Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Neverending Story

Why does everyone keep picking on Hillary? Is it because of that whole "obliterate Iran" comment? Come on people, don't you know a joke when you hear one?

Poor Eight Bells
. She kicked the asses of all but one in a field of world-class colts and look what it got her. Now I hear that Hillary Clinton had some money on the filly and encouraged supporters to put a few dollars her way as well. Guess what correlations the media folks are drawing? Last night on CNN, one of their brilliant pundits compared Clinton’s campaign to that of a really old and ill dog. He said it was time to take that dog to the vet – someone get the purple needle. The line between comparing the Clinton campaign with a dog and with the woman herself was not so clear. After a very narrow loss in Indiana and decisive victory in North Carolina, Obama is now less than 200 delegates shy of clinching the nomination, the end for Clinton is nigh. CNN, ABC and NBC all projected a win for Obama in North Carolina when only 4% of the polls had reported after they'd only been closed for 10 minutes. I know these things are complicated, but I seriously don't understand how winners are "projected" 'cause it seems like they are kind of prognosticated. Maybe the networks have a deal with the neither world; that would explain the success of Dancing with the Stars. Anyway, NPR was analyzing the events of last night this morning – reporting from both the Clinton and Obama campaigns rather objectively, while Tim Russert was on the Today Show announcing that Obama is the decisive Democratic candidate. Maybe Clinton is just going to Virginia for a nice vacation? But those comments were nothing new, why should the media treat Clinton any other way? I can think of at least 10 misogynist comments made about Clinton by various conservative pundits and so called objective members of the “liberal press”. You really don't hear a lot of folks say that Obama would not have gotten this far in life if he were not a man and a black one specifically – with the exception of Geraldine Ferraro and Gloria Steinem’s candid remarks. I have seen many members of the media with a deer-in-the-headlights look in their eyes when speaking about Obama. They are so worried they will slip up and say something that may be perceived as racist, but it’s just not a big deal to suggest that Clinton should really get to that pile of shirts that need ironing. Did you know that Chris Matthews actually pinched her check at an event right before the New Hampshire primary? Seriously, it’s right there, watch it. She didn’t even flinch; she just patted his cheek and hugged her. Gross. That is keeping your cool.

Some NPR analyst compared her to Glen Close in Fatal Attraction – meaning she just won’t stay dead, but it could easily be taken to imply that she is a crazy obsessive psycho-bitch and America is her Michael Douglas. Yeah, maybe that was a dumb choice of movies, Ken Rudin of NPR. I would have preferred Sigourney Weaver from Alien(s) for obvious reasons. Summary: Number of overtly sexist comments made about Clinton by the mainstream media = a whole lot. Number of racist comments made about Obama = I’ve been googling all morning and really can’t find any. We’ve come a long way, baby.

There is no stopping the ObamaNation’s momentum and if it were to be halted as it chugga-chugs to the White House, I think the result would be chaotic and disenfranchising for the disenfranchised along with the pseudo-intellectuals, political dilettantes, city dwelling hipsters and actual liberal intellectuals that have joined the change train. I’m totally fine with Obama becoming President, especially if it will show youth of all colors you can have a pretty average career, but if you talk a good game and know the right people, you can make it to the top. It’s the same as in the art world (and the world world for that matter). But, guess what? – Nothing is going to change, at least not dramatically. Nothing has changed in Illinois. Read this depressing article if you need proof of the bleakness. We’re still cleaning up from Bill Clinton’s mistakes and they are compounded by W’s. Whoever takes office will have load of shit to sift through as every new pres does and while I’m sure there will be a few featured programs that will distract us, it will be pretty much be business as usual. The few will determine the fate of many, industrialized farming and processed foods will still slowly kill us, corporations will continue to run everything behind the scenes, global warming, doom, destruction and general TERROR, blah, blah, blah. At least we have a great National Parks system. Sorry, I’m just not convinced that rich, poor, Democrat, Republican, black, purple, tan and whatever will get together and have a kosher luau, while taking turns to recite passages from the Constitution. I live in Philadelphia(I’ll admit, in a pretty posh hood) and that’s about as far as you can get from the color blind, financially democratic, non-discriminating Star Trek nation of my...I mean America's dreams. Race relations, economic disparities and the physical health of our nation’s people are all issues that are important to me and I genuinely want those things to improve. But that’s a whole lot of pressure to put on one very young political figure.

