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October 16, 2008

1 kword
Posted by Avram Grumer at 02:37 AM * 179 comments

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2008 presidential race, summed up in a single photograph:

The end of the 3rd debate

(I almost went with this one instead. Both ganked from this Reddit thread.)

Update: Here’s that moment in video.

Comments on 1 kword:
#1 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 02:50 AM:

*Please* tell me these were Photoshopped.

#2 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 02:56 AM:

Not 'shopped, as far as I know.

There was apparently a bit at the end (which I didn't see myself) where McCain tries to come around the table to shake the moderator's hand, and they both go in the same direction around the table, and then both reverse themselves, and McCain makes a funny face to indicate that they're doing something dopey.

#3 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 03:21 AM:

Honestly, the ability to laugh at himself (and not worry about looking a little silly in front of millions of people when he does it) is something that I appreciate in a leader.

I like it when he has other positive leadership qualities too, though.

(Eh, that's excessive. McCain has positive leadership qualities. I worry that the negative ones would distinctly outweigh them, sure, but that's not the same thing.)

#4 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 03:24 AM:

See also this episode of Schlock Mercenary, and the surrounding bits....

#5 ::: turtle ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 03:42 AM:

I especially like Obama's placid expression--

Obama: "Hmm, well, glad that's over... let's see, what's for dinner..."
McCain: "BLAAAAAAAARGH!"

#6 ::: Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 03:52 AM:

You know, for someone who claims he's not George Bush, he sure seems to be channeling one of W's dippier moments.

#7 ::: Ray Radlein ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 03:54 AM:

Over on Twitter, Bruce Sterling is reporting that he has heard that Barrington Bayley has died, and is seeking confirmation.

Google News is silent so far. Does anyone know?

#9 ::: vian ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 04:18 AM:

Ray @ #7:

This looks like confirmation.

http://www.revolutionsf.com/bb/weblog_entry.php?e=1488

#10 ::: C. S. Inman ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 04:19 AM:

I think I like McCain more when he's doing THIS kind of Dubya impression.

#11 ::: fdeblauwe ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 04:50 AM:

As is my custom, I analyzed and compared the separate parts of the participants to this debate: bubble graphs of no. and length of words and sentences, word clouds. I added a study of the number of speaking turns of each candidate too. You can find this and more at my Word Face-Off blog. Similar analyses of the previous debates are hyperlinked from there.

#12 ::: Tracey S. Rosenberg ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 04:51 AM:

Zombie!McCain:

BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS.....*confused*

#13 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:02 AM:

Igor: "Wait Master, it might be dangerous... . you go first."

#14 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:40 AM:

Honestly, I thought that was the only part of the debate where McCain seemed like a real live human. I find him and his policies abhorrent, but watching this segment at the end made it easier to remember both how easy we find it to demonize people AND how important it is to remember that people may be likeable and still not the ones you want to run the country. That said, this is a really good example of how a photo taken out of context can be twisted to mean something very different. It's pretty Rovian.

#15 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:43 AM:

Serge @ 13: Drat! You beat me to it.

#16 ::: Rivka ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:54 AM:

It disturbs me that he looks like he's going for Obama's ass.

#17 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:59 AM:

Ginger @ 15... "Hump? What hump?"

#18 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 08:07 AM:

I can understand the scenario.

I can see how a photo can have been taken, and why it looks bad.

What I can't understand is an experienced politician using that particular facial expression, in any situation.

#19 ::: ajay ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 08:15 AM:

18: likewise. I mean, if you catch someone in the middle of a sneeze, or a cough, or even just while speaking, you can get some pretty dopey-looking or deranged expressions. But what on earth is that? What normal facial movement includes having your tongue hang out of your mouth?

Are you sure it's kosher?

#20 ::: JKRichard ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 08:26 AM:

You need a coffee spray warning...

#21 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 08:44 AM:

It's the mother of all tongue juts...

#22 ::: Hal O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 09:09 AM:

Not Photoshopped.

