Saturday, November 08, 2008

Obamalot and other Fantasies

Pollsters and headline writers piss me off. The former have become a force for shaping opinion rather than measuring it and the latter are totally devoid of any sense of irony. Case in point this piece of crap from Angus Reid, Environics and the Vancouver Sun.

Canada swooned over president-elect Obama

Nation was intellectually, emotionally engaged in Tuesday's U.S. election, pollster says

I call bullshit. If the nation was intellectually engaged in the US election some questions would have been raised about "Hope" as a policy statement.

I hope to marry a rich supermodel who will bring me beers and BLT's on demand while I watch NASCAR races but I don't think it's gonna happen. You see, the emotional or aspirational part of myself wishes this would happen but the intellectual bits clue me into the fact that the above scenario is highly unlikely.

Having accepted reality in my personal life, I seek the same in the greater world. Then I run across piffle like this:

"Canadians were not only intellectually engaged by the U.S. election but also emotionally engaged," Michael Adams, president of the polling and social research firm Environics, said.

And most of us, according to polls, got the ending we wanted Tuesday night: victory for the cerebral and cool Obama whose centrist, socially-liberal policies are closer to the attitudes that define Canada's political culture.

"Here we are a multicultural country with cities like Vancouver and Toronto which will soon have a majority of minorities -- and so Obama kind of looks like the direction in which we are going," Adams said.

"But the major thing is that he's not George W. Bush."

Bush derangement syndrome aside, did Environics not poll in the Canadian election three weeks ago? Are they not aware that the natural governing party were wiped out in all but the decayed centers of our largest cities and Newfoundland. Danny Millions did his best on the rock and was aided and abbetted by the fact that most of the Newfs worth their weight in salt are out west working. As far as the cores of our crapulent cities appears the leftards have created ethnic, cultural and moral ghetto's with the sole purpose of hanging on to power. Guess what, it isn't working. Canada, if anything, moved slightly to the right in this last election despite the best efforts of the MSM to portray Harper as a Bush lackey. As a matter of fact the Conservative Party of Canada made inroads in the very ethnic communities that the Liberals have cultivated. Instead of hearing the story of incremental conservatism we get this garbage:

And this year we swooned over Obama despite warnings from conservative Canadian pundits about his protectionist tendencies.

Simon Fraser University historian Michael Fellman said that he doesn't expect that the Obama administration will reopen free trade with Canada.

And, in any event, Canada's interest in American politics goes far beyond the minutiae of bilateral trade provisions, he said.

The minutia of bilateral trade provisions? Are you fucking kidding me? Almost 80% of Canada's GDP is Dependant on trade with the U.S. and this qualifies as minutia. Oh yea...the hope and change meme is really the important bit isn't it?

Obama's win has given Canadians -- as much as Americans -- a reason to be optimistic about the future, he said.

"Circumstances have given meaning to what he means by change," Fellman said.

"The economic crisis has made everybody realize that there has to be more regulation, that wildfire capitalism is dreadful. The argument that government is the problem is as dead as a doornail."

Pollster Marzolini said that Canadians have also felt closer to the Democrats than the Republicans because of the party's social conservatism.

"Religion doesn't play the same role here that it does south of the border," Marzolini said. He recalled how fears that Stockwell Day believed in creationism undermined his appeal as leader of the Canadian Alliance during the 2000 election.

What? No mention of the Clinton administration's role in the sub-prime meltdown? The pressure applied to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to front loans to people who in all likelihood could not make the payments? Granted the masters of the universe (see The Vanity of the Bonfires) packaged these mortgages into financial 'instruments" for the sole purpose of padding their wallets and pulled it off by promising fat returns to greedy baby boomer investors. The end result was a whole shitload of imaginary money disappearing. Go figure.

More interesting is pollster Marzolini, If I remember correctly this is the man who recently polled for the LPC and failed to get Stephane Dionne off the Green Shaft platform. Good for Canada and bad for Steffy. But I digress, Marziolini postulates that religion is not a factor north of the 49th and then cites Warren Kinsella's hatchet job on Stockwell Day as an example? In case you don't remember, WK went on Canada AM with a Barney the Purple Dinasour to mock Day's religious beliefs, a faith Stockwell apparently shares with the Big O. Go figure once again.

So what did Barry really accomplish? Back to the pollsters:

He managed to take a platform that would suit Canadians, as well as Americans, and give it a lot of excitement and hope and optimism.

Bullshit, that's what Barry accomplished, pure unadulterated bullshit. Excitement , hope and discernible policy, no actual goals...just a cagey appeal to sentiment and emotion.

