Thursday, September 25, 2008

Palin's Pageantry Strategery

As I have been chatting with friends about the latest Palin interviewing debacle, it occurred to me that Palin's answering strategy is right out of PAGEANTRY training. Note the famous Miss South Carolina meltdown, below, and compare to my favorite section from the Katie Couric interview on CBS. Because in fact Palin has that deer trapped in the headlights faux concentration expression that Delegates have as they watch the host or the reigning Queen pull the paper from the fishbowl. Miss Alaska, we have a question from the Delegate from Iowa, Katie Couric. And she has the catch-phrase that she has memorized and must insert into her answer no matter what, even if it has nothing to do with the question. The platitudes, the hesitation, the halting phrases that are never concluded. She has it all!

I don't know what I love most: 
-the incoherent phrases
-the repetitive phrases that are clearly the talking points she has been given (such as her blurb at Ground Zero today "bring the war to their soil") 
-her inability to articulate the word "caricature" at which point Couric helps her with the simpler, monosyllabic "mock" - a meta-moment if there ever was one since this interview itself seemed like something out of the ONION, The Colbert Report or Jon Stewart!
-seeing uber light-weight Couric appear to be as tough of a questioner as Tim Russert or Dan Rather (I would pay to see what Gerald Rivers does with her, ugh, no, maybe not - and speaking of, the term one would use -assuming one thought this which DISGUSTS me -not a MILF, a colleague pointed out, technically it would be a GILF - grandmother) 

Saturday, September 20, 2008

You better go to the gym: Or you'll burn in HELL

These "divine sightings" are starting to become a little leitmotiv here, the vision of Jesus in the moth's wing, the cheeto shaped like a crucified Christ, hell, I might have to create a whole new label for these posts!!!!!! There is just so much to love in this video: the nature of these "exercises," the looks the women are rocking (note the applique cotton top), the dingy drop ceiling transformed into a vision of the Redeemer. I believe that the woman was just suffering from Beef Jerky and Chips Ahoy withdrawal. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Rachel Maddow Back in the Day

Fabulous photo of a very young Rachel Maddow (of Air America and MSNBC) from a site called Ohnotheydidn't. She's my new favorite news personality (sorry, Anderson), who is intelligent, funny, an acute questioner (within the narrow parameters offered by talking head cable hot air) and an out lesbian. Now they have made her substantially more "soft butch." LoL. Love love love her!!!!!!


The End is Near Part 2

Evidence # 1: 
Billionaires' greed and criminal actions drive their companies into bankruptcy in part thanks to their exploitative lending practices that have driven millions into foreclosure. The Bush Administration does nothing. The lenders and Wall St. investors that capitalized on middle class taxpayers' (and, admittedly wealthier real estate speculators flipping properties) are now bailed out by us, the taxpayers. Most of us will then see cuts in social services, education, and Social Security (assuming it even exists in the future), as well as watch as our paltry retirement accounts wither. And a working class person in Bed Sty who foreclosed on their home is in part paying for Dick Fuld's mistakes. As one reader's comment cleverly described this plan: "No Banker Left Behind." No politician (including Obama) dares to ask: Why can't these FORBES Billionaires give back some of their hundreds of millions to pay down the debt that they created? 

Evidence # 2: 
Sarah Palin instituted a policy to charge rape survivors for the cost of the swab tests police take to gather evidence. Sarah Palin cut funds for disabled people. Sarah Palin had huge ties to lobbyists now under investigation and arranged through them to gain tens of millions in Congressional earmarks. She is describing herself as a maverick, paragon of ethics, mother who defends the disabled, and model of political opposition to lobbyists and pork. 

Evidence # 3:
Women who were supporters of HRC are willing to vote for a woman who is opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

Evidence # 4:
McCain is showing in the best case scenario, signs of striking foreign policy ignorance in not knowing who Zapatero is - the PM of Spain- and confusing him with a Latin American leader in an interview. Worst case scenario, this is one of several gaffes that is an early sign of senility / Alzheimer's. 