Rather, an extreme example of McCain's "tongue jut."

Like Nate Silver, I'd really like to play poker with him. Not only does he do the tongue jut thing when he's very pleased with himself, if you throw him off his game, McCain freezes completely. (That last link is to a video where McCain was gobsmacked for 19 full seconds last night. That was the decisive moment in the debate, as far as I'm concerned.)

#23 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 09:17 AM:

Not to doubt anything posted on Making Light (because, as we all know, it is inconceivable that one can doubt anything posted on Making Light) but, does anyone have a link to the actual video? (I zoned out of the debate after the twentieth or so "Joe the Plumber" ... )

#24 ::: Hal O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 09:27 AM:

"(D)oes anyone have a link to the actual video?"

Hulu has it up.

There's also the official site, http://www.mydebates.com/ but they seem to mung the links so I can't give you a specific pointer.

#25 ::: Sus ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 09:56 AM:

Wh--Wha? *wibble* Is that pic for real? It gave me such a start; closely followed by (a short-lived) elation at the thought that McCain's finally cracked... But I see that I'm wrong. Shame.

#26 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:08 AM:

The alternate picture puts me in mind of a badly-acted assassination in progress.

#27 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:11 AM:

I too admire self-deprecation.

But that doesn't mean I would be sad if the phrase "McCain Resignation Tongue" entered the American political vocabulary.

#28 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:20 AM:

Serge @ 17: (and appropriate for the topic as well)
"It could be worse."

#29 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:30 AM:

Hmm, think I'll post this here, since it's the most recent debate-related thread:

Joe The Plumber? Not even registered to vote.

Yeah. What an ass-hat.

#30 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:42 AM:

My Con-Buddy Skwid! 29: That's amazing. Disgusting. Annoying.

Wonderful.

*goes to make buttons*

#31 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:48 AM:

Reminds me of the Calvin and Hobbes comics where Calvin pretends to be a zombie, staggering around with his tongue out. And I think there's one where he and Hobbes imitate each other, as in "You're like this: GAK" "No, you're like this: GAWK" with the same tongue action.

#32 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:56 AM:

The thing is, this was at the end of a whole evening of facial tics, and eye-rolls, and nasty-faces and whatnot. About half-way through I couldn't stand it anymore. I thought presidential campaigns were full of people that advise the candidate on how not to look dorky on tv?

Compared with what went on before, this was actually funny.

#33 ::: James Davis Nicoll ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:01 AM:

Huh. Never thought of McCain as a Lynn Johnston character before but there's the pokey out tongue thing from For Better or For Worse.

#34 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:10 AM:

Conversation with my father this morning:

Dad: Do you know where I can get that paint that you can use to write on your car windows?

Me: Why?

Dad: So I can write McCain on my rear window.

Me: Why not just draw a huge swastika?

Dad: You know, you can be some kind of asshole when you want to be. (Said affectionately but with a hint of irritation.)

Yeah, that's how political conversations have gone between him and me since I first drew a breath.

#35 ::: Steven ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:19 AM:

To:Skwid@29

Joe is registered to vote, but his name is spelled incorrectly in the database. He registered in 1992 and voted in his first primary (Republican) this year.

Of course, with the misspelling, he would be purged if the Republicans got their way.

#36 ::: Max Kaehn ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:20 AM:

McCain was actually fighting hard for the Batrachian-American vote.

#37 ::: anaea ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:26 AM:

fdeblauwe @ 11, heads up, the link in your post directs to http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/Word%20Face-Off. The link in your name works, though. Interesting stuff.

#38 ::: Jade In The ATL ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:27 AM:

This is a little deceptive from this angle. I remember seeing this moment on PBS. Barrack and McCain were about to come around the table toward the audience and McCain got directed to go the other way rather than the way he was going and after one of those awkward "this way, or that way, or this way" things, he made that expression kind of poking fun at himself. He was actually almost parallel to Obama and not really following behind him as it appears in this angle.

I don't like the guy, but this isn't what it looks like.

