Saturday, February 16, 2008

Senator, You're No Jack Kennedy

Jonah Goldberg recently opined that watching CNN makes you stupid, and if you are already stupid it makes you stupider. He wasn't referring to the endless replays of Paris Hilton's latest gin-fueled Mercedes Benz crash, he was referring to those who fancy themselves politically informed because they watch election coverage on CNN. I refer to these unfortunate armchair pontificators as pseudo-intellectuals, people who like to think they are a cut above their friends and colleagues because they watch AC360. To their peers, they may seem like polymaths of wisdom, dispensing an Obama view here and a Hillary comment there. But if these same deluded sages were suddenly dropped into a cocktail party of Washington insiders, their blathering wisdom would provoke stares as if they had just landed from Planet Retard. The latest case in point, those who compare Barack Obama to the late President John F Kennedy...but we'll come back to that in a minute.

Pundits, those guys and gals on cable news with pearly white teeth and very important hair are not the geniuses you may think they are. Punditry is simply regurgitating the latest - and often ludicrous - talking points in the media until their iron-clad assertions melt like an ice sculpture in July. They then move with ninja-like stealth to fill your heads with a brand new idea floating around the news room water cooler, completely forgetting that the last 3 things they had been peddling about had turned out to be dead wrong. It's like they're a bunch of bulemics with amnesia at a party who keep ordering buckets of KFC until someone gets a feeling they're tired of chicken and starts ordering party pizzas from Domino's.

You probably know these people. Some may work with you. You may overhear them in coffee shops. They may be your friends or family. Maybe you are one yourself! But don't fret! I bring you salvation!

No, I'm not going to dip your head in a pond off some back road in Arkansas, I'm going to smack you upside the head and hope you go forth and CNN no more.

So, is the Senator from Illinois the next JFK? To quote Lloyd Benson from the 1988 Vice Presidential debate, 'Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy', and just because that drunken groper Ted Kennedy says you are doesn't make it so. If Angelina Jolie said I looked like Brad Pitt, you may think the source is beyond reproach, but I look about as much like Brad Pitt as Cindy Crawford looks like Rosie O'Donnell.

Certainly, there are superficial similarities - Obama seems like a pretty cool fella, and JFK appeared to be a pretty cool fella; JFK had a natural talent to inspire, Obama possesses the same gift. That's where the similarities end. Finis. End of story. Roll credits. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention they're both black...oh wait, they're not.)

Barack Obama is the most liberal of liberals. He's anti-war, wants to raise taxes, cut military spending, and envisions a government that takes care of all your needs from cradle to grave. If you doubt this, the National Journal ranked him as having the most left-wing voting record of any member of the Senate.

JFK was a war hawk, and won the election largely because he ran to the right of Richard Nixon. He wanted to cut taxes, he brought the United States into the Vietnam War, he wanted to increase troop levels there, and - if you're under the delusion that he was a great equal rights crusader - he had his brother Bobby, then the attorney general, bug the offices of Martin Luther King Jr. Just before he was shot, he was bragging to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce about how he had increased special force troop levels by 600%.

Obama often brags that he was opposed to the war before it even started. Obama claims he is a fresh face from outside the beltway establishment. JFK was part of a deeply entrenched, corrupt old boys club that bought and many claim rigged the election. If Obama is outside the establishment, JFK was the establishment.

Barack wants to sit down and chat with the worst dictators in the world with overtures of olive leaf diplomacy. JFK tried to have Fidel Castro assassinated by the CIA.

Scratching your head? Wondering how the media could have missed all this? Let me be gentle - punditry is just left over, re-heated spam, served up daily by uninspired chefs. It's soft and mushy, but easy to digest. So the next time Anderson Cooper or Keith Olbermann serve up their latest spam casserole, just remember there are better things on the menu.



Monday, February 11, 2008

Enter the Dragon

The weekend is over. Well, it is for me, or us, meaning the lovely Miss Claire and I. We had a four day weekend that started Wednesday, which is a tribute to our respective good judgment or, more precisely, dumb luck as we rode out two days of a most unpleasant stomach malaise. You know, the kind that has you clutching both sides of the toilet bowl and howling as if you were riding a mechanical bull at an interstate honky tonk bar, hopped up on watered down draught and cheap tequila shooters. We don’t drink, her by choice and I by necessity, but I still remember those morning after Linda Blair ala Exorcist moments clinging to cold damp porcelain wondering if any vital organs were going to begin ejecting from my body as a result my self inflicted debauchery. Those days are long gone, but being sober for close to four years apparently doesn’t inoculate one from projectile vomiting and other unpleasantries brought about by opportunistic germs in the atmosphere.

My new sweet studio pad, which I have now officially dubbed “The Corner” in tribute to the noble sages at NRO, has been decorated with all the little touches that make one’s abode one’s home, but not before the we completed the final battle last Friday. The apartment was cleaned (or so I was assured) by professional cleaners prior to my arrival. The only mystery was that when you walked on the tile and looked at the undersides of your feet, it looked as if you had just walked barefoot on the floor of an Indonesian pay toilet. It puzzled me, so we mopped, swept and Swiffered repeatedly (I have a fetish for all products that start with the word Swiffer), but it was to no avail. Our meticulous janitorial assaults on the floor were utterly useless, so with the aide of a friend we attacked the tiled maze medieval style on our hands and knees with the help of hand held scrub brushes and a bucket of water laced with an industrial strength cleaner with a non-threatening name. The floor is now safe for sock-footed pedestrian traffic, requiring only 8 hours of labor and over 32 refilled buckets of water.

The problem was that the tiles of my apartment have many small crevices and grooves, and the previous tenant, whom I met only briefly, looked like the sort of chap who was more familiar with the words “bong” and “Doritos” than he was with the words “broom” and “cleanliness”. As if to leave a testament to his character, he left all his belongings behind in the apartment, including his cat, and only took one thing with him - A framed velvet portrait of Bruce Lee.

On Saturday night a hemp fueled Gilgamesh proceeded to knock on my door for 15 minutes at 4am, no doubt attempting to score some hooch, which I assume the previous tenant provided ample supplies of. I had to call the police to get the nitwit to go away. Once the officer arrived, he acted as though having 6 foot scary looking people with resplendent mullets pounding relentlessly on your door at 4am was a common occurrence, and I got the impression that he felt I was overreacting. Where are the taser-happy Johnny Blues when you need them?

Some people just use up air, as a wise friend of Claire’s once opined over coconut pie. I’m sometimes inclined to agree.