Monday, November 27, 2006

TV Land's list of the top 100 TV catch-phrases

TV Land released their list of the top 100 TV catch-phrases. The only problem is they’re in alphabetical order. The actually countdown will be aired I think starting December 11th, but until then, I thought it would be fun to try to put them in order myself.

It's a pretty good list. At least 90% I can say actually belong here. The other 10% were obviously placed to try and gain cred from younger viewers I'm sure. Why else would something from "How I met your Mother" make this list?

Off the top of my head I can't think of anything that's missing. I probably will think of 30 right after I post this. Remember it's TV quotes, not movie quotes. If you guys have any additions, post em in the comments.

Ok, here we go (I've added some comments to select few):

1)"Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")
-Almost everyone can identify where this quote came from and who says it. It's been referenced everywhere, and many parodies have been made of it. I have no reason not to expect this isn't going to be number one.
2)"Aaay" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")
3) "I'm not a crook ..." (Richard Nixon)
4)"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" (Neil Armstrong)
5)"Yada, yada, yada" ("Seinfeld")
-Do you realize how much we use this phrase in simple conversation? I know Seinfeld didn't invent it, but I highly doubt we'd be using it as much as we do without its influence.
6)"Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" (John F. Kennedy)
7)"Hey hey hey!" (Fat Albert, "Fat Albert")
8)"Two thumbs up" (Siskel & Ebert, "Siskel & Ebert")
9)"Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")
10)"I want my MTV!" (MTV ad)
-This phrase defined a generation that grew up with music videos, short attention spans and MTV. The fact that this catch-phrase is a demand says so more about the MTV generation than any explanation can.
11)"Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" (Trix cereal ad)
12)"D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")
13)"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" (Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)
14)"Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" (Grey Poupon ad)
-I just assume this is how rich people talk. C'mon, so do you.
15)"Don't make me angry, you won't like me when I'm angry" (David Banner, "The Incredible Hulk")
16)"Good night, and good luck" (Edward R. Murrow, "See It Now")
17)"Holy (whatever), Batman!" (Robin, "Batman")
18)"Yabba dabba do!" (Fred Flintstone, "The Flintstones")
19)"No soup for you!" (The Soup Nazi, "Seinfeld")
20)"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" (Alka Seltzer ad)
21)"Where's the beef?" (Wendy's ad)
-This catch-phrase was perfect because of the decade it came out in. The 80's was a decade missing substance. That old lady from the Wendy's commercial wanted to know where her substance in hamburgers went. The sad part is, no one told her Wendy's lacked just as much substance as the closest competitor.
22)"Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Arnold Drummond, "Diff'rent Strokes")
23)"Baby, you're the greatest" (Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, "The Honeymooners")
-After he'd scream at his wife with threats of bruises and space travel, Kramdem normally realized how much he needed Alice and uttered this line. And somehow, we really believe he wasn't going to punch her in the face.
24)"Space, the final frontier ..." (Capt. Kirk, "Star Trek")
25)"The truth is out there" (Fox Mulder, "The X-Files")
26)"Have you no sense of decency?" (Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy)