Bottom line, I was brought up to distrust the government and that used to be the cool thing to do. Sure, that was when the government consisted of old white dudes, but anyone who chooses to go into politics is suspect, just like those who choose to eat at The Ivy – their motives are most likely devious and self-serving. Now, if you’re 20 something, it’s cool to go to an Obama rally and link his site to your My Space page or whatever the kids are using to relay their daily banality and drama to the world. I protested the first Gulf War in 8th grade (true it was by writing anti-war slogans on my book covers and wearing a peace sign necklace), I didn’t vote until I was 24, I listened to British working class punk in my teens, I never trusted anyone over 30 (until I turned 30) and those were all the norms in my circle. And in my 20’s, my friends and I had other things to worry about, like art, sex and beer. Politics were a footnote. All we knew was that NEA funding would forever be in the toilet and that only crappy public art tended to get the grants.

But, getting back to it being OK to hate on the ladies. A while back I wrote about Tina Fey’s weekend update guest spot, you know the “Bitches get things done” also know as “Bitch is the new black” piece. Well, I never wrote about Tracy Jordan’s response, “Bitch may be the new black, but black is the new president, bitch.” Um, I know SNL is a big time comedy show and all, but man, that was a cheap shot. A woman calling herself a “bitch” and a man referring to her as a “bitch” are two very different scenarios with opposite outcomes. One is self-deprecatingly empowering and the other is just plain lady hating. The latter has a similar effect as when non-blacks use the “N” word. It just doesn’t mean the same thing, dog. No one even noticed anything controversial about Tracy’s piece. Maybe Tina and Tracy coordinated it; I would not be surprised from a marketing standpoint. But, in the current climate of color-blind politics that are at the same time hyper-fixated on how wonderful it is that a black man will most likely be the next president, it just really sucks that women are getting the “shaft” yet again. Black men got the right to vote before women and since women still make $0.77 for every $1.00 made by those with penises, I just thought the ladies might make this milestone first is all.

And then, there’s today. Today is not a good day for H.R.C. While Tim Russert has not been all “Chris Matthews” towards Hillary lately, he did announce this morning that she has cancelled her appearance on his show today - a sure sign of weakness. But the Clinton campaign says that no such appearance was ever on the schedule for today. Way to preempt/queue her concession speech, Tim. You showed her.

It’s really not about the issues for me and I don’t really think it’s about the issues for most people. Both Obama and Clinton are so close politically, it just comes down to which style one prefers. Did you watch any of those debates?…BORING. Everyone knows that conflict drives a good story. But, I’m sort of cool with voting for Obama for President, especially since McCain may not even make it to the general election. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if he got sick or died and couldn’t run, then Obama would win unopposed just like all the other elections he’s ever won (except for this primary). Sorry, that was wrong, McCain’s death wouldn’t exactly be “hilarious” I guess. I actually think he’s a real character and probably a nice guy. But, what’s not cool is that while it’s wrong for the media to dwell on Obama’s race (which it is, duh), it’s pretty much acceptable for Chris Matthews to question Clinton’s ability to lead a military – solely on the basis that she has boobs and a va-jay-jay. Seriously, Chris Matthews is a total douche. We saw him on the street during the media occupation before the PA primary and he looks like Tweety Bird in person too. Don Imus gets loads of shit for uttering a very unfortunate phrase about a certain college women’s basketball team and then is rightfully pulled off the air, but Matthews has repeatedly referred to Clinton as “witchy”, “She Devil”, “Nurse Rachet”, “Maleficent” (as in the evil queen in Sleepy Beauty), the list goes on and he’s golden after a few pitiful apologies. Yeah, that’s good clean journalism right there.

The Clinton and Obama campaigns will be studied and analyzed for years to come, we all know this. They are both firsts and merit the acknowledgment and attention they are sure to receive. I just wish the U.S. media had given Hillary Clinton the respect she deserves instead of expending all their politically correct adoration on a certain Senator from Illinois. Not sure what the latest events mean for the Clinton campaign, but at least she will fair better than Eight Bells.

Update: June 3, 2008.
Even though he's a tool. HD agrees with me. Hopefully the madness will be over this evening.