by RIP RENSE
(Aug. 29, 2008)
I think I should write about Obama and McCain, I wind up thinking of
this video from the great Richard Elfman film, “The
Forbidden Zone,” especially the part with the fat kid in the mouse ears.
Take a look.
Every time I hear a
speech, or a “soundbite” (ow!), or read a statement from one of the
Blowhard-Americans currently trying to “shape our future” and “take us into
the 21st Century” and “move us forward,” I feel an implosion of the spirit.
Really. As if my insides are collapsing.
And then I see the fat
kid with the mouse ears.
Bim-bam-boom. . .
I mean, this was the
United States of Deceased Cliches decades ago. The Jabbering Land of
Political Jabbernows. Don’t these people ever tire of desiccated non-speak?
Don’t they ever feel ashamed of opening their mouths and vomiting up
marshmallows and dried lizards instead of thoughts and statements? Don’t
they feel embarrassed to stand in front of millions of people and drone
things like, “The Dream Lives On” and “No how. No way. No McCain?”
On the other hand, that
caliber of slogan would have been perfectly fine in either of the elementary
school elections I participated in.
But I ask you: "On
November 4th, we must stand up and say: 'Eight is Enough."
Are you Dick Van-kidding
The U.S. is in shambles,
outsourced and sold out to the brink of economic googly-moogly. Iraq is the foreign policy equivalent
of a drug-resistant staph infection. Would-be terrorists are multiplying
like Brangelina. Crazy twitchy death fetishists like Cheney and silly
high-strung women like Condoleezza are gilding the corporatocracy, splashing
in blood and oil. . .
And Obama comes up with
an insipid little cutesy-pie phrase based on an insipid little cutesy-pie TV
Cue that “Forbidden Zone”
video. The two
pinhead boxers, specifically. Ee-ah-eeee, ee-ah-eee!
I know, I’m supposed
to weigh in with great gravitas about the prospect of an
African-American president. I’m supposed to furrow my brow and buy into the
big “this is history” show. Well, put my gravitas on the turkey. I don’t
care if he’s African-American. And that’s the point, really, isn’t it?
You’re not supposed to care about the race of a candidate. It’s supposed to
The day that happens will
be real progress.
But instead we have to
suffer through Juan Williams crying---crying---during Michelle
Obama’s strange speech (it began with her speaking at length about her
brother, and how tall he is), and the sight of camera-stoked “I’m ready for
my close up, Mr. DeMille” commentators breathlessly constructing foppish
run-on sentences about this “historic moment.” Not to mention reporters
asking “questions” such as, “Do you feel the history here?” And pundits and Glennbecks and poor columnists writing about how this is
the “edgiest” convention since ’88 (makes me edgy, anyhow), and
self-promoting little author/professors, such as one Peniel
E. Joseph of Brandeis, blabbing suffocatingly about how Obama matured
during the “hip-hop generation” or some such mental detritus.
Can you say,
"trivialize?" America watches itself watching itself.
Yes, I realize that it is
“historic” that an African-American is the Democratic nominee for president.
It should be ho-hum. Instead it’s bordering on hokum. Well, that’s the
tragedy of this country, and the human race: inability get beyond skin-deep
conflict and perception, so what do I expect?
Well, one thing I
expect is that in the wake of the Bushcheney paradiselost, a
candidate with principle might speak cogently and bluntly. Maybe even
(gulp) sarcastically! Oops, guess that’s already happened a few times. They’re
called “third party” candidates, which means they are not invited to the big
party thrown by the corporations. The one called an “election.” (Okay, there
is Kucinich. But why does he have to look and talk like
And how does that rate a 7-foot killer redhead?)
I keep waiting for people
to look beyond image, and to look beyond what-they-want-to-see, but this, of
course, is like waiting for Madonna to renounce penises. Take away race, and
Obama is just another nice Democrap. Really. Sorry to say it, but do minimal
research and you’ll see it’s true. He’s a neocon-lite who fully intends to
maintain massive military occupation in the Middle East. He does "not rule
out" "pre-emptively" murdering milliions of innocent Iranians. Wants to “shift” the
Prozac-numbed over-extended U.S. troops
from Iraq to Afghanistan---which is essentially the Wild West with turbans.
I mean, the guy says that invading a country is not the answer to defeating
sundry terrorists spread all over the world---but wants to jack up the
occupation of Afghanistan. Huh? And last, but hardly least, he is yet
another in a long line of Washingtonian Israel supplicants who seem to put
national interests first---Israel’s.
Translation: when Hillary
Clinton made the point that there is not much difference between her and
Barackandroll, she was right. Her health care plan is more generous.
