Monday, February 11, 2008

Obama vs. Clinton


Since the simpletons of the Punditocracy are apparently incapable of thinking outside of the fucking horse race metaphor, I think the least we can do can is make them metaphorize the right one.

It was 70 years ago and one for the ages...

Seabiscuit vs. War Admiral: The Match of the Century (cruelly snipped and cherry-picked from wikipedia to serve my evil ends):
On November 1, 1938, Seabiscuit met War Admiral in what was dubbed the "Match of the Century".
Turnout and national interest were record-breaking...
"The Pimlico Race Course, from the grandstands to the infield, was jammed solid with fans. Trains were run from all over the country to bring fans to the race, and the estimated 40,000 at the track were joined by some 40 million listening on the radio."
The touts heavily favored the tested and experienced War Admiral over the cagey, gangly newcomer...
"War Admiral was the prohibitive favorite (1-4 with most bookmakers) and a near unanimous selection of the writers and tipsters, excluding the California faithful."
The strategies were set...
"Head-to-head races favor fast starters, and War Admiral's speed from the gate was the stuff of legend. Seabiscuit, on the other hand, was a pace stalker, skilled at holding with the pack before destroying the field with late acceleration. From the scheduled walk up start, few gave him a chance to head War Admiral into the first turn."
And to nearly everyone’s surprise...
"When the bell rang, Seabiscuit ran away from the Triple Crown champion. Despite being drawn on outside, Woolf led by over a length after just 20 seconds. Halfway down the backstretch, War Admiral started to cut into the lead, gradually pulling level with Seabiscuit, and then slightly ahead. Following advice he had received from Pollard, Woolf had eased up on Seabiscuit, allowing his horse to see his rival, and then asked for more effort."
And then, history was made:
Two hundred yards from the wire, Seabiscuit pulled away again and continued to extend his lead over the closing stretch, finally winning by four clear lengths.
People are willing to go to war for scraps of cloth called flags.

They are willing to die for scraps of wood called a cross.

And 70 years ago as their world fell apart, Americans were willing to give their hearts away to a horse.

A horse.

Because people are flesh and blood, not circuits and spreadsheets, and we need hope and inspiration every bit as much as we need 10-point programs.

Which unfortunately makes us go weak in the knees for saints and charlatans alike.

Maybe this not the way it should be, but it is the way it is, and as proud members of the Reality Based community we need to accommodate ourselves to the fact that human nature is a force every bit as real and formidable as gravity.

If you do not understand this, you will never understand politics.

Also you will never get laid.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"If you do not understand this, you will never understand politics.

Also you will never get laid."

LOLZ!!

Anonymous said...

best closing line ever.

i understand the human nature component, but i don't get where Chimpy ever appeared to have enough charisma to inspire weak knees.

oh, that's right, he had to steal his elections....

K. Ron Silkwood said...

Also you will never get laid.
****
Aha! It's not me it's gravity. Fuckin' natural forces.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

One can train oneself not to go weak in the knees, once one recognizes that there are at least 100 charlatans for every saint.

Anonymous said...

Hope

Which unfortunately makes us go weak in the knees for saints and charlatans alike.

aye, that.

just take care not to let it out of your sight.

Busplunge said...

Always ride the white horse.

Unknown said...

great post!

jiminy jilliker said...

I am resisting the impulse to extend the metaphor by adding jockeys into the equation.

CMike said...

1938 you say? During the New Deal you mean, it figures. That's when all the social mores began to dissolve. We had been warned.

**********
An' the next thing ya know,
Your son is playin' for money
In a pinch-back suit.
And list'nin to some big out-a-town Jasper
Hearin' him tell about horse-race gamblin'.

Not a wholesome trottin' race, no!
But a race where they set down right on the horse!

Like to see some stuck-up jockey'boy
Sittin' on Dan Patch? Make your blood boil?
Well, I should say.

*************

Anonymous said...

i understand the human nature component, but i don't get where Chimpy ever appeared to have enough charisma to inspire weak knees

ah but see therein lies the rub.

Bush wasnt not charming.

He just wasnt charming to you.

48% of a popular vote, give or take a couple million, all found comfort in the man. Twice, no less.

Now we are witness to the great and thundering karmic rebound, in this our Democratic Cult Revival Tent Meeting of 2008.. turns out, democrats arent so very much more highly evolved than Bush voters, after all.

An irony for the ages.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Zed-ly,

"48% of a popular vote, give or take a couple million, all found comfort in the man. Twice, no less."

Ding. Ding. Ding. Wrong. But thank you for playing.

You got yer percentage of gen-u-ine Chimp Lovers all wrong there. By a factor of at least two.

Real statisticians know: A solid 27 percent "found comfort" -- as you phrased it -- in the crotch of a nutless wonder. Roughly the same percentage who deem the Earth flat, approximately 6,000 years old and believed to be kick started by two apple freaks who could not keep their fig leaves in place.

We're all outta Krazy Kool-Aid here. There's a top-shelf supply source under that railroad bridge, there.

CMike said...

Anonymous,

See if you can find a "real statistician" with the patience of Job to explain the meaning of the term "popular vote" to you.

Professional Left Podcast #608

" Adjoining houses always burn. "   -- Bantu proverb  Don't forget to visit our website --  http://www.proleftp...