Politics and Paradise
So, I haven’t posted for awhile, and that will only persist next week, since I’m going to Maui for a vacation! Oh, so very excited. And if you feel bitter and jealous…well, I can’t control that.
Part of why I haven’t posted is that I’ve been quite busy – what with work, planning for a major kitchen remodel and life in general. It’s not for lack of things to talk/bitch about.
First, let’s get to politics. (After the jump, that is.)
As should be fairly obvious from this blog, I’m a huge Barack Obama supporter. Almost two years ago, I posted a review of his memoir, Dreams From My Father, and wrote, among other things:
Like most clear thinking people, I'm a huge fan of Barack Obama. His speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention was phenomenal, and he comes across as earnest, clear-headed and absolutely focused on doing the right thing. He IS the future of the Democratic Party, and it's a wonderful thing that his race has nothing to do with it.
Obama is for real, and I'd love for him to run anything I was a part of, up to and including my country. (Hell, especially my country.) The language he uses is raw and beautiful, he is honest and clear, and the way he structures his story belies an intelligent creative mind that, suffice it to say, hasn't been in the Oval Office in the 21st century.
If you have ever heard Obama speak, you know that without a DOUBT, this is a man who knows exactly who he is today.
And certainly, the country at large seems to be agreeing with that sentiment, with him notching 11 consecutive victories since Super Tuesday (which was largely a victory for him as well, seeing as it was supposedly Hillary Clinton’s knockout punch.) It’s been great to watch – his LOWEST margin of victory came on Tuesday in Wisconsin where he "only" won by 17 percentage points. Seventeen! No spin doctor – even Mark Penn and Howard Wolfsom – can spin that as anything but a whooping.
Then there was last night’s debate. Like many wrong people, I assumed Senator Clinton would have to take the gloves off, to move the needle. And her “too clever by half” line about “That’s Change you can Xerox” fell incredibly flat. Even her supporters, of which there are many, seemed to sit on their hands. (Folks tell me she winced when she said it – I was listening to that part of the debate on the radio so I can’t say – but I think perhaps they are reading too much into that.) Regardless, that was basically it, and if she wanted to convince people Obama wasn’t for real, she didn’t do it.
The praise she’s gotten today largely focused on her grace, and her pleasant demeanor – and most take this as a sign she’s getting ready to admit what others have been saying this month – that she’s out of it, and not going to win anything.
Well...maybe. It’s very clear that her tone last night was markedly different from what she says on the stump – she states that Obama isn’t ready to be commander-in-chief, that he’s all speech, no solutions, and a lot of other jabs she largely avoided re-iterating yesterday. Is that a change in tone and behavior – or just good debate strategy?
I suspect the latter, and don’t blame her a whit for it. I really hope that, if she comes out of March 4 with no improvement in closing the delegate gap, that she exhibit the same kind of grace she did last night. Her campaign doesn’t seem fully prepared for this to still be a contest at this point and I do wonder how that is even possible.
All that being said, talk that her campaign has been run awfully is just flat out wrong. They did in fact make some large gambles – but they are gambles that, without a once-in-a-generation candidate like Barack Obama, would be successful 95% of the time. She’s a much more likeable person than her campaign makes her out to be, and she’s incredibly well qualified. My complaints with her are that she is less electable because of the ire she causes in half the country, her vote (and ‘justification’ for the vote) on the Iraq War, and her silly political stances like proposed legislation on video game violence.
None of that makes me think she’d be a bad President. I suspect she’d be minimally a very good president. But I don’t think it’s gonna happen.
In less serious news, the silly TV season has started up again, and here’s my quick-hit review:
Big Brother: The so-called “twist” this year is that players are in teams – or couples with their apparent ‘soulmate.’ It seems to me that someone said, “Hey! Let’s make Big Brother even dumber, and more like Paradise Hotel!” (More on that show a bit later. Cough.) The result is more than a bit silly, and this year’s cast might be the most vacuous, self-centered lot the show has ever had. Which, of course, is saying quite a lot. I’m not really liking anyone – and the two people I rather did like, Chelsia and Joshuah (can ANYONE spell their name normally anymore?), made what I have to think is one of the most loathsome comments I’ve ever heard on TV…EVER. (Essentially, they told Amanda – who has the most high-pitched awful voice ever – that she should just hang herself like her father did. Which…he did. Look, making fun of suicide isn’t just unfunny, it’s insanely hurtful. That was so out of bounds it shocked even this jaded ass.)
This week, Jen and Parker got kicked out, mainly because Jen and another roommate Ryan turned out to be boyfriend and girlfriend…which makes the following image pretty confusing:
Yes, that is Jen talking about Ryan – who was also up on the block. Yep, that’s her telling other people that her boyfriend is a racist. Good times, and good riddance.
Speaking of Paradise Hotel, it appears it was necessary to bring this back. For those who don’t remember, the original show was probably a zenith in vapid, banal humanity and was therefore a total joy to watch. It’s returned, and most everyone involved seems pretty useless – and the point of the show remains…ridiculous. Essentially, the goal for everyone involved is to be able to keep staying ‘in Paradise’ which appears to be a kick-ass hotel in the tropics somewhere. There’s an odd number of people, so every week there is one person rooming by him or herself – at week’s end, they re-roomate up, and whoever is ‘single’ has to go home. And yes, roommates are always co-ed.
Essentially, the most attractive, sluttiest people have the easiest time here – which makes it hilarious that one of the contestants is a virgin. (Yep, that's her.)
Why do I even mention this show? Well…I’ve finally found something my wife refuses to watch.
As far as any other show being aired currently, the only thing really worth mentioning is Lost, which doesn’t even include last night’s episode which we have yet to watch. Truly surprising and well written, it’s probably the best thing on network TV right now. Better yet, though ever so slowly it does appear we’re getting some answers – and more importantly, that the writers know where they’re going. As a fan of Twin Peaks and, less so, The X Files, it’s nice to see that we’re not going to find out that the whole show was really plotted by aliens or a dream of Bob Newhart’s.
More later if I can - if not, Mahalo.