So, in combing the internet a while back in search of odd clauses related material, I came across the website of an organization called Constituting America. The 501(c)(3) organization is devoted to getting people to read and think about and debate the U.S. Constitution. Recently, the organization started a project called The Constitution in 90 Days. Each day, a legal expert of some sort blogs on the organization’s website about one section of the Constitution. And not just the big exciting clauses of the document; the odd clauses are in there too. So, for example, here’s the entry for the Third Amendment (written by Robert Chapman-Smith). And here’s the one for the natural born citizen clause (written by James D. Best).
Now, this all seems nice and good, and indeed it is. Anything that gets people reading and talking about the Constitution is a good thing. But on the other hand, this is no run of the mill organization run by boring lawyers or politicians or anything. The head of (or one of the two heads of) Constituting America is Janine Turner, who is best known for her role as Maggie O’Connell, the fiery independent Alaskan bush pilot from the classic hit television show Northern Exposure. In addition to acting, Turner also has written a book, made a Christian Yoga DVD, penned some op-ed pieces, and introduced Sarah Palin to an adoring Alaksan crowd. You can find links to all these things on Turner’s website. And here is a link to her telling Fox News about the Constitution in 90 Days project.
Wait a second. Fox News? Sarah Palin? Yes, that’s right. Not all actors and actresses are liberals. Turner is a total right-winger. I have to say that my first reaction to this was disappointment. Oh, no. Say it isn’t so. I loved Northern Exposure. It remains one of my favorite shows of all time. I watched it every night (in reruns, because I had been living in Taiwan and elsewhere when the show first came out) during law school after the local news. And, look, let’s be honest, like everybody else who watched that show, or at least everyone else who was pretty much Fleischman-like (and what am I if not Fleischman-like–e.g., nerdy, Jewish, northeastern intellectual, etc., though I would never use canned mushrooms to make a dish for a dinner party?), I was totally hot for Maggie O’Connell. And now you’re telling me she’s a right-winger??!
The more I think about it, though, this is probably better. Because the thing that was so great about her character, from the perspective of the Fleischmanlike, was her contrariness and differentness, which, when combined with her toughness and hotness, made her, well, superhot. And I guess now that it turns out that the real Turner is at least sort of like O’Connell, it’s easier to keep that vision of her that we got to know from Northern Exposure (unlike, for example, how you can’t really do that with Sue Ellen Ewing, whom I also had a crush on, when you find out that Linda Gray, far from being a selfish crazy woman who swills vodka for breakfast, actually is a huge activist and U.N. Goodwill Ambassador and so-forth)
Incidentally, I learned from doing some research on Janine Turner that she too had a role on Dallas early in her career, apparently as Lucy Ewing’s friend. Even better!
Anyway, what I’m thinking is that since both Turner and I are interested in odd clauses of the Constitution, we should do an event together (a world wide tour would also be nice, but I won’t hold my breath on that). We could talk about the Constitution and debate it and maybe have a good natured argument like this one between Maggie and Joel about politics (oh wait, did you remember that O’Connell was the Democrat??–I guess that Turner is an even better actress than I had thought…and that I’m far less Fleischmany than I remember).
What do you say, Ms. Turner? It’ll be fun!