#39 ::: odaiwai ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:29 AM:

#15:
> Igor: "Wait Master, it might be dangerous... . you go first."

Igor '08: You can *see* he's got his head screwed on right.

Igor '08: A steady pair of hands[1] at the helm.

[1] Hands may not technically belong to the candidate. Yet.

Igor '08: The office of the president has become precious to us.

#40 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:40 AM:

Steven @ #35: That's informative, thanks!

#41 ::: Steven ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:41 AM:

Skwid @ 40:

Believe me, I wish it were otherwise.

#42 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:43 AM:

#33: Anthony McCaine?

#43 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:47 AM:

That was certainly an astonishingly revealing moment, not quite as revealing as this one, though.

#44 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:49 AM:

BTW, Avram, that should be '1 Kword' not '1 kword' in keeping with standard usage.

#45 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:54 AM:

Oh, I dunno, Fragano. Maybe this particular picture is only worth one one-thousandth of a word.

#46 ::: James Davis Nicoll ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:05 PM:

42: Nah, GrAnthony got dumped. McCain did the dumping.

In the Foobiverse, physically off-putting people are generally comic ethnics, noble cripples or villains. "McCain" is about as ethnic as haggis, so he better hope he's a noble cripple, the sort that gets to do stuff aside from sitting around being all noble and crippled and a credit to their kind of people. Otherwise he's stuck deep in Howard territory. Nobody wants to be a Howard.

#47 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:06 PM:

I finally figured out what else this reminds me of...

Hobbes being followed by Calvin.
#48 ::: Stephen Granade ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:08 PM:

Oh, goodness. That picture is waiting to be turned into a lolcandidate referencing Joe the Plumber.

#49 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:26 PM:

James @ 46: Och, lad, most people think haggis is pretty ethnic. Just it's the sort of 'one of us' ethnic that it's ok to make fun of in mixed company.

Which, come to think, nails McCain pretty well.

#50 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:29 PM:

Avram #45: In that case it would have to be '1 mword'.

#51 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:42 PM:

Serve @47: LOL

#52 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 12:51 PM:

"The living dead don't need to solve word problems."

#53 ::: James Davis Nicoll ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 01:00 PM:

49: I am running a poll to test your hypothesis and so far everyone is getting the wrong answer.

#54 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 01:14 PM:

ADM #14 - that's funny because, with only the sound of his voice and the content of his words, I came away from this one really, really, really hating John McCain.

Before I just disliked his policies - I was actually starting to think the really bad stuff from the campaign was a surprising side-effect, not his actual intent.

But watching him put quotation marks around "health" as in "health of the mother" as in HE THINKS IT'S OKAY IF I DIE (I had a life-threatening pregnancy and, if I carried a child to term it's likely to be life-threatening again) just put me into an amazing, rage. In fact, I need to stop talking about it because just typing this makes my heart beat faster.

I don't care who wrote those words. He said them.

#55 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 01:23 PM:

Skwid @ 29: Better and better -- he's not even a plumber.

#57 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 01:38 PM:

Caroline @55:

Your link isn't working; however, "Joe the Plumber" is also:

behind in paying his property taxes,

his father is a staunch Republican (who's given thousands to McCain's campaign), and

he's apparently related to the Keating family.

Oh, and he doesn't actually make $250,000, nor does he own a business that makes that much, nor is he in a position to purchase one that will.

IOW, he was a Republican plant for Obama to find (I was wondering why the McCain campaign found him so fast, and the cameras just 'happened' to catch the majority of his talk with Barrack) and to be used by McCain in later debates and ads.

#58 ::: Steve C. ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 01:47 PM:

Palin as president:

President Palin

Just click around in the picture.

#59 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 01:51 PM:

John L. @ 57: Yeah, that link failed the first time for me, but worked on reload (though it loaded very slowly). I have no idea why. I think maybe it's getting passed around so much that their servers are slammed.

It is becoming pretty clear the guy was a plant.

