Friday, September 21, 2012

Back By Popular Demand: My 2007 Review of Willard Romney!!!

Fig.1 The free-wheelin' Romneys; I KNEW it wasn't a Rambler, but where's Seamus' prison? They had to run the babe through the carwarsh three times to get rid of the puppy plop.

The following is the first of an eminent series of Candidate Reviews which I selflessly provided way back at the butt end of the Bush Dark Age, and bleak them times was, to be sure. So here is my review for Mittens, and Mittwits will of course not like it, though Mittmashers might. The thing is, other than a few trifles of period prefacing, EVERYTHING IN THIS REVIEW STILL STANDS in 2012 - if not more so! And now, ENJOY!
Well, friends, the unpleasant reality of the moment has reared its ghastly head to me, as if in a nightmare. And the reality is - uh, ahem (throat clear here) the reality IS: it's time to WEIGH IN ON THE CANDIDATES for the high office of PRESIDENT OF THESE HERE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

OK, that's Step#1 - recognition of the problem.

For it is a BIG problem. What the hell do you do when, in seeking out a leader, you have months, if not mucking YEARS, of being bombarded with promotional publicity from persons who really, really want the job of most powerful person in the world? They really, really want it, and part of this Democracy thing is to Be Involved, so's that we can, you know, do the We The People thing, which, incidentally, I'm all for.

I could certainly yak on and on about what a tedious, disappointing and massively overblown mess the whole election process has become, but that would generate more tedious, disappointing and overblown yakking than the excess that already exists, so, let's get right to the razorback gravy of the thing.

In accordance with ancient Chinese courtesy, in any competition of values, your enemy goes first. The GOP is not the oldest party to be considered here, but it is the most curious 'n controversial. I've run into an extremely refreshing array of satirical and playful explanations as to what the GOP acronym stands for, but now is not the time to have too much fun in the mockery zone about that little tidbit. We're only using 'GOP' as a label because it's easier than writing out 'Republican'. So, on with the show.

NOTE: Candidates are listed by (known) party, but beyond that, in no specific order. Random yakking does not require too much structure, so readers should not interpret order of appearance as indications of favoritism or preference. So, now, on with the show.


Back in the 70s, the term 'plastic' was heavily used as a label to slap on persons who displayed an artificial or shallow personality. I like the term, but it's sort of a California-dreamin', stoner, Jerry Garcia sort of thang. Anyway, Willard's pretty plastic, in the completest sense of the word. Plus, anyone who's going with 'Mitt' as his make-or-break moniker has made a fatal error right at the get-go. No President of the United States will EVER, EVER be named 'Mitt'. As Howard Cosell used to say, 'i t's ovah!!' Yes, it is, Willard. Now, if he'd gone with 'Will Romney', he might've been a serious contender. American's like 'Will' as a name of promise. Nobody today remembers the great Will Rogers, but I do, and everybody loved Will Rogers.

I remember when Willard's dad George ran for Pres. He was a Mormon too, but he had another crippling problem that sealed his fate. He was at one time president of American Motors. They made the Rambler, remember? Foregone conclusion: anyone who presided over prolonging the life of Ramblers, a make (with its' blue stream of oil smoke) that really got Global Warming going in the first place, does not have the marks of a good administrator. Willard, alas, has that legacy as well. He is a Rambler-like candidate: cheap (not affordable, just cheap), with poor quality substance, hidden by ersatz GM styling, with faulty mechanics inside. He strives to be a conservative that can pick up the busted pieces from Bush's 'compassion' BS and glue the mismatched pieces into something to worship.

He's also pushing the 'nice guy' package to its limits. It's all for show. I saw a YouTube clip of this 'nice guy' ignoring the questions offered up by a cripple. A really skilled politician would have just slopped on some mock kindness and pretended to be interested. Willard, crazy scared that he'd actually have to face some flawed person in a wheelchair, defended himself by saying he'd already answered his questions, and moved on, plastering the plastic smile and 'how're ya doing?' on others in a desperate move to GET AWAY from the ugly and sick-making disadvantaged masses within the nation he hopes to run. Even Dubya would've probably knelt down to BS with a wheelchair cripple for a few minutes, to show off if nothing else. Willard is too dainty and too easily spooked. Plus, he's Mormon.

