacing William Gallas, who has been responsible for many of our recent defensive lapses.

C’mon you Gunners!

Only in America

Only in America, could someone so completely unworthy as Sarah Palin is, be taken seriously as a candidate for Vice-President.

Has the standard been so lowered these past 7-1/2 years by The Worst President Ever and his Evil Sidekick, that this is what we have to put up with? I’m scanning the news reports online and they’re acting as if she held her own against Joe Biden. Were they not watching the same debate? Was this not as cringe-worthy as her previous interviews?

Her rambling speechifying and apparent inability to directly answer a question put to her, along with abysmal grammar would not have qualified her for a high school debate team. I realize the media have a financial interest in making this seem like a draw, but in terms of articulation, clarity, and substance, there was only one winner.