Musings of the Chronologically Challenged™ Fourth Generation
Monday, June 23, 2003
My Political Split Personality
In every so-called test or poll I've ever taken on political convictions, I always come out as moderate or centrist. I'm not a "party" person, and historically have voted for candidates from both parties on a split ticket. I can't in good conscience defend the actions of either party all the time. A lot of different men and political parties have gone in and out of the White House in my lifetime. Since they have been mortal (so far) men, they have all made mistakes. And since I don't have the tunnel vision of staunch "party people", I do not defend their mistakes. It is very disconcerting to me that over the last several years the chasms between our two national parties have become deeper and more bitter. Much of the generated venom, I feel, has damaged the health of our government, and hence our nation.
Nobody enjoys a good laugh more than I. Political jokes and satire are great entertainment to me, but when the joke is cruel or hurtful, it stops being entertaining. Examples from each party: Hateful jokes about Amy Carter and vicious jokes about Bob Dole were totally tasteless and not funny. Amy was just a child. She was not a beautiful child, but many of the comedic remarks of the time went entirely too far. The same was true during Bob Dole's doomed campaign against Clinton. Both Amy and Dole were made the butt of jokes about their physical appearances. I can't abide cruelty to anyone, but especially to a child and to an American hero.
Anyhow, here are two current examples of political "humor" for your perusal. See what, if anything, is funny to you.
As you've probably heard, Al Gore is consulting investors about possibly starting a television network. This means that you could innocently open up your TV Guide one morning, only to find something like this.
GoreTV program schedule:
5 a.m.: "Wake up with Carville" – James Carville, the political pitbull and man who has allowed America to assign a face to its jock-itch, gets his own show. At long last, thanks to GoreTV, you can finally wake up with a guy like James Carville without a searing hangover and dramatically lower self-esteem.
6 a.m.: "OK, Rush Limbaugh Isn't That Fat Anymore, But He's Still An Idiot" – Al Franken hosts his very first talk show. Today's guests include author Norman Mailer, whose hearing-aid battery is so bad that he responds to every question by looking at his watch and saying "about a quarter to seven".
7 a.m.: "Good Morning, Anti-America" – Michael Moore and Sean Penn host. On today's show, Sean takes you on a photo tour of his trip to Iraq, along with tales of injuries he suffered after being run over by fleeing "human shields", and Moore's exclusive expose at a local medical clinic entitled, "How many people will ask me if I'm here to sell my plasma?" In the second hour, building expert Bob Vila joins Penn to help him construct a complete sentence.
9 a.m.: "Fishing with Ted" – Today, Sen. Kennedy discusses which spinner works best to hook an Oldsmobile, and special guest, Sen. Chris Dodd, helps Ted snag a waitress with a 40-pound test pickup line and three bottles of Chivas.
10 a.m.: "We Had To Give Phil Donohue A Two-Hour Show Or He Wouldn't Invest" – Today, Phil takes calls from the show's viewer.
Noon: "Fries 'n Lies" – N.Y. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and columnist Molly Ivins discuss issues of the day over a vat of chili-cheese fries. On today's show, nothing is compromised (except perhaps the architectural integrity of the stage) as Ivins accuses President Bush of lying about WMD's in Iraq and complains about people who are always mistakenly trying to hire her to get poltergeists out of their homes, while the outspoken Nadler takes a stand on undersalted fries.
12:30 p.m.: "Dope Operas" – Spend an afternoon with GoreTV's political dramas, including "One Life to Tax", "The Borked and the Beautiful", and demagoguery rules the day on "The Guiding Fright".
4 p.m.: "GoreTV After School Special – 'The Secret In Barney Frank's Apartment.'"
6 p.m.: Half-hour of continuous out-of-context tape loop of Newt Gingrich saying "Wither on the vine."
6:30 p.m.: – Simulcast of the CBS Evening News.
7 p.m.: "What a Dick!" – Rep. Richard Gephardt stars. In today's episode, Dick scares the elderly with tales of starvation via Republican initiated Medicare cuts in favor of tax breaks for the wealthy. Watch, and you too will join the rest of the country in saying, "What a Dick!"
