Tongue-In-Cheek: August 2008: Archives
Nothing makes me happier than knowing Real Time With Bill Maher has returned for the closing weeks of the 2008 election. Honestly, his wit and candor provide a welcome respite for reality in the throes of persistent political rhetoric.
In the following segment, Maher covers the gambit...from the practice of biting one's Olympic medal to the always colorful images seen at the Democratic National Convention to the endless effort of financial institutions to sell us programs to prevent identity theft.
He also has a little fun with Michelle Obama's evolving image...offering the observation that she's a combination of Jackie Onassis and the character from the 80's sitcom 227...Jackee.
Maher closes with a critique on the whitewashing of John Edwards from the Democratic National Convention...noting that Edwards' inexcusable indiscretion didn't warrant the silencing of his message...a message of concern for those who struggle in a state of perpetual poverty.
Maher's observations highlight the degree to which all things sexual drive and influence American politics. In the end, it seems that we would rather focus on the personal lives of our politicians than on the palpable problems of the populous.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Bill Maher, Craig Ferguson, Humor, New Rules
Daniel DiRito | August 31, 2008 | 8:24 AM |
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Well the media finally has acknowledged that the Charlie Crist engagement / marriage may be a sham. In the following video, some of the folks from MSNBC have a little fun with Crist's potential selection as John McCain's VP.
The money quote comes from Chuch Todd, "After Friday the engagement might be off if he's not the running mate., right? ... I don't know!". Look, I respect the privacy of politicians...but I also find it objectionable for some of them to live one life while voting and conducting themselves in direct opposition to that life in the interest of political expediency.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Charlie Crist, Humor, John McCain, LGBT, Vice President
Daniel DiRito | August 27, 2008 | 10:25 AM |
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I realize that Bill Maher is first and foremost a comedian...but in my opinion, he's also one of the most intelligent and insightful people on the airwaves. I also realize that his blunt and outspoken style may offend some...but perhaps that's exactly what we need.
In truth, Maher, and those who embrace his views, face an obstacle that is most likely insurmountable. I say as much because it's my contention that religion's power comes from its ability to assuage the fear of mortality...even though that ability emanates from the inherent denial found in its followers.
What Maher brings to the table is a willingness to confront life as it exists; not as we endeavor to create it in our minds. Unfortunately, the number of people willing to join him in experiencing and embracing the existential angst he accepts is far too small...primarily because he resides in a place that is far too disquieting.
Frankly, the obstacles preventing the widespread adoption of Maher's perspective is the equivalent of the equation that underlies the expression, "Better the devil you know, than the devil you don't." It also brings to light the real possibility that human nature will forever wrap itself in the grandeur of godly gesticulations rather than accept the certainty of our inability to ascertain the meaning of our existence as well the unyielding uncertainty that surrounds our understanding of it's inevitable ending...death.
You see, in the end, our proclamations of a commitment to truth...in close association with our religious beliefs...is more a function of self-deceit than a demonstration of faith. Regardless, the contrived comfort this construct provides is a powerful force...one that isn't apt to be abandoned in favor of facts...especially since the facts, to the extent we know them, support a hypothesis most of us are unwilling to accept.
In the end, we're imprisoned by our own fears, and we make bargains with ourselves, and the higher beings we imagine, in order to survive the knowledge of our pending death. In this dissonance driven dichotomy, we also sacrifice the life that's available to us when we spend precious time negotiating away our self-determination in the hopes that doing so will convince our contrived gods to grant us eternal extensions.
Tagged as: Bill Maher, Death, Faith, Fear, God, Humor, Larry King, Mortality, Politics, Religion
Daniel DiRito | August 21, 2008 | 10:17 AM |
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Sometimes contrast creates nothing but conflict; other times it highlights the absurd positions some people hold. The following video is an example of the latter. This encounter, between the folks of Westboro Baptist Church and Red State Update's Jackie and Dunlap, is clearly intended to make us laugh. While it succeeds in doing just that, it also demonstrates the complex distinctions that defy our attempts to generalize and categorize each other.
Clearly, Jackie and Dunlap are caricatures created for comic value. Regardless, they represent one of the many mindsets we find in our American culture. One could say the same about the Westboro clan, although their actions aren't intended to make us laugh and they undoubtedly hold a uniquely controversial viewpoint. In watching this interaction, we realize the dangers that come with labeling.
Perhaps in seeing the exchange between these two groups, we are able to see the things that connect us with those we would otherwise reject. In fact, one could argue that the extremity of the Westboro Baptist ideology helps the rest of us find the common ground we share but so often fail to acknowledge. As we see in this video, Jackie and Dunlap may well have more in common with the gay couple they interview than with a group like Westboro...a group we would be more inclined to associate with the red neck personae they exhibit.
