Tuesday, May 28, 2013

They'll Have to Make the Best of Things


It's an uphill climb.

Over at Balloon Juice, Doug J notes that Young Conor Friedersdorfferundgruntomatoes (sp?) has made a fresh baked ass-pie out of comparing a President to a teevee sitcom (Arrested Development).

Because it's May, 2013 and apparently Young Conor has run out of things to run on about:
Take me to another place

If you thought that inane pop culture political analogies would play a less prominent role in elite political discourse once people stopped reading Frank Bruni and MoDo…I present you with young Conor’s latest:
Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 2.53.23 PM
I’ve never watched “Arrested Development”, I’m sure it’s great, but I’m Ron Howard-phobic, so I couldn’t make heads or tails of the article.
Like most normal people, Doug J is unaware that checking the "Drawing a ridiculous parallel between the President and a sitcoms" on your resume is absolutely mandatory for any young Conservative careerist pundit on the make.

Such as this pair of vintage 2001 assless chaps modeled by a Young David Brooks (then of "The Weekly Standard") as part of his long-running one-man show, "David Brooks Rhapsodizes About The Manifold Small Town Gosh Darn Virtues of George W. Bush":
Farewell to Greatness

America from Gilligan's Island to The X-Files

SEP 17, 2001, VOL. 7, NO. 01 • BY DAVID BROOKS

I'D NEVER REALLY CONSIDERED the way George W. Bush resembles Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island until I read Paul A. Cantor’s brilliant book, Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization. As Cantor points out, Gilligan is not the smartest one on the island. He doesn’t have the obvious leadership résumé. Yet the audience instinctively sympathizes with him, and the show’s creators were right to put him in the center. In episode after episode, the fate of the islanders usually rests in his hands and he usually serves them well.

That’s because Gilligan possesses a subtle but important set of virtues: the democratic virtues. He is agreeable. He is decent. He never looks down on people; instead he gives others the benefit of the doubt. As Bush would say, he has a good heart.

He is also public spirited. Though humble, he is forever filled with good-natured plans to make other people happy. He doesn’t have a narrow perspective, like the other characters—the Professor, or the Millionaire, or the Movie Star. He doesn’t want to mold other peoples’ lives for them. But because of him the island is a happy community—happier, the show continually implies, than the world the castaways are stranded from.

Though Cantor doesn’t make the connection, Bush is a lot like that. He’s not the smartest one in his administration. He doesn’t possess the aristocratic spirit we associate with, say Churchill, or the intellectual or military virtues of Lincoln or Washington. But he does possess the democratic virtues; he’s decent and grounded and in tune with the aspirations and values of middle-class Americans today, who have democratic souls, after all.
Yes, young Mr. Brooks really wrote that.

He also wrote this:
 The real subject of Gilligan Unbound is globalization.
Because of course he did.

OTOH, comparing Gilligan's Island to another teevee show
can be an act of unalloyed genius.


Lawrence said...

Brooks plagiarizes Romans 12.9-21 for this dreadful hagiography
That’s because Gilligan possesses a subtle but important set of virtues: the democratic virtues.

He is agreeable. (George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., March 12, 2008:"Removing Saddam Hussein was the right decision early in my presidency, it is the right decision now, and it will be the right decision ever.")
He is decent. (When asked to approve torture: “Hell yes.”)
He never looks down on people; (Addressing a fundraiser: “This is an impressive crowd -- the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite; I call you my base.”)
instead he gives others the benefit of the doubt. (Discussing a clemency plea from a death row inmate during his time as Governor of Texas: “Don’t kill me?”)
As Bush would say, he has a good heart. (Interview in July 2012: “Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful.”)
He is also public spirited. (Sept. 1, 2005, six days after repeated warnings from experts about the scope of damage expected from Hurricane Katrina: "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.")"
Though humble, he is forever filled with good-natured plans to make other people happy. (Discussing the Iraq war with Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson in 2003, as quoted by Robertson:"Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties.")

Anonymous said...

I wonder if David Brooks has seen the episode where Gilligan's screwup keeps them on the island. Maybe that's what he means about serving them well - really, they're better off on a tropical paradise than the US of the 1960s

Lumpy Lang said...

Greenwald nails it here:

"What Obama has specialized in from the beginning of his presidency is putting pretty packaging on ugly and discredited policies. The cosmopolitan, intellectualized flavor of his advocacy makes coastal elites and blue state progressives instinctively confident in the Goodness of whatever he's selling, much as George W. Bush's swaggering, evangelical cowboy routine did for red state conservatives. The CIA presciently recognized this as a valuable asset back in 2008 when they correctly predicted that Obama's election would stem the tide of growing antiwar sentiment in western Europe by becoming the new, more attractive face of war, thereby converting hordes of his admirers from war opponents into war supporters. This dynamic has repeated itself over and over in other contexts, and has indeed been of great value to the guardians of the status quo in placating growing public discontent about their economic insecurity and increasingly unequal distribution of power and wealth. However bad things might be, we at least have a benevolent, kind-hearted and very thoughtful leader doing everything he can to fix it."

Droneglass is to Brooks what Obama is to Bush. I predict the ruling class will someday be forced recognize DGs value and reward him for his considerable talents - and dogged loyalty.

Scott Ingram said...

This reminds me of Jonah Goldberg's attempt at turning Buffy The Vampire slayer into a metaphor for the use of American power.


I wonder how Nathan Fillion's misogynistic, serial-killing priest from season seven fits into that metaphor...

Pinkamena Panic said...

So now the Greenrubes are dragging their personal hatred of anyone who dares criticize their Sainted LEader into unrelated posts.

On most sites, they ban people for that, regardless of any ideas the staff might have about it being "censorship". HINT HINT.

Lumpy Lang said...

You miss the point. Both Greenwald and Droneglass are in the same camp... liberals, i.e. those looking to rekindle a rational instinct of self-preservation in a U.S. ruling class now putrefying in an advanced dementia of myopic greed and militarism.

I'm (somewhat) interested in the contradictions within that camp.

mahakal said...

Limpy Lang, you aren't really helping anything by bringing distracting Greenwald posts here to make up weird attacks on Driftglass. One might think you were a provocateur of some kind.