But there I go, taking
all this crap seriously again. I’m such a sucker. I watched the speeches,
tuned in to the scripted five-day infomercial, as one NPR reporter so aptly
described the Democrap convention. I listened to Obama’s slick address and what-passed-for-blunt attacks on McCain, and it
brought me right to the very tippi-toe edge of wanting to believe that this
guy might just be The Lone Ranger. . .
Then I realized that he
was quoting Aaron Sorkin scripts from “West Wing,” and, well. . .America
watches America watching America.
And it's going to get
worse. Next week, my insides will creep and crawl and boil and bubble as
I watch the venal, hateful, moronic, and vicious prance about as they
nominate a borderline senile son of privilege who is attempting to ride the
fact that he was imprisoned by the North Vietnamese to inauguration day. A
man who says he "hates war" no more frequently than cancers are removed from
his face, yet almost salivates as he jauntily proclaims that the Iraq war
could go on for a hundred years.
A man who can’t use the internet, does not understand economics, cannot keep
his positions or countries straight from day to day, let alone year to year,
and who tells jokes about “gooks” and probably “niggers.” A man whose party
is putting a "plank" in its platform to outlaw all---all---stem cell
A man who has just chosen
as his veep mate a very peculiar woman governor who loves to eat moose stew,
cannot pronounce “nuclear” (she says it just like Bush!), and is under
investigation for ethics violations that could cost her the governorship
she has held for only two years. Not to mention that she favors so-called
"creationism" being taught in schools, and wants to drill and mine the muck
out of Alaska to get that oil and natural gas booty (yes, including the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.)
Speaking of booty, this
heart throb away from the presiduncy-to-be is also a former booty---er,
beauty queen runner up. And not too former to keep off the cover of Vogue
magazine last year.
Ah, but she’s an
Evangelical Christian who opposes abortion! That makes it A-okay, America!
My only feeble hope in
all this is that if Obama manages to win, it turns out that all his hints of
humanism, compassion, sanity, grace---all his claims of wanting to unite
people in this country---turn out to be more than Aaron Sorkinism. That it
wasn't just theatrics during the “Change You Can Believe In” Oprah-thon Big
Lie primary campaign---and the subsequent “I am a closet conservative”
campaign aimed at people who would never vote for any Democrap anyhow. Let
alone a neeeegro.
Yet it’s hard to blame
him for posing. For allowing the press and the public to believe that he
was what they perceived him to be: an anti-war, anti-corporate tyranny,
pro-environment, pro-Constitution kinda guy. To his credit, he never made
those unqualified claims. Not exactly. He just smiled and looked imposing,
and spoke articulately, and let Oprah go around the country, yelling, “He’s
Well, he is a bright guy
with a remarkable background. Even if he does not know how to use the word,
“nonplussed,” properly. But he’s not what people thought he was. He favors
war and occupation in the Middle East. He did an about face and supported
the FISA bill allowing warrantless surveillance of you and me, saying it
will be okay as long as he “monitors” it. (Har.) He bashed Wal-Mart while
his wife did big business with the company,
turning pickles to $51,000 profit. He will allow for offshore oil
drilling (and the prospect of hideous spills), calling it a “stopgap”
measure when he---and every credible economist knows---that it will have
zero, zero, and did I mention zero effect on the economy, or weaning from
In the end, folks, it
comes down to this:
McCain stands for
corporatocracy, death, war, amputations, gangrene, mud sandwiches, veterans
sleeping under bridges, dead trees, extinct animals, lots of money for rich
people. And an eye for shapely conservative ladies.
Obama stands for less
corporatocracy and death, less amputation, less gangrene, fewer veterans
wandering around jabbering and drooling, more trees, less rich bastards
taking $200 million bonuses and having their taxes cut. And he didn't dump
his faithful wife for a $100 million beer heiress.
These are grounds to
not only vote for, but to get out and campaign for Barack. And don't you
dare vote for Nader, the right man for the job, and run the risk of electing
McCain. Never mind that Ralph is anti-corporate, anti-war, pro-environment,
pro-alternate energy, pro-animals, pro-American jobs, anti-big oil,
anti-foreign oil, pro health care, pro. . .taking care of this country, and
letting the rest of the world fend for itself for a while.
Damn, there I go yet
again, taking all this to heart. What a chump. As long as American citizens
are pacified by Super Smash Brothers, e-mail, tabloids, chicanery, adultery,
cocktails, crack, super-pot, porn, pit-bull fighting, DirectTV (what is it,
wired into their heads?), Netflix, well, the corporatocratic machinery will
remain in place. No matter who is pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey.
There's that kid with the
mouse ears again.
copyright 2008 Rip Rense