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10/25/2010

Anybody But Larry

My Two Cents, Adjusted for Inflation

"Winners or losers, in my eyes you're all winners." - Larry O'Brien's last words to the public.

I just threw up a little bit. Such are the dangers of community access cable. It's a little too real, a little too inadvertently cutting. Where the crowd gathers the air can be sickly.

But now I've just seen a slightly more polished bow out spiel so I think I know what's going on. Larry O'Brien is a political mastermind. In one fell swoop he has managed to dazzle the public into melting their disdain into nostalgia. It's a bit like some kind of disease; on every channel I watched, every media person who came into contact with him, as he wallowed in a gleeful defeat, came to refer to him like a canonized saint. Larry O'Brien is so happy, so enthusiastic about Jim Watson being mayor that it makes you feel uncomfortable, guilty even.

Every defeated leader secretly anticipates the day when people begin to yearn for the good ol' days, few can expect such a day to coincide with that of the defeat. He's written himself a political clean slate with a smile and a nod, a certain something that I heard one reporter call "gentlemanly" in a sycophantic trill. It smacks of something well orchestrated. As if perhaps the first murmurs of a size-able lead in the polls allowed him to give up on victory and plan to lose. I bet a couple of weeks is plenty of time to really prepare and rehearse for one night's extravagant performance.

O'Brien may have tried to diffuse the indignation of the people who unseated him, by smothering it in crocodilian charm, but I'm still angry. The worst thing I hold Larry accountable for, beyond messing up transit and probably destroying the Glebe, is Jim Watson himself. Only in the recognition that Watson was now mayor, did I realize the full reality of what that meant. The man is as boring as mulch. Maybe we deserved better. Maybe we could have a nice normal mayor, like they have in other cities. Maybe someone with ideas that go beyond procuring a seat somewhere.