8 p.m.: "Who Wants To Be An Ex-Millionaire?" In-depth profiles of investors in GoreTV. In tonight's episode, chief fundraiser for GoreTV, Joel Hyatt, discovers investors' portfolios have sunk so far that he's forced to use his last thousand dollars to rent a bathysphere to go down and find them.
9 p.m.: "Trading Spaces ... and Wives" – Former President Bill Clinton revisits Arkansas to host this show with a very interesting twist on the original series from the Learning Channel.
10 p.m.: "C.S.I.: DNC" – Tonight, a forensics team struggles to uncover the mystery behind what killed the Democrat Party.
11 p.m.: "I am too President!" – Al Gore helps satisfy America's hunger for reality television, allowing cameras to follow him around his house. Tonight's episode: Still in denial, Al has a "cabinet meeting" with two potted plants and a bottle of Old Spice, then holds a State Dinner for an Irish setter.
11:35 p.m.: "GoreTV Late Movie: The ThornByrds, Part I" – The story begins in the early 1930s, when a member of the Ku Klux Klan and future United States senator falls in love with an African-American woman, engulfing him in an emotional personal struggle as he's faced with choosing between his forbidden fruit, and his cross-burning gool-ol'-boy pals. Will he choose head sheets, or bed sheets? Find out tonight.
2 a.m.: "Robbins & Sarandon Overnight" – Join Tim and Susan as their synapses misfire like the original spark plugs on a '71 Buick Skylark. When these two put their heads together, it creates a vacuum that makes even the most powerful Hoover green with suck-envy.
4:30 a.m.: Test pattern. Join GoreTV's highest-rated program, soon to be expanded to all time periods.
"Must Flee TV!" Catch it before it's cancelled.
21 Rules For Being A Good Republican
You have to believe that the nation's current 8 year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but that yesterday's gas prices are all Clinton's fault.
You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.
You have to be against government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.
You have to believe that government should stay out of people's lives, yet you want government to regulate only same-gender marriages and what your official language should be.
You have to believe that pollution is ok, so long as it makes a profit.
You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don't pray to Allah or Buddha.
You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.
You have to believe that a woman cannot be trusted with decisions about her own body, but that large multi-national corporations should have no regulation or interference whatsoever.
You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred of AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.
You have to believe that society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn't diminish your opportunities, but you still won't vote for Alan Keyes.
You have to believe that it was wise to allow Ken Starr to spend $50 million dollars to attack Clinton because no other U.S. presidents have ever been unfaithful to their wives.
You have to believe that a waiting period for purchasing a handgun is bad because quick access to a new firearm is an important concern for all Americans.
You have to believe it is wise to keep condoms out of schools, because we all know if teenagers don't have condoms they won't have sex.
You have to believe that the ACLU is bad because they defend the Constitution, while the NRA is good because they defend the Constitution.
You have to believe that socialism hasn't worked anywhere and that Europe doesn't exist.
You have to believe the AIDS virus is not important enough to deserve federal funding proportionate to the resulting death rate and that the public doesn't need to be educated about it, because if we just ignore it, it will go away.
You have to believe that biology teachers are corrupting the morals of 6th graders if they teach them the basics of human sexuality, but the Bible, which is full of sex and violence, is good reading.
You have to believe that Chinese communist missiles have killed more Americans than handguns, alcohol and tobacco .
You have to believe that even though governments have supported the arts for 5000 years and that most of the great works of Renaissance art were paid for by governments, our government should shun any such support. After all, the rich can afford to buy their own and the poor don't need any.
You have to believe that the lumber from the last one percent of old growth U.S. forests is well worth the destruction of those forests and the extinction of the several species of plants and animals therein.
You have to believe that we should forgive and pray for Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde and Bob Livingston for their marital infidelities, but that that bastard Clinton should have been impeached.
(Ed. Note: Comments or observations are encouraged, and may be emailed to indigoinsights [at] hotmail [dot] com.)