30 July 2008

Dancing is forbidden


I have never got the hang of embedding video into this, and I apologize for bogus alerts (if they happen) but I can't pass up a few that came to my attention today.  I'd like to thank John McCain and the geniuses (genii?) of the GOP in advance.

First, this is priceless.  Pay close attention to the first five seconds:

I thought I was hallucinating.  Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in a political ad?  What the hell is that?  What's the IQ of the dude who came up with this idea?  I'm trying to figure out how this ad is meant to hurt Obama, and the only thing I can think of is that the GOP slipped in subliminal messages that no one noticed.  I gotta go back and watch the ad real slow...aha! It's just as I thought.  When Britney Spears is on screen, there is a brief flash of a message: "Your next Secretary of State.  And don't forget Vice-President Kevin Federline."  For Hilton, it's "This is Barack Obama's new BFF!"

Is Obama a "celebrity"?  Sure.  And I'm a Supreme Court justice!  Why would the McCain campaign knowingly promote the fact that Obama drew huge crowds in Europe last week?  He wasn't giving concerts.  He wasn't performing his new one man show.  He was introducing himself to multiple regions of the world as the man who might be the next president of the United States.

Ya think McCain would create a reaction like that?  I picture an Obama ad including Bea Arthur and Betty White.

Remember all the "Obama hasn't been to Iraq" screeching last month?  Now it's "Obama's going to Iraq...and the Mid-East...and Europe. Who does he think he is?"

Someone tell me why anyone wants to run for president anymore?

Backfire!  Most of the populace is laughing at the inanity of this ad, and anyone who supports it wasn't going to vote for Obama anyway.  President Celebrity!  He'll deliver the State of the Union on TMZ instead of CNN! He'll drill for Botox offshore instead of oil!  He'll raise taxes on the ugly! 

Good Lord, even Jon Voight is getting involved.  Angelina's gonna be pissed...

(By the way, Jonny, babe, loved you in Midnight Cowboy but your op-ed implodes from the git-go.  If I may quote you directly:

"We, as parents, are well aware of the importance of our teachers who teach and program our children. We also know how important it is for our children to play with good-thinking children growing up.

Sen. Barack Obama has grown up with the teaching of very angry, militant white and black people: the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan, William Ayers and Rev. Michael Pfleger. We cannot say we are not affected by teachers who are militant and angry. We know too well that we become like them, and Mr. Obama will run this country in their mindset."

So if we follow your logic we are to assume that Obama was taught by this quadrennial collection of all that is hateful in America when he was a child?  I don't think so.  Why is Obama portrayed as easily influenced from his twenties?  Shouldn't you be working on "Anaconda 3"?)

I'm John McCain, and I approve of this message, because I am running out of things to say.  Yes, I am getting desperate.  But hey, Jon Voight is behind me, so good news, it looks like I have that "Runaway Train fan club" vote sewn up.  Good times.

And I will end this with one more McCain ad that broke today.  This one also features Europe, and again please pay close attention at the 25 second mark for the cameo of cameos.  I hate to spoil this, but the secret word is HASSELHOFF!

(God help us all.  Seriously, God help us.  No really.  God help us.)

15 July 2008

Flash it across the screen

Today's word is:  SATIRE

Satire is that most trickiest of literary devices. Its usage triggers more "is it or isn't it?" moments than all others combined.  Commonly confused with irony and sarcasm, satire is neither.  It stands alone.  It's like a pelican on one leg.

Satire has suffered needlessly in this age of ultra political-correctness.  People are terrified of using it lest it be misinterpreted literally.  It's a shame really; good satire is as entertaining as a campfire sing-a-long.

To wit: the cover of the New Yorker this week.  It's been all over the news these last forty-eight hours: Barack and Michelle Obama, in their finest Muslim/terrorist garb, celebrating the destruction of America with a "terrorist fist jab" in the Oval Office.

Obama hates it.  McCain hates it.  I think Bugs Bunny hates it too.  Pity, because it is absolutely brilliant.

Come on!  How many bogus "Obama's a Muslim" e-mails have you received since January?  How many times have you heard him referred to as Barack HUSSEIN Obama by right-wing blowhards?   Michelle Obama hates America remember?  Oh yeah, this is definitely what an Obama Oval Office will look like if we are foolish enough to elect him.  Obama! Osama! Osama! Obama!  Let's call the whole thing off! (before they kill us all!  BOO!)