The pollsters are now trying to shape the post election opinion and the headline writers pretend intellect was part of the process.

Good grief.


Tip of The Hat to Warren Kinsella:

For proving my point I doff my Dale Earndheart Jr. #88 cap in respect.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Heather Mallick..... Self Satirist Extrodonairre

I'm sure many of you've seen the Billy Crystal/Robert De Nero movie Analyse This. You know the one where Crystal plays the unwilling shrink to De Nero's psychopathic mob boss. In the movie De Nero is brilliant as he satirizes every mob character he ever played, he hams it up as an insecure killer who becomes reliant on Crystal to deal with his anxieties and maintain his grip on his underworld empire. In the cinematic world De Nero's performance was a tour de force of self satire. I loved it.

I think I may have found the journalistic equivalent of De Nero's self satire in a recent piece by our very own Heather Mallick.

You may recall that Heather gained international notoriety for a hate filled screed directed at Sarah Palin, her family and republicans in general entitled A Mighty Wind Blows Through Republican Convention. Right wing bloggers reacted with disdain and soon the MSM in the US were on her case. Fox News took up the cause with the corresponding backlash causing the CBC to eventually issue an apology and Heather to decry the viscousness of the reaction to her musings. Rumor has it Heather was called on the carpet and told to reform her ways. Hence the new, self satirical Heather Mallick.

To illustrate how far Heather has come on her artistic journey to the confidence required for self satire I thought a little compare and contrast might be in order. Heather's most recent piece is entitled "Obamaland vs. McCainworld: The Decision".

For the purposes of clarity I'll refer to Heather's journalistic bit as "A Wind Blows" and her satire bit as "Obamaland".

In no particular order here are some of the funnier bits: Oh!!!!...Try to read Heather's italicized nuggets with an affected English's much more authentic that way.

A Wind Blows:

Palin has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favoured by this decade's woman, the overtreated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression.


Primed as I am to find marriage intrinsically funny, I still didn't find the charade of the McCain marriage amusing at all. Cindy McCain was a pretty, happy young woman when she made the decision to marry a starchy rage-filled man making up for lost time; she seems to have had a subsequent hellish life that money has done nothing to improve.

She was a thin, peeled white nerve placed precariously behind her stubby husband. I don't know what helped her survive the campaign but I hope her doctors were compassionate with prescriptions.

A Wind Blows:

Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the "pramface." Husband Todd looks like a roughneck; Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified. They claim to be family obsessed while being studiously terrible at parenting. What normal father would want Levi "I'm a fuckin' redneck" Johnson prodding his daughter?


The campaign was marked by the presence of the young.

College students were mad for Obama. And even babies liked him; they respond to calmness and quiet assurance in adults and they sat placidly in his arms.

It was good to see a candidate who has young children. For that's when an adult is most impatient for improvement in the world, when it's a fixer-upper he might eventually be able to show off to his kids.

A Wind Blows:

I assume John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential partner in a fit of pique because the Republican money men refused to let him have the stuffed male shirt he really wanted. She added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn't already have sewn up, the white trash vote, the demographic that sullies America's name inside and outside its borders yet has such a curious appeal for the right.


The word that stayed in my mind as the campaign dragged on through the collapse of the world's economic structure was "hobo." We're all going to be hobos.

I would imagine myself packing up my bindle and setting out on the road in overalls and a pair of Roots boots. Train whistles, boxcars, hot soup, sleeping under a bridge, misery, fear, scrawny children with bite marks on their faces. A heartless Annie Leibovitz would be our Dorothea Lange.

It didn't matter how secure or insecure we really were during the fall of '08; we watched McCain and Obama fight it out and figured we'd all be Tom Joads pretty soon.

If McCain wins, sooner than that, I bet, and there'll be riots too.

A Wind Blows:

Palin has it all, along with being vicious and profoundly dishonest.


But I'm glad it's over. It has been a degrading, unedifying spectacle. Besides, voting day means Obama won't again be speaking to tens of thousands of people in Minneapolis or Denver . He'll be home, safer from the one bullet that has so often served to bring an already violent nation to its knees.

It has taken Americans decades to drag themselves back up to a standing position since Robert F. Kennedy Jr. died and there are no words for how heartbreaking it would be if the bullet were used again.

This is how beaten down we have become, that we're grateful when a politician physically survives the campaign. And I'll be grateful not to have to watch John McCain make a fool of himself anymore.

That's classic satirical shit there Heather......I'm impressed and in awe.