Monday, May 12, 2008

THE SORROW AND THE PITY. At National Review Online, Kathryn Jean Lopez puts out the word:
Dance With Me -- An Invite for "Corner" Readers

If you're in D.C. tomorrow and are game for a night out of great fun for a lifesaving cause, consider the Best Friends Foundation's 20th Anniversary gala.

Best Friends is Elayne (Mrs. Bill) Bennett's ministry of hope to schoolkids. With a little love, high expectations, and fun, Best Friends simply changes lives of children who might otherwise fall victim to the soft bigotry of low expectations that remains a fact in many schools and communities of, frankly, all races and income ranges.

The celebration tomorrow night will have the Bennett family's great taste in music on display (you know a little about this if you listen to Bill's Morning in America): Entertainment includes the Drifters, Marilyn McCoo & Billy David Jr., and Chuck Brown.

When I say fun, I mean fun.
Perhaps the young conservative folk will be attracted by the promise of fun! Alas, John J. Miller (head of the NRO "fun" contingent, as shown by his "50 Greatest Conservative Rock Songs"), rather brusquely replies:
Sorry K Lo, but the rest of us will be at the Drive-By Truckers show in DC tonight.
Even a cynical soul such as I must shudder at this rude kiss-off. One thinks of Chaplin on New Year's Eve in The Gold Rush; even if K-Lo ate the Oceana Roll before dozing, it would still present a melancholy scene.

But, I am happy to find, K-Lo is a gamer, and with a brave face reports after the event:
So last night I went to the Best Friends Foundation’s 20th-anniversary celebration. Since I had missed young Colin Powell and Bill Bennett singing “How Sweet It Is” in shades and leather bomber jackets in years past, I was glad to get the flashback during a brief video presentation during dinner. Having been a faithful Solid Gold viewer, I got a kick out of seeing that Marilyn McCoo has not aged a day since Ronald Reagan was president. She’s still in her prime singing “One Less Bell to Answer.”

It was a fun D.C. party unlike any others. Secretary of Ed Margaret Spellings was there. Mike Pence, Jack Kemp, and, of course, Bill Bennett, were all spotted on the dance floor. Best Friends friends Alma Powell, Senator Mel Martinez, and Herb London of the Hudson Institute hung on until the very end last night, through the tireless Chuck Brown.
We imagine that, as K-Lo summarizes the cause advanced by the event, she is thinking of the kids who dissed and missed her:
Sex tends to be near everywhere — amplified and romanticized, free of consequences — in our culture and adults frequently don’t help matters. Present young people with other possibilities — other than instant gratification — make them fun and inviting and constructive and you’ll be surprised what you get out of creative, energetic youngsters.
Her message will certainly reach its target, and it may be that her target stands ready to be hit. Self-awareness may slap one upside the head at any time. It may be that Miller and whatever other young rightwingers he convinced to see DBT with him are full of regrets. Maybe they were surprised that the crowd did not see the Confederate angle on Southern Rock the same way Miller did. Maybe the crowd took it amiss when Miller and his friends booed and yelled "Democracy Whiskey Sexy" during "That Man I Shot." Maybe they realize that they have, after all, a lot more in common with K-Lo's anti-sex league, however corny, than with the fans at a rock concert, however skynyrdish

I hope so. I love redemption narratives. Doesn't everyone?

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