Charles Grassley Is Aware of All 70s Soul Music Traditions

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02/25/2010 3:45 PM |

If peeing your pants was cool, Id be Glenn Miller.
  • “If peeing your pants was cool, I’d be Glenn Miller.”

Jonny just brought to my attention this direct quote from Chris Marker’s Grinning Cat icon Chuck Grassley, at the interminable healthcare roundtable:

…downtown urban America in the poverty parts of the city…

Which is some real Marvin Gaye-level poetry there, mother mother, ain’t no love in the poverty parts of the city. Or you could put a funky backbeat on it, for that Superfly-era Curtis Mayfield feel.

We went on for a while in this vein, Jonny and I did, laughing and chortling and making fun, but then I stopped to consider: it’s actually pretty remarkable that when Chuck Grassley slips into an anachronistic vernacular, he betrays a frame of reference that extends all the way up into the mid-70s.

Think about how old all these guys are. Occasionally, something like Ted Stevens’s “series of tubes” speech will remind us just how long it’s been since these guys were at the age to be up-to-date on popular culture. Why should we expect Ted Stevens to be totally comfortable around the internet, or Chuck Grassley to use up-to-date urban terminology? I still don’t know whether my cellphone can take pictures, and I am young enough to be evolved from Ted Stevens.

Chuck Grassley is 76 years old. When Chuck Grassley was my age, he literally had to masturbate to black and white photographs of women in one-piece bathing suits and tiny hats, and maybe the occasional pillowfight kinetoscope.