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    We have recently passed the 35th anniversary of Jimmy Carter's “Crisis of Confidence” speech.

    To celebrate this event Ryan McNamara scheduled Misty Malarky Ying Yang to be preformed on the High Line for the anniversary. If you don't recall, Misty Malarky Ying Yang was Amy Carter's Siamese cat during the time she held the title "first daughter."

    Rained out because that great speech still can't seem to catch a break, the live performance did happen on the next evening, July 16, 2014. A song and dance number dedicated to an almost forgotten speech that could have made a big difference.

    Misty Malarky Ying Yang

    It was just so High Line, a linear production. The reciting of the speech and choreography began at the south end of the High Line near Gansevoort Street, then the performers danced their way uptown.

    Even though the results of the original speech was oil companies and politicians investing a great deal of time and effort to convince the public not to follow the President, the High Line version was somewhat like a game of follow the leader.

    Crisis of Confidence Revisited

    On the American Experience recap of Carter's "Crisis of Confidence" Speech it is claimed that when President Carter addressed the nation, spoke to Americans seriously and raised serious energy issues in a serious manner, Americans were impressed and willing to answer the call.

    The speech was then quickly re-branded as "The Malaise Speech."  Politicians claimed it was a president who felt his people were not good enough for him and Ronald Reagan actually enjoyed successful campaigning against saving energy. "The Gipper" was quite pleased with himself when one of his first moves as president was to remove Jimmy Carter's solar energy panels from the White House roof.

    Here the four performers, reciting President Carter's words pose in the setting sun on a High Line peel up bench.

    No "Malaise" on 14th Street

    If you read the speech I think almost everyone agrees today that Jimmy Carter was way ahead of his time and that following those words would make this nation a better place today.

    A guest star, who reminded me of Angel from "Rent," came out of the bushes to read President Carter's three points from the speech. Make of that what you will but I thought I saw a message, another drawback of electing the so called "Great Communicator" was ignoring a serious health crisis because it was associated with gay men. Symbolic of the U.S.A. ignoring the speech, after each point was read from a piece of paper, the paper was discarded to the ground.

    Three Points

    Hush, Hush

    Hush, Hush

    Those points that we seem further away from today-

    Point one: I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States. Beginning this moment, this Nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977—never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980's, for I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade—a saving of over 4 1/2 million barrels of imported oil per day.

    Point two: To ensure that we meet these targets, I will use my Presidential authority to set import quotas. I'm announcing tonight that for 1979 and 1980, I will forbid the entry into this country of one drop of foreign oil more than these goals allow. These quotas will ensure a reduction in imports even below the ambitious levels we set at the recent Tokyo summit.

    Point three: To give us energy security, I am asking for the most massive peacetime commitment of funds and resources in our Nation's history to develop America's own alternative sources of fuel—from coal, from oil shale, from plant products for gasohol, from unconventional gas, from the Sun.

    Curtain Calls, the "Crisis of Confidence" recital that began at Gansevoort Street ended just past the Chelsea Market tunnel.

    Curtain Calls

    Ryan McNamara, the director of   Misty Malarky Ying Yang was born in 1979, the year that Carter made his "Crisis of Confidence" Speech. The Arizona native now lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. According to the High line write up he is "an artist known for transforming spaces into immersive experiences." You can see a young Amy Carter and her cat Misty Malarky Ying Yang in his tee shirt.

    Ryan McNamara

    And if you remember thirty-five years back when the repug talking meat sticks showed up on the Sunday talk shows to say “This is a clear cut case of a president who thinks his voters are not good enough for him” how the Democrats sat across the aisle shrugging their shoulders as if to say “My Republican colleague has a good point,” that was the first time I became aware of how democrats get your back.

    At the time I was a young and active Democratic supporter and I remember these barstool words from an older Democratic volunteer a few weeks after the speech, “What is going on with the democrats running away from the President is that they can no longer depend on Union support. The workers are fed up with promises that the Democrats forget the day after Election Day, so the democrats are going after that oil company money.”

    I was young at the time and denied the possibility that the statement was based in truth. I'm not young anymore.

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