Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Spirited Debate and Fine Dining

Stand up yah voracious man-eatin' sonofabitch and receive yir sintince.
When yah came to Hinsdale County, there was siven Dimmycrats. But you,
Yah et five of 'em, goddam yah.  
I sintince yah t' be hand by th' neck ontil yer dead,
Dead, dead, as a warnin' ag'in reducin' 
Th' Dimmycratic populayshun of this county.
Packer, you Republican cannibal, I would sintince ya ta Hell
But the statutes forbid it. 
- Statement attributed to Presiding Judge, the Hon. M.B. Gerry, at the
April 13, 1883 Sentencing of Alferd G. Packer in Lake City, Colorado
(Convicted of five counts of cannibalism murder)

Alferd G. Packer
"America's Cannibal"

To borrow a phrase from Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford Motor Co., "Facts are stubborn things." Judge Gerry did indeed sentence Alferd G. Packer to death on April 13, 1883 but  - as is often the case - the language he used when pronouncing sentence was far less colorful than that attributed to him above.  

One of my favorite places on earth, the University of Colorado, Boulder, shall serve this evening as the host for the third Republican Presidential Debate.  When I first read about tonight's festivities - I think the notification came in one of the e-mails that I, as an alum, receive from CU on a regular basis, which e-mail likely hit my inbox over the summer, I read it.  And then I smiled.  And then I had a hearty laugh. 

In the latter half of the 1980's, as an Alex P. Keaton Republican on the CU-Boulder campus, I was one of a very, very small number of students of that particular political affiliation.  CU-Boulder is an extraordinary place.  Thirty years ago, in addition to being very beautiful and very fun, it was very Caucasian (freakishly so based upon my own upbringing) and very left-leaning politically.  Even now, I would wager that one is more likely to find more members of the CU community (students, staff, and faculty) willing to admit to being University of Nebraska football fans than would admit to being a registered Republican.    

And yet, the Republicans are coming, the Republicans are coming.  

Apparently, however, the students are not.  Well, at least, not in any appreciable number anyway. The debate shall be held at the 11,000-seat Events Center, which thanks to Coach Tad Boyle (#RollTad) and his Buffaloes, has been filled near capacity on many a winter's evening more often than not during the past five years.  Tonight's debate will be conducted before an audience of 1,000.  One hundred and fifty tickets have been allocated to CU students, staff, and faculty. There are some on campus who appear to be more than slightly tweaked about the fact that only fifteen percent of the audience shall be made up of members of the CU community.  

For those who want to attend but will not be able to gain admittance to the hall, I have a friendly Alum to Undergrad suggestion:   Head on over to the UMC and grab a bite to eat at the Alferd Packer Restaurant and Grill.  Find a television set and watch the debate if you want while enjoying a delicious meal (if you are in the mood for Mexican, then might I suggest something at El Canibal)? 

Or better yet, watch Game Two of the World Series.  If it is half as exciting as Game One, you will be talking about it for days to come.  Look, in another four years, CU might again have the chance to host a Republican Presidential Debate and afford you another opportunity to pine over time not spent with a whole new crop of lying politicians (or perhaps the Democrats' circus will pitch a debate tent at the Events Center during this election cycle and you can experience it that much sooner).  Four years is an eye-blink.  The Kansas City Royals, champions of the American League, have won one World Series title in their history - and yesterday was the thirtieth anniversary of that great event.  Their opponents, the National League's champions - the New York Mets - have captured two World Championships in their history.  Yesterday marked the twenty-ninth anniversary of their most recent title.    These two teams meeting in the World Series arguably qualifies as historical.  Fourteen Republicans in Boulder, Colorado simultaneously - including two Republicans who happen, also, to be minorities - may be newsworthy but it is most certainly not a historically significant event. 

If you are a CU-Boulder student experiencing outrage, whether real or feigned (and I spent four years at CU kiddos so I know a thing or two about watching young Trustfundafarians attempting to master the art of faux outrage), about tonight's on-campus debate, get over yourself, get over it, and get on over to the Alferd G. Packer Grill for some good eats.  

And remember to never dine alone... least not at the beginning of the meal. 


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