Sadly, the video also highlights the divisive nature of our political process. In the pursuit of power, all too often those who seek office choose to exaggerate our differences while downplaying our similarities. In this way, they simply raise the barriers that separate us from each other. The more this happens, the more antagonistic we become to each other...seemingly accepting the one-dimensional depictions we've become accustomed to as a result of the relentless rhetoric that rolls off the tactical tongues of our politicians.
In the end, we see that a seemingly light hearted video may have a greater capacity to foster understanding than those who spend their time behind their pulpits promoting propaganda or those who traverse the country telling us the intend to unite us; not divide us.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Humor, McCain, Obama, Red State, Religion, Saddleback, Westboro Baptist Church
Daniel DiRito | August 21, 2008 | 9:05 AM |
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In Mo Rocca's explanation of the following video, he tells his readers that he hesitated to post it because he thought he may have been too annoying. After watching the video, I think Mo's assessment is wrong.
If I may offer my own analysis, I think Mo's concerns come from the the reactions of one of his interviewees (I suspect you can figure out which one). In fact, Mo was simply doing what he does best...asking inane questions about seemingly serious matters. It's what makes Mo so funny. The fact that some folks are too tense to appreciate a little comic relief needn't suggest that Mo was too acerbic...in my humble opinion.
In truth, I think the piece is pretty funny. Besides, if we have to listen to commentators ooh and ahh in horror over the misstep of a gymnast, we're entitled to a little sarcasm, aren't we?
Tagged as: Amanda Beard, Bathing Suit, Comedy, Humor, Michael Phelps, Mo Rocca, Olympics, Speedo
Daniel DiRito | August 18, 2008 | 8:22 PM |
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In 1960, television likely played a part in JFK's defeat of Richard Nixon. In the 2008 election, while YouTube may be poised to play a similar role, I suspect that the debates will actually provide a level of discrimination that is reminiscent of 1960...technicolor will yield to contrast.
In this YouTube era, we're bound to see countless videos on the 2008 election. Some are informational, some are inspiring, many are intended to simply make us laugh, and a few actually achieve all of the above. The following video fits into the latter category.
Not only does it play upon the Rocky theme, it highlights the McCain campaign's decision to take the low road...despite his numerous calls for a clean campaign based upon the issues important to Americans...and it succeeds in capturing the essence of the Obama message.
Many have criticized Obama for not responding in kind to McCain's scorched earth campaign. While there may be some merit to that criticism, this video actually reminds us that Barack Obama is attempting to change the political terrain...a message that likely propelled him to the nomination...and one that will serve him well in the closing days of this campaign.
John McCain has chided Barack Obama for refusing to participate jointly in weekly town hall appearances...creating an expectation that McCain is prepared for direct debate on the issues...and Obama isn't. However, I suspect that once the debates are underway, John McCain will find himself struggling to impart his positions and wishing he could reduce the number of opportunities for voters to witness these two candidates in action...face to face...a contrast I doubt will benefit McCain.
I'm of the opinion that the debates, and this video, will draw attention to John McCain's true temperament; not just the persona he's succeeded in crafting...with the help of many in the media. The debates will refocus us upon the important policy and character differences we need to consider, but, above all else, they will serve to reintroduce us to the essence of the Obama appeal...a commitment to change...in the way we conduct our political campaigns...and in the way we pursue solutions to our problems.
Ironically, it won't be John McCain's age that harms his electability; it will be the fact that he allows his age to be so closely connected with the politics of yesterday. America wants change...and it will soon be evident whose fighting against it...and whose prepared to fight for it...and deliver it.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Humor, JFK, John McCain, Politics, Richard Nixon, Television, YouTube
Daniel DiRito | August 15, 2008 | 12:18 PM |
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Those opposed to same-sex unions frequently suggest that it is a threat to their own marriages. In the first of the two following videos, 9in10.org helps highlight some of the hypocrisy behind these sanctimonious assertions.
Needless to say, their depiction of the heterosexual male's fascination with girl on girl action also highlights the acceptance of female objectification and the degree to which the male mind set dictates societal norms.
In the second video, they introduce us to BigoTV...a network committed to propagating all forms of bigotry. Pay special attention to the portion of the video (1:35 - 1:45) where our two bigoted friends engage in a little celebratory cackling. Suffice it to say that their latent tendencies are on display.