-The most famous quote to come out of the televised McCarthy hearings. Kinda sums it up pretty well.
27)"Good grief" (Charlie Brown, "Peanuts" specials)
28)"Norm!" ("Cheers")
29)"You eeeediot!" (Ren, "Ren & Stimpy")
-Even though this quote was not originally from Ren and Stimpy (Peter Lorre said it in "Casablanca", and since Ren has Lorre's voice, it's only fitting he say it too), it was probably the most common kids quote in the early 90s. You wouldn't believe how many people were now eeeediots! in my immature years.
30)"Dyn-o-mite" (J.J., "Good Times")
31)"Time to make the donuts" ("Dunkin' Donuts" ad)
32)"This is the city, Los Angeles" (Sgt. Joe Friday, "Dragnet")
33)"How sweet it is!" (Jackie Gleason, "The Jackie Gleason Show")
-Unless I'm mistaken, Jackie Gleason is the only person with two catch-phrases on this list.
34)"Good night, John Boy" ("The Waltons")
35)"Now cut that out!" (Jack Benny, "The Jack Benny Program")
36)"Read my lips: No new taxes!" (George H.W. Bush)
-One good way to gage how much impact a particular quote had is by looking at how much comedy and comedians had parodied it. This one was done quite a bit. Somehow I don't remember Dana Carvey ever saying it though.
37)"Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")
38)"Well, isn't that special?" (Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, "Saturday Night Live")
39)"What you see is what you get!" (Geraldine, "The Flip Wilson Show")
40)"Smile, you're on `Candid Camera'" ("Candid Camera")
41)"I know nothing!" (Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes")
-Coincidentally also what Schultz said at Nuremberg.
42)"Sock it to me" ("Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In")
-Ok, if you count that Richard Nixon said this on "Laugh In" once, then he has two quotes on this list too. In the 60s this line went everywhere. Aretha Franklin even yelled it in her version of "Respect" and Mitch Ryder made a whole song out of it.
43)"Whassup?" (Budweiser ad)
-Why are we honoring this one?
44)"We are two wild and crazy guys!" (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as Czech playboys, "Saturday Night Live")
45)"We've got a really big show!" (Ed Sullivan, "The Ed Sullivan Show")
46)"You're fired!" (Donald Trump, "The Apprentice")
47)"Book 'em, Danno" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O")
48)"Danger, Will Robinson" (Robot, "Lost in Space")
49)"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" (Vicks Formula 44 ad)
-Hack comics everywhere have made this line their own. I don't believe in the 80s, a season of SNL went by without at least one character saying it or some variation of it at least once.
50)"Live long and prosper" (Spock, "Star Trek")
51)"Makin' whoopie" (Bob Eubanks, "The Newlywed Game")
52)"I'm Rick James, bitch!" (Dave Chappelle as Rick James, "Chappelle's Show")
-Yeah, people are still friggen saying it.
53)"Do you believe in miracles?" (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics)
54)"Is that your final answer?" (Regis Philbin, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire")
55)"Jane, you ignorant slut" (Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtin, "Saturday Night Live")
-It's still always hysterical to enter an argument by calling your opponent an ignorant slut.
56)"Let's get ready to rumble!" (Michael Buffer, various sports events)
57)"It takes a licking and keeps on ticking" (Timex ad)
58)"And that's the way it is" (Walter Cronkite, "CBS Evening News")
59)"It keeps going and going and going ..." (Energizer Batteries ad)
60)"De plane! De plane!" (Tattoo, "Fantasy Island")
