Friday, April 04, 2008

NYC Gym Pundits Frustrated Over Hillary Hate


Politics was flowing from mouths faster than the sweat from brows at New York City’s Crunch Gym on Lafayette this past Wednesday as a group of amateur pundits gathered within the downtown house of body worship engaging in more chit and chat than arms on curls.

Background beats from Madonna and Justin Timberlake’s “4 Minutes to save the world” kept heads bobbin while the pundits voiced frustration over continued calls by Democrats and media bullhorns to kick “their girl” off the playing field in the race for the White House this season.

As he sat and strained with a tortured look on his face pushing down a tricep machine, one of them began his diatribe.

“I just don’t get it, she’s like that girl in school with the real big glasses who knows everything, you just can’t trip her up, no matter how hard you try… of course I want her as my President,” he said of Hillary.

But his friend shot back with a sarcastic tone, “that’s not want they want at CNN” as he glanced over at the TV screens airing the nightly punditry from the Cable giant.

“They (the media) are blowing so much smoke up the Obama campaign’s bottom it’s pretty obvious they so want him to win” he said, standing, hands on hips, scoping the happy hour crowd that frequents the East Village institution on this busier than usual night.

Yet another chimed in “I want someone who is going to kick some butt” and “she’s really the only one that I think will do that, forget this coming together with Republicans crap.”

Obviously, there was some anger in this gym pundit’s tone that night, and it wasn’t because his set had been interrupted. Politics seems to be the one excuse an instigator of conversation can use these days when interrupting Downtown Manhattan gym routines.

Later, while pedaling and reading the “Village Voice” on a stationary bike, really fast, as if he was actually trying to outrun the police or a mad lover another pundit was interrupted

“What are you reading that liberal rag for” the instigator said jokingly to the reader pundit on his way to no place.

“Can you believe this cover” he said

On the cover of the alt press king, is a cartoon image of Hillary Clinton, looking less than flattering, as cartoonist often draw politicians, with bandages on her face and all swollen.

“It’s about MSNBC for God’s sake so why so cruel,” he said.

“MSNBC hates her” the biker/reader concluded saying that despite the art-work, the “Voice” article written by Wayne Barret, was an excellent indictment of the shrill antics at the NBC cable network.

But then, as if on cue, the instigator of the gym pundits, allowed his mind to distract into deeper reality, a reality that inspired his own private rage at the way politics in America is conducted today, the way the issues get reported, the frustration with an epidemic of disconnect that some party officials and outspoken elites often appear to embellish when it came to the best most productive ways government can and should affect change in everyday lives.

Why did we not openly discuss the legacies of racism in America and instead focused on shrill, offensive but essentially true words uttered or preached by public figures and ministers? Why readers and viewers hear more about a ‘most dangerous cities’ list as if, entire American cities were somehow places we should not go? Why do we not see or hear about the thousands of Mother’s who shed millions of tears for sons or daughters that have been gunned down on our own streets? Why have we not spoken of the unjust and still racist ways we fund our public schools, a system that perpetuates a festering culture of poverty and an un-prepared workforce?

Why do we not ask our candidates how they would address the shocking high school dropout rates in many of our nation’s cities and rural areas? Where is the talk of providing solid and equal ladders of opportunity in the delta or the black belt of the south? Instead of the negative blasting between the Obama’s and Clinton’s, where are the loud and proud solutions to the ongoing injustice, black, white and elderly, that is on vivid display within our nation’s healthcare system, a system so rotten that many of our people are subject to inhumanity in of all things, their health? How did we all allow ourselves to become so embroiled in such tawdry rhetoric when it came to engaging, challenging and getting to know our would be public servants, especially, our President?

“And while I was in Florida, I asked some people are you upset as voters about being potentially disenfranchised at the Democratic Convention”? said the biker.

Suddenly, the instigator of the gym pundits returned from his trance, and inner rant, continuing yet again in his punditry.

What the biker found in the Sunshine State was several of those quizzed in hanging-chad land had apparently given up on their voices ever being heard in this contest, shrugging it all off and saying “well, I guess so,” he reported.

“That state is so discombobulated,” he said as he wondered aloud.

Then, the biker shared an example of the political “meanness” floating around liberal rumor land about Clinton. A co-worker of his who is an Obama supporter, apparently is under the false impression that if Senator Clinton does not win the Democratic nomination, she would then resign as Senator of New York.

“That would prove she just used New York,” the pundit’s co-worker allegedly said to which both proceeded to take to blast the apparent hate expressed by some Obama supporters towards Clinton as her supporters feel increasingly alienated by people they thought they had shared values.

He then said “look, it’s not that I don’t like Obama, I just like Hillary “more” and I think she could win against McCain and I’m sick of people who say she ought to quit.”

“Don’t these people know history?”

He went on to remind the other that in 1980, current Obama supporter, then Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Edward Kennedy, entered the summer behind candidate Jimmy Carter by 24 states to ten, further trailing Carter by 2.4 million popular votes yet he still did not drop out of the race. Instead, Kennedy took his fight all the way to the convention floor, intent on somehow wrestling a victory from the party.

“I’m really tired of all these whining babies who complain about how the party is being torn apart, this is politics,” said the biker who said it’s Clinton that stands the only chance in winning a general election.

“If they think things are ugly now, just wait until November, I mean, what the hell are they thinking, she’ll kick their ass,” he said.

As the night moved on, a glance over at the leg’s section of the gym brought dread as the observer of the night’s discussion contemplated squats. But then, almost like a convenient distortion from the physical pain that awaited, a curious thought popped up.

A certain news story from earlier that day had not grown legs of its own.

Earlier that day, “Reuters’ had reported on a Quinnipiac University poll that served up a dose of reality from the ground, news that anyone who calls himself political junkie ought to partake of and ponder if they are curious about truths of what to expect come November.

The poll, not only found Hillary Clinton ahead of Barack Obama 50 to 41 percent in Pennsylvania, the report said she runs better against Republican Senator John McCain in that same state as well as discombobulated Florida and the buckeye state Ohio.

Reuters reported that McCain trails Clinton 42 to 44 percent in Florida but McCain leads Obama 46 to 37 percent in the Sunshine State.

The same report said that in Ohio, Clinton has a 48 to 39 percent lead over McCain while Obama would lead McCain only by one percent at 43 to 42 percent.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton leads McCain 48 to 40 percent while Obama leads the Arizona Senator by only 43 to 39 percent according to Reuters.

The countless scattered voices in thousands of other gyms or other places where people gather and unintentionally find themselves embroiled in heated political discussion often represent more of the nation’s voice than they’re given credit.

But it’s still what takes place deep inside the mind that is at the heart of the deeper mission and quest for a better tomorrow.

The people, they all still talk and debate, even in the face of 24 hour news cycle soothsayers with platforms who attempt to convince them that they are either out of touch, perhaps outside the norm, somehow destroying any efforts at unity, which in itself is a ridiculous notion in the end. This is after all, part of the beauty of a free political system, where no matter how much power some believe they have in shaping opinion, it is in the end, individuals who still think and ultimately decide for themselves.

Perhaps, the chit and chat occurring inside this spec of space within the 35 square mile island that is Manhattan, here deep inside this, the nation’s biggest city, has its ear closer to the ground that is America, and yet again, that’s why this all continues with the hope that whoever wins keeps their ear to the ground and their finger on the pulse of that which is all of America.


No comments: