(Mike Thompson via GoComics.com)
I know, I know, but it’s a long weekend and the post-con stories will be leaking out until Charlotte gets everyone pumped again. Also, The Stranger‘s Paul Constant is excellent:
The Tampa Bay Times Forum is basically one gigantic roach motel. You can get in, but you can’t get out. And once you’re inside, there is nothing intuitive about where you should go. One narrow escalator provides service to the whole sixth floor. The elevator banks are small and make strange connections between floors—you can go from the third level to the fifth level on one set of elevators, but you have to walk in circles to find an elevator that will take you the extra flight up to the sixth level, where the print journalists have been stashed, far away from the view of cameras and delegates. Some stairwells end in flat concrete expanses with no doors at all…
There are only a few avenues into and out of the RNC area, and those avenues are flooded with people. Almost entirely white. Mostly older. Mostly male. These delegates to the convention carry pockets full of pins exalting their home state, and a little magpie trading economy has broken out where people trade potato-shaped Idaho buttons for a pin in the shape of North Carolina. Some delegates make it their duty to try to collect every single state button by the end of the convention. Which is good, because it gives them something to do when they’re standing in line. Republicans really, really hate standing in line, and conventions provide nothing more than opportunity after opportunity to come together by standing in line.
Lines are tough when they’re full of self-entitled people who believe they and they alone should have the right to get ahead. I overhear several graying men grumble to their soothing wives that walking to their car has been a nightmare, they’ve had to walk a dozen blocks, and they’re going to make DAMN sure, they’re going to do EVERYTHING in their POWER, to ensure that Tampa never hosts another convention again. One Southern man on my left makes it a point to look every National Guardsman in the eyes and thank them for their service to the country. Impatient people grunt and sigh and cut around him; he’s between them and their after-party. A young man is telling his wife that he thought the speakers should have mentioned Hurricane Isaac more, to defuse the media’s inevitable comments. “Only like one person was killed” by Isaac, she whispered back. “Big deal.” His eyes search the crowd guiltily, trying to see if anyone heard her say that. Then he chuckles…
…[T]he messaging sounded inoffensive, but when you really think about what is being said at this convention, you realize that all the red, white, and blue bunting and clothing and video imagery is a put-on. All the talk about patriotism, about supporting the troops, is just lip service. This is the most unpatriotic crowd I have ever been a part of. What they are against is community. Every sentence is devoid of empathy. Every finger-wag is aimed directly at an American who can’t afford health insurance, who hasn’t had a raise on their minimum-wage job in four years. Even as they rail against a statement that the president never really made, they are talking about tearing America down and leaving something meaner and greedier in its place. They’re radicals—radicals who’ve gone over the edge and are trying to make their radicalism mainstream.
But is that really true? Are they the monsters I think they are when the lights are down and the demagogues are predictably spreading their demagoguery? They roar like monsters in the darkened halls of the Forum, but I look at the people around me, milling forward in the embrace of waist-high concrete barriers to their left and right, trying to get back to their cars, or their buses, or their hotels. They’re grumbling about the blisters caused by their good pair of shoes. They’re hungry. They’re tired. But they are unmistakably human beings. That bald man whose wattle hangs down over his shirt like a meaty necktie, that woman whose perm looks as arid and dry as a tumbleweed. These are peoples’ grandparents. Real human beings will weep when they die (and for most of this ancient crowd, the day that they die will probably be sometime soon). They’re scared of the imaginary world of the 1950s in their heads dying forever, and the problem is that scared people make dumb choices….
And one more entry for the “Great All-Time Post Title”: Tom Scocca’s The Assassination of Clint Eastwood by the Coward Mitt Romney
Apart from bidding fare-not-well to the RNC’s hopes and dreams, what’s on the agenda for the day?
Epic biblical rains in KC Metro due to Isaac. Its rained for almost 16 hrs straight. Dogs hate rain but are flummoxed by their bladder’s breaking point….
@Punchy: Count your blessings. My godsdamned candy-arsed rescue dogs figure, if I didn’t want them pissing on the floor, I’d use my magical human powers to make it not be raining.
Apart from that, though, I hope the rains help your drought situation and stop before it becomes a flood situation…
@Punchy: When I was training my Malamute mix, he had housebreaking down in a few days… except when it rained there would be a puddle at the door. So I watched him closely next rainstorm, and hustled him out, and I clearly remember his face asking, “Even in the rain?”
I firmly stated that I mean it even in the rain, and he was a good as gold for the next ten years.
My method was to put a leash on the puppy and so be alert to those early signs of needing to go. Get excited about running out, and I trained most dogs in 2-3 days.
Most of the time, you simply need a way of conveying what you want. Most of the time, your dog is a Pleaser.
Let’s not jump to any conclusions here.
I have to endure collective local media pants wetting over Romney’s campaign stop in Cincinnati. One channel is airing the speech live and online. They’re all in the tank for the “NClangs’R Us” cult.
@WereBear: Our dogs, thank god, are well trained and will not go in the house. That said, the look you describe of “Really? I hafta get wet outside?” is exactly what theyre expressing.
Get the usual weekend chores done early today so I can enjoy the entire long weekend doing nothing that I don’t want to do. I already sent the clip of Bill Maher drinking Dinesh D’Souza’s milkshake around to friends and family and will post it.
Tonight I’ll haul my nearly-antique Pontiac wagon out and go hang with friends at the monthly antique car cruise-in. Being South Florida, it will be hot and humid, so I’ll shit and schvitz.
This Paul Constant article isn’t bad. It’s always good to remember the humanity of your enemies, and they are terrified and their terror leads to burning anger and lashing out randomly. The Boomers have seen one Hell of a lot of change in their lifetimes, and too many of them, the ones who make up the GOP’s base, can’t handle that. We didn’t get flying cars, but we live in The Future in ways that Star Trek rejected as unbelievable. For a lot of them the capstone was a black man becoming president. They grew up during segregation and this is just utterly impossible. The Tea Party movement is one giant primal scream of ‘You kids get offa my lawn!’
c u n d gulag
Yes, they are monsters.
They are also people.
And yes, they are beloved – by other real people, who may or may not also be monsters.
And, now that their quadrennial “Hate-apalooza” is over, they’re going home – “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.”
I’m not going to start a Labor Day weekend morning by pissing-off Godwin, but you know what other monster was beloved?
I won’t name him.
But he tested his suicide pills on the dog who love him, and when he and his “wife” committed suicide, the rest of the people of the destroyed country were too war-weary to cry for him.
Those survivors were too busy burying their own dead, and crying over them.
It didn’t take my edit, so let me add that the Boomer generation was the only one of the 20th century raised on the belief that Unauthorized Sexytime was bad, especially for women. The ones who can’t handle change don’t have a clue they’re the exception, not the rule.
My impression when Clint said, “We own this country,” and the crowd went nuts. It felt to me that audience came off as if they were saying, “You’re damn right! We make the money, we own this damn country!” and not, as I think Eastwood intended it, ‘[As a citizens,] we own this country.’ What should have been a winning moment im a wrird speech, came off as an ugly moment. Nice to know my impression may not have been far off the mark.
They’re scared of the imaginary world of the 1950s in their heads dying forever, and the problem is that scared people make dumb choices…
And this is the fundamental problem, isn’t it? By the time they are all dead and their families weeping, the country will be in shambles and the rest of us will be trying to put it all back together with baling wire and worry beads.
Grocery run, Braves game, Clemson game, copious servings of Sam Adams Summer Ale, with a nap somewhere in the middle.
The oldest boomer is only 66. The silent generation (67+, between boomers and the greatest generation), which includes my parents and in-laws, is feeling the fear and pain of change as well.
And their kids will still be taking scissors to the baling wire and insisting that just one more tax cut for the rich and and ten more service cuts for everyone else will fix it all.
On second thought, that’s already happening. A lot of today’s teabaggers are the kids of the conservatives who put Nixon and Reagan into office. And, given the Great Recession combined with the past four years of GOP obstructionism in the House and Senate, I’m not entirely sure that much more than baling wire, duct tape, and worry beads are holding us together now.
Ryan backtracks from sub 3 minute marathon claim in record time.
Ryan continued that, “yeah yeah, I know, I’m running for the second highest office in the land, only a heart beat away from leader of the free world. But hey now, what’s a little fish tale amongst very white friends, ain’t weez? Ah shucks.
B-b-but, Paul Ryan ran to the top of Mount Everest in 1:55:32 just so he could draw a dollar sign in the air over the whole of the Tibetan plateau!
@Frankensteinbeck: This does not align with any account of the sexual revolution that I’ve heard.
I just watched the first segment of last night’s Daily Show. It was awesome!
@Boudica: It sure was!
Now that the Republican National Convention is over, I state for the record that I’ve attended grade school pageants with more professionalism, worked in day cares with less whining, and watched serial killer debriefings with more sincerity, than this sorry mashup of killer FAIL.
@General Stuck: What is just a little exaggeration among friends. Unfortunately, he does that a lot.
The rest of the show is excellent too. Wait till you see them “fire” Wyoming.
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
Our dog Geezer has been trained to use a litter box when he can’t go outdoors. ‘Bacon’ treat bribes did the trick. He’s a poodle mix and is ridiculously trainable.
Speaking of animals I just got 10 pix of a hawk on our bird feeder . I had to crawl on the floor using furniture as a blind to get close to the window. This used to happen daily but we have fewer rock doves (a tasty hawk favorite) since I changed bird seed and the hawk visits are rare now.
I’m sort of stunned this weekend. First week on the new job and I’m exhausted and disoriented. Apparently I’ll be spending part of October in Germany for work. This will be all good except for the jet lag. It’s been a great week at work. If they charged me a dollar every time I said ‘awesome’ I couldn’t break even.
WTF with the comments and hamster wheel, is it just me?
Ok, well that worked, my comment on the Maher/D’Souza thing. I totally can’t believe D’Souza’s post 911 comment got absolutely no airplay and he subsequently went around spewing his bullshit and Maher gets fired:
WTF?? D’Souza said the 911 terrorists were not cowards but warriors on 9/17? And that’s how Maher got fired? This, I did not know.
How did this fly under the radar all these years while this repugnant little fuck gets teevee bookings and I think this is the first time someone did not let his verbal diarrhea go unchecked.
Don’t typically like Maher, no, but he does come up with some real gems like this one. D’Souza got completely owned.
I would like to see that D’Souza 911 quote plastered all over the place, everywhere that piece of shit film is shown.
@RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: Unless you’re on the west coast, jet lag to germany really isn’t that bad. Sleep on the plane, hydrate (with NON alcoholic beverages!!!), and when you inevitably land at 7am and have a whole day in front of you, stay awake. If you can make it through that first day with no sleep until at least 9.30pm you should be fine. My mother who is in her late 60s, prefers a day flight for atlantic crossings so she only has to stay up for a few hours before bed time, but most people are better with a night flight. If you ARE coming from the west coast, make sure you set your watch to german time the second you get on the plane. From that moment you live your life as if you’re already there – you sleep when it’s night and wake when it’s day. It is obnoxious and difficult, but it makes all the difference.
[/ rant based on experience of living on arse end of planet]
So we’ve got Bobby Jindal, Dinesh D’Souza and Ramesh “Party of Death” Ponnuru here.
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
Thx for the recommendations. We’re on EST so it’s not too bad. Maybe 6 hours of time shift and a 6 – 7 hour flight. Depending on what day I have to fly out I’ll try to ‘time shift’ my schedule for a few days before and get a head start on the jet lag before I go.
Everyone says this training trip will be great. But I’d rather not take on a critical education task plus international travel at the same time.
@RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: It’s not a big deal (says she who will be doing a 29 hour flight with an 11 hour time difference in 3 days) and you’re going to the land of amazing beer and even more amazing pork products. Have you been to germany before? If not, let me recommend a great bit of german street food: curry wurst – sliced up, freshly cooked sausage sprinkled with curry powder and served with a spicy ketchup. It shouldn’t work but it does and it’s an amazing lunch.
Spiegel – paul ryan more dangerous than sarah palin.
