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The Black Knight of Sacramento

No matter how bad it looks for him, no matter how many political flesh wounds he suffers, Gray Davis isn't dead yet.

12:00 AM, Aug 22, 2003 • By LARRY MILLER
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Even if they do, has anyone thought about the mechanics of what's going to happen on October 7? There are 135 people running in this goofy thing. Can you imagine printing that ballot in seven languages? You'd have to be built like Schwarzenegger just to lift it. By the way, the company with the contract to print most of the California ballots is called--no kidding--Sequoia Voting Systems, which is appropriate since they'll probably have to cut down 1,000 giant redwoods to do it. There are going to be so many chads west of the San Andreas Fault, the whole state is finally going to break off into the Pacific. (If something goes wrong, though, I want that guy from Florida with the bifocals to hold each ballot up to the light.)

And here's the weirdest part. Most people will probably get into the booth and say, "Well, I don't like Davis, and I think at least 37 of these folks could do a better job, and I probably ought to oust the guy. But not if I have to read through this thing. I'll be damned if I'm going to spend the whole morning leafing through the collected works of Proust before I get to work today. It's all just too much trouble. NO ON RECALL."

One more thing. You know how most people are in the media. Through the '80s and '90s, it ate them up every time Arnold had a hit movie and they had to report another huge success for him. And then when he made "Last Action Hero" they coiled and pounced and bit him like cobras. Remember? Every interview he had for a year started with a reporter putting on a phony voice of concern and saying, "It must've hurt to fail that big. Want to tell us about it?" I think these same folks are in their basements sharpening their knives on a big grinding wheel right now. Oh, sure, they've been dumping on the governor, but in a few weeks they'll tear into Schwarzenegger and make Davis look like Cicero.

On the other hand, Arnold is not only nobody's fool, he's probably some kind of genius. Look what he's accomplished in his life. How many Austrian teenagers tell their friends, "I'm going to the United States and become a big movie star. Then I'm going to marry a daughter of one of their greatest families"? And I'll bet nobody laughed at him when he said it, either.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Arnold blows right over everybody. I saw his first TV spot, and it was good. I don't know. The only thing in all this I'm certain of is that whatever his next movie is, I would really like to be in it.

After all, could be Cybill Shepherd is there, too.

Larry Miller is a contributing humorist to The Daily Standard and a writer, actor, and comedian living in Los Angeles.