An empty chair is a powerful symbol: I’m not sure it was the best choice for Clint Eastwood though – when your message is that you want to get rid of a sitting incumbent, the best way to represent that incumbent is not by an empty seat. It was a bizarre experience, watching a grizzled Eastwood, his younger self staring down at the audience in case they – or perhaps he – had forgotten who he was and why he was famous, interviewing a piece of furniture trying to be Barack Obama. I think the chair had some good answers and on the whole had the best of the debate, though that seemed to have bypassed his audience, who cheered and whooped at the most anodyne of Clint’s statements:
Clint: I think it may be time to let someone else try to solve the problem.
(Cheers, whoops, people standing up and clapping manically..)
Apparently, though Eastwood is economically Republican, he is sociologically left-wing: for example, he is in favour of gay marriage.
We have what you might call ’empty chair syndrome’. It’s not quite ’empty nest syndrome’ but Daniel is no longer in his usual chair in front of the computer.
Eastwood reminded me not a little of Reagan, hammily asking the chair questions and pretending to interpret the answers: I’m sure John Fryer and Mr Scrappy would have done a much better job:
I am very pleased with our garden produce this year: from an originally-slabbed, postage stamp-sized yard I have produced potatoes, tomatoes, broad beans and loads of herbs. Yesterday I put in some winter pansies, which look lovely. The Great Central Way has also yielded sufficient blackberries and elderberries for two demijohns of wine, not to mention crumbles and stewed puddings.
Today I shall be mostly… sewing together the bits of patchwork which make up the novel.