Evidence # 5:
As an email a friend forwarded to me read: "Sarah Palin's email is hacked and this is an appalling invasion of privacy, criminal in nature. Our emails may be read by the Federal Government, and this is OK: it's called the Patriot Act." 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New York (Oficina y Denuncia)


A Fernando Vela

Debajo de las multiplicaciones
hay una gota de sangre de pato.
Debajo de las divisiones
hay una gota de sangre de marinero.
Debajo de las sumas, un río de sangre tierna;
un río que viene cantando
por los dormitorios de los arrabales,
y es plata, cemento o brisa
en el alba mentida de New York.
Existen las montañas, lo sé.
Y los anteojos para la sabiduría,
lo sé. Pero yo no he venido a ver el cielo.
He venido para ver la turbia sangre,
la sangre que lleva las máquinas a las cataratas
y el espíritu a la lengua de la cobra.
Todos los días se matan en New York
cuatro millones de patos,
cinco millones de cerdos,
dos mil palomas para el gusto de los agonizantes,
un millón de vacas,
un millón de corderos
y dos millones de gallos
que dejan los cielos hechos añicos.
Más vale sollozar afilando la navaja
o asesinar a los perros en las alucinantes cacerías
que resistir en la madrugada
los interminables trenes de leche,
los interminables trenes de sangre,
y los trenes de rosas maniatadas
por los comerciantes de perfumes.
Los patos y las palomas
y los cerdos y los corderos
ponen sus gotas de sangre
debajo de las multiplicaciones;
y los terribles alaridos de las vacas estrujadas
llenan de dolor el valle
donde el Hudson se emborracha con aceite.
Yo denuncio a toda la gente
que ignora la otra mitad,
la mitad irredimible
que levanta sus montes de cemento
donde laten los corazones
de los animalitos que se olvidan
y donde caeremos todos
en la última fiesta de los taladros.
Os escupo en la cara.
La otra mitad me escucha
devorando, cantando, volando en su pureza
como los niños en las porterías
que llevan frágiles palitos
a los huecos donde se oxidan
las antenas de los insectos.
No es el infierno, es la calle.
No es la muerte, es la tienda de frutas.
Hay un mundo de ríos quebrados y distancias inasibles
en la patita de ese gato quebrada por el automóvil,
y yo oigo el canto de la lombriz
en el corazón de muchas niñas.
óxido, fermento, tierra estremecida.
Tierra tú mismo que nadas por los números de la oficina.
¿Qué voy a hacer, ordenar los paisajes?
¿Ordenar los amores que luego son fotografías,
que luego son pedazos de madera y bocanadas de sangre?
No, no; yo denuncio,
yo denuncio la conjura
de estas desiertas oficinas
que no radian las agonías,
que borran los programas de la selva,
y me ofrezco a ser comido por las vacas estrujadas
cuando sus gritos llenan el valle
donde el Hudson se emborracha con aceite.

Federico García Lorca, 1929-1930

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Make the Best of Things

I haven't had the time nor energy to write since it seems that in the past few days we've careened further into the oncoming Apocalypse: Obama down in the polls (I am volunteering, and so should everyone else!!!!!), the new Great Depression, and various chaotic incidents in my daily life (and those of various people I know) involving technology, transport and other issues. Of course, I read the horoscopes and saw Mercury is in retrograde, so the cliche is true. Below you'll see two guys making the best of the situation. Let's hope we can all emulate them in doing so.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dedicated Lawmaker Takes a Break from his Favorite Activity (it's not what you think!) to Nail Palin and her First Dude

This afternoon, while getting my breaking news fix on MSNBC, I was DELIGHTED to see the following headline: "Lawmakers vote to subpoena Todd Palin. Alaska lawmakers vote to subpoena 13 witnesses in Troopergate probe"

Not only am I happy to know that Gov. Palin's corruption scandal is hitting the fan, but also to see the "First Dude" is getting in on the action. But I had no idea what joy was in store for me as I began to read and found this:

Sen. Charlie Huggins, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla, appeared in camouflage pants on a short break from moose hunting to cast his vote. He lamented the political maneuvering that he saw as trying to interfere with the investigation.

"I see all this duck-foot action under the water," Huggins said. "Let's just get the facts on the table.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the best paragraph I have read in a news article. Ever.

