A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
January 18th, 2011
By Dan Miller
Here is a fascinating article about celebrity health tips:
“In an annual list of what it sees as the year’s worst abuses against science, the Sense About Science (SAS) campaign group debunked diet and exercise suggestions made by actors, pop stars and others in the public eye in an effort ‘to help the celebrities realize where they are going wrong and to help the public make sense of celebrity claims.'”
The article debunks such wisdom as reabsorbing sperm and wearing silicone bracelets to boost energy. Global warming? Well no, all real scientists agree that it puts us in mortal danger.
People love celebrities and listen to what they say. Want Lady Gaga’s wisdom on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? On the horrors of global warming and how to deal with them? Katie Couric and her dreams of a Muslim version of The Cosby Show (with no blasphemy, of course)? The MSM in general? They are difficult to miss and, if even modestly attentive, so are their ideological foundations. Propaganda is much more easily swallowed (without bothering to chew) than is fact. It would be easy, useful, and refreshing to laugh at such nonsense, so I hope for a mainstream article debunking celebrity wisdom in many areas; politics would be a good start. It will not likely appear there anytime soon and that’s unfortunate. Like it or not, the MSM is in the bag and could doom any efforts to elect a competent president in 2012. As pointed out here, it will be difficult in any event.
We love to laugh, and that’s why humor can be highly effective for both good and ill. But after political correctness, who can still be the butt of jokes? Incongruity is the soul of humor. How about a pretty white (anything else would be racist) female who doesn’t fit into the mainstream conception of a politician but impudently had the audacity to seek the second highest office in the land? Someone living way up in the wild north somewhere — Alaska would be great. Maybe she could fish with her husband, hunt cuddly wild animals, be energetic, have a bunch of kids so they could be fair game for disparagement and some really odd notions (can we hope for someone pro-life and pro-family?) making her the antithesis of a legitimate feminist so reasonable people couldn’t possibly see poking fun at her as sexist.
Tina Fey, who achieved fame by becoming a Sarah Palin impersonator, managed to turn Governor “I can see Russia from my living room” Palin into an object of scorn — a walking, talking blond joke; best not actually to be blond because that would mean stereotyping. It turns out that many of Ms. Fey’s countless fans attributed her stage persona to Governor Palin, possibly rendering her thereafter unelectable for any office higher than Moose Control Officer in some remote corner of Alaska. The silly demented girl still doesn’t even know the meaning of some simple English words — such as defeat. Not only that, she’s pretty, dammit. No effective female politician can be pretty and have gravitas too and besides, she’s religious and isn’t a Democrat! She is also, according to a Newsweek star, a “borderline lunatic.” Roseanne Barr says she is “a loon and I think she’s kind of a traitor.” Not only that, those who think otherwise are the “dumbest people on Earth [and] … on the government dole.” (Ms. Barr later apologized for her remarks about Mrs. Palin’s ignorant supporters, who had been duped.)
Saturday Night Live is among the front rank contenders for first prize in the modern humor category — and Tina Fey (a.k.a. Sara Palin) gets first prize at SNL. Sarah Palin was an almost perfect butt of jokes; still, maybe someone even better might come along later; how about another pretty white female opposed not only to abortion but also to masturbation? Maybe someone who as a teenager had dabbled in witchcraft? Nah, that wouldn’t be possible.
Governor Palin may remain unelectable, and not solely because of Tina Fey’s antics. As questioned here:
[I]s Palin electable? The next two years will determine whether she will be able to counter the slanderous media campaign against her candidacy and her competence, and so convince enough people that she has the right stuff to lead the country in perhaps its most perilous historical moment since the Civil War. Clearly, she suffers more than her share of antagonists among the megabuck left and their myriad satellites, Ivy League academics, mainstream journalists, public intellectuals, union impresarios and henchmen, and the entitlement-addicted segment of the public. They are terrified of her. She even has the panjandrums in the Republican old guard shaking in their Guccis.
As Victor Volsky writes in American Thinker, “in the eyes of the political/cultural aristocracy, [Palin] is the embodiment of its worst nightmare: the revolt of the masses against their masters.” And she knows that the master class will mobilize its considerable reserves against her. The question is whether, by sheer force of character, will, and charisma, like an American version of Delacroix’s Marianne leading the charge at the electoral barricades, and by pursuing a tireless itinerary, she can prevail against overwhelming odds and bring to the American people authentic change and genuine hope for the future.
In stark contrast to Governor Palin, Senator Obama was featured during the 2008 election campaign as a progressive and the very soul of gravitas; an intellectual chap. He still is even though the label “progressive” has lost some of its luster. The word “progressive,” like liberal, has changed in meaning so greatly over time as to be of little use as a descriptor for anyone’s political views; to apply it to President Obama distorts what’s left of it. In The Progressive Presidents, John Morton Blum addressed the “progressive” natures of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. TR, The Republican Roosevelt, was in many respects unlike the other three — all Democrats — and would, I think, have found insulting or farcical most comparisons with President Obama. TR, sometimes referred to as “that damn cowboy,” was a “Bull Moose” just as Sarah Palin is a “Mama Grizzly.” There are striking similarities and differences.
TR was a progressive member of the elite. His family was “comfortable” and his father devoted much of his time, energy, and (family) money to helping the poor in New York. Actually associate with them on a more or less equal basis? Well, that was rather different. TR knew very well of his lineage, and so did everyone who knew him at Harvard where he became quite “foppish.” In his senior year he wrote to his sister, “I stand 19th in my class, which began with 230 fellows. … Only one gentleman stands ahead of me.” Harvard did not become coeducational until many years later.
As TR saw the world, only with the guidance and resources of the elite could the poor improve their situations. As he aged a bit he became at home with cowboys on the range as well as with the elite. He positively enjoyed military adventures; his charge up Kettle Hill was such an adventure. “Gentlemen, the grace of God and the Just Cause are with you! Gentlemen, charge!” Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt yelled in his high pitched voice as, on horseback, he led his troops. He believed in a strong United States and considered her truly exceptional. So does Sarah Palin. President Obama? I don’t think he has any interest in or would enjoy that sort of thing. Nor does it seem likely that he will enjoy mingling with the little people, as he evidently plans to do rather more intensely in the coming years. Will his focus be on his worshipful base, or on those whose lives have been royally screwed through his initiatives and who still cling to their Bibles, guns, and Constitution? It does not seem probable that he will pay the latter much attention; to the extent that he does and is rebuffed it will get precious little attention in the MSM.
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