Wednesday, January 29, 2014

He Shall From Time to Time


As the State of the Union address was getting set to start this evening, Brian made the comment you can’t help but think in today’s world:  “If some bad guy wanted to make a real headline, all he’d have to do is take out that building; everything would be shut down.”

Yeah, it’s a pretty terrifying option, but I told him all about the designated survivor, the Cabinet member who gets chosen to sit out attendance at the big event so that there can be a continuing government in case the unthinkable should happen.  Brian’s standard question whenever I tell him some random bit of information is, “How do you know that?”, like I’m supposed to be able to remember where I learned every single thing I know.  In this case, though, I was able to tell him precisely where I picked up that particular tidbit; I learned it on The West Wing.

As you might imagine, Brian didn’t think too much of my reference, so I assured him that, even though I think television is a perfectly valid educational tool, I had actually verified the info rather than accepted it blindly.  And, just to further assure him, I quickly looked up this year’s lucky winner—Energy Secretary Eric Moniz.

But, the conversation—and the entire SoTU—really reminded me how much I miss West Wing.  It was truly spectacular television, and I think it depicted how a lot of people wish the White House could be. Not necessarily the actual policies, of course, just the passion and commitment of it all.  (Incidentally, my longing for a return of WW is not intended as any sort of affront to the actual POTUS; I actually thought the SoTU was as decent as such things can be—not particularly contentious, even optimistic—though I am always annoyed by the pomposity of it all.)

At any rate, if you never had an opportunity to enjoy The West Wing back in the day, I encourage you  to check it out now; it’s available on Netflix.  In fact, I think I might have to revisit it myself.  In the meantime, in honor of tonight’s topic, here’s a look at President Bartlett having a chat with his own designated survivor.  Like so many moments from the show, it’s a gem.