Mr. Peevie recently brought this to my attention: Roland Burris' headstone, a monument to an enormous ego.
On the right side, Mr. Burris has listed his Major Accomplishments, and on the left, hilariously, his Other Major Accomplishments. (I borrowed the photo from the Politico.com blog The Crypt, which offers commentary on breaking news in Capitol Hill.)
Two additional, carbon-based monuments to his own Goliath ego: Roland Burris' two children are named Roland and Rolanda. Seriously. He even uses the Royal We to refer to Himself. Mmmmmkay.
Roland Burris, like most of us, wants to know that his life had meaning and significance. That he wasn't just another blip on the timeline of humanity--but that his existence added value, so to speak. I get that; I really do. Sometimes, when I'm wiping the smell of pee from my bathroom floor (why can't those boys aim better?!), I wonder about the meaning of life, and in particular, the significance and value of my own life. When I'm folding underwear, or scraping crusty batches of nature from various surfaces in my house, I wonder what people will say at my funeral.
"She was a lousy housekeeper, but she sure had a good throwing arm."
"She really didn't have much of an edit function in her brain, but she was mostly not a horrible person."
"She sure did watch a lot of television."
But anyway, to get back on point, Mr. Burris has written the script, basically, for his eulogy, and had it engraved on his stone crypt, which he sensitively endowed with a comfortable bench for those of you who would like to rest in the shade while you visit with the Spirit of the Trailblazer and ponder his Major Accomplishments and his Other Major Accomplishments.
Does he really not understand that by accepting this contaminated appointment from our legally plagued, morally ambiguous, allegedly sociopathic governor that he is causing his own reputation to depreciate rather than to appreciate?
Or is he so blinded by his own ambition that his brain keeps blocking out messages about integrity, process, and character, and the only ones getting through are the ones that say, "Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em all. I'm getting this title because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
Not that he'd use language like that. He's not the governor, after all. He's a church-going man, causing some of the rest of us church-going folks to wince mightily. Burris even boldly, if not sacrilegiously asserted that his Senate appointment was ordained by the Big Guy.
I'm sure Mr. B has his headstone engraver on speed dial.
Meanwhile, my brother Deedee, who lives in Argentina, accurately and a tad meanly pointed out that Illinois is a lot like a third world country, with its political scandal and pervasive corruption. It's nice to know that our state is the source of so much entertainment to the rest of the country, even the world.
Step away from the Senate seat, Mr. Burris. Drop the weapons (supporters who play the race card, blind ambition, ethical ambiguity), and step slowly away. There you go. Now you can salvage what's left of your reputation.