Tagged as: Bigotry, Gay, Gay Marriage, Humor, LGBT, Racism, Same-Sex Marriage
Daniel DiRito | August 15, 2008 | 11:32 AM |
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I should be ashamed of myself for stereotyping Mo Rocca. When I imagine Mo and the Olympics, I can't help but think of him as a voyuer...the kind that loves to watch swimming and gymnastics...if you get my drift. I just didn't visualize him as the coordinated, athletic type...despite his stint as a sassy salsa singer.
In the following video, Mo is attempting to overcome his childhood fear...and find the courage to finally execute a back handspring. Too my surprise, Mo actually displays a degree of flexibility and athleticism...and as always...his sense of humor.
Mo has promised a follow up video in which he hopes to complete an unassisted back handspring...without falling and breaking his head off. Stay tuned...there's bound to be some drama.
Woops, there I go again with the stereotyping.
Tagged as: Comedy, Gymnastics, Humor, Mo Rocca, Olympics
Daniel DiRito | August 14, 2008 | 8:37 PM |
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The following video is possibly the most egregious display of unbridled ignorance I've seen in years...and stating as much may well be an inexcusable insult to ignorant people everywhere. Rather than focus on the fact that this video maker must have never attended a science class in her life, I think it may be more fun to come up with a list of reasons to believe that sprinkler rainbows are part and parcel of a currently undisclosed militant homosexual strategy.
With that said, grab your tin foil caps, sit back, and imagine a room full of scheming homos...dressed in mauve military uniforms...designed with impeccable style, slimming lines, immaculate accents, flawless fabrication...and tell-tale rainbow badges embroidered and affixed atop their heterosexual hating hearts. Let the games begin!
Sprinkler rainbows are the precursor to the introduction of disco ball slip 'n slides...complete with smart lighting to produce rainbows, water soluble lubrication for extra slippage, and piped-in party music featuring dance remixes of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, and Patti LuPone standards.
Gays have created a secret society of children's clowns to hammer home the rainbow color scheme (ever see a clown dressed in brown and black?) and imprint children with a flair for the flamboyant.
The acronym R.O.Y.G.B.V., thought to represent the colors of the rainbow, was actually constructed as a clandestine code for communicating one's same-sex orientation to others. The letters stand for "Ride On Your Great Big Viper".
The Wizard of Oz, thought to be a children's book authored by Frank Baum at the turn of the century, was actually the first in a series of literary works designed to tease out the theatrical curiosities of pint-sized little people...prime targets for voluntary servitude as fairy fellators.
The myth that each rainbow has a pot of gold at its end was perpetrated by militant homosexuals to lure unsuspecting individuals away from their homes and into remote areas where they could be convinced to join a tribe of traveling drag queens who knew the way to the pot of gold.
Unicorns are frequently pictured with rainbows in an effort to subliminally signal those who may be predisposed to a fascination with all things phallic.
An effort to rearrange the names of the planets is underway. Militant gays are convinced that school children discussing the rings around Uranus in science class would be far more vulnerable to indoctrination than those who discuss the brightly colored rainbowesque rings around Saturn.
The metallic oxide salts mentioned in the video (that produce these ground-hugging water rainbows) are the work of a group called The Lesbian Legionnaires. Exposing little tomgirls to low lying rainbows is thought to hasten their rejection of all things feminine and frilly.
Stuart Shepard, creator of Focus on the Family's recent video requesting evangelicals pray for rain during Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Denver, is actually a closeted homosexual enlisted to infiltrate the organization and promote these prayers in the hope that Obama's closing remarks would be delivered under a double rainbow.
The Rainbow vacuum cleaner, sold door-to-door and through in-house demonstrations, was invented as the means for gay men to enter heterosexual households and gauge the willingness of married men to engage in provocative innuendo while discussing the systems novel attachment...the crevice tool.
Tagged as: Comedy, Conspiracy Theorists, Gay, Homosexual, Humor, LGBT, Militant Homosexual, Rainbow, Tin Foil Hat
Daniel DiRito | August 13, 2008 | 2:52 PM |
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Having the Olympics in China is providing us with a first hand view of message management...so much so that our two political parties might actually be able to learn some nifty new tricks.
It looks like I've been living under the false impression that U.S. political campaigns had a monopoly on spin doctoring. Little did I know that the Chinese have taken it to a whole new level. First we learned that they digitally enhanced the fireworks display at the opening ceremonies. Then we find out that the little girl singing "Ode to the Motherland" was lip-synching. I guess we're supposed to conclude that pretty Chinese children are tone deaf?
All of this comes on the heels of tearing down unsightly housing districts, shutting down factories, and restricting the use of automobiles. In the following video, The Onion takes it a step further and suggests the Chinese are spinning avian flu as Olympic fever.
