Thursday, March 25, 2010

Props to the Prez

Not always, but sometimes, I am glad my grandmother was a gypsy. This wasn't a nickname, she was a real gypsy and told fortunes, among other things for a living. She imparted her wisdom regarding fortune telling to me and it really works. I'm good at telling fortunes and perhaps would tell you the secret of the scam but not today. You'd have to ask me really nice for me tell you that. Yes, I did use the word scam, by the way because it was one. People choose their futures, at least according to my grandmother. Suggesting you can see into the future suggests it's actually there to see, which it isn't. When I was younger I would use my powers to impress people and that works too. Even today, people ask, can you really tell fortunes?; in my mind I say, "yes, if you think I can".
So, when I suggest that my friend and confidant, Barack Obama, can really see the future, this is no faint praise. This is the acknowledgement of someone who knows a thing or two about how this works.
Harken back if you will to that magic time of the 2008 campaign, where ever gaffe was a headline, every move, a controversy, and every slip of the truth, food for the zoo animals, excuse me I mean voting public.
Soothesayer Obama made that rather candid observation about how people who cling to their guns and religion do so out of fear and ignorance. These were not his exact words, and I'm too lazy to look them up and I have enough twitter friends with OCD to correct my inprecision, BUT, this was essentially what he said and perhaps the word "cling" was badly chosen but the uproar was audible. Golly, Hilary Clinton even defended this poor offended mass as misunderstood by the urban savvy elitist hoops player who couldn't bowl.
Well, my friends, this week's news should offer our President the opportunity to sit back, put his feet up and smirkingly say, "Hey, I told ya so!"
Like the oracle of Delphi predicted these pigeons have come to roost. The fearful clinging mob of clearly undertstood clowns are just where Obama said they would be. Admit it, Obama called these folks out plain and simple. Journalists are now knee deep in a story they claimed was Obama's gaffe. It ironically turns out, oh great journalists of American politics, that the gaffe was yours.
I think we need to step back from the circus show for a day or two and give our props to the Prez. The headllines should read: "President nails it with clinging to guns and religion claim." They are out of the sanity bag now aren't they? I have no time for the shocked reporter. Step aside you foolish boy. Bring out Nostradamus award winning Barack Obama. Does anyone really want to argue that people in this country when they are frightened and angry cling to guns and religion? Is that really up for debate? Can't we put this one to bed? Hammer the last nail? Put a fork in it? Stop me from one more cliche!
Unlike my grandmother, this was no scam. Obama spoke truthfully about what is the NOW. Someone's gonna get hurt or worse. And we don't need the President or my grandmother to tell us that now do we?

Friday, March 12, 2010

hunchbacks, satire and Rachel

Rep. Massa is the Hunchback of Notre Dame. He is an object of derision with a mad crowd that points, laughs and throws stuff. They cheer wildly as each insult hits its mark. I know this because I stand in the middle of that crowd. These are the times in which we live, and hey, I'm pretty good at it. I'm fairly certain he walked out on stage of his own volition. I'm sure I read his t-shirt clearly that read, "thank you America, can I have another". It's good spectacle so don't tell me to cover my eyes. I'm taking it all in. I am participating in 21st century American democracy, emphasis on the "mock" part. A public whipping takes place every week. It's a different victim in a different landscape with a different nuance, to be sure, but it's a public whipping and count me among the audience making best uses of my interactive technological applications.
This is not a self-loathing moment. If that's your expectation then stop reading now, this is no narrative about epiphany, moral realization and repentence. That ain't me. This isn't about a "despicable" press. My what an antiquated notion! Sentimentality about the trusted Cronkite press suggests I hate baseball because Bob Gibson retired. I watch baseball and hiss the new villains. I watch the news and hurl insults at the latest hunchback.
I am nether proud nor embarrased by any of this as it neither uplifts or demeans me. It is sport and I am only playing a game. These people are trotted out solely for my entertainment. It would be rude not to watch. If you watch cable news and wonder, "who watches this stuff?", that would be me. It's produced for me. It's scheduled for my convenience. MSNBC even repeats stuff so I can work my life around them. That's pretty gracious of them I think.
Being a satirist is the finest, laziest hobby in the world. I create nothing, I just poke fun at the crap you made. And, if you're producing the news, well you create 24 hours daily for crap for me to mock. It's all grist for the mill from the talking heads and technical mishaps to the racist rants landing finally on the hypocritical polticians and the uninformed baboons who interview them. To be fair, I can't even keep up. At least once a week they bring me a hunchback. It is my favorite part.
The sweetest part, I can tell you, is that it's not your lives that I ridicule. It is our lives, and that self awareness that exposes self-mocking makes it all..okay. I only need a laugh or two to insure I'll return again tomorrow. On a good day, you join me.
Rachel Maddow ticks me off. She is an actual journalist. She leaves me no jokes. Worse, if jokes are there, she says them, in a more professional, journalistic and mature way than I ever could. I watch her only for the awe factor. Oh, and to get the news. If every news show was like Rachel's, we would simply be an informed citizendry perfecting our culture through democratic means. My gosh, what a yawner. Where's the sport in that? I'd be off Twitter and calling possible opponents for Yahtzee. I might have real friends again, not virtual ones. My children would not start every sentence with, "Dad can you stop typing for a minute?"; another antiquated notion.
So leave me to the tools of my trade. My orange Boehner, Dumbo Palin, alien Bachmann, Mansonesque Cheney, testicle swinging white sheeted teabaggers, johns Ensign & Vitter & Vatican's own Stupak. And believe me, that is the short list. And once a week, bring me a hunchback Massa. Never ask why I have this grin on my face. And once a night visit Rachel Maddow and wonder how it might be, sadly,
another antiquated notion.