-TV viewers are so mean. If a tall English speaking man uttered these lines, I highly doubt we would remember/care about them. But since Tattoo was a short ugly Spanish dude who moonlighted as a James Bond villain, we love it. We're mean.
61)"Say good night, Gracie" (George Burns, "The Burns & Allen Show")
62)"Tastes great! Less filling!" (Miller Lite beer ad)
63)"Yeah, that's the ticket" (Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, "Saturday Night Live")
64)"Bam!" (Emeril Lagasse, "Emeril Live")
65)"Heh heh" (Beavis and Butt-head, "Beavis and Butthead")
66)"Hey hey hey!" (Dwayne Nelson, "What's Happening!!")
67)"You rang?" (Lurch, "The Addams Family")
68)"Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ..." (Eddie Haskell, "Leave it to Beaver")
69)"Who loves you, baby?" (Kojak, "Kojak")
70)"Elizabeth, I'm coming!" (Fred Sanford, "Sanford and Son")
71)"You look mahvelous!" (Billy Crystal as Fernando, "Saturday Night Live")
72)"Let's be careful out there" (Sgt. Esterhaus, "Hill Street Blues")
73)"Just one more thing ..." (Columbo, "Columbo")
74)"Nip it!" (Barney Fife, "The Andy Griffith Show")
75)"The tribe has spoken" (Jeff Probst, "Survivor")
76)"You've got spunk. I hate spunk!" (Lou Grant, "The Mary Taylor Moore Show")
-I think this might be my favorite quote that no one ever quotes.
77)"Up your nose with a rubber hose" (Vinnie Barbarino, "Welcome Back, Kotter")
-Honestly, I hate this line. I think it's so stupid, and clearly shows my contempt for "Welcome Back, Kotter". Yet, I can't deny that it was popular and did affect people. Why? I don't know. I just assume people like John Travolta.
78)"Would you believe…?" (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")
79)"Schwing!" (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, "Saturday Night Live")
-There was a short time in the 90s when saying this quote was funny. It was called Elementary school.
80)"Here it is, your moment of Zen" (Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show")
81) "God'll get you for that" (Maude, "Maude")
82)"Resistance is futile" (Picard as Borg, "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
83) "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" (Jim McKay, "ABC's Wide World of Sports")
84)"I love it when a plan comes together" (Hannibal, "The A-Team")
-Now we're getting into famous quotes from TV shows that didn't exactly affect all of pop culture. But, whatever.
85)"Stifle!" (Archie Bunker, "All in the Family")
86)"Homey don't play that!" (Homey the Clown, "In Living Color")
87)"That's hot" (Paris Hilton, "The Simple Life")
-For all those stupid people everywhere.
88)"Holy crap!" (Frank Barone, "Everybody Loves Raymond")
89)"Hey now!" (Hank Kingsley, "The Larry Sanders Show")
90)"I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl" (Larry, "Newhart")
91)"Never assume ..." (Felix Unger, "The Odd Couple")
92)"Mom always liked you best" (Tommy Smothers, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour")
93)"How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")
-Kill yourself.
94)"Tell me what you don't like about yourself" (Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy, "Nip/Tuck")
95)"Oh, my nose!" (Marcia Brady, "The Brady Bunch")
-Did Marcia actually say this when the football hit her? I don't remember. Either way, I would think the more popular Brady Bunch quote would have been Jan's line: "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!".
96)"Welcome to the O.C., bitch" (Luke, "The O.C.")
-I've never watched these last three shows, so I don't know how to rank them…I just find this line funny for some reason.
97)"Suit up!" (Barney Stinson, "How I Met Your Mother")
98)"Denny Crane" (Denny Crane, "Boston Legal")
-It appears there are two missing. Hmm. Maybe they're better than these.

