“This is a bunch of stuff!” I couldn’t have said it better myself…. Wait, of course I could have. So the good people at ToM (I use both terms loosely) asked me what I thought of last night’s hellacious, knockdown, by-the-book, paint-by-the-numbers, firecracker-of-a-parent-teacher-conference. Let me tell you, this couple has fire! The way the one pretended to dismiss his younger (and better looking, mind you) partner with that scenery eating grin and broad armed expressions of dismay, while the fit one blinked those pale blue-green eyes like the emo-loving student-government-vice-president he always strived to be. The passion between these two feels like Point Break-era Patrick Swayze (“I can’t live in a cage Johnny!”) and Keanu Reeves (“People died Body!”) without Lori Petty. Anyway, I have a couple thoughts.
Where to watch the big game … er debate? CNN, NBC, MSNBC? Speaking of which, there is this absurd show on MSNBC called The Cycle. It’s filled with early thirties pundits trying to be cool and talk about politics, like SE Cupp, that Steve Kornacki guy, and a hologram of a young James Thurber that Phil Griffin borrowed from CNN. It would really be the perfect sort of show for that blowhard Reft to be on—how many times would that douche drop Grizzly Bear into some conversation about the debt ceiling? Over or under 30? Sorry, over, way over.
So I settle in at PBS. What can I say? Antiques Roadshow is a great lead in, with old people talking about their great Aunt Harriet (who never married) who had this great collection of old dolls in black face and they just wondered how much they might be worth ….. Seriously, the show is sadly addictive. I’ve been stealing stuff from Restoration Hardware and then scuffing it up in hopes of getting on. Mark Wahlberg is steaming. How much do you think one could get for McCain’s golden bunions? I’m betting there’s a market for this. After all, as John Lennon said in the late 1970s, “They ain’t gonna be looking for my golden bunions a hundred years from now. They’re gonna be selling my socks like Judy Garland, and I hope they get a good price too! What with inflation, and the price of rice.”
Oh! There they are: Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. Ladies, take me to the catfight that the VP debate is sure to be. Why, hello Brooks and Shields: the Bert and Ernie of old man porn. (Insert Romney Sesame Street joke here.) Moderator Martha Raddatz opens with a question from Chamillionaire on farm subsidies. Bring in the animals everybody!
Biden Leads with the Grin
Okay, so I have to get this out of the way, I know it’s obvious. What is up with Joe’s teeth? Which of the three is the most authentic: Biden’s hair? Biden’s teeth? Paul Ryan’s position on Medicare? No contest, it’s them choppers! He swings those things around like Seth MacFarlane throws around non-sequiturs.
Clement needs to be honest here (as Clement is inclined to do when drinking heavily and speaking in the third person). Joe Biden reminds me of my drunk uncle Lester. Lester likes Wild Irish Rose, Rousseau, and “Cleveland handies.” Guarantee you Joe is into at least two of those. I’ve a tenuous relationship with Amtrak Joe: he’s a loud, garrulous man, who says stupid things from time to time and smart things now and again. All in all, tonight, the Great White Hair Plug for the most part spoke the truth: life is a great malarkey sandwich that tastes like disillusion and comes with a side of unemployment.
His counterpart, Pete Wentz lookalike and erstwhile emo rocker Paul Ryan, wasn’t bad either, but that mouth is looser than a Philadelphia lugnut doused in Quaker State and KY gel. The wet blankets over at the Economist got it right on this one: “Is Mr Ryan about to get into an empathy contest with Joe Biden? Because that smirk can turn to tears like THAT.” Still, you have to hand it to Ryan, he’s got that goth-glam thing going with the hint of eyeliner and those pleading eyes: I’m so alienated here in student government, nobody voted for the field trip to Wisconsin Dells, come work out with me. To be honest, while I’m sooooooo (say it like an 22 year old girl suing the University of Texas) tired of hearing how good looking he is, I have to admit his P90X workout gear is HOT—like 1992 high school junior Jaynesville 4H-club intramural basketball team captain hot. He may look like an overly emotive angsty Opie standing in front of a burning Reichstag but he’s a looker.
