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Steven Weber Headshot

Politimania 2012!!!!!

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RICK PERRY HPV VACCINE
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It seems that virtually the entire field of Republican presidential candidates (not to mention the "as yet undecided" ex-pol narcissists and the myriad lesser lights making up the rest of the right-wing nincompoop roster) is comprised of characters Vince McMahon might have cooked up while sipping a Joe Weider protein frappe.

From the white collared swagger of Golden Boy Rick "Killer" Perry to Michele "Krazy Kougar" Bachmann, both of whom having given way to the latest in a line of tag-team tossers Chris "The Garden State Goliath" Christie, the Republicans favor a big, exciting, trash-talking kind of personage to carry their Trojan Horse message of "government bad-big business good!" to counter the genuine intelligence, sense and charisma of their sworn enemy, Barack "The Socialist Savage" Obama.

Every scenario released from the RNC like viscous goo spewing from a cracked, sunken oil platform, is as far fetched and dependent on inane histrionics as anything Wrestlemania has ever staged.

The overwrought and thuggish personalities play their parts to the hilt, regurgitating scripted bromides and rabble-rousing catchphrases, all concocted by in-house word doctors and interviewed by sycophantic fellow employees, themselves expert in portraying fictionalized versions of "hardboiled" journalists. The oiled-up, riled-up candidates then spell out a variety of comic book-level doomsday scenarios, making their appeals directly to the camera and flexing their implied muscularity, while their "interviewer" nods in credulous assent.

This technique, while a staple in the Roger Ailes/Fox News fear factory, is by no means new: the technique has been around since the dawn of commercialism starting in the 1800s (I really have no idea about the actual period, but you get the idea) with carnival barkers using planted shills to demonstrate the efficacy of a snake oil/mare-sweat unguent to the pulse-pounding enthusiasm generated by a walking, breathing, vitamin/prayer-hawking superhero Hulk Hogan in the 1980s. A crowd is gathered using a variety of means, all calculated to distract, confuse and otherwise ensnare the pummeled sensory apparatuses of the born-every-minute suckers.

And with the myth spun and the stage set, the heroes and villains enter the ring to do battle.

And even though it becomes almost immediately apparent that the opponents are woefully mismatched (one prays for a real debate between the beleaguered though ever verbally facile Obama and any one of the costumed posturers uttering their shrill challenges), it's too late, as the money has already been collected by the masterminds who have gotten the mob to gather in the first place and and thereupon spent on the next series of staged diversions featuring a seemingly endless line of disposable dimwits. Why, it's better than pro wrestling. It's Cirque du So What?!

And at this point I'd like to apologize for equating the dunderheaded machinations of a corporate-fascisto power-mad profit machine that is right-wing politics with the brilliantly kinetic amusement of pro wrestling. I myself am a fan, have been for a long time, ever since seeing The Baron Secluna, Haystacks Calhoun and The Blackjacks live at the Sunnyside Gardens when I was kid (I am also convinced that Superfly Jimmy Snooka and Don Morocco were actually brothers, but that's another rant for another time).

But professional wrestling serves the purpose for which it was meant -- entertainment -- and doesn't purport to reach people with any other message than the one inherent in the sport itself. Governing a nation is another matter entirely and should be left to the wise, the humble, the bold, the intelligent, to those committed to public service and humbled by our nation's history, to those hopeful for the country's future as a democratic republic. Instead, we are treated to brash, greedy, purposefully destructive showmen out to exploit people's fears and hopes by supplying them with manufactured crises and scenarios which have little in the way of reality or possible solutions, all cataclysm and no clarity.

Maybe it's best to counter a Boston Crab with brains.

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