So, I wrote this opinion piece about Miss America being our commencement speaker, and it’s garnered a lot more attention than articles I wrote about far more important stuff, like terrible public policy and terrorism. But, whatever.
It all started, at least for me, with a late night newscast. KGW was having a slow news night, so they came and interviewed the fine folks at the Vanguard. Apparently, complaining about Miss America is a really good way to get attention. KGW talked to some editors and then took some footage of the pages that had the Miss America feature. Extremely exciting, cutting edge stuff.
Then, a few days later, KGW interviewed Katie Harman. She got really emotional about it, saying that going to ground zero and the Pentagon qualified her as having life experience. Her chin quivered the whole time. I felt like a Heather.
My friends thought it was funny, because they too felt cheated by the whole Miss America commencement speaker thing. My friend Jason says it makes him feel like he’s attending a community college. I kind of have to agree with him.
Then my editor called me on Tuesday. “Where the hell have you been?” Dude, rehearsing with my new band, the Katie Harman Experience. “Work.” Then she said, “Well, some radio guy wants to get a hold of you.”
“The Miss America thing.”
“Oh. Right on. Which radio station?”
“Cool. Wait, I don’t listen to the radio. What kind of station is it?”
“I don’t know.”
My editor is no help. Seriously, editors are supposed to know everything. But I’ll forgive her this time. I turned to the folks on the Internet for answers. It turns out, KTLK hosts such talk luminaries as Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura and Matt Drudge. Very interesting.
I talked to the guy in charge of scheduling things for Gregg Clapper, who would be interviewing me. He said Gregg would be nice to me. Whatever, we’ll see.
I skipped class for Gregg Clapper. I would be doing my interview at home, over the phone. It’s not every day that a gun toting pro-choice pot-head gets to share the same airwaves that Rush Limbaugh coats with his golden voice.
I got kind of nervous, but then I relaxed because I really don’t have a whole lot to lose. I said what I meant in my article and I’m going to stick by it. Gregg was pretty decent to me. He has one of those rad, sexy radio voices. He flicked me a lot of shit, but that’s his job. The people who called were another matter.
Some of the callers really, really hate liberals. A lot. Like, liberals are responsible for the Fall of Man sort of hate. One guy named Vern was especially angry. He got really mad when I didn’t know how much ASPSU gives the Vanguard. I think he doesn’t like the Vanguard because we’re too liberal. I’d love to show Vern some of the hate mail I got last year, telling me that I am a horrible mouthpiece for the right wing conspiracy. Some people just can’t figure it out.
I couldn’t figure out why the callers wanted to turn the Katie Harman life experience thing into a political matter. I think Katie and I have different political beliefs, but that’s not why I don’t think she should speak. So, I had to defend my political beliefs, such as they are. Then Gregg wanted me to think of a conservative who’d make a good speaker. I wasn’t fast enough, so he picked Rush Limbaugh for me.
I thought this was kind of a cop out. There are far better conservative speakers in this universe, speakers who wouldn’t turn commencement into the Rush Limbaugh show. I chose Bob Dole. Sure he has to take Viagra, but at least he’s honest about it.
The weirdest part of the whole thing was that they left my connection to Gregg open the whole time. So I could hear him talking about me. I’m “fun,” but he was afraid he was going to lose me because I had paused on some questions. For the record, I was really thirsty and was drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon, and that’s what caused me to pause. Gregg also said the F word a lot. Not that I care, because I like to say the F word too.
I liked parrying questions from Gregg, his audience and my friends. I don’t think I’m ready for a career in radio, but I lived.