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Tag Archives: nomination

Newt Gingrich, South Carolina, and the Abortion of My Career in Political Commentary

23 Jan

And I don't think I want to. Except for understanding your disproportionate ability to get laid.

The GOP primaries are like Chicago weather: completely, utterly, and insanely unpredictable.* Just when you think you understand the day-to-day realities of winter in Chicago, BAM!! Thunderstorm in January. Just when you think you’ve figured out the winner of the GOP nomination, BOOM! Newt wins South Carolina.

I mean, what the fuck, Newt? I thought we were done. I really did. I thought Silly Time was over and it was time for some Real Talk with Obama and Romney (or at the very least, an Al Green-themed The Voice-style sing-off). Not so fast. But I guess I should’ve seen this coming.

Here is a Facebook status I wrote a few months ago, when Newt Gingrich was polling in first place while his opponents floundered, as Herman Cain struggled to fight rape charges and Rick Perry struggled to remember things and Mitt Romney struggled to be interesting: “Newt Gingrich is in first place. That’s it. It’s all a farce. Let’s stop pretending that all of this is real. I throw up my hands.”

Newt polling in first was to the GOP race what Sam and Frodo reaching the end of the Shire was for LOTR. We were now farther from political sanity than we had ever been before, and there was no telling where we would be swept off to next.

Google his name. GOOGLE IT!!!

Two months later, Rick Santorum won Iowa.

Rick Santorum! His name has been successfully Google-bombed and EVERYBODY KNOWS IT and he still won Iowa!

I underestimated the GOP. And not in a “wow I underestimated how good this Nutella milkshake from Fran’s would be” kind of way. Oh no. It was a “the 1984 Portland Trail Blazers underestimated Michael Jordan so much they decided to draft Sam Bowie instead of him” kind of underestimation. Half of me understood that the Newt poll meant the Brotherhood of Dada had dragged us into an alternate universe where ‘politics’ was synonymous with ‘freakshow’ and words lost their meaning and anything was possible…but half of me kept thinking that every crazy development (“oops,” Herman Cain’s Pokémon obsession, Ron Paul’s status as the voice of reason) was the zenith of absurdity, that there remained no further depths to which we could plunge.

But you best believe Newt Gingrich always had an answer for me. Once again, for the record, in case you were too busy this weekend dancing to polka music or playing cards with guys who have the Teen Titans tattooed on their arm to hear about it, Newt won South Carolina! Once more for the record: aaaaahhhhhhhhh!

Is this year’s GOP race the result of some twisted alternate earth they dragged us into?

My last article was not only a celebration of the ridiculous hilarity of the GOP campaign, but also an elegy for that craziness, which I thought was about to vanish in a cloud of sanity. I thought Mitt finally had this all locked up after winning New Hampshire, and I was sure we were finally transitioning from Perry-Bachmann-Cain-Paul-Gingrich to Romney-Obama, to real political debates between two sane candidates. But then Newt charged back to metaphorically punch me in the mouth and remind me that America isn’t going to stop being a hot dysfunctional mess anytime soon.

My possible career in political commentary hasn’t even started and I’m already thinking of quitting forever. I just cannot wrap my head around Newt Gingrich. Can anybody? If you thought Rick Santorum was vulnerable to a casual Google search, try taking Newt’s name for a virtual walk some time. Newt probably has his closet bolted shut with a chair against the door and that still isn’t enough to keep the skeletons in. There is absolutely no possible way that Newt can win the GOP nomination, much less the presidency. But if this campaign has taught us anything, it’s that the possible is impossible and up is down and America is fucked up. In the real world, Newt could never win. But I don’t think we even live in the real world anymore.

Newt

My sense of surprise is utterly gone. For the rest of eternity I will believe any story, any event that involves the GOP. Nothing is too nonsensical for a party where Newt Gingrich is a viable candidate. I probably won’t even bat an eye when Bristol Palin wins the Iowa caucuses in four years and becomes the favorite to win the GOP nomination. The Republican Party has moved beyond my paltry comprehension ability.

I think I’m just gonna have to stick to the fiery anti-coffee invective. I can’t do this anymore.

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*And for those of you scoring at home, “Chicago weather” is the third thing I’ve compared the GOP primaries to during my career. The list also includes Doctor Who and NBC’s Thursday night sitcom lineup.

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Other Things David Stern Should Veto

12 Dec

The most hated white man in the league since Toni Kukoc

When sports journalists heard about the NBA Commissioner’s probably ill-advised decision to veto a trade that would’ve sent New Orleans point guard Chris Paul to the Lakers, they practically pooped themselves with rage, railing about the end of the NBA with an apocalyptic despair that would’ve made Harold Camping proud. When I heard about the NBA’s decision, all I could think about was the goodness that could be accomplished by extending David Stern’s veto power, trigger-happy finger, and ‘screw it, I don’t care if I ruin the seasons of three teams’ attitude into other walks of life. Here are the fruits of that aforementioned thinking:

1. Rick Perry’s Presidential Campaign
Here at Sherman Ave we love Rick Perry. Oh wait, no we fucking don’t. No one in their right minds could ever stand to be in the same room, much less vote for, that intolerable shitmuffin. It now seems utterly ridiculous that people as intelligent as Mike Murphy actually thought that Perry could win the Republican nomination. Well, they were about as wrong as Custer’s last words. If only David Stern had stepped forward in August to stop this embarrassing shitshow of a campaign from ever launching.