This might be cheating, but where's "What's up Doc?" and other Looney Tunes quotes? I know they originally started as theatrical shorts, but they gained life on TV where younger and younger generations watched them and only knew of them from programming like "The Bugs and Tweety Show" and "Looney Tunes on Nickelodeon".

Friday, November 24, 2006

How to display a certain ineptitude while analyzing lyrics

I just realized that the Elton John song title "Jamaica Jerk-Off" is a pun. It's quite obvious in the chorus:

When she gets up in the morning
Its enough to wake the dead
Oh she turning on the radio
And dancing on my head

Its no good living in the sun
Playing guitar all day
Boogalooing with my friends
In that erotic way

Come on jamaica
In jamaica all day
Dancing with your darling
Do jamaica jerk-off that way

Come on jamaica
Everybody say
Were all happy in jamaica
Do jamaica jerk-off that way

Let the ladies and the gentlemen
Be as rude as they like
On the beaches, oh in the jungle
Where the people feel alright

So do it jamaica
Got plenty for you and me
Honky tonking with my baby
In that deep blue sea

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Late Night Ramblings

It's late, I'm sick, fuck spell check, I just have some random opinions and thoughts.

You wanna know what's weird...I just had a conversation with my Dad about Borat. That wasn't the weird part...the weird part was that he was able to quote bits from him verbatim. I had no clue my Dad knew who Borat or Sascha Baron Cohen even was. I've never seen him watch Da Ali G Show...does HBO show episodes of it at like 4 in the morning? That's the only time that I'd think he'd watch it...I don’t know. It just surprises me.

Alright, I just watch Revenge of The Nerds again. The last time I saw the movie had to be like 5 years ago, and just like I remembered, it was stupid, yet entertaining and funny. Something else I realized about it though: While a stupid college-teen comedy, it possesses a genius concept: Have a social commentary on racism, but instead of white people discriminating against blacks, have it be Nerds. Look at all the tell-tale signs--The Alpha Beta bad guys are all pure white (as are their Sorority counterparts); the Nerds are a amalgamation of every group from society that has ever been called an outcast, an outsider, or different in any way; The Nerds join up with the Tri-Lams, which is an all-black Frat, and they accept them; The Alpha Betas burn the word "Nerds" in front of their house (ala a cross), and throw bricks though their windows telling them to go away; plus much more.

Now, I know I'm not making points that haven’t already been brought out before, but that's not the point...what I really wanted to say about the movie was what pissed me off about it--specifically that the hot girl, Betty, decides to dump her jock Alpha-Beta boyfriend for a Nerd, just because he's good in bed. Now, aren't the Nerds suppose to be smart? Doesn't Lewis realize that she's just using him for sex and that she feels no feelings toward him what-so-ever? Maybe he just doesn’t care? Anyway, that's one hell of a message to send: Girls like you only for sex. That's almost as bad as the end of Grease: If you want to get the guy, be a slut.
Now that I think about it, if they were making a race commentary with that scene as well, then it is both hilarious and ridiculously offensive. It's hilarious because the stereotype of black men having huge dicks is being saddled with Nerds are good at sex and that by just having sex with a black man/Nerd, the white girl will instantly regret any previous sex with someone of less quality. You know, "Once you go black, you never go back"? That thing. It's offensive though because basically the movie says that that's the only reason why a hot girl would fall for a Nerd or white girl fall for a black guy. Apparently they have no other redeeming qualities.

I just finished reading Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones' Fanboy graphic novel. It was pretty damn good. If you're a comic book nerd, or a fan of DC comics or of most of the classic artists, then you need to pick it up. It's hilarious, and true (mostly).

Being sick has allowed me to watch two classic cult shows that I never got the chance to really watch before hand. The Diana Rigg version of the Avengers and the original Star Trek. Now, I've seen both these shows before, but I guess I just never cared enough about either to really look at them and give them a chance. My Dad had a few VHS cassettes of the British spy show the Avengers, so I figured I might as well watch them while I'm sick (since Netflix suspended my account temporarily), since I can't really do anything else. I know that Patrick McNee's John Steed was a regular in the cast for almost the entirety of the show (a few first season episodes aside) and that he even came back for the short lived 1970s revival, but his (mostly) female counterparts changed quite a few times during the show’s 1961 to 1969 run. The most well known of his partners, and my favorite (and apparently my Dad's favorite too since he doesn't have an episode with anyone else) was the beautiful Diana Rigg as Emma Peel. The sexual tension between the two was the highlight of many episodes, especially the ones that boarder lined on plain silly in concept (super-intelligent robots taking over Parliament to make decisions for us? C'mon). Now while I have seen a few episodes with other female leads (Rigg's predecessor Honor Blackman being one), I really just can't imagine the show without the Steed/Peel chemistry. These two worked so well together; they acted like lovers but never got into bed (at least on camera)...that was the kind of mistake that ruined great shows like Moonlighting and the X-Files (well, bad writing and Robert Patrick ruined that). When the two leads finally do sleep together, you ruin all the sexual tension, and all the reasons for tuning in. Frankly, I could care less about Maddie and David after they fucked on Moonlighting. And Mulder and that final episode when they! For a show that's about the unexpected, that was the thing that everyone was expecting, but no one wanted! Anyway, check out some Emma Peel era Avengers.

