Performance Anxiety

Everybody’s been focusing on the wrong word in this tweet:

CC summary: Virtuoso perf; all-in on no knowledge & limited staff role; still hard to believe Kelly did this on her own; probes go on

My problem isn’t with “virtuoso.”

It’s with “performance.”

This wasn’t a performance. Chris Christie wasn’t singing an opera for which you paid $50 a ticket. He wasn’t entertaining you and he wasn’t demonstrating prowess in appearing on a stage. There was no stage makeup and no footlights. You weren’t supposed to be amused.

This was a job Chris Christie was doing. His job was to save the job he had, of course, but ideally, his job was to explain what happened here. (What happened, as a friend described it at dinner, was that he became AN ACTUAL SUPERMAN VILLAIN.) His job, as the people defined it when they elected him, was to run the state, and part of that job was answering questions about this massive and almost incomprehensibly stupid clusterfuck.

He wasn’t putting on a show.

But that’s the problem, really, with Halperin and his ilk. Everything’s a show to them. Everything’s a movie and they’re the audience, and the fact that somebody died and a whole bunch of other people got their lives fucked up because Chris Christie’s people wanted to be mean (the most charitable interpretation of what happened) doesn’t even touch the halfbright pundits sitting in the dark, waiting for the credits to roll.

Nothing’s real to them. Nothingmatters. Not was anything he said true, not does it remotely match up with the facts, not was this behavior befitting a state governor and presidential hopeful. Was it a good show?

Halperin apparently thought so. Then again, he wasn’t stuck in traffic that day, so that probably affected his review.


5 thoughts on “Performance Anxiety

  1. “(What happened, as a friend described it at dinner, was that he became AN ACTUAL SUPERMAN VILLAIN.)”
    Actually, he kind of became a Spiderman villian: Kingpin.

  2. Oh, I dunno, Doc. I think Kevin Kline’s Lex Luthor was a fair imitation of Big Chicken. Or vice versa. Or something. It’s not the exterior I’m focused on, but the manner.
    If Maddow’s right, the entire press conference is a masterful legal presentation of misdirection, which fits a career lawyer of 25-some years experience.

  3. If they know it’s a performance, doesn’t that mean they also know he’s not telling the truth?
    I mean, most people don’t “perform” honesty.

  4. “Everybody’s in movies, it doesn’t matter who you are.” –The Kinks, 1972

  5. You call him a “Super Villain”?
    If Hanging a banner and dropping glitter results in “Terrorism” charges…
    “The terror charges facing two environmental protesters who unfurled a banner and dropped glitter at an oil and gas company’s office in Oklahoma are “outrageous” and “egregious”, according to the lawyer representing them.”(GuardianUK)
    why would the immobilizing of an entire city not be a “terrorist” act.

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