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Things we don't want to know
Seattle Times staff columnist
Hey, Mike, I want you to know I'm totally OK with that drunken-
driving thing. And the divorce. And the absent parenting and the false political-attack ad you sort of regret now and your ongoing angst about how you had to sack all those drones over at Safeco Insurance.
Regrets, you've had a few. So who hasn't? But Mike, that was A LOT of sharing in one dose. Maybe you could have just stopped there?
Instead, you chose to go on. Mortifyingly on and on.
What I mean is that last week while you were going all confessional on us you were also putting up a personal page on MySpace. Not a Web site for your U.S. Senate campaign or a family news site. You're out there on teen-craze MySpace (www.myspace.com/mikemcgavick), with lists of friends and faves and factoids like your sign (hey, you're Aquarius — just like me!)
You're 48 years old, McGavick. Get ahold of yourself. You're running for U.S. Senate, not prom king.
Here's a thought: If you cite "Frasier" as one of your favorite TV shows, you're at least two decades too elderly to be messing around on MySpace.
Here's another: Use of excessive exclamation points, and the words "blast" and "awesome," does seem to be the MySpace dialect. But it doesn't exactly scream out "I belong in the U.S. Senate, the world's greatest deliberative body," does it?
And here's another: Maria Cantwell has a MySpace page. But it's the Maria Cantwell who is a 19-year-old girl in Philadelphia.
I know, I know — guys like us in our 40s can be driven insane by this pathological urge to remain "hip." It's a tricky business. It's that generational conundrum: What is hip, anyway?
I see you also chose "Green Day" as a favorite band. That could have been kind of hip. But then in an audio link from your blog you feel compelled to add this base-pleasing caveat: "If they bash on America anymore, I might have to turn them off!"
(Although I must say parenthetically, Mike, some of "Mike's Friends" as featured in your "FriendSpace" seem to get what social networking is all about. There's "Gypsy," an 18-year-old who's into Johnny Depp, half-nude models cavorting on the beach and an "illuminatrix." And there's the guy from your campaign who has that friend standing with her arms thrown up over her head, highlighting her rose-colored ... )
I digress! The point here is there's another term for it when a 48-year-old is questing to be hip. It's "mid-life crisis." Mike, after last week I'm a little worried about you.
But whatever. That's not why I'm writing.
The real problem is it's only August. The election isn't until November. To be blunt, we voters already know way, way too many personal details about you.
Not only do we know all of your secret failings, but we know of your fondness for Batman. That you dig "ska." That you've never, ever once gone skinny-dipping.
We've got a war on, and you're turning into the Oprah candidate.
Look, we went through a regrettable period in our political history when every candidate felt obliged to trudge to the mic and say whether they'd smoked pot. Clinton ended that, as only he could, with that ingenious "never inhaled" circumvention.
Uh oh. Mike, I know I just mentioned another personal issue. Namely, "pot." But that was not an invitation for more sharing. Please, don't tell us one way or another if you ever smoked, OK? And don't tell us if you had any affairs. Or went to a strip joint in college. Or shoplifted Pixie Stix from the five-and-dime.
I mentioned your new MySpace page to an editor, and he said his college-age daughter has one, too. I asked if he'd ever looked at it, and he said: "No. I don't want to know."
That's it exactly, Mike. Some things we don't want to know.
On MySpace they'd call what happened last week "TMI." Too Much Information.
Or maybe just "TMM." Too Much Mike.
Danny Westneat's column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at 206-464-2086 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company