GUYS. You gotta love 'em. After all, guys make up only about 50 percent of the world's population, but when it comes to news they carry a disproportionate burden.
Take the NAFTA debate. The vast majority of people speaking out for and against the agreement in the run-up to last night's showdown were guys. The most publicized debate on the subject featured two guys -- H. Ross Perot and Vice President Al Gore -- along with another guy, Mr. Chat himself, Larry King. The floor debate in the House of Representatives was dominated by baritones. And when the actual votes were cast, the vast majority of them were cast by -- guys.
What thanks do they get for getting all worked up over what seems to most people a rather esoteric issue? Mostly, a lot of people who're basically glad they don't hafta listen to NAFTA talk anymore.
Well, there's good news for overworked, unappreciated guys in all walks of life. Now that Lake Wobegon's own Garrison Keillor is taking up the guy cause, maybe they'll get a little more respect. Mr. Keillor was in town last night speaking in defense of guys at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
We like his crusade. "Women should go ahead and take over the world so guys can pursue their destiny as adventurers, lovers, humorists and backup singers," he says.
It's certainly worth a try.
* * * SPEAKING of guys (and NAFTA), here's an entry for the Fatti Maschi Parole Femine and Vive la Difference files:
"Washington (AP) -- Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, a leader of the NAFTA opponents, accused [President Bill] Clinton of 'wining and dining people now at taxpayers' expense,' a reference to the deals the White House has reportedly offered for votes.
" 'It's a man's way of doing business,' she said in an interview. 'I mean, men like confrontation, not cooperation. For President Clinton and many of the men involved, winning becomes more important than many of the values involved. I think he's demeaning the debate by doing all of this deal-making.' "