@Boudica: As a Boomer myself, I appreciate your pointing this out: The oldsters who are paralyzed by change are more Silent Generation than Boomers. Not to say there aren’t cranky old teabaggers among the Boomers, but there is also a pretty big segment who came of age in the 60s and broke away from the 50s ethos pretty decisively. The age range that includes the most Boomers that was in their 50s in 2008 actually went for Obama that year, unlike the next youngest segment, which split evenly. Those who’d like to pin all the current idiocy on Boomers should look not only at the Silent Generation, but also at Generation X, the ones who came of age during the me-first 80s, who in my experience are a pretty conservative bunch, with a glibertarian slant.
@hep kitty: Well, yes. Really it’s the feminists and homosexuals who need to do soul searching in times of national tragedy. Since D’SOUSA was basically deciding that 9/11 was a good time to raise the culture war, so much the better. Why should, say, the foreign policy establishment need to think about such things. Terrorists can be useful to silence your enemies. And besides, d’sousa already knows that looking for his soul is a fools errand anyway. Why should he have to bother?
Dumbest anti Obama wingnut article ever
The rest of it sounds like it was written by Polish Monks living on Mars.
At least Obama acknowledged the existence of American troops, which is more than the complete silence toward the military, from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan at the RNC convention clownfest.
So, Clint Eastwood sprang the chair thing on them at the last moment and it was HIS idea, about which he told nobody?
Yeah, seriously- I’m calling it. Eastwood was mad at the racism and sexism. He intentionally took a dive to humiliate them. I bet he doesn’t even talk like a senile grandpa normally. Hasn’t he literally played a crochety old man in Gran Torino who… holy fuck. Not making this up, it’s from the Wikipedia summary about his last starring role.
…so I guess Gran Torino may NOT have been Eastwood’s most recent role as a crotchety old fuck who reforms from his old warmongering ways, pulls a massive caper and sacrifices himself for those he loves (through mock, staged berating) to take down an evil gang of complete bastards?
Words fail me.
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
29 hours on a plane would really tax my patience. I can’t even sit at a desk for an hour any more without getting squirmy!
I’m sure I’ll have a good time and great food. I don’t eat meat and drink alcohol only sparingly but the German interns at work assure me I won’t go hungry. Apparently there’s a considerable vegetarian contingent among young people so plenty of non-meat meals in addition to traditional German fare. I’m not a fussy eater and I’m easily pleased.
@RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: I’ll second Trowel’s suggestion of an overnight flight landing you there in the morning. I haven’t been to Germany, but it’s how I did my flights to Great Britain and France. Yes, you’re tired, but you’re in Europe, so the excitement carries you through the first day and then you really get a solid night of sleep so the clock gets reset pretty easily.
Unless you discover your traveling companion snores to wake the dead, in which case you wake up after two hours and spend the rest of the night staring at the ceiling. And then in the morning you go to a pharmacy, and try, in your limited French, to ask for earplugs. And the pharmacist doesn’t understand until you finally point to your traveling companion (who, fortunately, doesn’t speak any French) and say, “Elle ronfle!” (She snores!) And then the pharmacist brings out earplugs.
Some Gator football (do we have a qb? Has to be better than last year), some dissertation writing, and a couple sessions of City of Heroes before the game is gone forever. :(
@Applejinx: You have made persuasive arguments. And I will say this abouut Eastwood; I don’t always agree with him, but I also don’t recall him ever being Wingnut.
Oh, I missed- goes alone to the den of the complete bastards, never telling anyone what he is planning, to pull off his last desperate gamble for the sake of those he wants to remain above the fray.
When they reveal the ’empty chair’ at the DNC- it won’t be empty. Clint will be sitting in it- grinning.
Maybe he’ll have a few words for us about racism, and voting, and civil liberties.
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
Eastwood’s rep is for being conservative but sane. But that would be some serious 11 dimensional chess there. Maybe it was intentional but Brother William of Ockham’s famous razor tells us he probably just winged it and bombed.
@Applejinx: Clint seems to be confused about who started the Afghanistan war and his comment about Harvard Law seemed odd since both were graduates of the law school. Personally, I think he met Mitt, liked him and said sure I’ll support him without knowing what he stands for.
Maybe you are right and he used google and discovered a few things. Are you familiar with Mickey Ward and his thirty minute endorsement of Scott Brown?
@RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist: there’s tons of eastern mediterranean food in germany – you could drown in the quantities of hummous if you wanted. You’ll be fine. Too bad it’s autumn not spring, the german obsession with asparagus season is legendary. The pastries are also wonderful and (mostly) contain no pork products. Depending on where you’ll be and how strict a vegetarian you are, the do seafood pretty well too – lots of smoked fish and north sea prawns, quite simple (unlike the french) but yum-tastic.
As to 29 hours – there are a couple of hours in various airports during re-fueling. About 24 of the hours will be actual flight time.
I’d say Gen X is more cynical than conservative. They were raised on the government mistrust of the post-Watergate/Vietnam era, which got capped off by Reagan’s “government is the problem” ethos in their impressionable childhoods.
They don’t have an inherent trust that government can fix things or handle problems or is trustworthy in the way Baby Boomers and the prior generation – which came of age during the New Deal – had.
Easy pickings for the Republicans anti-government sentiments.
EDIT: I’d throw in the Clinton-era scandals as further adding to the cynicism of then 20 something Gen X’ers.
Eastwood didn’t just happen upon stardom with those spaghetti Westerns. He pared down his role to a minimum of speaking; the opposite of most actors who know their page count and number of appearances the way runners know their times.
He was crafting a very successful image; one he transitioned from Westerns to Urban Cowboy (Dirty Harry & the like) when the time was right.
Now, granted, he’s 82 and many people lose it by then. But many people don’t. And certainly, if he did, part of the Long Con would be to keep people guessing.
He’s still working, don’t forget.
@Applejinx: I saw your comment yesterday and reposted/linked to it in another thread, I thought it was so good. I think you are on to something. It wouldn’t surprise me if Clint came out at some point and said he’d punked the GOP.
More recent Eastwood work:
He made a multiply-Academy-Award-nominated movie only eight years ago depicting Iwo Jima ‘completely from the view of an American enemy’, he’s directing at LEAST a movie a year right up to the current day, he god-damn made a movie LAST YEAR (2011, ‘J. Edgar’) exploring rightwing icon J. Edgar Hoover’s life as a closeted homosexual and complicated, weird character…
…and you think this guy is actually a senile old wingnut ranting at chairs?
