27 August, 2008

Way to Cheapen the Sacrifice, John

POW Week continues with the latest in exploitive fuckery.

It appears John "Did I Mention I'm a POW?" McLame's staff was serious when they proclaimed they weren't abusing using the POW theme enough.

It turns out being a POW is now considered an excuse for piss-poor taste in music*:

When CNN’s Walter Isaacson confronted John McCain about his professed love of the band of ABBA, which of course was a lame attempt to cater to “disaffected Hillary supporters” as his blogger Michael Goldfarb made clear, McCain (you guessed it) whipped out the trusty ol’ POW card to explain:

“What were you thinking?,” Isaacson asked him, looking incredulous.

“If there is anything I am lacking in, I’ve got to tell you, it is taste in music and art and other great things in life,” McCain joked. “I’ve got to say that a lot of my taste in music stopped about the time I impacted a surface-to-air missile with my own airplane and never caught up again.”

Okay. Let's unpack this a bit. McCain wants us to believe that he got stuck in a forty fucking year time warp because he hit a SAM and ended up lodged in the Hanoi Hilton for five and a half years.

Fine. Say it's true. Say that he's so trapped in that moment that four decades hasn't been enough for him to recover and catch up on pop culture.

Taking that as a given, answer me this: Do we really need someone that fucking psychologically damaged as President? The point of personal tragedy, what truly makes it noble and honorable, is not simply surviving it. It's being able to overcome it and become a whole human afterward, complete with the capacity to enjoy the wonderful new things of the present and look forward to a future filled with exciting and novel things. I'm not dissing those who haven't been able to move past the worst moment of their lives. But I am saying that such people are not emotionally healthy enough to take on the extremely stressful and supremely challenging job of POTUS.

And I think that would be a good point - if McCain's claims were true. However, as in so many other areas of his sordid political career, he appears to have lied about this as well:

But, as Spencer Ackerman was quick to point out:

What? McCain was shot down in 1967. ABBA began making music in 1972. Don’t try this sh** on me, McCain! Your POW experience has nothing to do with your Partridgey musical taste.

A hit. A very palpable hit! Once again, McCain goes down in flames. (Why, yes, I can see his crass and raise him one odious pun. Why do you ask?)

As low as that is, can't McCain do us one better? Can't he drag his celebrated status just that much further through the mud? Why yes, yes he can:

Well McCain went on Leno (known to we Letterman fans as "that hump" Leno) and the macro was hit:

Leno: "For a million dollars, how many houses do you have?"

McCain: "Could I just mention to you, Jay, that, at a moment of seriousness. I spent five-and-a-half years in a prison cell. I didn't have a house. I didn't have a kitchen table. I didn't have a table. I didn't have a chair...

Holy. Fucking. Shit. I never thought anyone could so cheapen something as harsh as having been a prisoner of war in Vietnam, but he did it. He not only made it cheaper than a counterfeit imitation Rolex, he exceeded the cheap-drunk "Oh woe is me!" quotient by a factor of 10,000,000,000. Can't you just see his little lip quivering?

I'm not sure how much lower he can go with this, but I've no doubt he'll demonstrate, seeing as how his staff's already gone there when defending his Leno lamentations:
On Morning Joe today, Mika Brzezinski called it “an awkward moment” and Joe Scarborough said it reflected Maureen Dowd’s point that McCain’s “going to the well a bit too often.” But McCain spokesperson Nicole Wallace disagreed, saying, “it’s not a talking point, it’s a fact.” “It’s not thrown out there in anything other than an explanation,” said Wallace.
You know something? It's a damned good thing I sold my beautiful birdseye maple desk when I moved up here. I would've just split it in half hitting my head against it.

7 comments:

Efrique said...

Take a look at this:

http://www.socksandbarney.com/2008/08/26/multiple-choice-a-b-c-or-p-o-w/

Leroy Grinchy said...

This reminds me of the time in Wayne's World II where they met this old roadie. At first, they were blown away by his amazing stories. After a while, they realized, he didn't have that many stories and kept repeating them over and over again.

I really like the "POW card" phrase.

Also, I agree that while it is sad, and respect must be given to those who have suffered, getting tortured is not a great training for president otherwise, we'd be training an army of future leaders in Gitmo. :)

Efrique said...

Oh -- I have piss-poor taste in music, because I've liked ABBA since I was a kid. I have one of their albums on vinyl somewhere (not sure where now) - we were pretty poor, so I didn't have many records, but I remember I had some ACDC and some ABBA. (yes, I know, they probably don't sound like they go together... but I listen to stuff now that I'm sure people would say doesn't go together either)

But if that's music from 30 to 35 years ago (they weren't called ABBA until 1973 and didn't really start to take off until after "Waterloo" in 1974, and their heyday was some years later), then I have shocking news for you - a lot of the music I enjoy is older still.

Not only do I love quite a bit of music from the late 60s and early 70s, one of my favourite composers is Vivaldi... so we're talking hundreds of years there.

[Then again, a lot of the music I like is quite recent, so I'm not sure what it says, other than I have been around a long time.]

Dana Hunter said...

Whoops! I meant to post a disclaimer saying I know there's a lot of ABBA fans and they don't really have piss-poor taste in music. That's just the interpretation from that exchange... see what I get for rushing!

The whole "My musical tastes are stuck in X age" doesn't really mean a damned thing - until you try to explain it away by saying you're a POW. How about... you're stuck in that era because you like the damned music?!

Efrique, that's an awesome cartoon. Gonna link it, I am!

Leroy - if I can find that clip, I'm gonna use it. You're right. This is a LOT like Wayne's World! Just not as funny...

Efrique said...

No whoops - certainly not for me anyway.

Doubtless I do have piss-poor taste in music.

I believe I possess extreme lack of taste in all things.

And I give not a shit about it. I am entirely unmiffed by such things as people noticing I have no taste.

I was just owning up to my lack of taste, not complaining about you noticing.

Jay Denari said...

McCain wants us to believe that he got stuck in a forty fucking year time warp because he hit a SAM and ended up lodged in the Hanoi Hilton for five and a half years.

Of course, he IS in a 40-year time warp... but not b/c of the music.
McCain's POW emphasis is a sign of severe obsession with that era, one I'm afraid would lead us to war with the Russians — a war we cannot fight in any way except with nukes, given the state of our military ... not that we SHOULD fight it.

His hostile rhetoric and apparent ignorance of the geopolitical changes since Nam suggests he believes we're still facing an internally-rotten USSR that can be beaten economically (via a new arms race) rather than a world in which we face a resurgent Russia with many more subtle and difficult issues in our relationship with her. Those include oil; the Russian sense of their "sphere of influence" including several indep countries we've pledged to defend; the fact that Putin, unlike the Soviet leaders, is genuinely popular; and one that's obvious to most of us — the fact our economy's a mess that couldn't AFFORD an arms race.

Efrique said...

jay denari:

Yeah, but at least he'll be able to save the Czechoslovakians from the evil Commies.