To go to the story, cut and paste the following url into your browser:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2008

Seven years ago today I witnessed the aftermath of the planes' impact on the Twin Towers from the street below my former home in Greenwich Village. I had taken the Towers for granted, I saw them each morning as I left my house, yet I rarely turned to notice them, except for those special occasions like visits to Windows on the World for brunch, or nights dancing on the top floor with the dazzling view below. Once the towers fell, each morning I would turn to look acknowledging for a second the lives lost and the work going on there. Until January of 2002, the smell was overpowering in my apartment, so I never forgot Ground Zero was there, and there were flyers posted all over my neighborhood that remained for weeks and months. One night, leaving a friend's in NoHo, I turned the wrong corner, and realized that the towers had been my landmark, now I was momentarily lost. Tonight, from my new home, I see where the towers would have been.

Separated at Birth?

Cindy McCain seems to have a bit of Puerto Rican Neutral familiarity. She likes to wear metallics, rhinestones, lots of big jewelry, dyes her hair unnatural shades of yellow, and much more! She also has a Pageantry look and demeanor. Below, during her speech at the Convention, where she wore gold dress.

Hot Tranny Messs Cindy (or as my genius friend calls her "Cyborg") McCain bears an uncanny resemblance to hot tranny mess Ivana Trump. And the fashion also overlaps. In fact, the Puerto Rican Neutrals also tend to coincide with the Eastern European Neutrals.

The biggest difference is that McCain has not had fat from her ass injected into her lips, for which many of us are making a collective sigh of relief.

Here we can see in terrifying detail the work she has, and has not, had done. Note the plaster of Paris foundation that renders her face several shades darker than her skin, almost Beyonce-like in color. The woman is apparently only in her fifties, which disturbing because she looks to be about 75, but then, she's married to Senator McCain. 

Talk about a Cyborg. I saw him today during the joint photo-op at Ground Zero he staged with Obama. The man was barely able to walk or move and I am disgusted/fascinated by that weird lump on the side of his face, which I hope is not Skoal chewing tobacco. As he awkwardly shook hands with 9/11 first-responders or family members, he became agitated anytime he approached any body with a uniform on and began to repeat mechanically "Thanks for your service. SEMPER FI." (this latter expression much LOUDER) It was eerie and terrifying for real, not terrifying ironically as in my Mr. Blackwell fashion schandisimo analysis of his poor ex pill-popping Stepford wife. But I digress. 

Yes, in my own small tribute to the ailing Mr. Blackwell, I realize I must focus on her fashion and perhaps on that of the pitbull with lipstick on as well, but I can't bear to look at that one so it may not be possible. 

The CNN coverage of the joint 9/11 mourning photo op was just great because it was like C-SPAN, live feed, no omniscient voice narrating. I was mesmerized. I wish there was a news channel like this, you could see the awkward moments, the pauses, what they look like when they think that nobody is looking or things will be edited out. Obama was so much more natural in his interactions, he made eye contact and listened. People responded differently to both of them, it was clear that McCain was quite popular with many of the uniformed personnel. Two gave their pins to him and Cindy McCain. McCain just kept repeating the same thing, over and over. Creepy! 

And Cindy was there, walking the requisite 10 paces behind her husband, she may as well have been wearing a chador. Instead she had on an eveningwear suit that was quite 1980s as it had big shoulders and a puffed sleeve on top that then became narrow like a normal suit sleeve. Very Goth. The woman does not know from day wear, everything is eveningwear with her. A total Pageantry look!!! 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Palin's Church Offers "Gay-conversions"

Palin church promotes gay-conversion event
Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through prayer.

Sept. 6, 2008
By The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE — Gov. Sarah Palin's church is promoting a conference that promises to convert gays into heterosexuals through prayer.

"You'll be encouraged by the power of God's love and his desire to transform the lives of those impacted by homosexuality," according to the insert in the bulletin of Wasilla Bible Church, where Palin has prayed for about six years.

Palin's conservative Christian views have energized that part of the GOP electorate, which was lukewarm to John McCain's candidacy before he named her as his vice-presidential choice. She is anti-abortion, opposing exceptions for rape and incest, and opposes gay marriage and spousal rights for gay couples.

Focus on the Family, a Christian fundamentalist organization, is conducting the "Love Won Out" Conference in Anchorage, which is about 30 miles from Wasilla.

Palin has not publicly expressed a view on the "pray away the gay" movement.

Larry Kroon, senior pastor at Palin's church, had no comment.

Gay activists in Alaska said Palin has not worked actively against their interests, but early in her administration she supported a bill to overrule a court decision to block state benefits for gay partners of public employees. At the time, less than one-half of 1 percent of state employees had applied for the benefits, which were ordered by a 2005 ruling by the Alaska Supreme Court.