Fine. Show me another wingnut making big-budget Hollywood movies about how America’s enemies in war were people like us, and how Hoover was gay.
@Violet: The movie The Fighter was based on the life of Mickey Ward. Because of Scott Brown’s image as ordinary guy, Ward gave him his endorsement. It was a big deal up in MA. Ward then used google and discovered that Brown was anti-union and against gay marriage. The public appearance was canceled and the endorsement withdrawn.
Maybe Eastwood knows how to google, although I doubt it.
I think the article sums up the situation rather well.
Race/racism is obviously part of the mix but I don’t think most of these folks are your old fashion KKK type racists.
They see the country changing in a multitude of ways and it is scary. The world of the 1930s Andy Hardy and the 1950’s Ozzie and Harriet were in many ways alike. Sure there was TV rather than just radio but watching President Eisenhower was really not that much different that listening to FDR. Either way, and not to put too fine a point on it, both were older white father figures. Today you have leaders that range from Jan Brewer to Charlie Rangel.
In reality the world of the 30’s and the 50’s wasn’t really like Mayberry but the unpleasant truth was out of sight and out of mind. For better or worse, over the past 30 years all of the old certainties have disappeared and those realities have become part of the evening news. The unseen people, women, blacks, Latino, etc. of the 1950’s will no longer ‘ride in the back of the bus’. The presence of an African-American family in the White House just takes that statement and shouts it from the roof top.
It is hard for many people to accept that and adjust to it. I’m not sure it is just an age thing and when the old codgers (full discloser I’m a 66 year old codger) disappear things will get better. While my 20 something nieces are more laid back about these things there will always be people who find change distasteful.
He also said that Muslim fundamentalists were upset at the godlessness of Western culture and the solution was to to show them that the West was more than that and that Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists had things in common.
@JPL: I saw that story over at GOS yesterday. I was so impressed with Ward doing that. Says a lot about his character.
Maybe you’re right. Maybe Clint did google it. Hmm…
@Applejinx: The only fly in the ointment is that apparently he donated money to Mitt’s campaign and he openly endorsed him. The endorsement I could wave off as just lip service and a way to get inside to do damage, but the donation?
Mitt himsels invited Clint and was backstage wheen Clint went on. He probably waived vetting Clint’s material. Mit has a strong self-sabotage impulse as shown by his fuck ups on his overseas trip and the Sheamus episode. It’s totally unconscious and beyond his control. He’s aware of its existance which makes him stiff ànd guarded. This is another incidence of that impulse taking over his judgement.
It’s not a good characteristic for a president to have. It was a gift from his powerful and probably controlling dad.
Remember a movie starring Clint Eastwood where he played a Secret Service agent tracking down John Malkovich as a chameleonic Presidential assassin? Malkovich’s character got into the ballroom at a crucial point because he’d donated money to the campaign.
Great picture of POTUS and FLOTUS reacting to the Clint catastrophe.
@General Stuck: I will say this. The blunder of not negotiating successfully for the permanent establishment of bases in iraq is probably favorite blunder of all time. Once it was clear that the administration had bought into the idea of Iraq as a permanent state of affairs, I figured a failure was the best outcome I could hope for. Sorry if the troops would have liked those bases as a prize for their sacrifice, but I don’t think they would have made the war into a great victory. The goal was to get in and get out. That’s what the public supported. We got rid of Saddam and eight years later we went home. The only ones upset by the failure to secure more are the types who would use those bases for more expensive endeavors when they got back into power.
Sorry for typos. Typing on a tablet sucks.
Adaptation to change:
Rearranging yourself to deal with changes is very hard. Always was, always will be. And believe me, it doesn’t get any easier with time.
I have a sign hanging in my room, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent but the most responsive to change.”
That idea often gives me comfort during a phase in my life when I’m gradually losing both physical strength and swiftness of intellect. Just face the changes head on and dance around with them until some sort of accommodation is achieved.
@WereBear: Oh, wow. I remember that film, but I haven’t seen it so didn’t know about that scene.
Has Clint Eastwood been doing a mashup of his best films, all culminating at the convention? Can someone put together a video with clips from Eastwood’s films showing how this was done? That would be genius!
@JPL: What if he knows perfectly well who got us into Afghanistan, and is fully aware of who else is a Harvard lawyer? He has been directing feature films right up to this year with great success.
Given that he’s making big-budget feature films at a staggering clip which are finding success and making money, do you not think he could afford to donate an impressive-looking amount of money to Mitt’s campaign as a way to get inside and pull his epic caper?
…which is strangely similar to his last starring role in a film he also directed and produced…
‘Gran Torino’ grossed nearly 270 million worldwide and was his MOST successful film commercially.
Why did Obama have a picture of himself in a chair ready, for the ‘This chair is taken’ response?
(which echoes memories of ‘seats at the back of the bus’)
@Applejinx: His rapid response team is pretty good, so they may have known how to find that really quickly, but yeah, it did seem to happen fast. I don’t think Obama tweeted it himself, though. I read that if he tweets himself he signs his initials on it.
@Applejinx:Whut?! I have no idea what your are talking about.
In what way? I wasn’t there, but wasn’t the whole point of the sexual revolution that they were rejecting the stereotype they were raised with that sex was bad? That revolution had already happened in the 20s. Media of the 30s and 40s records a much, much more sexually easygoing attitude than the 50s. The 50s tried to pretend sex didn’t exist and if it did good girls never did it. This isn’t our first time around the sexual revolution block. Historically attitudes about sex have gone up and down, even though the overall trend has slowly been towards greater sexual freedom.
@Applejinx: I think he just flubbed his ad lib. What he was tallying about was the surge. The idea that the reason we were mired in Aghanistan was that we weren’t devoting resources like we did in Iraq. Since it is now unquestioned that the surge in Iraq was some huge victory, we could do the same in the backwaters that Bush neglected and then leave. Thats what he was mocking…as if the Russians never tried the “moar troops” idea in their war.
I only wish Clint had manipulated this fiasco to keep Romney off prime time. I remember sitting in my seat sobbing for five minutes after Million Dollar Baby was over. It’s possible but unlikely.
I’m not comfortable with the mixed feelings I have now for Clint.