In my opinion (and we all know how important that is) this cover illustration is a perfect satirical commentary on the politics of fear, racism, and Islamophobia.  It's completely ridiculous how we accept and allow the political forum to distort the realm of our elections, and this cover calls it out.  We have more people who will cast their vote on the basis of whether or not they believe Obama is a Christian then on the basis of whether he will be good for the economy, the war, etc.  It's unbelievable.

The New Yorker knows this.  And they knew that when they released this issue that a lot of people wouldn't get it.  They've proved their point.

What I like most about this is that it recalls the single dumbest piece of "objective" and "responsible" television journalism in the history of mankind: Fox anchor E.D. Hill referring to the Obamas' fist bump when he claimed the nomination after the Oregon primary as a "terrorist fist jab."  She said this.  Seriously.

Personally I have always thought of terrorists as high-fiving kind of folks, but what do I know?  I'm not witty enough to make up things for Fox News.  Hill (I think E.D. stands for "Eloquent Dingbat") was never made to explain what she meant.  We all know what her intent was: use the word "terrorist" in the same sentence as "Obama" because someone somewhere will make the "connection."  Remember, if Obama is elected, we are all toast.  By March.

You've been warned.  If you don't rip that cover off, frame it beneath your American flag on the wall, and take it with you into the voting booth while you vote for John McCain, then you hate America.

How ironic.  Um, no I mean sarcastic.  Damn!  Satirical!  Yeah that's it!

08 July 2008

Everybody's got a Jesse Helms story!

A happy belated birthday (just one day, and only in print, as I was there Sunday) to my mother, who doesn't look a day over forty.  Which is amazing, since I am forty-one.

That is not the Jesse Helms story.  I continue:

I heard that Helms died on July 4th and my eyes rolled back into my skull because I knew knew knew that as soon as I turned on the news some GOP lap dog would go on about how appropriate it is that he died on Independence Day because he was (say it with me) a "Patriot."  The fact that it was President GW was like getting an extra scoop of ice cream in a banana split.

Helms was legendary for his bigotry and his outrage over the degradation of society, and sometimes he was able to combine the two.  I was guided to a list of his "Greatest Hits" and he has some whoppers.  The man was clearly upset that the South lost the Civil War.  I'd also guess that he wasn't too pleased when the drug cocktail that kept many HIV patients from developing full-blown AIDS was discovered.

I am amused at how those in the public eye conveniently forget a person's character when they die.  I take no joy in Helms' death but I certainly am not going to change my opinion of him just because he has shuffled off this mortal coil.  That's the thing about life: in the end, nobody wins.  The good and the bad end up the same, non-metaphysically speaking.

I can't remember how it first started, but when my nephew was very young, maybe five, he reached a point where he thought he knew what was offensive and what wasn't.  After while it got kind of annoying, and being it the time when Helms was ranting and raving about the moral character of America being further down than Atlantis, I developed a retort to my nephew whenever I heard him raise an objection:

"Thank you, Jesse Helms."

I said it enough that within a week or so my nephew was saying it too, in delightfully inconsistent ways.  I can't have a cookie.  Thank you, Jesse Helms.  Time for a bath.  Thank you, Jesse Helms.  I can't play outside while Ihave the chicken pox.  Thank you, Jesse Helms.

It came and went quickly, as everything subjected to the attention span of a pre-kindergartner ultimately is, and I hadn't thought about it in a while.  Like I said, I'm not happy that Helms died, but I am definitely amused by the memory of a five year old wandering around our house invoking Helms' name for all sorts of reasons.  You can't make that kind of stuff up.

It was nauseating to hear people call Helms a patriot in the aftermath of his death.  I remember about ten years or so ago he waged a one-person war to keep former Illinois senator Carol Mosely-Braun from becoming ambassador to New Zealand.  I can't recall why he was against it (wait a tic, CM-B is black); he ultimately lost and the episode was embarrassing for him and probably enhanced his decision to retire when his term was up.  He was petty and a bigot throughout his life.

He was nothing like a patriot.  Give me an H and take the P-Helms was a "hatriot".  The sooner that the remainder of his generation that shares his beliefs passes the better off we will all be.