Palin reversed her position and vetoed the bill after the state attorney general said it was unconstitutional.

But her reluctant support didn't win fans among Alaska's gay population, said Scott Turner, a gay activist in Anchorage.

"Less than 1 percent of state employees would even apply for benefits, so why make a big deal out of such a small number?" he said.

Obama Cult of Personality

Clearly, Barack Obama is the best-looking presidential candidate we've had, I argue, since John Fitzgerald Kennedy. No matter how you look at him, clothed, unclothed, lecturing, on the basketball court, hugging his wife, he's hot. You really would not want to see McCain in a picture like this. So let's get that out of the way. But last night I was watching a CNN "pseudodocumuntary" about him, that included extensive interviews with him, his wife, Michelle, and his sister, Maya. 

This led me to think about cults of personality, one of my obsessions in life. Obviously for anyone who reads this blog it's clear that I have Drunk the Kool-Aid for Barack Obama, and I will do whatever it takes to get him elected. But that doesn't absolve me from critically examining his electoral propaganda. My own Grandfather was a "charismatic" Senator who helped found a political party. In any case, all politicians do this, McCain plays on the War Hero trope, using the "I was a POW" as a get out of jail free card any time he doesn't want to answer a question, as the hot and brilliant Rachel Madow said on MSNBC (side bar, at last a lesbian on TV that promotes a positive image, well, Ellen does too, but this one is doing hard news).

Maybe I am more interested in Obama because he's "my" man and especially because of the way he rose to the top so young. His persona is such a huge part of his appeal and his image is iconic in a way that Bush's or McCain's is not. The "war hero" image is more of an abstract type, but we're not seeing silk screened images of McCain's face everywhere. Perhaps this is my perspective because I live in an area that had one of the highest number of votes for Obama in my state.

In any case, the man just hypnotizes you with that smile, and he knows it. They kept showing him smiling and then they talked about his father's charisma and his smile. Obama seemed well-aware of his father's charisma but recalled that everyone spoke of Obama Sr.'s intelligence and potential, but alcoholism frustrated his academic and political ambitions. Obama's school friends made references to his admiration for MLK and how the Civil Rights Movement was his inspiration for getting into politics. Obama definitely plays into MLK in the staging of his big rallies and in the call and response cadences of many of his speeches.

Yet it was interesting to me that nobody spoke about JFK in the special report. Many have said that Obama is modeling himself on JFK, for example, by writing books about his life to present himself in a heroic manner. I think his campaign is looking at the Kennedy image and that's in part what Ted and Carolyn respond to when they say no one since their relative has inspired people in such a way. 

Apparently, when Obama went to the Wailing Wall he deposited a prayer which somebody removed, read and then published. The prayer had to do with asking God to help him struggle against the sin of pride. It must be hard not to be arrogant if you're Barack Obama, but also hard not to be bitter when you face racism every day. Clearly he knows his own power and how to use his considerable charisma.


The people running his campaign are very image-savvy. They are young and know about branding. Obama's slogans are shorter than JFK's and thus easier to remember and reproduce, and also appealing to newness and hope. 

According to Michelle, on their first date, they went to the Art Institute and she was impressed by how much he knew about art. This is the third version of the first date that I have heard. In print I read they saw "Do the Right Thing." During the convention, Michelle said something else, which I cannot recall but I know it was not the museum because given my line of business I would have remembered. 

In any case, a tantalizing hint that he is as image literate as he is literate in everything else. 
I can't help but think of Warhol when I see the dual images of him that are everywhere in my neighborhood. (above) They have a series of words: HOPE, CHANGE, etc. that are interchangeable, his image is the template. 

The most common photos of him (as in the two above, and below) usually shoot him slightly or sharply from below, creating a diagonal. This is a classic means of literally elevating someone and making them look superior and powerful. You can see it in photos of JFK  or of Mussolini.

The other, obvious way, is to place the politician in front of a symbol of the Government, below, Obama looking gorgeous in front of the Capitol. As the Campaign progresses, he is more and more in front of flags - one big one, or many. This is a tactic beloved by Bush and the GOP in general. Obama had to start wearing a US flag lapel pin after being criticized for not doing so. (Mind you, I believe that it is his elegance that prevented him from doing so earlier, not his lack of patriotism.)