More of a stretch. I think it’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that Eastwood intentionally punked the Republicans, buying access, springing the chair thing on them, and doing an epic and VERY well acted faceplant to humiliate them AND running over to force the inexperienced rightwing pols to rush through their closing speeches.
See my previous posts… and go ye to Wikipedia to read up on Gran Torino, Letters from Iwo Jima, and J Edgar (2011). You tell me that’s a senile wingnut who’s made those damn movies. This is not subtle. He DIRECTED all those, some of them very recently. The objection is that he’d have to be really sharp and brilliant, with nerves of steel and absolutely no fear of anything? Go watch how he greets the audience before dropping into his act, how tall he stands for a moment there, before he starts to quaver.
What I’m not sure of is whether he acted alone- or whether he teamed up temporarily with the President of the United States- much as he teamed up with Tuco in ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’ to take care of the real, unquestionable danger.
“Why? Because I knew someone like you once. There was no one there to help.” -the Man With No Name
Lots to do. Loan documents to review, client research, the ongoing archeological dig in the kid’s room (found four pair of headphones and a digital camera without a battery, power supply, or sync cable yesterday), breaking in my ears to a new set of custom in-ear monitors, listening to a bunch of new records, college soccer and barbecue with friends on Sunday.
Traded texts with the kid last night, busting his chops to make sure he mails in his absentee ballot application. He seems to be happier than a pig in slop.
@Ann Rynd: I’m uncomfortable with the mixed feelings I’ve got for Clint now, too. I may just start to think Applejinx is right so I can find a way to deal with it.
@Applejinx: I do think one thing is undeniable.
He sure dinged their closing night. And everybody knows: closing night is when you go socko.
Or go down.
@Applejinx: I think that approaches tin-foil hat levels of conspiracy thinking.
Yes, Eastwood makes great movies. I also think he has an ego bigger than a Gran Torino—big enough to lead him to think he could walk out to the podium, unprepared and as an afterthought, take a chair with him. I also think he cares more about the bottom line on his tax return than he does about the racism or bigotry in the republican party.
I seriously doubt that the Obama campaign would get involved in such a punking. If they did and it was revealed, the resulting uproar would do much more damage than good.
That kind of frat boy prank is more typical of the Romney minions. Grown-ups are in charge at Team Obama headquarters.
@NancyDarling: Maybe he did it on his own. Decided it was time to take one for the Team (Team being the country).
@Frankensteinbeck: The boomers were born in the 50s, not raised in it. They came of sexual age in the 60s and threw the old rulebook overboard, and about half of their parents did the same. All the boomers I know reminisce about the sexual paradise they used to have.
No, sexual repression based on raw age doesn’t account for this. Seniors are pre-boomer, and plenty of boomers vote liberal. Point of view changing as one journeys through life might account for it, but not the zeitgeist of when a boomer was 5 years old.
@hep kitty: So out of 800 million plus(?) Indians, maybe three bad ones is not so bad.
Villago Delenda Est
History provides us with an example. Here I am going Godwin again, but Germany in the 40’s is all you need to look at, as people swore that nothing funny was going on the other side of town at the concentration camp.
Once again, y’all are overthinking it. Eastwood was Eastwood. He identifies Republican but then does his own version of it, and the party was too starstruck to put any reins on him. Team Romney let it happen because this is exactly how CEOs operate: you beat down the folks below you with your “brilliance” and only when someone with more alpha manages to penetrate your bubble do you stop micromanaging.
@different-church-lady: Yep. They all roll over and show their tummies when a more-alpha male shows up. Clint Eastwood is definitely more alpha than they are.
I still wonder if he decided to do what he could to derail the Republicans. He certainly got everyone talking about him and nothing else from that last day.
I understand the urge to look for an alternate explanation for the weirdest god damn thing we’ve seen in politics in years, but the simpler explanation fits the facts. It is utterly plausible that he thought he could pull off an unscripted rant about Obama and that this would be a moving artistic way to do it which would provide gravitas – and he failed miserably. No dementia is required, and if it existed might not affect his film making anyway. Considerable ego and a lack of concern for details is required, but he’s known to have considerable ego and a lack of concern for details. His ex-wife confirms he’s stridently right wing enough to want to do this. He has expressed some anti-racist sentiments, but racism is a continuity, not a binary state. Believing other ethnicities are human and even admirable doesn’t mean he’s comfortable seeing one elected president. There is a gap where the admired sidekick becomes the boss that’s too much for some people.
There’s no conspiracy required, even from Eastwood. His resentment and his ego got the better of him, and he attempted a performance that he couldn’t pull off. He ended up looking like a jabbering idiot instead.
Maybe he did it on his own and dropped the Obama people an anonymous tip, allowing them to be ready with their response?
Eastwood has never identified with any political party and certainly does not resemble current-day Republicans through his recent work. He’s made an awful lot of movies doing things like showing war entirely from the perspective of America’s enemy, and suggesting J. Edgar Hoover was gay, for anybody to take his performance at the RNC at face value.
He was directing movies just last year. Do you think he was directing them in that quavery fussy old-man voice? And directing movies is ALL details.
That’s not true, as he was registered as a Republican. Did he run as a Republican when he was Mayor of Carmel?
You could be right. I don’t know. I don’t think anyone will ever know. If it was just his age and ego, it’s terrible and sad. If it was an elaborate hoax, I think he’ll keep it to himself unless he decides to write a tell-all that’s published only after his death or something.
@mamayaga: I was running job search workshops during the Reagan Recession and, as a do-gooder Silent, was horrified by the Gen Xers, who aspired to careers in advertising and marketing.
The Baby Boom started and reached its peak before 1950. It was the explosion in post-war births, although it remained high until 1960. The Sexual Revolution occurred during that generation’s adolescence. The attitudes you grow up with are a huge factor on you psychologically, even if you rebel against them. We ARE watching that generation (at least, the GOP side that is prone to fear and can’t handle change) try to recreate the childhood they think they remember. It’s blatant in their politics. I am saying that one of the sources of stress is the wild change in sexual attitudes, and the Teatards are not only trying to push that 50s sexual ethic again (pissing off absolutely everyone else, especially women who aren’t part of their group) but it’s interesting that they think they’re pushing a return to normality. Instead, the 50s was the outlier, a regression.
