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Eastwood’s Unexpected Gift



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I am 77, just at that time of life when I am jaded, weary, and sometimes sick of tryin’. Then along comes Clint Eastwood to remind me that I haven’t seen it all, not by a long shot. Utterly bizarre, totally mesmerizing, unintentionally hilarious, horrifying and wonderful at the same time, like a brief scene from one of those absurdist plays they used to write in the 1960s. He forgot his lines, lost his way, and, like the life-time jazz lover he is, improvised and did a non-musical version of scat singing. Two — count ’em! — references to an anatomically impossible act — before that audience. And this at the most buttoned-down convention in memory.

All this, his geezer stutterings and mutterings, the over-80 frailness, combined with his undeniable, inescapable charisma which we have watched for 50 years or so — just an unexpected gift, magnificent, inhabiting a different time-space continuum from that of Republican delegates and Mitt Romney (who delivered a good speech very well).

— William F. Gavin is author of Speechwright and a former assistant to Senator James L. Buckley.



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