Monday, March 19, 2012
St. Pathetic's Day Breakfast
Truth be told, America's Funniest Home Video makes me cringe. I have enough vestigial empathy to feel for kids, adults and animals being hurt physically and emotionally. Those are just mean, not funny.
With that as background, it should be no surprise that South Boston's annual St. Patrick's Day Breakfast event is something I have long avoided. I glance at the local papers' and bloggers' best-of recap. You can do that at the Globe or Herald, and get a smaller slice at David Bernstein's Phoenix short.
For whatever reason, I returned from a long bike ride to check into NECN for the weather forecast and see that the live coverage of this dead(ly) event was starting. So, I did it, at least letting it stumble on in background while I did work at the desk and in browser tabs.
Try-it-on Note: For the moment, NECN has numerous clips from the breakfast here. Click Politics on the left menu and if they are still available pick one or more.
It'll be a long, long time before I catch this flea circus again. My major takeaway was what poor performers the pols were.
That's surprising for people who almost all have decades of public speaking. No, it's stunning.
Amusingly enough in a morning with low amusement levels, Mayor Tom Menino was one of the two best on stage. Known locally, nationally and beyond as Mumbles for has slurred diction and misuse of common words, he even started the requisite self-effacing humor nothing that "easier said than done" didn't apply to him. Then he jumped right into delicious slams of the many who have challenged him for his office and lost badly or terribly.
Lt. Gov. Tim Murray was the other winner. He arrived in a NASCAR suit and helmet and joked relentlessly related to his totaling his state car.
In contrast to that pair, most other speakers where labored and halting. US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren was an exception. Yet her smooth delivery was too gentle and not all that funny, all but her spear point about incumbent Scott Brown going from Cosmopolitan centerfold to Goldman Sachs poster boy.
The oddment was that the others apparently have never heard of Toastmasters. U.S. Rep. Steven Lynch supposedly was the funniest; he certainly got applause from the not-yet-tipsy audience. His delivery was as halting and painful to follow as the other pols. Even Brown, who was his usual arrogant self, delivered lines like a teen asking for his first date.
You'd think that having done this a few or dozens of times, on top of the regular speaking demands of their jobs and campaigning, they'd have it down. Nah, they were terrible. I'd far rather read a transcript for those recaps than suffer through that without a fast-forward button.