If I were John McCain or Barack Obama, I'd send a scouting crew to see who they can hire out from under the Chinese government. After all, many of these folks are probably out of a job in a few days...that is if they're able to avoid imprisonment for failing to skew the medal count in China's favor. Come to think of it, I'll bet several of these folks can make our hacker-safe voting machines sing...if you know what I mean.
Tagged as: Avian Flu, Barack Obama, China, Comedy, Human Rights, Humor, John McCain, Olympics, The Onion, U.S. Elections, Voter Fraud, Voting Machines
Daniel DiRito | August 12, 2008 | 8:44 PM |
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While I've never been a fan of Cokie Roberts, I haven't found her to be as obnoxious as other right-leaning pundits...until today. A regular on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, today Roberts launched into a tirade about the fact that Barack Obama has chosen to vacation in Hawaii. Roberts suggests he would have been better served to take time off in Myrtle Beach. Huh!?
Now I understand those who have been critical of the timing of the Obama vacation, but kooky Cokie apparently thinks the Aloha state is just too un-American. I guess she would rather see Obama denounce his upbringing in Hawaii and force his expatriate grandmother to jump a plane to Myrtle Beach to visit with her grandson. Heaven help poor Cokie if he decides to visit relatives in Africa.
Why won't Barack Obama stop offending older white women? After all, there's nothing as infuriating as watching an uppity black man go to grandma's house, is there? Come to think of it, I'll bet his grandma even puts pineapple in her apple pies and drives a foreign made vehicle. Oh, the humanity!
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Cokie Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Hawaii, Myrtle Beach, This Week
Daniel DiRito | August 10, 2008 | 4:03 PM |
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I recently posted a video depicting the geographic advances and declines of the various religions of the world. The video was part of a piece in which Dan Dennett discussed memes and the ability of societies to adopt and perpetuate them for generations.
Well, the following video uses the same video...but in this version, we hear comedian Stephen Lynch singing "Beelz", a song he wrote about Satan. I thought it was pretty funny to listen to Lynch sing about the dastardly deeds of the devil while watching the spread of religion.
You can draw your own comparisons and conclusions.
Daniel DiRito | August 10, 2008 | 3:33 PM |
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The McCain campaign's effort to connect Barack Obama with the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears may have seemed like a good idea when the ad was first released...but over time...I suspect we'll see more and more videos like the one that follows...viral videos that will have a much longer shelf life than the McCain ad.
Speaking of shelf life, at the moment it appears John McCain has taken the early lead in the politics of character assassination...but as the candidates approach the home stretch, I suspect he's going to look more like a cranky C.O.D.G.E.R. who lacks a closing kick than a toast of the town thoroughbred who finishes strong.
While it's impossible to predict the trajectory of political campaigns, I have a feeling that John McCain's plan to sully Barack Obama's persona may draw more attention to his own laundry list of flaws. If so, his "run for the roses" campaign might find itself trying to navigate some rather thorny terrain.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Britney Spears, John McCain, Paris Hilton
Daniel DiRito | August 7, 2008 | 4:20 PM |
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So maybe Paris Hilton isn't as vacuous as John McCain wants us to think (looks like a case of bad judgment, eh?). In the following video, the normally ditzy blond offers a lucid response to John McCain's allegedly light hearted campaign ad.
If I were a betting man, I'd bet the farm that the Paris Hilton video will get a hell of a lot more play than McCain's ill-advised effort to sully Barack Obama. From my vantage point, it looks like this is one of those situations where the one who laughs last, laughs best.
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Humor, John McCain, Paris Hilton, Politics
Daniel DiRito | August 5, 2008 | 10:28 PM |
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This video is hysterical. Between the voice of Jesus being a girl, the implied gay relationship between Darwin and Jesus, the moments of petulance, and the oh so funny screeching episode, I couldn't stop laughing.
Tagged as: Charles Darwin, Comedy, Creationism, Evolution, Humor, Jesus, Natural Selection, Satire
Daniel DiRito | August 5, 2008 | 12:05 PM |
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The McCain campaign wants us to believe that their recent attack ads are simply an attempt to inject a little humor into the 2008 election. Yes, we're supposed to conclude that a campaign with a significant fund raising disadvantage...
Tagged as: 2008 Election, Abortion, Barack Obama, Big Oil, Gas Prices, GOP, Homosexuality, Humor, Iraq, John McCain, LGBT, Republican, Tire Gauge, Viagra
Daniel DiRito | August 5, 2008 | 9:16 AM |
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