If anything, the sexual revolution proves the point. They had to break free of that childhood attitude. Not all did, and many who did went back to it because humans do that. Heck, many who did went back to those attitudes while carving out exceptions for themselves, because humans do THAT. These are exactly the kinds of attitudes you see portrayed in the modern GOP.
That there’s a large group who embraced the sexual revolution and civil rights and never reneged on them is immaterial. The GOP is relying on the voting block who imagine their aberrant childhood is the One True Path they have to drag the world back to, ’cause modern times are scary. It is a big voting block because of the Baby Boom, it votes more reliably than any other, and it votes in primaries and thus has their leaders (many of whom belong to that group anyway) in a headlock.
I’m with you. He only cares about his taxes. And I think he’s a way overrated actor.
West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)
This is a great thread, but I’m unclear as to truly what a boomer is. Okay, at 50, I’m technically a boomer. However, my parents were too young to have served in any capacity in the war. They were not returning vets. They were barely teenagers. Also, if I recall correctly, the book Generation X came out in the 80’s and said, essentially, if you’re now in your 20’s, your a Gen-Xer (and I was in my 20’s at the time). I certainly don’t feel like a boomer. I know, it’s a rather arbitrary title anyway, but I think we sometimes lock people into a little box based upon such titles.
All that aside, I think Frankensteinbeck, different-church-lady, and Violet have nailed it: a true alpha male wandered into the tight little pack of pampered poodles, and they rolled over in awe. Instead of getting the full Cujo out of Clint, they instead got piddled on by an aging dog with a big ego who didn’t plan things out. (Wow, that metaphor certainly turned to muck!)
moving day. sitting on top of all my stuff, waiting for friends and laptop, bogarting wireless. can’t. wait. to. leave.
@West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): Those of us born during the depression and through WWII are called niche babies. We are a small demographic because the birth rate was low.
@gogol’s wife: He’s a great director though. Not good at comedies as Thursday night illustrated.
Villago Delenda Est
I’m not sure Clint is really an “actor”. He’s more like a “movie star”.
@Frankensteinbeck: If we’re going to over-simplify this (which seems to be at least partially your interest in making categorical statements about generations), then what you’re saying is they were taught repressed sexuality in their childhoods, threw it all overboard in their 20’s and 30’s, and then went back under the shadow of repression today.
Personally I think it’s a lot more likely that today’s repressed were yesterday’s repressed, today’s liberals were yesterday’s liberals, and that generational generalizations are far too over-emphasized. There are going to be seniors and baby boomers at the Democratic convention too. The difference is there’s going to be young people as well. This has nothing to do with the sexual zeitgeist of the 60s and a whole lot to do with individual personalities. The GOP draws resentful old people, and the party is what they draw. Resentful old people don’t want youngsters reminding them they’re old, and youngsters don’t want to be around old people who are hating on them. I’ll not speak to exactly what makes people more resentful as they age, nor why some are more susceptible than others. But it ain’t just because an entire generation had to deal with June Cleaver morphing into Janis Joplin.
dance around in your bones
I’m a Boomer (born in ’53) and I can remember having serious conversations with my boyfriend (at age 14 – ok, I was precocious) about whether I would be a whore if we had sex.
It turned out to be a moot point since his older brother barged into the room as we were attempting to do the nasty. Coitus Interruptus.
In my opinion, it was The Pill that fueled the Sexual Revolution – suddenly, it was a lot easier to have sex w/o getting pregnant. That WAS fucking revolutionary.
ETA: I hate this stupid thing of ‘naming’ various generations – it’s so broad as to be completely meaningless. Ok, the Boomers were the bulge in the snake, hahaha but really, since then? Meaningless.
@West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.): I think we sometimes lock people into a little box based upon such titles.
Yup. The “boomer = noble selfless hippie, GenX = Alex Keaton” stereotype is an insulting horseshit oversimplification of both generations, circle-jerked into existence by 50 years of media stereotypes and ignoring things that the people who defined the “me-first 80s” were Boomers like Mitt Romney and that many Xers, like me, were too young to vote against Reagan no matter how much they wanted to.
Or, to put it another way, the Venn diagram has two circles. One is marked “older people” (boomers, if you will) and the other is marked “resentful people” the place where the two overlap is labeled “GOP”. This doesn’t mean all boomers are resentful, not that they all have qualities that make the GOP attractive. It just means the club is a lot more exclusive.
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
I have to respect Clint despite disagreeing with him. His acting never clicked with me. Sort of played the same dude over and over in different clothes like Connery. A movie star rather than an actor. But he walks the walk and in this day and age that counts for something.
My agenda for the day is to recuperate from helping my mom move and possibly doing some food shopping for her today. Happy she has a new place, not happy about packing over fifty moving boxes with books.
@different-church-lady: Indeed – so far, the Boomers are only just becoming the kind of “older people” the GOP is preying on with the paranoia described in the post article. We’ve already seen the first salvo in the GOP’s future attempts to split over generational lines wrt the Boomers, though – the bit where Medicare is preserved for the over-55s. That was a transparent attempt to pander to Boomers, IMO, and I’m glad it hasn’t apparently worked. Curious to see how they continue that line.
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
Oh, agenda for the day. Stop thinking about industrial lasers and give my badly taxed brain a rest. Mow the lawn and pull weeds. Walk to ice cream shop with Doglius and Mrs. inDetroit. catch up on blogs. Nap. Drive the new employer provided car somewhere and figure out how to incorporate it into the driveway. Probably nap some more.
My weekend plans are to finish archiving my mp3’s (No more lost music for me) and finish scanning documents. It’s supposed to get torrential this weekend-folks are even wondering if we will get the annual fireworks display. No rain so far, but everyone is waiting for Isaac to slowly make an appearance. Which is also why I bought a fair amount of grocery-I expect to eat my weekend away.
Fourth paragraph. Gold. This is the message that Pres Obama should be explicitly countering.
John M. Burt
Here in Corvallis, Oregon, I myself am suffering an economic loss due to Hurricane Isaac: my first paying work in a couple of months was going to be working security for OSU’s opening game against Nicholls State University of Louisiana. Oh, well, there’s another game next Saturday, the telephone survey job might work out, and maybe the books will start selling.
So instead, off to the laundrymat.
