Friday, June 29, 2007
Mitt Romney's Dog Problem, Evil Ann Coulter, and a Summer Movie Gem
I haven't been following politics for all that long, but this is the wierdest little story I've ever seen masquerade as political news:
The reporter intended the anecdote that opened part four of the Boston Globe's profile of Mitt Romney to illustrate, as the story said, "emotion-free crisis management": Father deals with minor -- but gross -- incident during a 1983 family vacation, and saves the day. But the details of the event are more than unseemly -- they may, in fact, be illegal.
The incident: dog excrement found on the roof and windows of the Romney station wagon. How it got there: Romney strapped a dog carrier -- with the family dog Seamus, an Irish Setter, in it -- to the roof of the family station wagon for a twelve hour drive from Boston to Ontario, which the family apparently completed, despite Seamus's rather visceral protest.
Yep, they strapped the dog to the roof and he crapped himself. Anyone who has been reading this knows Mitt Romney annoys the hell out of me, but I will feel genuine sympathy (amidst my own howling laughter) if the poor sap winds up having to answer a question about this during a debate because of all this coverage.
What really cracks me up about this, though, is that picture, which I saw on the Huffington Post. The split-photo gimmick usually implies an adverserial relationship. It's used for things like Harry Reid vs. President Bush, Tom Cruise vs. Brooke Shields, Rosie O'Donnell vs. Other Obnoxious Blonde Chick with Squeaky Voice on "The View."
Here it's Mitt Romney vs. The Dog. Not his actual dog, of course, which makes it funnier. You can type in "Irish Settle" in Google Images and find that same photo. Probably only took 10 seconds in photoshop to produce that...but the laughs are priceless.
Now to switch gears into something that is decidedly not funny. Ann Coulter is making the rounds again....and again I'm perplexed that she can get away with breathtakingly bigoted and hateful comments; comments far worse than the ones that destroyed Don Imus, for example.
She was on Fox News talking about a speech by Barack Obama in Hartford last weekend. At that event (which I attended), Obama said that the right-wing had "hijacked" religion...specifically Christianity. This was the rare instance where I would have preferred to listen to someone like Pat Robertson. He probably would have at least tried to aruge Obama's actual point. Here's Coulter's thoughtful response:
"I do think anyone named B. Hussein Obama should avoid using ‘hijack’ and ‘religion’ in the same sentence.”
Get it? Cause Obama's actually a Islamist terrorist cause his middle name is Hussein? Remember King Hussein of Jordan? Everyone loved him...but that's beside the point. Is this the insightful analysis we're going to see on the news these days?
What's really obnoxious about Coulter, and why I use the word "evil" to describe her, is that I'm not even sure she means this crap. O'Reilly does...and though he's an idiot, he can be ironically charismatic in a cartoon supervillain sort of way. Even Sean Hannity seems to at least believe his own bullshit, which strikes me as a little more respectable than just saying whatever bilge will sell books to those who need their prejudices reaffirmed in print.
I mean, why else would you call John Edwards a "faggot?" Or say that the death of his son is "a bumper sticker?" Now she's on Fox responding to Obama's comments on religion? You expect me to believe she's actually a representative from the Christian Right? If she supports them, it's only because it meets expectations of the "typical" right-winger. She's the kind of person who will rail against depictions of drug use in the media and then go home and snort some cocaine.
I'm usually reluctant to use the word "evil" to describe someone. When talking about bloggers in my book about the CT Senate Race, I take a moment to criticize those who referred to Joe Lieberman as evil. Obnoxious? Sure. Totally self-centered? You better believe it. But not evil. Ann Coulter believes in nothing but herself, and has made a fortune by exploiting the worst ignorance in American society. That is evil.
To try and end this mish-mash on a positive note, I'll say that anyone looking for a randomly terrific movie in the middle of an uneven summer should check out 1408. To say too much about the plot would spoil a lot of the fun, but anyone who has seen commercials knows it's about a haunted hotel room. I'll just say quickly that the movie has a tremendous build-up to the fateful night in the haunted room, and it meets those high expectations. Really awesome horror film that's actually scary at points. More movies like this might get us out of the already played out torture movement dominating the genre right now.
Coming Soon: Reviews of Michael Moore's Sicko and Pixar's Ratatouille