Thursday, March 27, 2008

Andrew Sullivan and Ella Fitzgerald

IMITATION is the best form of flattery. There's nothing new under the sun anyway. Only the rearrangement of details and dreams that present the same truths to anyone with the clarity to see them.

Back in 1989 when I was an undergraduate, Andrew Sullivan was writing for The New Republic, and shortly after I graduated, he became the editor of that publication. I remember the afternoon when Abigail Thernstrom, the professor who convinced me to forego law school and do something real for people (I think she knew I had another path in me), spoke about him in a course she taught on the constitution and public policy. After class, she told me to check him out because I would like his writing. I never followed up on her suggestion.

Until recently.

Sullivan is a white, gay, conservative writer and intellectual from England who self-identifies as a bear and belongs to the Catholic Church. I'm a black, gay, progressive writer, intellectual and artist who self-identifies as a queen and belongs to the Church of Life. We're different though I bet he can queen it up and I can be as butch as needed when called upon to be it. If we found ourselves cruising at the same gay bar in, say, Washington, D.C., we'd probably look right past each other. Or not.

Whatever the case, the skinny presidential candidate with the funny name and Will Smith ears has brought us together. I've never read so much Sullivan as I have since I discovered his support of Obama and his distaste for the Clintons. I can't take my eyes off him.

This week, Andrew reminded me what my blog was also about. Art. I haven't forgotten it completely, but I haven't posted much about music lately. My passion for politics has been consuming. I make no apologies, but I strive for balance whenever possible.

Well, here is Ella Fitzgerald singing "Angel Eyes," about as eternal as it gets, says Andrew. I couldn't agree more. In fact, when I prepared to sing the song at a music cafe in college right about the same time professor Thernstrom told me about him and The New Republic, this was the exact rendition that inspired my interpretation.

Take it away, oh First Lady of Song.

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