I can't get into a critique of Mormonia here, but one of the reasons why people think it's a cult is that that particular organization is so secretive. As in, what are they up to? As in, we have plans, plans for the universe, and we're in on the ground floor, and you aren't. Now WHO says the promises made to Muslim suicide bombers, of numerous virgins in paradise etc., is wacky? Why, the Mormons claim that - Egads, I caught myself. I said this wouldn't be the place to critique Mormonism. But you see, with a critter like Willard, it's going to come up, time and again. Do we want that albatross? I don't care if George Washington WAS a Mason.

In closing the Romney file (and I'd rather talk about Romney Marsh in England instead of this political kluck), I have to mention that other, darker side of Willard that came out recently. His dog abuse. You know the story, about how he had the family Irish Setter ride in that gulag box on the roof of the family station wagon (I'll bet it WASN'T an American Motors product! - see colour plate above - Chevy Caprice wagon, I should think), and the poor pooch plopped a drizzly stream of liquid poop that spoiled their all-American vacation that was nowhere near finished. Can you imagine the scene at the nearest gas station, as dad's hosing off the fecal matter, and blaming it all on doggie dear - who he never wanted, but the kids did, and now that the kids are older, nobody cares for the dog except dad, and dad's gotta clean up the shit - with the shitty end of the stick no less, and by the way, why, oh why did we have so many kids to begin with, and . . . Man, was dad mad! Stupid, stupid dog. The shit was scared right out of the petrified pup. Oh, but supposedly Seamus (pretty good name choice) loved riding up there, and he'd always just hop right up without question. Now, I ask you, what sincere hound WOULDN'T do what his master told him to, even if terror treatment from oh-so-casual Willard resulted? In telling the story about the dog on Fox News (as well as talking in general), Willard had that constant smiling-with-his-eyes look. It's the equivalent to what Wallace Shawn calls 'chuckling', as in, they chuckle when they're talking about death and destruction. It's not like the Wizard of Oz, who 'chuckled at catastrophe', meaning, he would fight any danger that came his way. On the other hand, these Neocons, and I group Romney with them, chuckle at catastrophe because they don't have to mess with it. They can order it up, then let others sweat through it. That was Willard's main outcome from his puppy plop experience. The chucklers are detached, and thus, joyful at that fact. Neocons do not carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They merely profit from it.

But getting back to the dog story, even Chris Wallace of Fox News was offended at Willard's casual attitude about the family pet. They talk about character in presidential candidates. Willard is devoid of character. He didn't even treat his own dog fairly. He wants more Gitmo-ization to satisfy a primitive need for sadistic acts, all in the name of the "War on Terror". His is not a civilizing force. It is a stepping backwards. Plus, he has the afterlife all figured out. Why should he care that much about a solid future for America? Along with Dubya, there is an undercurrent of apocalyptic pleasure in his amateurish grasp of foreign policy. He is a twit, and should be drummed out of the campaign, pronto.

Stay tuned for more candidate reviews! Aren't you relieved that we got Willard out of the way first?