His dreams were crushed by David Stern. M. Night Shyamalan's should be, too.

2. M. Night Shyamalan’s ability to make movies
So The Sixth Sense was maybe kind of okay. But I dare anyone to make it through The Happening without puking in a biological attempt to reject the atrocity from staying with you. Shyamalan made only one or two movies that could ever be considered ‘good,’ and everything since then has been so unbearably atrocious that Shaymalan should be prevented from ever tainting our eyes with such heinousness again. Unfortunately, the good people at Disney (and by “good people” I of course mean “stupid fucktards”) just keep signing off on his movies. Let’s get Stern in there to crush them the way he crushed Chris Paul’s dreams.

3. No Shave November
I’ll be honest, this year I tried doing No Shave November for the entire month, to see once and for all if I could really grow a beard. I can’t. And I’ve got news for everyone else who has tried it: you can’t either. You do look like an atrocious hobo, though. Congrats. Scumbag Steve would be horrified by your hygiene. Now let’s please agree to never do No Shave November again.

4. New Rebecca Black songs

Rosa Parks' personal hero

Katy Perry has no regrets — only love — about going all the way tonight. I have the same feelings about Rebecca Black’s “Friday.” Yes, it’s horrible, and yes, it probably shouldn’t exist, and yes, it speaks to some very heinous problems at the base of our modern society, but god damn is it funny. I’m glad it exists, and those two weeks where everyone in America absolutely refused to talk about anything else were just awesome. I feel bad for the hypothetical children I may or may not give birth to in the future because they will never have the experience of waiting at midnight for the release of Harry Potter books or movies, and I feel bad for them because they will never have the experience of going to school on March 18, 2011 (the Friday after the song came out) when everyone everywhere was singing “It’s Friday, Friday, GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY.” For two weeks it was fun to laugh, at the insipid songwriting, at the random rap verse that doesn’t make sense, at the problems with modern celebrity culture, but then those two weeks were over and we all moved on. DIDN’T WE?????

Apparently not. Apparently the ARK Music Factory thought that when 268,000 people disliked the “Friday” video, that meant “we love this, give us more please.” I hate to be the one to break this to you, Patrice Wilson, but when 268,000 people disliked the “Friday” video, it means they didn’t like it. At first, Rebecca Black was sad and kind of funny. Now she’s just sad.

5. Bill O’Reilly’s book about Lincoln
The only thing more ridiculous than the sentence “Bill O’Reilly wrote a book about the Lincoln assassination” is the sentence “Bill O’Reilly wrote a book about the Lincoln assassination that wasn’t true.” Yes. We live in a fucked up world. And while I think we have all accustomed ourselves to Fox News’s ridiculous excuse for news coverage, we don’t need them fucking up history as well. That’s Ross Packingham’s favorite subject!

6. “Ultimatum” by Jeph Loeb
If you’re a normal person, then it probably doesn’t mean anything to you when I say that Jeph Loeb fucked up the Ultimate Universe, but he did, and it is an intolerable atrocity.

Something doesn't seem right...

Quick nut graf: shortly after the dawn of the new millennium, Marvel Comics attempted to reinvigorate interest in their brand by creating an offshoot label, dubbed the Ultimate Universe, where they relaunched characters like Spider-Man and the X-Men as if their 40 year history didn’t exist, and the characters had been created in the year 2000. It worked. The stories were great, and their modern reworking of occasionally anachronistic Sixties concepts had a huge influence on Marvel’s later movie adaptations.

But in the year 2008, Marvel executives handed the creative reins of the Ultimate Universe to Jeph Loeb. It seemed like a sensible decision, as Loeb had won acclaim writing Batman at DC Comics. But whereas Loeb had done well on Batman with a strategy of utilizing Batman’s colorful cast and intriguing antihero sensibility, his plan for Ultimate Marvel was a little more like “destroy everything and kill every character.” His miniseries “Ultimatum” was basically a giant shit all over the Ultimate Universe, whose comics had helped spike my interest in the medium and which I still give to people who mention an interest in comic books, and I can no more forgive him for that than Eddie Murphy can forgive SNL for making one joke about him once.

And most importantly…

My First Quarter Grades
More important than any of the other things combined. I must admit, I got so caught up in college heinousness this quarter that I didn’t exactly get Will Hunting grades. Sure, it’s not like I stayed up past 2 am sequestered in the library every night of reading week preparing for my Ancient Philosophy final, but if Stern could have some words with Morty re: my grades, that would be dandier than Sebastian Flyte.

If that isn’t a convincing reason for giving David Stern a time machine and being done with it, I don’t know what is.