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20th April 2001 - Page 2

All in the President’s kin

The American President and his family are supposed to be an example of the American dream, an example of the grace and dignity that should bless every family in the world. However this dream, so carefully cherished, has been shattered any number of times… Indeed, it would be difficult to find any recent President, whose family has consistently lived up to this dream.

The first such case that springs readily to mind would have to be the Clintons. It could be said, that they possess a genius for committing the most horrendous violations. Roger, Bill Clinton's half-brother, a failed pop-singer with a taste for cocaine, was granted a presidential pardon. He lived up to this by immediately getting arrested again, this time for drunk driving. Then, it emerged that Hillary Clinton's brother, Hugh, took a bribe of $400,000 for helping to secure presidential pardon for a drug tycoon. All these "Scandals" eventually reduced to hilarious and light-hearted issues to be followed up on morning talk shows.

But the Clintons are just following the tradition of American first families. Theodore Roosevelt once remarked that he could either be President or control his daughter Alice. "I cannot possibly do both." But Alice's virtues seemed to shine out, when compared to Billy Carter, the brother of the American President Jimmy Carter. He embarrassed his brother a number of times in his memorable exploits, such as when he smoked pot on the roof of the White House or urinated in public.
Patti, daughter of the Reagans, chose to illustrate her noble lineage by being an outspoken liberal and bohemian, and appearing nude on the "Playboy" magazine. Their son, Ron became a ballet dancer, and appeared in his underwear on the "Saturday Night Live" show. 
And then, of course we have the Kennedys. It would be fair to say, that there are very few antics left that they did not get up to. The Kennedys are equally, if not more, famous for these than they are for the running of their country.

And so, we have a brief summary of the lives of the shining examples of modern day society. However, it might prove a little hypocritical to sit back smugly and thank our lucky stars for having such a faultless democratic system. No matter how immaculately each and every nuance of the constitution is planned, very little can be achieved by relying on these alone. This has all too clearly been illustrated in the recent discoveries about our own upright politicians (on the "Tehelka" tapes). The running of the country is not just the job of its leaders; it is the responsibility of each and every one of its citizens. We should all try to contribute our utmost to it - and not, remark gloomily that it is going to the dogs, without at least trying to make sure it goes otherwise. 

Priya Malik

Reel Life

Basic Motion Picture Rules:
A detective can only solve a case if he has been suspended from office.

When you pay the taxi, you never look into your wallet to take out the money; you take a note at random. It is always the right amount.
When driving a car, even on a straight stretch, you must constantly and forcefully turn the steering wheel right and left.
A man does not show he is in pain when he is savagely thrashed, but he complains when a woman tries to cleanse his wounds.
Any lock can be picked in a matter of seconds by a credit card or a wire, except when it is a door of a building on fire and there is a child inside.
It is always possible to park your car in front of the building you are visiting.
If someone decides to dance on the street, any other person he meets, knows all the dance steps. 

(adapted from the Reader’s Digest)

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