With great power comes great responsibility. Loved when he admonished Uncle Leste…I mean Biden, just clowning on the old man’s loquaciousness. “I know you are under some duress,” he said, which I thought for sure was some reference to the Vice President’s well known addiction to saying stupid shit but I guess it was some kind of comment on the night Obama spent in a deep, dark K-hole last week.
One other point. When Biden unleashed the “stuff” comment, Ryan followed it up with “It’s Irish.” How much longer must we pretend that being Irish American is still ethnic? Have you seen all the movies about Boston, Red Sox Nation, or dreamy Tom Brady? Doesn’t Notre Dame football have its own TV contract? Do you know how many times I’ve seen Rudy on TNT? What did Cypress Hill say, “The cop’s name was O’Malley.” Exactly.
So the debate covered more territory than venereal disease at band camp. With this in mind, I’m going to traverse a couple subjects, provide ToM readers with some nuggets of staunch Ohio wisdom, and a question or two to ponder.
First, tragic as it may be, does anyone think Americans are thinking about Syria or Iran on a daily basis? As LCD Soundsytem once said, “You might think we’re from England/We’re not.” Is Dan the contractor by day and sex worker by night, struggling to pay the bills for his family, thinking about the Ayatollah? Syria? Probably not. Still, as citizens in a virtuous Republic we should be informed. I’m not a cracker—I’m an enlightened saltine.
The entire back-and-forth between Ryan and Biden boiled down to this: who is responsible for starving more Iranian children? The winner is? Your guess is as good as mine, they lost me here. All I know is that we just got out of one war and are trying to get out of another. Ryan confuses me more than Tom Cruise’s sexuality. One of the commentators at the Economist summed it up pretty well: “Mr. Ryan seems very happy with the sanctions in place against Iran, which he credits Republicans for, yet he also says Iran is rushing towards a nuclear bomb.” Here’s my suggestion. How about everyone goes to see Argo this weekend and just pretend like it’s 1979? That way we can be horrified about all the hostages, but relieved there’s no bomb. Plus, Ben Affleck has really cool hair.
Biden came out swinging on this issue, explaining why security at our consulate in Benghazi was farmed out to a crack team of really butch Molly Maids to save money on the deficit. (“I had a killer coupon!”) He neglected to mention he blew that money on a racing stripe for his ‘76 Trans Am, and the liberal media of course will not call him on it. But Uncle Joe clearly learned the lesson that took Mitt Romney a while to pick up, and Obama still hasn’t learned because he’s too busy polishing his collection of Reinhold Neibuhr-themed pogs and listening to Skip Gates records: don’t even pretend to answer the question.
Meanwhile, Ryan struggled to explain how in God’s name the GOP decided that Libya was the one country in the Middle East they don’t want to blow up. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, right Pauly? That of course didn’t stop you when it came to turning Medicare into a coupon. Hey, guess what, I got this amazing Groupon for the fire department. I can use it whenever my fucking house burns down.
Ryan has six studies that conclusively found that he can say whatever the hell he wants. Also, Romney is “a car guy.” By golly, he is such a car guy he even has a car elevator! And maybe it was just the fourteen Hudepohls I put away, but did Pauly try to use Canada as an example of sensible tax policy? He referred to the Great Satan of Socialist Hosers to our north as “overseas,” in what GOP scientists have developed as an apparent “humor-joke”—get it? Lake Superior! I can see Canada from my house!—and said something about 15% taxes. Does that include the 1 out of every 100 newborn infants whose tiny, tender skulls they smash against the rocks up there every year (hey, I get most of my news from e-mail forwards) to pay for Molsoncare, or whatever the hell they call it?
Our 80s Nostalgia Has Gone Meta
Also, can we please put to rest all these rumors about Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill? The slash fiction is fun, but this thing has gotten out of hand. If you listen to modern day politicians, these guys went steady, wore promise rings, and said things to each other like “after college we can finally get that house we always wanted.” I guarantee you this was a loveless, pitiless, sexless marriage. The two guys hated each other. Reagan never made the bed, used all the hair product, and kept hanging out with Nancy. Tip liked to eat potatoes, drink beer, and say things like, wait for it, “All politics is local,” meaning even he had to bribe local police and mayors to get out of parking tickets. Seriously, let’s stop acting like either one of these guys ever stopped cheating on the other. Sometimes I think we’d be better off if we were French. But then I come to my senses.