Archive for the ‘humor’ Category
This is from Andrew Sullivan. I saw this cartoon, and all I could think was: holy shit.
This is totally wrong. I don’t mean “wrong” wrong; it is just a political cartoon, and they have been ugly for as long as there have been presidents. Such efforts at satire are welcome in making one’s political point, TRC partakes in such efforts regularly. (This cartoon, however, is much closer to “wrong” wrong, in my humble opinion).
I do think, however, that this image of Obama the Pimp and Sandra Fluke the Prostitute does not bode well for the upcoming presidential election. I worry that what we were fighting about, the appropriate mechanism to provide contraception and the impact of that mechanism on constitutionally protected rights, has already been sacrificed on the altar of insanity. Not a great sign of things to come.
And finally, poor Ms. Fluke. She participated in our civic process by standing up for what she believes, and look how she has been repaid.
Happy International Women’s Day.
I’m still pretty worked up about the birth control argument that has been underway in American Politics. I think it is embarrassing and disgraceful and representative of a time that we should collectively have left in our past.
Anyway. It’s worth a look. Because the issue remains important, and the news that all-male congressional hearings are taking place to determine such an issue as female reproductive rights only highlights how tone-deaf too many people still are, in 2012, regarding such an everyday, commonplace element of the modern life.
This is the image from the Obama Family Christmas Card.
Granted. It’s kind of lame. I am sure Bo is a fine dog, and having him painted in a Christmas style room with a fire is quite warm and conducive to the feelings I am sure Obama wanted to inspire in his friends, family, and you known, bloggers and everyone who takes time to comment on the meaningless outflow of presidential paraphernalia.
Some people didn’t approve. For example, Sarah Palin. Apparently, Palin has polled Americans on their Christmas card preferences: Palin said a majority of Americans prefer “American foundational values illustrated and displayed on Christmas cards and on a Christmas tree.” With regard to the card, she added, “It’s just a different way of thinking coming out of the White House.”
I understand, Ms. Palin. So, from me to you, here is a Christmas card I hope you will like.
Apparently the Onion has quit the satire gig, and has started reporting on the wondrous lifestyles of America’s millionaires. About a new Tom Brady autobiography, the Onion reports:
“From the highest highs of winning two NFL MVP awards and marrying a Brazilian supermodel, to the more moderate highs of being a record-setting quarterback for the University of Michigan, this memoir is very personal and doesn’t hold back,” said Bryce Joplin, a representative from the book’s publisher, Hyperion, adding that Tom Brady: A Life Of Joy And Painlessness goes on sale Tuesday. “On the one hand, readers will see the side of Tom they already know from the football field—a good-looking millionaire who is constantly winning—but on the other, they’ll finally learn who Tom is off the field: a constant winner who is also a good-looking millionaire.” Brady was not available for comment, as he was eating filet mignon at the best steakhouse in Boston while waiting for a call concerning a $20 million endorsement deal with Rolex.
Is the satire here: this is perfectly true, and us poor people long for Bradian wealth? Or is the satire: this is perfectly true, and the rest of us poor people are just schmucks?
Because I struggle to see any other satire here.
From what I can tell, both political parties are interested in extending the payroll tax cut. Which is smart politics. Who wants to cause Americans to pay an extra $1,000 during an election season? They may not agree on how to pay for the extension, but if they can agree on the what, the how can be worked out.
Of course, agreement is not actually a political position these days. It is not possible for the Republicans to agree with Obama on any proposal without feeling like they are capitulating with the enemy. So in order to make this agreement into a full-on fight, the GOP are searching for some way to gum up the works. For some, that gum is the Keystone XL Pipeline. To Obama, the GOP said: we won’t pass the payroll tax cut, even though we want to extend the payroll tax cut, unless you attach approval of Keystone XL. To which President Obama said: if you attach Keystone XL, I’ll veto the payroll tax cut and the pipeline. To this GOP said: We’re prepared to fight this out. To which Obama said: I’ll take away your Christmas vacation. You get the idea.
In case you were wondering what this kind of compromise looks like, and how it compares to normal interaction, here is a diagram to illustrate:
To commemorate the resignation of Steve Jobs from Apple, and the pining of all Mac-obsessed whiny creative types, I present this video from the Onion. I shall now retreat to my Dell computer, and resume work on my Manifesto.
What are the consequences of mixing the theatrical with the political? I don’t mean this in the sense of, Bachmann or Obama’s campaigning is all theater and no substance. I mean this in the sense of, Stephen Colbert is not an actual political figure, but an actor. It’s time to talk about the Colbert SuperPAC: Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.
Besides having the best name for a political action committee ever devised, what should this mean to Americans involved in politics? Colbert is using the Super PAC to comment on his perceived absurdity of the unmitigated rights of Super PACs in American politics. And satire and politics have always had a close knit relationship. But the NY Times is wondering now, does Colbert cross a line? Does making a “fake” Super PAC, that is actually a real Super PAC and both raises money and spends money like a real Super PAC, and using that Super PAC to impact real elections, cross the line from satire to just being wrong?
Says the Times:
Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow may be a running gag on “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central, but it is spending money as it sees fit, with little in the way of disclosure, just like its noncomedic brethren.
Comedians, including Mr. Colbert in the last election, have undertaken faux candidacies. But his Super PAC riff is a real-world exercise, engaging in a kind of modeling by just doing what Super PACs do.
And he has come under some real-world criticism for inserting himself in the political process so directly.
TRC thinks: no. Colbert is safely in the realm of his satire comfy chair. Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow actually might impact the silliness of the world of PACs, but it’s not going to affect the presidential election. Colbert might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he is not malicious. He’s interested in the process.
“I am much taken by this and can’t think of any real parallel in history,” said Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution. “Yes, comedians have always told jokes about elections, but this is quite different. This is a funny person being very serious, actually talking about process. What comedian talks about process?”
And that might be the point. I imagine very few Iowa voters voted for Richard Parry. But spending money on advertisements that lampoon the advertisements subjecting children to cornography while playing terribly, emotional music actually offers a real opportunity for people to acknowledge just how ridiculous campaign advertising, and campaign finance actually is. It is so ridiculous, in fact, that a comedian on a fake-opinion-news show can start a PAC with the FEC, and raise untold monies to spend in any way Colbert can possibly imagine. It is brilliant both because it probably shouldn’t be allowed, but it must be allowed, which is ridiculous, and thus should be laughed at.
Colbert seems to accept his absurdity. His character acknowledged that establishing his Super PAC is 100 percent legal, and probably only 10 percent ethical. But that might be the point: is that any less ethical than any other Super PAC?