FOR: Warwick Sabin for Little Rock mayor. Full disclosure: The Observer used to work with Sabin back when we were both idealistic youngsters, during his brief and probably foolhardy flirtation with journalism. That’s a big part of why we feel confident enough to encourage you to give him the nod on Election Day. Nothing gives you a sneak peek at a person’s character like haunting the coffee pot with him in a newspaper office, the new having worn off and nobody on his best behavior. During that time, the person revealed to Yours Truly was one of the most optimistic, genuine, energetic supporters of Arkansas you can imagine, upbeat about the future even when The Observer was sure things were going to hell in a rowboat. He’s a guy with the intelligence, energy and connections to literally be anywhere doing anything, but he chooses to live and work here. That says a lot about him. We’re confident he’ll get Little Rock moving in the right direction. More importantly, he’ll get us moving in the decent direction, and make us all proud.
FOR: That new Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper take on “A Star Is Born.” The Observer is always dragging spouse to one whiz-bang shoot-’em-up space opera or jump-cut fast-car epic, so we really couldn’t say no when she finally wanted to go see something herself. Her Old Man expected to trade two and a half hours of our finite life for some overpriced popcorn, but something strange happened on the way to another dumb musical or chick flick: Gaga and Cooper turned in stunning performances, in a movie full of great music that plays like Greek tragedy and never talks down to its audience about the realities of love, addiction, fame and finding yourself unable to bear parting with a person intent on self-destruction by any means necessary. The Observer might even have got a little verklempt there at the end. We can tell you right now: That never happened when we watched the Streisand/Kristofferson version.
FOR: Self-care. The Observer’s heart was originally moved to fill this column with our own grief, given the events of the previous week. We ventured out on Friday night after Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins’ lowly, gullible filibuster in the well of the Senate only because we had to. As we walked through the grocery store gathering our milk, eggs and pork ‘n’ beans into a basket, we found ourselves imagining, like a waking dream, all the women we encountered as semi-transparent wraiths, having been rendered simultaneously there and not there, whole and not whole, believed and unbelieved, by actions far away, elsewhere in this world that seems to have grown so much for women since the Lucy and Desi days but has clearly learned not one goddamn thing. We won’t belabor it, though. Better to focus on the future, like getting yourself and three friends minimum to a polling place Nov. 6, even if you have to crawl there.
We will say, however — in a suggestion that’s sure to bring glee and testimonials to the deliciousness of liberal tears from the cruel and shameless coven of motherfuckers of the modern Trumpublican Party — that in times like these, don’t be ashamed to just take a day or three to play Small Ball. Are the things I have direct control over OK and shipshape? Am I and my family physically OK? What are the things I have to be thankful for right now? The Observer realized soon after Nov. 8, 2016, that if we continued to keep our mind constantly on things we have no chance of changing, Yours Truly would eventually burn down to something useless, cynical and mean. So now, we make sure to periodically turn off the noise and pay attention to the things we can directly and immediately change for the better. You’d be surprised how much it helps. We’re not saying to give up the fight. Never give up. Never. As long as you have breath, you have a voice and it deserves to be heard, and we are no longer working for ourselves, but for the generations yet to come. That said, don’t be afraid to just take a few days to appreciate the 20-foot circle of influence centered on your own two feet. Do that for a while, then get back in the fight. Because it becomes clearer by the day that this country is in dire need of our help, and it’s gonna take all of us.