Friday, September 07, 2012

An Ultra-High Level Theatrical Review

Yes, Clint Eastwood’s little Drama 201-level Improv Theatre of the Absurd workshop appeared to flop, all right. Mainly because the audience couldn’t figure out that it was a comedy sketch, not a rhetorical speech. But at least Eastwood is an admitted actor, unlike all the pinwheels fluttering about him. Clint’s performance revealed that he is more of an L. Ron Paulista than a waif in need of Mitten cuddling (e.g. Mitt would actually bring the troops home (???) and other prevarications…). It was viewed by most, and some who should have known better, as an Alzheimerian ramble, a sign of heroic Harry’s dribbling twilight to come. But since few in America except the Gays take a Drama course anymore, such attempts at art are considered ‘over the top’, ‘WTF’ or some other bland write-off analysis. Verdict on Clint’s ‘Interview With B.H. Obama, In The Ionesco Style’: half-baked, silly content, weakly delivered. Don Rickles would’ve pulled it off with more flair. But at least two people in the audience got a kick out of it: Clint’s 146 year-old mom – and me. (Excerpted from The New York Times Drama section's review of my two-volume treatise: 'The Absurdist Performances of Clint Eastwood: Berlin 1926 to Tampa 2012' (HarperCollins) )

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Spotting In A Posh London Gallery

As NPR Check Wraps 'Er Up...

Recently, a blog I participated in for the longest time very sensibly called it quits as far as carrying the burden of critiquing that tiresome entity known as NPR News. Here is my sendoff: 10 July 12 By chance, I happened to visit this site today after some considerable time away. I was delighted to read of Matt's eloquent and accurate farewell address, as I myself couldn't agree more. Under the same pretexts, I have endeavored to do the same for several years now. NPR News is in my past, but awareness of it and other media forces that trade on their kind of 'reasonable' or 'comfortable' deception is more present and developed - with some thanks to this blog – than ever. Any media source, whether it is Democracy Now!, Al Jazeera, Guardian, or many others, has to be consulted, weighed, juggled, and worked through. NPR News is, to me, a failure, and my wish was for it to just fade away because of its irrelevance. And because it wasn't likely to do that, I had to take the initiative and turn down the dial, as it were, myself. Critiquing NPR News is entirely valid and necessary, but it can sap your vitality, your energy, and even your soul. The level of frustration encountered can be so dispiriting as to put one in a depressive and even hopeless mindset, and that’s wrong for two reasons: energies are better spent elsewhere and that's what 'they' want: to defeat critical thinkers by wearing them down. As a regular contributor (or annoyance) to this blog for a long time, I salute Matt in the fullest sense of the word for his and others' outstanding - and necessary - examination of NPR News. It has been a tremendous success, and to those of us who care, it resonates on a daily basis. The most confounding thing about NPR News is that it is categorically NOT what it purports to be. That being the case, the whole question of the public trust becomes vulnerable to corruption on a sustained and unprecedented basis. As a pessimistic optimist (whatever that is), I do find that NPR News is a side effect of an Empire in its Late Phase, when individual critical thinking goes the way of the dodo and the majority think that there are no alternatives to, say, a Reaganesque conventionality. As an international traveler, I think that one the greatest handicaps for Americans is that they not only have to figure everything out, they think they HAVE figured everything out. Thus, there was always something intolerable (and even unsavory) about NPR News presenting THEIR view of the world to listeners - with the gentle and reasonable proposal that they do have things figured out, and they're just trying to indoctrinate the public in the most painless and (faux) intelligent way possible. Things always get very weird when empires are late - very late - in their game. It could also be incredibly fun and fulfilling to come together with (mostly) like minds in critiquing what I myself thought might be an impossibly esoteric but super-important field of interest. That being, the effects of manipulated media on 'thinking' audiences, e.g. those who do not settle for Fox News, or traditional mainstream media sources or even the vastly overrated 'New York Times'. I myself was fond of burlesquing the god-awful (to me) people on the air at NPR – who, it seems, were actually commanded to inflict their insipid personalities on listeners genuinely concerned about issues, who are seeking somewhere to find answers, if not a little intelligent discussion. Indeed, agonizing over NPR via NPRCheck could be a genuine joy. As Telly Savalas said to Burt Lancaster in 'Birdman of Alcatraz', "them's was good times". In fact, taking part in NPRCheck was instrumental in helping me endure the Bush Dark Age at all. Surely the power and progressive critical thinking herein can inspire one to not only endure any old Dark Age to come, but to understand it and thus, to help transcend and transform it. With best sendoffs, PM (Porter Melmoth)