Oh, I just realized Emma Peel is a pun. Emma Peel=M Appeal, or better known as MAN Appeal. Something Diana Rigg certainly had.

Now the original Star Trek. I like to thank TV Land for airing a marathon of the show, so I could finally watch some episodes. I have to say, I did enjoy them. I'm surprised how many episodes did not even take place in space, as well as how many actually had ironic morals for the real world (so many episodes were meant to make you think of the current situations and events of the 60s in a new light). The episode "City at the End of Time" was probably one of the best episodes I watched and made me laugh quite a few times. I was shocked. Now what does this make me. I'm certainly not a Trekkie. I'm also not running out to buy the show on DVD. I still say Star Wars is better too. It's a shame there's a stigma attached to Star Trek.

Michael Richards racist outbursts at the LA comedy club The Laugh Factory might have been the funniest things to come out of a LA Comics mouth ever.

Also since when does Michael Richards do stand up? I mean, I know his career was in the shitter, but stand up? Can't Weird Al make another movie or something?

Movies I still havent seen, but want to:
Casino Royal
The Fountain
The Departed

Maybe when I get money.

That new trailer for Spiderman 3 looks amazing. I can't wait for that movie. I hate Venom, and I never thought a movie with him would work, but Goddamn, it looks like Sam Raimi did it right. And friggen Sandman looks awesome!

Ok, that's it. I can hear my TV playing the theme song to Innuasha*, so I know I'm up too late. I can't breath through my nose, but I'm gonna try to sleep anyway.

*How the hell is it spelt anyway?

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

15 political movies for your Election Day fun

In case you don't feel like watching the polls this Election Day, how bout a politics themed movie night? (Wow, how lame did that sentence sound?). Here, for your approval, are a few of the best movies related to politics.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)-Frank Capra
The old Standby. I was watching it again last night, and there's still something that bothers me about this movie: it's too optimistic. But I guess that's it's charm..virtue overcomes corruption. The Everyman succeeds in the political process and Aristotle's "Polity" comes true. Jimmy Stewart gives us hope for a brighter future in everything we do.

Citizen Kane (1941) -Orson Welles
On the other hand, Orson Welles Citizen Kane shows corruption. Or rather, tries to humanize a corrupt figure. Charles Foster Kane attempts a run for political office, but is caught in a sex scandal right before Election Day. After his bitter loss (to someone who was much more despicable than the morally questionable Kane), he has his newspaper print that the Election was tainted. What does this show? Even though Kane was hated by some (and rightfully so) and even though Kane is not a clean, pure, likable person (as was Jefferson Smith of the movie above), he was still probably a better politician than the winner, and probably cared more for the people than any of the politicians that he shook hands with, or married the daughters of.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)- John Frankenheimer
Now we're getting into movies that are a touch more complicated. The original Manchurian Candidate focuses on the Cold War paranoia that was spreading around the country in the 60s. Here politics and fear come head to head and an uncomfortable relationship is made between the two. What does this movie say? Just because someone is preaching the values we want to hear, doesn't mean that they will vote that way (paging Hillary Clinton!). Never assume that you see the full picture of Washington DC. Never assume that the hero you admire really believes what they say, and never fall into voting for someone out of fear.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)- Stanley Kubrick
How absurd was the political chess game known as the Cold War? Very absurd. At least that's what Stanley Kubrick is telling us. The President might think he is in control of everything, but in reality, no one is in true control. A minor general could hold more power than the Commander-in-Chief, or an Air Force Pilot could determine the United States next facet of foreign policy. And what is driving all of these men? Well, of course: Sex! Sex! Sex! Don't be fooled, the President has no clue what's going on everywhere at once, and he has no way to stop what others do--that includes nuclear war!