#60 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 02:07 PM:

I'm another one who thinks this is a bit of "gotcha" journalism. McCain often does a bit of physical comedy -- he's sort of the Jerry Lewis of presidential candidates -- but that isn't really a good reason not to vote for him.

His policies are reason enough.

#61 ::: Dermott McSorley ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 02:17 PM:

Saw the photo and thought the caption should be "McCain realizes he isn't the alpha dog and he better make amends right quick."

#62 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 02:34 PM:

Hallowe'en practice is what comes to mind for me.

#63 ::: jenny ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 03:13 PM:

The highlight of the debate for me was when McCain said of VP running mate "Sarah Palin is a Bresh of Freth Air" ... yup, that's about right!

#64 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 04:58 PM:

Tom @60, in order to be "'gotcha' journalism" it would have to be any kind of journalism in the first place, which it isn't. In order for me to be making a poor argument for voting against McCain, this post would have to be making any kind of argument for voting against McCain, which it is not.

#65 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 05:04 PM:

jenny @ 63...

Artemus Gordon: She's a breath of fresh ass.
James West: Pardon me?
Artemus Gordon: What?
James West: You said "ass."
Artemus Gordon: No, I didn't. I said, "It's nice having her on board, she's a breast of fresh air."
James West: Let's just get some shut ass.

#66 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 06:34 PM:

The Secret Service isn't allowing the press to interview members of the running mate's audience, particularly those howling racist and other epithets or threats against Obama. The campaign is determined to prevent the larger public now to see what goes on at their campaign rallies.

The Secret Service also says that there was no "Kill him!" yelled about Obama at any time.

When did the Secret Service get involved in campaign politics?

There's 20% of this nation that is off the rails with hate and racism and it is the fault of the GOP, the RNC and the neoCONS, and their surrogates like Rush Limbaugh and Pat Robertson.

There is no negotiation or compromise because they won't. Period.

Now I don't trust the Secret Service to even try and keep Obama safe.

Love, C.

Love, C.

#67 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:40 PM:

Constance: My impression is that if someone yelled "Kill Him" about Obama, then the Secret Service would be obliged to track down who it was and have a talk with them to confirm that they didn't have an intention of acting on that expressed desire. Thus, whether or not someone yelled that particular thing at a rally is within their baliwick, and I suppose it is reasonable for them to comment on it.

As for the rest, including whether or not there is video evidence that contradicts their claim, I don't know enough to comment.

#68 ::: Brooks Moses ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 07:40 PM:

Constance: My impression is that if someone yelled "Kill Him" about Obama, then the Secret Service would be obliged to track down who it was and have a talk with them to confirm that they didn't have an intention of acting on that expressed desire. Thus, whether or not someone yelled that particular thing at a rally is within their baliwick, and I suppose it is reasonable for them to comment on it.

As for the rest, including whether or not there is video evidence that contradicts their claim, I don't know enough to comment.

#69 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 08:27 PM:

Avram, your "almost went with" pic choice floored me (and made me giggle). Not only does it look, out of context, as though McCain were miming vomiting, but also its got this great near-disembodied camera man head-hand-lens in the background.

"Priva-ate eyes, are wa-tchin' you, they see your EV-R'Y MOVE...."

*snrk*

#70 ::: Bob ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 10:33 PM:

Where's Sir Mix-a-Lot when you need him, anyway?
"I-like-BIG BUTTS and I cannot LIE!
You other brothers can't DENY!..."

#71 ::: Dan S. ::: (view all by) ::: October 16, 2008, 11:02 PM:

"McCain was actually fighting hard for the Batrachian-American vote."

Flyboy!

#73 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 06:00 AM:

I'm torn between sheer disbelief and that weird, weird face McCain is making, and thinking "Man, Obama looks really, really good there."

Side benefit of an Obama presidency: *handsome* guy behind the podium at all the speeches for the next four years. (I swing between thinking he's very good looking and just thinking he looks better than both John McCain and George Bush. Either way, it's a win.)