A common pose he uses in his speeches is the commanding finger pointing out at the audience as in: let's do this, or I command you to do this.

Above is the low-fi version of this pre-big screen digital media iconography. Here's JFK in front of a flag, shot from below.

I was startled to see a pop-up ad on Facebook advertising the tote bag below (I may just have to buy one) since the sunburst  behind the head motif is clearly taken from Cultural Revolution Era Mao iconography. Obviously, this was not produced by his campaign. 

But I think it is telling. Obama's beautiful face lends itself to iconic cult of personality type propaganda. His official logo is just ripe for analysis. It is a globe enclosing an American flag landscape - the sun is blue and white -abstracted stars, and the stripes are the land, red and white suggesting the bountiful land of the USA. The round sun shape of course parallels the O of his last name. Obama, exotic, Other, and menacing, becomes all-American, natural and wholesome. The bountiful future, the beautiful rainbow, the gleaming sunshine of health, youth and hope, must have triggered the creativity of the entrepreneurial tote bag designer. 

During the Cultural Revolution, an image of youthful reform, change and renewal was promoted by the Maoist leaders. Youthful zealots were persuaded in believing that they were ridding China of any vestiges of Western corruption, capitalism and cultural influence. The Mao cult of personality was taken to extremes, even for a regime as gifted as his was in terms of visual propaganda. They often used the sunburst motif as a backdrop for Mao, to signify this renewal.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Mr. Blackwell is in a Coma

Mr. Blackwell is in a coma, and we're left on our own just when we need him the most! This is a FASHION SCHANDA of the highest order, a national emergency of bad taste. Cindy McCain is Geriatric Bimbo Barbie, the former Trophy Wife who's lost her bloom. I am fascinated by the pancake makeup, the fried (could it be a weave?) platinum mane which during the convention she decided to leave down her shoulders rather than in those armored up do's that looked more like missiles than buns or pony tails. Also, she has opted for the soft almost over your eyes bangs that some women adopt when trying to conceal furrowed brows. She has a tendency to go for some of the Puerto Rican Neutrals, like gold lame, in the day time. And she shows major cleavage. Perhaps it's her homage to her husband's birth place (which technically makes him unqualified to run for president), by showing off the Panama canal? In this photo, she is holding poor Trig Palin, who was being passed around to seemingly everyone in the convention center. 

But the real crisis is this Pageantry survivor, a terrifying creature who compares herself to a pitbull with lipstick on. Below you see her A. reviewing her Pageantry Wave or B. practicing her Heil Hitler salute. C. both

Like McCain, she decided for the soft, hair down the back look but mixed with the modified bee-hive semi-up do. They dressed her up in a neo-Jackie O suit, probably chosen by McCain. Perhaps McCain will also coach her on accessories, like the rhinestone (? diamond?) USMC - US Marine Corps or something like that pin she wears in honor of her sons' military service. Again, a little bit of a Puerto Rican Neutral touch there for Mrs. McCain. 

The mainstream media is investigating Troopergate and the Bridge to Nowhere, the Enquirer the alleged affair and illegitimate baby (now Trig is supposedly a love child from the affair), and the New York Times her extremist fundamentalist religious beliefs (anti-semite, Pentecostal, Creationist, believes in the Rapture, etc.). Even some in the GOP are saying she might withdraw. But clearly she has no idea what that means or else little Bristol would not be in the mess she's in. Apparently she was Baptized Catholic but then was born-again. Clearly, because if she was a practicing Catholic, she would have taught Bristol about Catholic Birth Control. And I will leave that to your imagination. An Alaska housewife who formerly served on the PTA with her wrote in to a blog that Palin tried to have the town librarian fired because he refused to ban some books she wanted censored. But the New York Times says she takes the Bible literally. So at least we know she reads.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who Says Men Are Afraid of Commitment?


Note the romantic gesture that self-proclaimed "red-neck" Levi made for his fiancee, Bristol Palin. A totally jacked up jail house name tattoo in his ring finger. Guess he changed his mind about not wanting to have children. (I happen to know such trivia because I've obsessively googled blog posts on Gov. Palin as have apparently all of my friends, and I got an email with a link to the contents of his, since removed, profile on a social networking site.)