All The President's Men (1976) -Alan J. Pakula
Or does he? Nixon had more power than any President since FDR (and that..s even debatable). The power kinda went to his head, as he and his staff thought they could get away with the Watergate break-in. So what is this movie telling us? Well, the President might think he..s a dictator, or in an "Imperial Presidency", but he's no different than you or I, and he can be taken down just as easily. Nixon was impeached, his staff was convicted, and their political careers ruined. One branch cannot become too powerful, because there's always a check and balance there to stop you. Here of course, it was the unofficial branch: the media.

Bob Roberts (1992) -Tim Robbins
Bob Roberts is about a musician that decides to run for Senate--and wins. His music takes the form of propaganda, grabbing a hold of and identifying with people. Bob Roberts didn..t just use pop culture, he was pop culture. People who vote for him are the same people who would vote for Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. Just because they're celebrities, and just because they have an opinion, doesn't mean they can run a nation or make laws. His catchy-tunes trick you just as his fake assassination attempt tricked the voters, just like TV tricks you into thinking Stewart can handle himself against the likes of Jon Ashcroft and John Kerry. This is the pop culture politician. This is Ronald Regan, this is Bill Clinton, this is George W. Bush, John Kerry, Sonny Bono, Jim Bunning, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Gore, Jesse Ventura. The list goes on. This is where America is heading. Pop culture and politics are the same thing now, and to understand one, means you have to understand the other.

Distinguished Gentlemen (1992) - Jonathan Lynn
How easy is it to get elected? Pretty easy it seems that even a criminal can achieve political office (see New Jersey's Senate race). As long as you have an endorsement, and a name, you can do anything. The people don't know who they're voting for, they probably also don..t care. They also don't listen to a word you say. As Eddie Izzard said: "It's not what you say but how you say it." As long as you sound like a politician, you are a politician, and therefore electable. This movie also shows us another thing: Who are the bigger crooks, the ones in jail, or the ones in the House of Representatives? In Washington, deception and corruption is King. The politics don't even matter.

Dave (1993) -Ivan Reitman
In a time when movies were filled with anti-political sentiment, it took one Republican screenwriter to bring optimism back to politics. Dave is the successor to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, in that the good guy can succeed and do well for the people. Dave Kovic is a populist. He wants to help others, especially the people that he now seems to be the President of. Well, technically Bill Mitchell is the President, he just looks like him, but that's a technicality. Dave shows that the mistakes of the past don't mean that someone can't do well for the people now. It's refreshing to see hope again in political movies.

My Fellow Americans (1996)- Peter Segal
Many probably think this movie is a joke that takes cheap shots at both The Republicans and The Democrats. Well, there's more there than that. Though the situation both main characters are put into seems a little overkill, and though one would think that none of this could possibly happen in real life, the message of it all is something that we hope can be true. Even though people have different political parties, and political beliefs, when it comes down to it, those differences can be cast aside to work together, and help those that need help. Republicans and Democrats are not that different in the end, they just like to pretend to be (mostly for comical zingers).

Air Force One (1997) -Wolfgang Peterson
When the situation seems at it's worst, a President can over come anything by ju--yeah, just kidding.

Wag The Dog (1997)-Barry Levinson
Wag The Dog follows in the tradition of Bob Roberts. The election of the President is basically the control of pop culture. The election process is like getting a movie off the ground, you need a pitch, a budget, a crew, a trailer, a soundtrack, product placement, everything--and on Election Day, the people will come out to choose what movie they want to watch for the next four years. The President is the greatest movie character of all time.

Primary Colors (1998)- Mike Nichols
The opposite of Dave--the past of the President will come up to haunt them later on. It adds to their character. In fact, everything the person does relates to their character. Does that make him a bad man? Primary Colors says no, but the voters might think so.