I resent being classed as a “Boomer”. Nobody who is too young to have ever been at risk of being drafted ought to be so called, yet I’ve seen it stretched as far as 1964.
As for Eastwood, I watched his video twice, and still am unable to say whether he was mugging for the camera or just got mugged.
Why are we, the 67+, between boomers and the greatest generation the silent generation?
It was our generation that was on the lines for civil rights. Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney were ours.
Abby Hoffman and most of the other anti-war leaders weren’t silent.
Dillon, Jagger – those guys were silent?
I’d say we were the kick-ass generation. We changed the fvcking world.
For what its worth, I don’t think that Clint was part of some Team O conspiracy.
I go with the comment upstring that I think accurately describes Romney’s instinct for self destruction — something that he knows about but can’t stop.
For anyone who has had a loved one with a similar affliction – well — its very very painful to witness over and over. To me — that explains a lot about Romney and though I find his campaign abhorrent and disgraceful — how he has pulled all the ugly pus of our country to his banner – I still believe there is a very wounded soul somewhere down in there…
As for Clint — I just wish him well. Seeing his scuffed up hair and genuine confusion was just too painful for me to fully enjoy. I hope Obama stays away from all of it.. he has a much better and appropriate target in Paul Ryan and Romney and they have given him plenty to work with.
Haha wow that is kind of a good comic about comics
Villago Delenda Est
@dance around in your bones:
Which is why the wowsers want to, eventually, ban contraception of all types altogether.
It sets people free from the tyranny of organized religion. It endangers the parasites who are televangelists, princes of the church, and other grifting assholes.
“…and you think this guy is actually a senile old wingnut ranting at chairs?”
None of us are in position to make a diagnosis.
But consider the possibility that he might have suffered a slight stroke or some other neurological event that threw him off his game.
Something was apparently wrong. Clint just looked lost in a fog at times. And he didn’t appear to be drunk.
Whenever they throw the word ‘summer’ in there, it usually means some lemon flavoring in the mix. Which sounds good, but usually ends up tasting weird.
Mother India must be so proud.
@dance around in your bones:
I was born in ’44. I can assure you that the pill allowed the sexual revolution.
We went from a time during which women had to fight off “the sexual urge” and significant arm twisting from males because they were the ones who would pay the largest cost of an unwanted pregnancy.
Once the pill was freely available women were freed up to express their sexuality and the culture made a radical change.
West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)
Hey, Xechy (@ #90)… Spot on — the media needs things to fit into those tiny boxes so that the world can be presented in 30-second sound-bytes. I am technically a boomer (at 50), but I certainly don’t pine for the 50’s since I wasn’t there the first time. I had to sneak into a theater to see Saturday Night Fever, which presented a damn different world than Leave it to Beaver ever did.
Hang in there, John M. Burt (@ #98). Is the University hiring (or any local J.C.’s)? Perhaps if you’re a writer, you’d be qualified to teach a section or two of English (or whatever subject your books are about). Yeah, as a boomer/Xer, this is not exactly the life I was promised: teaching at a couple different campuses and tutoring online and renting instead of owning. O, brave new world….
definitely not my recollection of the 60’s & 70’s.
born in ’54 so i’m in the middle of the boomer generation.
Kathy in St. Louis
The business about the old GOP convention attendees longing for the 1950s explains a lot more than it would seem on the surface. I am an old broad, who was a kid in the 1950s. Girls didn’t have sports teams, women could be teachers, nurses, or get married, there was one bread winner and everything, from the TV set to religious teachings was pure black and white. I am certain that people my age and older really do long for those uncomplicated times. But they were times of suppression of blacks, women,gays, ideas, and creativity. They may be the old days, but there wasn’t all that much good about them. They were predictable but these old codgers need to turn the page. Economics, education, and the electronic age have put the fifties in the history books. Thank God.
And don’t forget good old Red-Baiting.
On a similar note, In Romney’s speech, I can understand his saber rattling about Iran. But why the heck do we need to ‘get tough with Russia?’ Did the iron curtain go back up when I wasn’t looking?
This. The strict censorship of American film (and, later, TV) from 1934 forward leads people to vastly underestimate how much sexually freer American culture was from the 1920s to the 1940s. The parents of the Boomers didn’t tell them how much casual sex they were having during the war, but they sure as hell were.
The 1950s were a huge boomerang away from that freedom, forcing women out of the workplace and back into the home when many of them didn’t want to go. That’s why the lid didn’t stay on very long and everything started bubbling back up until it exploded in the Sexual Revolution barely a decade later.
Sorry, Boomers — Free Love was a creation of the 19th century, not the 20th.
The Pill helped a lot, but without Griswold v Connecticut being heard first, it would have had about the same impact as the diaphraghm (another product of the 19th century) because it would have been illegal for doctors to prescribe it in many states.
I was born on the cusp of the Boomers and Gen X, and grew up in Madison, WI, so I feel that I’ve gotten a good view of both. The sexual revolution had an interesting effect on my older friends–they pushed the boundaries, but were still deeply conflicted and unsure of themselves, and that insecurity made them act out even more. My younger friends seemed to be more comfortable doing what felt right for themselves w/o guilt or drama, or excess ideology. I think (as someone upthread noted) the big difference between the Boomers and Gen X is the shift from idealism/ideology to cynicism with a bit more pragmatic common sense and/or self-interest. And we needed it, growing up in the era of diminished expectations (for the white middle-class kids, anyway).
@Mnemosyne: Good points here. It’s fascinating reading women’s magazines from the 1940s and comparing them to the ones from the 1950s. At some point I want to sit down and work my way through popular magazines for both men and women over the entire 20th century–this would be an excellent and entertaining education in social history, methinks!
West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)
Hey, Jess, I suspect some enterprising Ph.D. student has done something just like you propose. I was leafing through a few old copies of Look and The Saturday Evening Post at an aunt’s house (the copies were from the mid-60’s). There were a surprising number of racist images and some very paternalistic crap in there (such as images of doting young secretaries hovering over their suited 50-something bosses).
I don’t think things are really getting all that much better. I recall an NPR story a few years ago in which the person being interviewed said the chief message in American television for young boys was to be aggressive and strong. Young girls were primarily urged to be pretty and compliant. (Of course, there are multiple exceptions to the rule — the interviewee was simply talking about things in broad terms).
