He called it "motivationalness," but you get the point

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Motivation" -- already one of the most useless words in the language -- was apparently dragged into the woods and shot yesterday.

After nine months of being nearly invisible -- a big outing has been to a Dallas hardware store for flashlights -- George W. Bush made his debut Monday in his latest incarnation: motivational speaker.

Nearly 15,000 people heard the former president, known more for mangling the English language than for his eloquence, reminisce about his White House days. Bush, who is writing a book about the dozen toughest decisions he had to make, used much of his 28 minutes onstage to talk about lighter topics such as picking out a rug design for the Oval Office that reflected his "optimism."

. . . His speech came after the crowd at the "GET MOTIVATED!" seminar stood up and danced to the Beach Boys' song "Surfin' USA" and batted around beach balls tossed into the audience.
Though I'd prefer he be forced to wear a scarlet letter in public -- you could pretty much have your pick -- I don't begrudge the former president the opportunity to make some money after nearly destroying the universe during his eight years in office. If P.T. Barnum could persuade thousands of people to surrender good money to view a the upper half of baby monkey sewn to the lower half of a fish, we can't be too surprised that 15,000 people might choose to spend a half hour listening to George W. Bush talk about his Scotties, or Jenna's wedding, or whatever the fuck. But I'll admit the "motivational speaker" billing threw me a bit. I'd assumed Bush's post-presidential appearances would more closely resemble the court-mandated speeches a drunk driver who'd obliterated a family of four. But then again, I've never really had an ear for marketing.


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