Archive for January, 2019

the electorate speaks

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

“She does look good on television, I guess you can say that.  Sex appeal.”
“Yeah.  We know she said a bunch of things about the gays…”
“That was, what?, 15 years ago?”
“The woman from California?  Ugh.  Too strident.”
“I know.  And where is she on prisons?”

Gauging the electorate.  There’s a bit too chew there.  Everything reads “gender”, or will to certain people.  The former candidate, the Representative from Hawaii, I suppose, could say for the superficial appeals about the last male Democratic president.  See too the problem of “strident” candidate from California — didn’t say “shrill” you will note, but there is a point too in regards to the last Democratic president and how he made his appeal.  “But… Trump?” — you may say.  To which there is an “exactly.”

Proceed in the morass at your own risk.

2020 is here

Thursday, January 24th, 2019

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana– Pete Butigieg has thrown his hat in the ring for the presidential sweepstakes of 2020, and

so has Juan Castro, John Delaney, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Tulsi Gabbard.

Kamala Harris and just off a loss for a West Virginia US House seat — Richard Ojeda.

Also Elizabeth Warren and non elected businessman Andrew Yang.

Kirsten Gillibrand’s announcement came with a brash of angry responses pointing to her role in edging Al Franken out.  Her past experience as a Republican and centrist Democrat earns her some complaints and then further charges in her behalf against the “return of the Bernie Bros”…

Kamala Harris gets pilloried by The Onion… issue wise, we do see what should dog Joseph Biden — if anyone cares what they once did in office… years ago

…  which apparently everyone does with Tulsi Gabbard… or, at least before office, coming from a social conservative religious background, and never mind her record on LGBTQ doesn’t compute with it, still…

Actually, not that I like these candidates necessarily, but I say… no one else should be allowed to enter.  It’s not like anyone else is coming in, and first come first serve.

louis ck becomes a fascinating case study i have fewer firm opinions on than everyone would like me to have

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

I find it difficult to imagine Louis CK’s current act can persist in much the same matter it is right now, and suspect his current 15 minutes of fame (or, if you’re disposed to the view, infamy) as mocker of his disgrace status can’t sustain past the new 15 minutes… maybe he’ll evolve and evolve in smaller venues… The tension of transgression at this particular nexus gets dulled.

… maybe staying with the same drifting to smaller venues AND being happy with such AND inching his comedy either back to what’s now considered disgraced but not so much in the immediate terrain but not rubbing his controversy in the face?…

And so it is... Comments here peg the question of “They… probably didn’t want to spend so much time talking about Louis”.

Madeline: Louis. But we were talking about the stuff that’s been in the news recently, and it’s like very simple to just say, “First of all, those jokes aren’t funny, and second of all, they’re almost hate speech.” And it doesn’t feel complicated to be like, “That sucks.” […]

Why do you think certain comedians, and audience members too, are so stubborn or sort of disinterested in changing with the times with these things? It’s an opportunity for…

Pete: I completely agree. It’s how you greet change that says a lot about you as a person. And I don’t think it’s unique to comedians, a lot of people have a real need in themselves that no one should tell them what to do. I think you see that a lot in comedy. But I see it in my father and he’s an oil man, you know what I’m saying? I mean, he delivers oil, he’s not like a tycoon. 

The oddly telling point here is the question “certain audiences… AND AUDIENCE MEMBERS TOO”… There’s a bit of a contradiction, in that they already stated “Louis is now doing his act before a different audience”, as too dissembling how his shock act is any different…

But therein lies a question.  You’re Louis CK.  You want to perform.  Anywhere.  Before an appreciative audience.  What else do you do but what he’s doing?  Rightly or wrongly, the audience that’s right now protesting him won’t be in the audience “appreciating” the wit and wisdom of a “reformed” Louis CK, even if they might have been before.  So.  You have to just go ahead and ignore them or play off of them, and proceed, until you’re stuck in Andrew Dice Clay land.

If he did an exact replica of an old HBO special, would he have an audience, as he does at this point in time with his supposedly “less empathetic” version of his old schtik?

And then we get the problem.  Gatekeepers.  Tut tutting the audience.  For laughing.  At a comedy show.  A tension of   Sliding ever easy into a vantage point of viewing “art” (or whatever you want to call some entertainments) through a “Soviet Realist” paradigm and judging it as to whether and how far and how effectively it marches toward an ideological ideal.

partisan responding to the Trump “fortress america” in two points

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

So.  Apparently, Nancy Pelosi is “winning” on the Wall, encrusted as it is in the big government shut down.  Of course she is.  The Wall is a stupdifying idea, something a more adroit politician could back track to some grand “border security” premise.  It is sort of baked into the cake. And always begs the question… posed, it seems, by Ann Coulter:

She continued, declaring that Trump has “screwed up” in the first two years of his presidency by not getting the wall built, adding that now “with three seconds on the clock, he’s finally throwing the ball.”

