One Degree of Kevin Bacon
Donald Trump – or to be more precise, his donors – spent three million dollars last week for a recount of electoral votes in Wisconsin’s most prevalent minority urban districts; Milwaukee and the capital city Madison.
The state demanded $8 million for a full recount of all counties. The campaign low-balled for just the urbans.
I went to college in Madison – at the University of Wisconsin. My freshman year roommate was from the great town of Kimberly, in the north woods – and the birthplace of Kimbies; remember those? I think they were diapers.
It was – and still is a logging and paper mill town. The nickname of his high school sports teams was The Papermakers.
Cool, right? “Go you Papermakers!” When I moved into our dorm room, he already had a pennant hanging on the wall. Papermakers. Lotsa trees and mills up around Kimberly. It’s kind of like a suburb of Green Bay.
Sidenote: Tom, my freshmen year roommate, he of the Papermakers, told me he had never met – or even seen – a black person in his life before coming to one of the largest land grant universities in the Midwest, and even America.
Since I was from “D.C.” – actually from a nearby suburb; but close enough to give me Afro-American cred – and since I played a lot of street basketball – he often asked me to explain the language and accents of black people. He had a work-study clerk’s job at the university’s main library and told me that he couldn’t understand what the black people were asking him.
As if I was the Oracle of Ebonics?
Truth is, Tom was – and still is – a great guy. He just hadn’t experience life outside of the expressive whiteness up there in the paper mills. And he had no shrill against it. He just didn’t know or understand. But give him this: He wanted to.
Fast forward 30 years. The President wants a recount of votes in Wisconsin. It’s the state that tipped him to victory over Hilary Clinton in 2016.
The state demanded $8 million upfront for a recount. Upfront, it seems, is the best way to go with this guy; I think we all know that by now. But he parses. So he ponies up just $3 mill to recount the black places. Madison and Milwaukee. (No Kimberly in this exchange.) And what happens?
Joe Biden gains another 130 votes in the overall race in Wisconsin, adding to his victory. It cost Trump’s donors and supporters a heap to add to the ignominy of loss.
It’s a strange world, country and planet.
The Saints played an NFL football game on Sunday against a team without an NFL quarterback. We won. Surprise, that.
It has rained 60 cubits in six days and no one even gave all this rain a name. It just fell. (If we’re out of Greek letters now, why don’t we just go Latin?)
I took two years of Latin in high school, at Georgetown Prep, in Rockville, Maryland. It was required. The only words I remember from those two years is the phrase “Iad Inferno.”
It means go to hell.
I’m sure my parents, if they were still alive, would be very proud of the education they spent tens of thousands of dollars for me.
I don’t remember calculus either, though I took three years of it. I don’t even remember what calculus actually is.
Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh also attended Georgetown Prep, and look where they got. Me, I don’t take well to black robes. And I’m not a lawyer.
But that means I’m just one degree of Kevin Bacon separation from the Supreme Court and the Oval Office. (By the way, I was also a “featured extra” in Oliver Stone’s 1991 extravaganza film, “JFK,” which actually starred – you guessed it – Kevin Bacon.)
So many degrees of separation.
Am I rambling?
This finally, ultimately and inevitably feels like my time though – my moment, my chance, my opportunity. After all, there’s Wisconsin, BLM, Georgetown Prep, the Supreme Court, the Presidential election and Kevin Bacon – all of which and whom’s lives in which I apparently factor.
Now, if I only knew what to do with it all. Donations are being accepted. But if I had $3 million to spare to count extra ballots, I know damn well what else I would have done with it.
Actually, I don’t. But something fun.