One of the strangest aspects of this political year is how the TV show Law & Order has gotten so deeply enmeshed in it. (The link between popular entertainment and politics is seldom discussed to the degree it should be.)
Fred Thompson, who signed to play D.A. Arthur Branch after resigning from the US Senate in 2002, is being dragged into the Presidential race as the "true heir to Reagan," because no current candidate has been able to seize that Excalibur.
Whosoever shall convincingly pull these lines from out their ass shall be the right-born King of all America.
Sam Waterston, who plays first assistant district attorney Jack McCoy (and has now for 15 years) got pulled into the race through a group called Unity ’08, which thinks that Michael Bloomberg and Joe Lieberman represent the political center, forgetting that only a double yellow-line sits at the center of any road.
All of which leaves Jesse L. Martin,
who has played the "young cop," Detective Ed Green, since 1999. (He
replaced Benjamin Bratt, who had become the paramour of actress Julia
Roberts, and wasn’t heard from again until the short-lived "E-Ring" with Dennis Hopper).
Several months ago a commenter on a Web thread I was reading from
Tennessee asked whether Martin might become part of the present
campaign. The joke was he might be a Democrat.
I don’t know if he is, but as the link at the start of this shows, he could be. (One thing is for certain. He has more acting talent than the other people mentioned here.)
Here’s the deal. (Spoiler alert.) Martin first came to prominence as the character Tom
Collins in the Broadway show Rent. The character was a gay man who
fell in love with another gay man, the character Angel, and who then watched Angel die, retaining so much dignity and grace that he became the moral center of
the show, which was based on Puccini’s La Boheme.
The link is to a song added to the soundtrack by playwright Jonathan Larson, who died around the time the play opened.
who himself died of AIDS. I was having a nice little bike ride with my
iPod over the weekend, letting the randomizer do its business, and this
came on as I passed the 1996 Olympic Torch, which now sits at the
corner of Capitol Ave. and Fulton north of Turner Field, the 1996
I thought of John and Elizabeth Edwards, and I began crying. Uncontrollably.
I am no expert, but I think Martin’s work in Love Heals might make a good theme song for
Edwards’ campaign. (Consider how, in order to win, he has to cut into Barack Obama’s advantage among young voters, those between 30-50, for whom this musical is part of their cultural history.) Elizabeth’s cancer is an integral part of the
campaign’s back-story, but the theme of the campaign is the obligation
we all owe to one another, as people, often defined as love.
And, yes, I’m quite aware that in the piece Jesse L. Martin portrays a gay man. When you are going directly against a Thesis, as Edwards is, this is how you do it. Full frontal.
Just a thought.