Didn’t he just have a Republican Congress that was apt to do something of his bidding?  Maybe not really… as their checklist amounted to a tax cut and Judicial appointments.

But be that as it may, looming ahead:  Who the heck are the Democrats going to nominate in 2020?

Giving the trajectory of the party on foreign policy, somewhat in reaction to Trump’s various isolationist impulses as too his tie in with Russians… I think the Democrats oughta draw the contrast and nominate…

As everyone thinks along these lines… but more logically…

Joseph Lieberman.

Particularly — as befitting the current needs of the Democratic party — if he has a sex change operation, but if he just wants to go in drag that’ll work out well too.

His running mate can be Michael Bloomberg, obsessed as he is with everyone’s dietary habits in drinking big sodas, appears to slide into that major issue that concerns at least a chunk of leftwing commentators right now… how the President deals with the government’s shut down in shutting down culinary service to cater the college football champion meeting…

(In drag?)

reid and romney

Saturday, January 12th, 2019

It looks like Harry Reid has endorsed Mitt Romney for a 2020 run…

A number of ways you can look at this.  We’re in line with Bill Maher’s re-calibrated “If I knew what was coming, I’da supported Romney” revisionism.  We’ve got the two party duopoly and the interchange of a “Third Way” “No Labels” gambit, replete with the big .  Heck, maybe he’s wary of the “creeping socialism”, and is of that type of post-politicians who sought third party alternatives to William Jennings Bryan in 1896 or the Liberty League with the rise of FDR.

Or… maybe… It’s the big Mormon Conspiracy to take over America!

and then

That conspiratorial tome I was looking at a few months ago, prophecyzing the Romney Presidency of 2016… (and I think then the anti-Christ?) maybe it was just 4 years too early.

stare in the mirror

Thursday, January 10th, 2019

I read a list for the end of the year of pop culture happenings in 2018… they riff on the big pop cultural happenings as being the blockbuster movies of Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther, and then

Healy I wonder if President Trump and Republican leaders watched “This Is America” or parts of Beyoncé’s Coachella performance, or understood what “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians” were saying about America in 2018. These moments were about nonwhite artists, characters and concerns rising as defining moments in the culture at a time when white identity politics is defining the presidency. And here is Trump, congratulating Roseanne Barr for supporting him on “Roseanne.”

Flegenheimer What ever happened to that show?

And Welcome to Hell.  I don’t know. A simple thought experiment: Trump calls up Beyonce and congratulates her for an upstanding performance.  Or the producers of Crazy Rich Asians.  At best they’ll just give them the same performance the producers of Hamilton (the great progressive celebration of a proto-supply sider) gave Vice President — a hectoring lecture.  Nay: he’ll stick to congratulating the celebrities who want him… Roseanne, Kanye West…

Going back a few years, I wonder if the lack of success of the Ghostbusters movie was foretelling the lack of success of Hillary Clinton in 2016.  Or if the wires of the Beyonce Superbowl appearance and its mark on popular culture — as particularly publicized and promoted — were somehow crossed… if when Blink 182 overtook everyone on the charts if that foretold a frat-boy nostalgia aesthetic in our culture as run in to the election or to future Kavanaugh support?  Is this what the reviewers are getting at?

Healy Our colleague John Koblin nailed it. ABC wanted to cater to “white working-class” Trump supporters. I interviewed her in March about the changes in her character to make her a Trump supporter. She erupted at me and the ABC publicist tried to shut me down.

In the interview I heard from her she slashed away at the idea a bit, claiming the big political take-away for the show was that half the country voted for one candidate and the other the other, and that was it.  As it were, the cultural reviews of the show were mind numbing — pointing out the inconsistency of voting for Trump when holding to this or that view, as though support for a politico is ever consistent for lay people.  And I couldn’t tell if the complaint for John Goodman’s character’s attitude toward the “non gender conforming” kid was that they wanted less nuance and a more evil foil or –? …

Rogers Roseanne is performing in my Indiana hometown this spring. Suffice it to say conservative America is ready to forgive her.

Well, it was a good show while it lasted.  I am puzzled by the line of commentary…

Sure.  Are they willing to forgive Louis CK, though?

Flegenheimer It just speaks to Trump’s ability / insistence to nose into any moment. It seems like big cultural happenings are so often processed, in part, through a prism of: How will Trump involve himself — or, possibly, screw things up?

I’m not sure Roseanne Barr didn’t screw it up all by herself, and the reportage doesn’t just get absorbed to “over there”.