September 8, 2004

About Al Gore.

Sixteen interesting things about Al Gore, from David Remnick's article in The New Yorker.

1. Leon Russell is one of his neighbors—in the Belle Meade section of Nashville.

2. Tipper Gore keeps a drum set in the living room.

3. They keep bugs out of their yard with a "system that sprays a fine mist of ground chrysanthemums from various discreet sources."

4. Gore is “having a blast.”

5. Gore has an eccentric artist friend who is "a crazy kinda guy” who's got a band called Monkey Bowl that's "a cross between the Fugs and Ali G."

6. Gore thinks the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas is "a ve-rrry interesting guy."

7. Gore has a problem with television: “There is just nothing on the dendrite level about watching television."

8. Gore is interested in "flow." Me too!

9. Gore has been avoiding “Fahrenheit 9/11." Me too!

10. Politics was a bad career choice for Gore because as an introvert, he's drained after an event. Clinton, an extrovert, is invigorated.

11. Gore didn't use Clinton in the 2000 campaign because he loves Tipper so much and cares about marital fidelity.

12. Gore thinks Bush is "a very weak man" who let other people push him around. He says Bush "was rolled in the immediate aftermath of 9/11." Gore doesn't think Bush is dumb, just "incurious." (Who started that "incurious" meme? It must have originally been a play on "Curious George.")

13. Gore doesn't seem to like Kerry very much. The two co-senators did not have much of a relationship, even though they had something in common: "aloofness." But, per Gore, Kerry "took the initiative to reach out to me and to identify the fact that he felt the relationship was not what it could be and should be and asked to sit down and talk about it and jointly create a basis for a much better working relationship. " That must have been one hell of a polysyllabic conversation.

14. Gore keeps an Apple G4 on the table when he eats a meal in front of the New Yorker reporter, who peeks at his bookmarks: the Times, the Washington Post, Google News,,

15. Gore seems a bit obsessed by a memo Lewis F. Powell, Jr. wrote just before he went on the Supreme Court. The memo argues that conservatives should strongly defend free enterprise because it is “'under broad attack' by well-funded leftists, who dominate the media, academia, and even some corners of the political world. " As if Justice Powell is at the root of a vast, right-wing conspiracy.

16. Gore doesn't like Bush's Christian fundamentalism because it doesn't have enough of the Sermon on the Mount in it—not enough about helping the poor. He and Tipper can't even find a church to attend in Nashville: “The influx of fundamentalist preachers have pretty much chased us out with their right-wing politics."

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