Good Lord, Joe, take a look at that stadium. There must be a million people there.
Oh, it's only about 80,000, John, and most of them are only there because they still think Springsteen is going to play. Still, you've got to wonder if we're up shit creek without a paddle, or whether...
KNOCK! KNOCK! KNOCK! CRASH!
Sorry to break down your door, gents, but I've got some straight talk for Johnny Boy here. You know you're going to lose if you pick this shmuck, don't you McCain? Wouldn't be good for the boys if you were to lose, if you know what I mean. I've got someone here with me, a master strategist, who can...
Sorry, Dick, but I've been talking to Rove all along. I know he's not happy with Joe, but...
I'm not talking about Rove, you idiot. He learned everything he knows at the feet of this guy.
Good evening, Mr. McCain.

I believe you find yourself on the horns of a dilemma. Perhaps I can be of assistance.
Mr Hitchcock, it's a pleasure. Listen, Al, there seems to be a problem of some sort with everyone on my short list, so what am I to do?

I believe you could use a maguffin.
Rep. Louis McGuffin from Rhode Island? I've got to admit that he wasn't even in the mix. What's he got going for him?
Not McGuffin. A maguffin. It's a thing or a person inserted into a plot that may be meaningless in and of itself, but which captures everyone else within it's orbit. Think of the suitcase in 'No Country for Old Men', or better yet, Private Ryan in 'Saving Private Ryan'.
I'm not sure I follow, although those are some damn fine movies. Are you saying that I should select someone else to be the center of my own campaign?
The center of the plot, not the center of the action. Someone to change not only the course of the action, but the nature of the conversation. John McCain, meet Sarah Palin - your maguffin.
Hi Senator McCain, I eat mooseburgers. Ever had one? They're good. I like to fish, and I like to hunt. I'm a member of the NRA, and I hunt my own mooses - or is that meese - and then after I get it home I cook it up into delicious and nutritious meals for Todd, Track, Piper, Willow, Bristol, Trig, and sometimes Levi. I'll bet Barack Obama never shot a moose, huh?
Nor have I, young lady, but not out of lack of desire. So you're a governor, are you? If I may say so, you're also quite a comely lass.
Oh thank you, that's what they used to tell me back when I was a beauty queen. You know what I like to do? Drill oil anytime I feel like it. I guess that's a lot easier for me than for you, huh?
She's quite the sportswoman, isn't she, John McCain? Of course I'm rather fond of guns, and we all enjoy our oil. But we need a bit more substance to claim the full maguffin.
Boy, do I ever love God, he's pretty much my co-pilot all the time, even when I'm driving my snowmobile, which is real often because, you know I'm in Alaska, which is covered in snow. Those people who think global warming is real should ride with me sometime, I'd tell them how arrogant they are to think man can change God's world. But what can you expect from people who don't even want you to teach creationism in school. That's pretty wacky, huh?
I myself have sometimes contemplated whether mankind's roll may be in some ways complicit in...
Mankind? It's so funny you would say that. I think the greatest accomplishment of mankind is babies. I love babies more than just about anything. I have a pretty new one myself, can you believe it? You know, if I had the power, I wouldn't just make abortion illegal, I'd make it a crime worse than Hitler. That'd really shake things up, huh?
Worse than Hitler... Okay. You know, you have some pretty strong opinions...
Strong opinions? I guess so. I told Bristol that I'd be against abortion even if she was brutally raped, God forbid. And do you know what that little scamp did? She went out and got pregnant, but at least it's with a nice boy. Kids, what can you do, huh?

 

Uhhhhh.......

Oh, don't look so serious. Pick me and you don't have to run on war and the economy. We can change the topic to guns, God, oil, and abortion.


Maguffin!

And so, The Culture Wars were born anew. I wish I could tell you that this story has a happy ending, but I'm afraid that's a subjective call.

As for me, I must say Good Night. I have a difficult decision to make before the next episode, and I need to hurry.

 

 

2008, Mark Hoback