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The politics of attractants


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In international politics this week, the news is that civilized debate in Taiwan's parliament erupted into a riotous brawl between at least 70 members of opposing parties. In the U.S. the big political news is that Scott Brown of Massachusetts was elected to represent his state in the Senate, turning the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat from a Democratic vote to a Republican one. The only brawl over this situation so far is a flurry of nannyboo- booing between the two major parties. Republicans claim their election success is a sign that the American people are unhappy with the way Democrats have been running the country, and Democrats continue to tout their strong legislative majority. Either way, neener-ha-haw. However, I don't think the important difference here is about Republican versus Democrat. It's about priorities — it's about sexy. Remember a few weeks ago when I reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had discovered that people in urban areas admire good looks, but rural folks are attracted to usefulness? Well, folks — rural folks, my people — I present to you the evidence of Brown v. Tester. In the urban corner we have Senator-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts representing the — whatcha call it? — modern metrosexual urban man. In the rural corner, we have Montana's junior-Senator Jon Tester representing the modern good ol' farm boy. First, Brown beefed up his campaign by driving a "truck" that became one of his campaign calling cards. It's a mid-size GMC pickup, a practical pickup for the urban man who needs to carry, y'know, a couple boxes and still be able to fit into parking places. It must make him seem quite rugged in Massachusetts. Tester, on the other hand, might've used a full-size pickup, a grain truck (now that's a truck) or a farm machine as a campaign device, but he just drove whatever was needed to haul the day's load or was sitting in the yard with the keys in it. That's practical, we appreciate that, and we have the 40 acres he needs to turn that rig around. Second, Brown is a triathlete, an admirable pursuit that provides a healthy example to the people in an era of high obesity. That's healthylicious, but what do you do with it? I mean, sure, he can swim, bicycle and run, but what does he have at the end of that race? A ribbon? If Tester were a triathlete, the three events would have to be motor repair, combining and butchering. The man couldn't run around a city block on a bet, but when he got done at the end of his triathlon he could drive his newly repaired rig across his freshly cut stubble field and deliver a mess ribs for a barbecue. That's three day's work in one, and I'd keep beer on ice for the winner of that race. Finally, it's no secret that Brown put himself through college (law school, whatever) which he paid for in part with his earnings from a stint as centerfold model in Cosmopolitan magazine after winning their "America's Sexiest Man" contest. In the interest of research, I found that centerfold online. You're welcome. Since the only thing he was "wearing" was one strategically placed hand covering his possibles, I can report that the dude looked, well, I'm not going to insult him by saying frail, so let's say quite slender. Maybe that's great in Massachusetts, but I would fear for him in a strong eastern Montana wind. Tester, on the other hand, is a large guy and, let's admit it, he's got himself a first-class, Big Bud, John Deere, Versatile, Massey Ferguson tractor-sized spare tire around his middle. We don't want to see him posing naked. Seriously. The guy is like me — we keep fully clothed to do our part to keep America beautiful. And yet that isn't all bad. In the end, the city crowd can keep their lawyer/centerfold. I like knowing that, if a Taiwanesestyle brawl breaks out in the U.S. Senate, our Montana man is stout enough to bust some chops and split some wigs. He could be up there tossing around opponents like beef carcasses in for butchering. Now that's hot. (Inanities, 12 for the price of a dozen at http://www.viewfromthenorth40. com.)


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