Friday, September 5, 2008

Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln, How Did You Enjoy The Show?

Of course, the other big problem with John McCain’s acceptance speech on Thursday is that it is loaded with so much crap. Once you start looking beyond the surface, and start thinking about what else we have been exposed to during the last week, you begin to realize that, as always, the Republicans are banking that most of the viewing audience is only tuning in on Thursday night, and will not be paying attention beyond that. Unfortunately, that’s a plan nearly guaranteed to work.

How do you reconcile McCain’s speech with Sarah Palin’s, for example? Hey, how about that 9/11 retrospective aired just before he spoke? And now they’re saying that Sarah Palin will not be giving interviews with the campaign press because the press has been so mean towards her. Really? I mean, really? Just how ludicrous is that? Can you imagine how loud the right wing noise machine would be if the Democrats decided to pull just one of the maneuvers the Reps have this week?

Just business as usual, my friends.

Which brings me to those things that brought me a little frisson of joy and fear during the last week of conventioneering: Things beyond the Republicans’ control.

Fear #1 – St. Paul PD’s arrest of Amy Goodman, journalist and face of the non-partisan Democracy Now. During a protest against the invasion of private homes and dissident detaining over the weekend (and we criticize Beijing for this stuff), the SPPD tear gassed and arrested around 250 people on Monday, including Goodman, who was simply observing the fracas. “She didn’t look like a non-participant,” said a cop as they were shoving her forward in cuffs.

Joy #1 – MSM’s roving cameras. I don’t have cable, which kept me from watching CSpan’s straightforward, no bullshit coverage of the convention. Saddled with the big three network’s news organizations, I ended up shuffling between ABC, CBS and NBC on consecutive nights.

If someone in the director’s booth wanted to show the RNC’s lack of diversity, then they have done a masterful job of doing so. I mean, it’s shocking the contrast between the two conventions on this matter. I started playing Count The Minorities again this week. For the record, here’s the tally:

Monday - DNQ (Convention called on account of politically convenient/inconvenient hurricane)
Tuesday – 1 (Black)
Wednesday – 2 (Black)
Thursday – 8 (4 Black, 2 Latino, 2 Asian)

Imagine, if you will, the glee with which I pointed out to myself “hey, it’s that same black dude with the POW cap! And look, the same black woman from a different angle!” while watching CBS on Wednesday. So, it was with some surprise to have seen the number of minorities quadrupled on Thursday on ABC.

Still though, eight notable exceptions in a room full of white? Pardon me while I change my pants.

More entertaining than spotting melanin, however, were ABC’s series of reaction shots on Thursday. Never have I gained so much hilarity from seeing someone yawn in the background behind McCain; or the equally hilarious slow zoom in on a delegate about to fall asleep in the middle of the excitement.

Joy #2 – Even more entertaining than that was the obvious discomfort felt in the room (or at least it read as discomfort on the screen) when the protestors made their presence known. Don’t know who the women in pink were, or what they were yelling about, but the vet in the “Iraq Veterans Against War” t-shirt, carrying the dual “You Can’t Win An Occupation”/”McCain Votes Against Vets” sign was effective and highly visible for the audience at home. Good job, guy.

Fear #2 – The Reps’ response to these protests? Chanting “USA! USA!” at top volume. Boos would have been more effective. Instead, that jingoistic fervor in the face of valid criticisms just sent chills of terror down my spine. Which, horrifyingly enough, is the effect they were likely going for.

I need to change pants again.


JJisafool said...

The Right can't handle dissent, which is hi-fucking-larious in light of the fact we are a country built upon the ashes of dissent, nurtured in the womb of dissent, founded on the principle that without dissent, democracy dies.

Were they Brits, maybe they would have tried shouting "God Save the Queen!" to quell the Revolution.

(Yes, I know it was a king at the time, but "God Save the King!" just doesn't have the same resonance.)

B.E. Earl said...

You kids have found another reader.

Rock on!

the beige one said...

Welcome, Earl!

And a note to all arriving here: Leave a comment, and tell a friend or three.