THE SOUL OF OUR NATION IS ON THE BALLOT

CLIMATE, SCIENCE, EQUALITY, RACISM, GUN VIOLENCE, EMPATHY, COVID-19,  HUMAN RIGHTS, UNITY. THE SOUL OF OUR NATION IS ON THE BALLOT. THERE IS NO CHOICE OTHER THAN JOE BIDEN!


As many of you know, I went to the University of California, Irvine to get a master’s degree in acting. I actually had a look at my diploma while writing this to see whether or not my degree was in drama or acting? But it was a Master Of Fine Arts In Drama degree. Which is a good thing because an unemployed actor in LA is cliché whereas an unemployed dramatist in LA just sounds higher class. One of the things they make you do while getting an uber-expensive acting degree is have you “destructure” and roll around on the floor so as to get your voice to come from “Center”. Another thing they teach you to do is breakdown monologues within an inch of their lives. Find words to stress and tools to “build” the speech so that it crescendos to a dramatic climax. Different ways to lift what you’re trying to convey off the page. And UCI was doing it with 22-40 year old graduate degree candidates who had done hundreds of plays between them. Graduate students who worked for years on their diction, and emphasis, and pronunciation. I watched some of the greatest actors I know having their speeches broken down and critiqued. As well as my own half-assed attempts at reciting a Shakespeare soliloquy dissected and reworked. So I can't lie and say that I didn't lose it when Braden Harrington, the brave kid with a stutter, was speaking about how he had worked on the speech that he was giving during the Democratic National Convention. I did. I lost it. Because I was transformed back to that Central Pennsylvania kid whose UCI dialect coaches couldn’t get him to say “water” instead of “wooder”.


And Braden was talking about how Joe Biden had given him help, understanding, and exercises to get him to the other side of his stuttering. Made him feel better about his impediment. I have seen professional actors miss lines, mangle words, and do way worse than that young man could ever do. Hell, I have a 2 hour blooper reel full of flubbed lines. And I have a Master’s in Dramaturgy.


I'm not stupid and I know that there is a Republican National Convention coming up next week. They will have amazingly edited footage of Trump accomplishments. They'll have great montages designed to do all the things that they can do to make their candidate Donald Trump seem like he should be the one who deserves four more years. But I knew when I saw the piece on Braden Harrington, and learned that Joe was a stuttering kid who overcame it to become Vice President, and hopefully our next President, I knew that there was nothing the Republicans can throw at me next week that is going to move me off of my determined drive to make a change come November. I'd rather have someone who stutters with integrity than someone who calls people names clearly.


On a day when yet another Trump surrogate, Steve Bannon, is indicted for fraud, isn’t it time the right just admits that they fucked up with 45 and figure out their move for 2024. But I know admitting wrongdoing isn't the Trump way and his supporters will double-down on his divisiveness for the next 75 days. What a joy that will be. But I have to believe that there are smart and principled conservatives out there who are tired of this shit too. If only they'd say something and put this useful idiot in check. If only they had the strength that Braden has!

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