The Electric Blue Saddle-Stitched Pants

              Michael Savage’s evening show is extremely entertaining, even though you have to be kind of dim to not pick up on his gleaming misogyny, homophobia, racism and other isms. I like him, however, because he is not a wimp. He has a Teddy Roosevelt quality, which I believe to be very appealing; and it’s not fake like Rush’s or Shawn Hannity’s attempts at being macho. Savage, in his monologues and books, talks about the world of his childhood, where mothers were at home to greet their kids getting off of busses from school, where all of his neighbors were friends and would show up with pies at each other’s homes at random times, where husbands and wives remained married for multiple life times, and where teachers weren’t afraid to beat their students—this was the 1950s. Savage’s world actually sounds pretty nice, but the question he always fails to mention: who was that world actually nice for?

            I asked myself the same question a few weeks ago at the Vernon Connecticut Volkswagen dealership, which had been chosen by their corporate bosses to be nostalgia themed. Their walls are covered with pictures of hippies and surfers and families pulling their surfboards, guitars and picnic baskets from flowery VW vans; and their showroom contains a handful of classic restored beetles. But again, despite their optimistic depiction of 1950s and 60s America: what group of Americans actually had a good time during that period?

            German Volkswagen dealerships aside, the question that republicans, and especially conservative republicans must ask themselves is whether or not the world of over a half century ago, (or perhaps even more recently, in the 1980s) for which they have such a strong nostalgia can ever again exist due to America’s constant changing dynamics—and increase in education levels. Republican candidates consistently compete with each other for the ‘more conservative’ identifiers: that candidate that speaks in less complete sentences, and attends church more than the others typically wins their contests; this only makes sense to me because I listen to Michael Savage; and maybe it’s due in part to the military where I generally have more respect, initially, for leaders that I think can beat me up, than for the skinnier nerdier more articulate ones (officers).  This dynamic was missed during this most recent presidential campaign; it was hammered on during the Bush years, when it seemed absurd that he would be ‘elected’ for two terms. Bush, simply, was the seemingly tougher candidate. And this time, I think that it’s clear that Obama would beat Mittens Romney in a fight.

            Anyway, the nostalgic world that conservatives depict as being a realistic picture of a potential future conservative themed America, where milk men still deliver, and postmen ring twice, and Dave Brubeck’s music (happy 92nd birthday) is always available as a safe and clean alternative to that ‘other’ stuff, isn’t real, and never was, obviously. It is fun to think about, however. Or perhaps I only think about it because I think that Michael Savage can beat me up—and there lies the key to future republican/conservative success: tough candidates, who are not from Texas, who are smart enough to not live in the past, and moral enough to not sell a vision of the past to their voters as a substitute for an adequate present day political platform.

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It’s not Rocket Surgery

              Fox news, although entrancing sometimes like a tabloid due to its crude compartmentalizing of ‘conservative’ politics, does not expect from its viewers a high capacity of an ability to deconstruct or, merely, look closely at (honestly anything) ‘political’ issues, politicians or foreign affairs.[isn’t that a nice way of putting it? : ) ] Fox news feeds its viewers platitudes like, ‘your vote counts,’  ‘support the troops,’ ‘America is the best,’ and others even worse like, ‘speak english or get out,’ and ‘this is a christian nation.’ Without an education, I would admonishingly agree with all of those statements (I think), so I can’t help feeling as if I’m being spoken down to when I tune in to, not only, Fox news, but, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham (whose show isn’t even entertaining like Rush’s) or any random politician speeches/events.  They think that we is dumb. But there is a correlation between the average education level in states, and the color they turn during election results.

            CNN, NBC, etc. isn’t much better at presenting un-dumbed down news, but at least their use of platitudes and clichés is less than conservative sources; and at least I don’t have to suffer through ridiculous boot and outdoor water sealer commercials during breaks.

            Anyway, a long time ago, someone figured out that people more readily digested dumbed down information, or flashier forms of information. Un-dense information is easy to disseminate and communicate, so this probably was not such a conspiracy, as some may think, as it was a result of people’s innate desire to have ease instead of strain. In politics, perhaps this ‘phenomenon’ can be traced to the first televised presidential debate, or even earlier when terms like ‘manifest destiny,’ were code for slaughter Native Americans and/or make them christian.

            It’s not the dumbing down of the presentation of information by politicians that bugs me, it’s that the information presented by politicians is always insubstantial and incorporeal. All politicians, regardless of political orientation speak as if they commentators on FOX news: retired generals, evangelicals. Debates and speeches are pointless, as politicians merely exchange one liners and news headlines—and media outlets dissect this stuff as if it actually does have substance—and people watch and listen to media outlets spew their interpretations of this stuff, as if they are revealing some kind of hidden truths; but there’s nothing there. The emperor has always been a nudist.

