Tuesday, November 30, 2004


What Else Might You Call a Mo Rocca Lecture?

First of all, until recently, I did not even know there was such a thing as Mo Rocca giving a lecture. He does, however, bestow his brain trust on unsuspecting liberals. You might call this a gathering of those that do not know how to remove the Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers off of their Land Rovers. Many of those sitting around me were against hairspray and deodorant in an effort to save the environment. Toes chilly? Birkenstocks were not meant for thirty degree weather. I am not playing off of stereotypes here, merely reporting it as I saw it.
Mo was quite entertaining. He wore mustard yellow pants that even he, in his oft three decade old style felt that he may need to comment on to assuage the many wrinkled brows in the audience. He hit all of this crowds g-spots: Fox News sucks (except that he is on it occasionally), war is bad, bad, bad, and there is no liberal bias in the New York Times. Those morsels were well worth the price of admission for most of the audience. One might imagine that my face contorted, head shook, brow wrinkled, and came close to convulsions on more than one occasion. He did make me happy when he made mention of the Atlantic Monthly, as it must mean that he has a chance of getting real nourishment from Hitchens’ articles. He probably skips them. Someone tried to goad him into saying that Katie Couric was egotistical, but he did not take the bait. He knew the rest of the room might have rioted like the Las Vegas crowd at the Linda Ronstadt show.
The man was entertaining. He has a brilliant memory and a strong handle on comedic timing. When I asked whether or not he thought having Harvard on his resume was helpful, he handled the somewhat cumbersome question brilliantly. He said that people made notice of it early on, but as his career progressed, it became more about his experience and less about his education. I gave him points for authenticity and lack of pretension.
I often think that the young have so little to say, and that to pay them to talk for two hours is like paying a newborn to sing the National Anthem. To be able to speak to the crowd about interesting things and keep their interest for two hours is difficult and even more so if you have little life experience. First, Mo must be older than I thought. Second, he is a very, very entertaining man. While he normally might just make me smile (not laugh out loud), I laughed and even clapped on several occasions (Remember that I am a conservative, but I also have a strange, yet delightful, fascination with liberals, so that probably explains it). There is also something about being live for comedy too, but he is very talented. Also, he has actually done some interesting things. As a lover of history, he has traveled to graves and home places of US Presidents all over the country. While this may seem a bit strange (and quite possibly morbid), it seems perfectly normal when he recounts the experience. He even shows pictures of himself in front of headstones, and I didn’t make note of its absurdity until now. Although he does do a great bit on how one of his red jackets looks striking next to the grey headstone.
Overall, I would say it was well worth the two dollars I paid to get in.

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