I am trying to realize, meeting Michael McFaul for the first time in 31 years, that we are way beyond being old drinking buddies or concert going-chums (and besides I knew him indirectly in that we double-dated with my classmate his girlfriend at the time, his freshman year at Stanford, the three of us Gunn seniors, 1982).
So I will probably not suss out my thesis about whether being the son of a music teacher helps him hear false notes and propaganda in diplomatic channels. (I dropped this on him briefly at an Amanda Renteria for Congress event in Portola Valley recently, just missing him at the meet and greet at World Affairs council in Atherton some weeks prior).
Pleased to see him even in split screen on Charlie Rose the other night.
Thanks for the “BLUF” bottom line up front.
Interesting to say that he has been tracking Putin since 1991 because during glasnost a group of local elected officials, like Los Angeles City Council (and Zef TK, the one whose name is on side of Hollywood Bowl) went to St. Petersburg to meet their counter-part-counter-comrades and Putin was a low level admin of that, and Mike was already intrigued by the Soviets and there. He is Candi’s protegee but to her left. He was a Rhodes Scholar after Stanford 1986, Obama admin Security Council then Ambassador, until just after Sochi.
The crew on Charlie Rose kept comparing Putin to “Catherine the Great”.
I rang out of blue my former near-client and still-friend Alexis Harte because his song about George W. Bush has a line about Putin. Here is a recent video which may help.
I fantasized about inviting Michael to Dark Star Orchestra at Fox Redwood City recently. I am buying the line in Foreign Policy Review that when he got to Stanford he was struck by the indulgence per se of a dorm mate having 100 Dead tapes, not that he was a deadhead too. In Russia, he caught some grey-market jazz shows, they say. He did tweet about pussy riot. I think this is about my tenth McFaul citation on Plastic Alto; will give it a rest. I had invited Mike to see Taylor Ho Bynum event 9/20/14 at Lytton Plaza; he connected my name, the following week to that invite but didn’t let on if he remembered the exact connection, that I was friends with his freshman year girlfriend. ( I called her, now happily married to someone else, with 2 boys, almost men when Mike was named to Obama team and she said “I know, my dad just called.”)
Not to seque too far from Alexis Harte video name-checking or one-line summation of Putin, Vladimir “he is too highfalutin”? but Bill Murphy, a Paly 1969, playing guitar with Gunn 1982 Stanford 1986 Esther Berndt alto saxophone last night at CoHo claims that Jerry Garcia sat in with Vince Guaraldi at a residency in Menlo Park, didn’t realize, will, as Bob Marley says, suss that out.
The other day I wore a black knit cap from Riot, a new line in downtown near Broadway L.A.
Ok, back to work.