            Politicians are only candid with their homies; no one else. All of their other moves and actions, from the ties they wear to their haircuts, to how white their teeth are, are the result of constant polling. Obama, annoyingly, mentions Jay-Z’s name every so often, because Jay-Z polls high with people. Paul Ryan talked about running marathons for the same reason. The things that politicians say and do are not worthy of discussion or criticism, because it has all been scripted and tested and determined likeable and digestible to their voters prior to their saying it.

            I would bet anyone $10,000 that the Romney video was actually released by the Romney campaign; Romney re-entered the water cooler discussion at that point. These are very bright people: campaign managers, Kardashian publicists, Rupert Murdochs and Steve Burkes. They’re bright enough to know that the news functions extremely well as a substantial information source placebo: the truth is that it’s always been a placebo.

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Who needs intertext anyway?

I don’t think that Jon Stewart or Sephen Colbert are particularly funny.  I mean, I suppose that they are funny in a very pragmatic way: their jokes are not wrought with allusions and references that fly over the heads of high school seniors; I guess that that’s where their drawing power arises.  Their jokes are blatant and relatively direct; easily digestable, but obviously  not challenging to viewers or to those whom they satarize.

And what about Doonesbury? Doonesbury is very very dry, but at least Trudeau, pushes sometimes.

But, Monty Python illustrated absurdity brilliantly in their sketches, by creating a synthesis between blatant direct humor with intertext and allusion.  I particularly enjoy feeling like I’m not smart enough or well read enough to completely get a joke, which results ultimately in my reading or google-searching until I do ‘get it.’    

Unfortunately, most contemporary political satire, including  Colbert and Stewart intelectually turns me off like:


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Fool me once…

…kinda funny four years ago…

not so much …but I’m sure a few people snickered… 

I truly miss George W. Bush.  His blooper reels are almost worth his time in office…

Obama’s bloopers… not so much 

“This here’s a picture of Mama”     : )   I’ve been on you tube for too long today.

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Although there seems to be an insurmountable amount of humor created by news organizations, magazines, and cable television that satirize politicians and other un-funny political figures, none in the past four years has succeeded in truly parodying President Obama. I believe that this inability in capturing the president optimally comedically, has primarily to do with a systematic avoidance of culturally sensitive subjects that concern the president, such as his race and birthplace.

 The avoidance of these issues by comedians is highly unfortunate—that’s the stuff that is truly funny, mostly due to their being considered risqué and inflammatory. Obviously there is a prohibition against jokes about race (in public) in America that exists due to the opposite being true just a few decades ago. So now, we only hear the censored jokes on television and magazines –and that stinks because they’re not very funny. Don Rickles tried to break through the elephant in the room race joke prohibition, but wasn’t very funny either.

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Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed: 80,000 votes and counting

The history of Texas goes back a long way.  Out of all the post-election after-shocks, the Texas petition for secession from the Union is the most striking, and ardently, most American (excuse the platitude); but it reeks of something missing from this election cycle and from the passive aggressiveness of social-media, and traditional media, for that matter: bold and straightforward initiative in spite of impossibly insurmountable opposition. Obviously, the entire secession petition movement will fade away, but in the least, hopefully, will inspire, perhaps,  a slew of future courageous actions or, at least, will survive in the memories of a few future persons who won’t shy from an uphill (American) battle (excuse the platitude).

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I’m very happy that the celebrations following this year’s presidential election paled considerably to the 2008 post election parties: Oprah crying, and all that stuff seemed a bit ostentatious. This post election seems a bit different; perhaps due to the relatively close popular vote; and now due to the large portion of everyone other than Caucasian men voting for Obama, (with some exceptions) the Grand Old Party appears ready to metamorphosize; or at least synthesize into George P. Bushes or reformed Dinesh D’souzas; I’m not sure though if that strategy will work. Rush Limbaugh, actually, articulates this dilemna well, but he’s Rush Limbaugh, so he doesn’t get credit for articulating anything well.  The key for the future of the GOP, to prevent their total disintegration as a party (at least separate by name from the Democratic party) is a an embrace of libertarianism: not tea party libertarianism (for some reason, the ‘tea party’ pushes away minority supporters) but Ron Paul Libertarianism, which was given a cold shoulder during this election cycle. Ron Paul returned the cold shoulder by not ‘fully’ endorsing Romney; this may have actually caused Romney the election, as ‘not drinking the Kool-Aid’ voters like myself and  non-typical demographic libertarian voters felt a bit ostracized; not ostracized enough, however, to vote for George P. Bush in 2020.

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