I mentioned my older friend Betty here once before — she was in the Navy during WWII, so (at least from what she said) for her the sexual revolution of the 1960s was like a return to old times, only with better contraception.
@West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):
I think that’s the mistake a lot of people are making, though — they’re comparing today to the most repressed era of the 20th century (the 1950s through the early 60s) and not looking at the full spectrum. It’s been much more of a rolling tide that goes in and out than a straight line up.
Racism has improved since those casually racist days (though I know it doesn’t feel like it sometimes) but, again, it’s been a tide rather than a straight climb upward.
@Mnemosyne: Exactly–that’s what I was getting at when I mentioned the comparison of 1940s to 1950s magazines, but I didn’t make my point clear. The women of the 40s, as represented in the stories and articles, were surprisingly liberated and independent, fully formed adult human beings making complex decisions. All that changed quite dramatically in the 50s. I wonder what it was like for the women trying to adapt to that weirdness…you mostly just hear about the shift from the 50s to the 60s.
Rather than the ebbing and flowing tide, perhaps the melting Arctic would be a better metaphor.
The ice melts in the summer and experiences some refreezing in the winter, but overtime it is disappearing. And it is now disappearing very rapidly and very permanently. We won’t get the ice back and we won’t return to being a segregated society.
West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)
Mnemosyne, you’re definitely correct. I mean, it strikes me as ludicrous when I hear people suggest we’re in a “post-racial” society (because we have a president of color), or that the glass ceiling was shattered in the 70’s. Yeah, things are certainly better, but there is this writhing, screaming clot of people who are fearful of change and want things to go back to the way it used to be (and never was).
@mamayaga: Thank you for that. Personally, almost every friend in my Boomer cohort is more radically liberal than most here. And forget that mealy-mouthed crap about being “progressive” because someone’s afraid to say “liberal”.
Our problem is that we failed. We failed when we bought that shit about peace, love and rock & roll. We failed when we parroted that bullshit about “Tune in, turn on, drop out.” While the idiot flower children were fucking in the mud on Yasgur’s farm or searching for their muse in a hash pipe, the young Boomer ratfuckers like Karl Rove were doubling down on their lessons from Donald Segretti and preparing the road to dominance.
While my friends were moving to communes and studying philosphy, art history and throwing clay pots, the Roves and Norquists among the Boomers were honing their skills of lying and grabbing everything not nailed down.
And finally, we made it into our thirties and it was now the miserable ’70s with Carter and early ’80s with Reagan and it was all we could do to get a job and make enough to support the families we delayed having because we were so, like, free, man.
If you want to criticize us, at least get the real reasons for our epic FAIL.
These days, I think alot about tumbrels and Mme. DeFarge.
I’m surprized a riot didn’t break out with that many of the entitled not getting what they thought they were entitled to. i can only say they got what they deserved.
Yes i am sure they are someone’s grandparents, etc. but how do they treat their grandchildren?
@West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):
The book Gen-X came out in 1991. The Gen-X’ers are the people born between the mid/late 60’s and 1982-ish. I’m smack in the middle there. But having said that, even the oldest Gen-X’ers were unable to vote for Reagan the first time (in 1980) and only a small slice of that demographic would have been old enough to vote for him the second time, either.
I’m happy to say that Bill Clinton was my first. :-)
West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)
Hey, Bailey… I think I looked at Barry Commoner and John Anderson in the 1980 election (I think I voted Anderson). Reagan always seemed like he was in over his head most of the time to me and Nancy sort of creaped me out. Something rather Stepfordian about her.
Here’s a quote I found on Wikipedia (attributed to Coupland, author of Generation X:
“I just want to show society what people born after 1960 think about things… We’re sick of stupid labels, we’re sick of being marginalized in lousy jobs, and we’re tired of hearing about ourselves from others”
—Coupland, Boston Globe, 1991
Well, by that definition, I am Gen X (born in 1962). I think the term’s definition has been evolving and prone to being a bit fuzzy, hence my ongoing confusion.
Of course, it’s completely foolish to try to define oneself anyway by a pop-cultural term anyway!
dance around in your bones
Heh. I LIVED this comment – we really thought we were going to change the world and then we found out the world didn’t really wanna be changed.
Anyway, I have my knitting needles ready. And I’mma hella good knitter!
1. What’s this “failed” business? Who told you it was over? There’s still time to succeed, or at least to hand the dream off to a new generation that’s just begging for one.
2. Bashing hippies helps Reagan, period. The way you talk about hippies makes me wonder exactly who you want to see on those tumbrels. The problem is that you DIDN’T really buy it–not enough to make the difference. Because peace, love, and understanding are HARD. But yes, they’re the right thing. They MUST come first–everything else proceeds from that.
3. “WRFG, Atlanta: Your community-owned station for PROGRESSIVE information.” WRFG broadcasts Democracy Now. WRFG doesn’t bother with “liberal”. How this meme about how “progressive” is supposed to replace “liberal” just doesn’t jibe with my experience.
@dance around in your bones:
Well, of course–the world usually doesn’t want to be changed. Why should that stop people who want to change it from making their case–or from “being the change they want to see”? Do the Steve Jobs thing–show them how a changed world will be better. If you can’t do that, figure out how and try again. (Amazing how seldom that happens…) Not everyone will want it–that’s OK. Do it for the sake of the people who do want it.
What I think is that the world was open to being changed somewhat. I was OK with that, at least for a while, which is why I consider myself a ’70s person rather than a ’60s or ’80s person. It got some distance, and then there came a time when no one seemed to have a good idea of what to do next, and a number of things (Reagan, punk/”alternative”) rushed in to fill the gap, and in the process the plot was somewhat lost. The ’60s counterculture’s first mistake was in thinking it could happen all at once. Its second was in thinking that, having not happened all at once, it couldn’t happen at all. And it’s that second mistake that’s been the more costly.
Fix’d. As I’ve said before, liberals seemed to think that outside pressure on the government (like with the Civil Rights Movement) was all that was necessary, because moral suasion would get politicians to vote the right way.
Conservatives figured out that if they could gain control over the government, they could ignore any calls for reform with impunity. And here we are.
AHH onna Droid
@hep kitty: and Nikki Haley.