Bulworth (1998)- Warren Beatty
Do you ever wonder if a politician realizes his or her own ludicrousness? Do you think they ever feel bad for it? What if the politician has the same problems that a teenager trying to identify has? Granted, we might call it a mid-life crisis, but that..s only because they're fifty. Anyway, the theory is that the politician is a representative of their constituency. What if their constituency is absolutely nothing like they are? Well, as their representative, then the politician is then forced to fight for their causes, forced to be like them. How much is too much like them though?

Election (1999)-Alexander Payne
Election takes place in a high school--true. The major party politics of Election can best be defined as Coke vs. Pepsi--also true. But here's the thing, Election might be the best critique of democracy since The Prince. The person who is seems to be the best for the job, isn't always electable, and the person who is detested by all, is the one who will do the most good. Should politics be that way? Well, if you try to change it, just going to get yourself in more trouble.

American Dreamz (2006) -Paul Weitz
Ok, so this movie wasn..t that good. There is something here that one can take from it though..the election of the President and the state of foreign policy is like the TV show American Idol. Ok, let me explain. TV is the place where everything comes together for all to see. We live in a world where people make decisions on who to vote for based upon an SNL sketch. To master politics means you need to master pop culture (something that this whole list is preaching). What..s the biggest pop culture sensation currently? American Idol. (Where more people voted for Justin Guarini than they did George W. Bush). The new political battleground will be audience-participation events, places where people can call in, or ask questions directly to the candidate. When Bill Clinton got asked "Boxers or Briefs?" on MTV we all called it stupid--now, that may be the most important question of the modern age.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Politics of Fear in the 2006 Elections

The Politics of Fear has become very important in recent elections. The British documentary "The Power of Nightmares" showed how fear has been used in politics since the 1950s in both America and many Middle Eastern countries. Now that were in a conflict that involves both, its no surprise that its all we hear from critics of the current administration.

According to the Democrats the Republicans are apparently causing us to vote for them and Bush out of fear, that if we don’t, the terrorists win. It’s funny, that outside of possibly Bush himself, I have never heard a Republican candidate claim this. Its usually the Democrats saying this--to scare us!

Look back; the Democrats chastise the Republicans for using fear in all elections since September 9-11. A keen observer would notice that its the other way around; the Democrats are the ones that are using the element of fear, to induce a fear of Republicans.

It can’t be more evident than the recent Senatorial Race in New Jersey between Bob Menendez (D) and Tom Kean Jr. (R). Has anyone seen the ads for this? They’re all over TV. Menendezs ads are just attack ads against Kean Jr., claiming, "A Vote for Kean Jr. is a vote for Bush." He attacks the fact that Kean Jr. supports Bush on the War in Iraq, Social Security, National Defense and everything else that defines the Bush Administration. (I’m not sure if anything from this is true, but Kean Jr. doesn’t seem to deny the accusations). Menendez asks his constituents if they want a supporter of Bush in the White House. Aren’t you afraid of what he is going to do if elected? Aren’t you afraid that he’s going to support Bush’s agenda? Aren’t you afraid that he’s going to make you afraid of Terrorists?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who sees this. For a party that claims they are for the people and for a party that screams that the Republicans use fear to get elected, they certainly aren’t below being hypocrites.

I need to mention another political event that just occurred. Senator John Kerry called our troops all idiots. No, it wasn’t in those exact words, it was more like: "Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well, if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." So basically he said that our troops are uneducated. Well, I’m sorry we all can’t go to Yale Senator Kerry! So, Kerry has refused to apologize, and his whole party is backing away from him. Even friggen Senator Hilary Clinton (D-New York) has come out and said that what Kerry claims is appalling and inappropriate. I don’t know what would drive the man to even make this statement and think its ok. Is this part of his attempt to be tough? Remember that whole charade, where it seemed he didn’t care what he did or said anymore? It was the verbal equivalent of Al Gore growing a beard. Senator Kerry, I’m not afraid to say this, you sir, are a shithead.

Here’s a picture a friend sent me from the troops in Iraq to the Senator. I think it gets the point across quite well:

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