#74 ::: Alan ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 07:17 AM:

Looking at the video, I see a moment of warm human playfulness from McCain, a man I thought incapable of it.

Looking at the post, I see mean, sneaky selective editing from Making Light, a blog I thought incapable of it.

#75 ::: Throwmearope ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 10:19 AM:

#74 Alan,

When I see the exaggerated tics and barely (or poorly, take your pick) concealed anger of someone aspiring to be the POTUS, I am very concerned. One (okay, maybe two or three) demented presidents--enough, already. You see human playfulness and I see at least a few non-functioning neural synapses.

#76 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 11:02 AM:

Throwmearope, #75: When I see the exaggerated tics and barely (or poorly, take your pick) concealed anger of someone aspiring to be the POTUS, I am very concerned.

Watching split-screen clips of the debates, I was struck by McCain's inability to keep a straight face. Instead we see obviously fake, impatient smiles, the face of a man who can barely conceal his contempt. It's a face that says "Look at this asshole. Listen to this crazy crap he's coming out with. Labor leaders? Health care? Who is this guy, and why does he think he has any right to run against me?"

McCain's obvious attitude problem probably hurt him more than anything he actually said.

#77 ::: Paul A. ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 11:08 AM:

pat greene @ #1:

No, that image is not photoshopped.

But this image is.

#78 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 12:56 PM:

The latest Bad Reporter comic riffs on both Joe the Plumber and the candidates' contrasting facial expressions -- the last panel is classic!

#79 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 01:36 PM:

Faren 78: I really shouldn't have looked at that at the office. I can't stop giggling whenever I think of the phrase 'fhqqra cebwrpgvyr rlr-fcyng'.

#80 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 02:15 PM:

Faren @ 78... That last panel is a reminder of the fine movie career that California's governor abandonned, isn't it?

#81 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 03:12 PM:

Alan @74, "sneaky selective editing"? WTF are you talking about?

#82 ::: Debbie ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 03:17 PM:

Another great 'linguistic' cinematic moment.

#83 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 03:42 PM:

One of the friends I watched the debate with turned to me midway through and said "Now I want to see some Joe Sixpack/Joe the plumber slash." Alas, the internet does not appear to have provided yet.

On the subject of Obama looking good, check out this photo of him and his family... I mean, damn.

#84 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 03:50 PM:

madeline,

Alas, the internet does not appear to have provided yet.

uh, did you click on the link in faren's post?

#85 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 04:04 PM:

Avram @64: far be it from me to accuse you of journalism!

#86 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 04:22 PM:

I love Bad Reporter, and I'd seen that one this morning before work, and Faren's mention was actually what prompted my post. I suppose the trouble is that when I think of slash I'm thinking of a short story (or long chapter story!) that's more focused on feelings and physicalities, not microfic graphic marriage-oriented work.

#87 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: October 17, 2008, 05:13 PM:

Madeline, 83: Michelle Obama's in FLATS! Not horribly painful heels! I really do think I'm voting for her as much as her husband. Forget having a beer with Barack--I want to have a nice glass of wine with Michelle.

#89 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 12:40 AM:

You know, I have to say that I have been known to make that kind of face — yes, including tongue — as a sort of self-deprecating "wtf?".

On the flip side, you can't get away with that in a televised Presidential debate. (You could call this the Nixon principle.)

#90 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 02:03 AM:


Joe the Watergate Plumber Plant.... I regard true actual flora as more sapient than McCain, Palin, and their cronies.

Before finding out that Joe the Plumscum was a Republithug shill, I merely though that McCain was demonstrating More Bad/Incompetent/"Faith-Based" Research. But now, it goes beyond that into the at least Gag Order Gorge Territory of intentional turpitude. Putting in a shill who is not a licensed plumber, has not got a licensed plumber's income, who's got a property lien for failure to pay taxes, who is anything but an unbiased random member of the public, is vile, it's fraudulent, it's demeaning, it's offensive, it's arrogant, it's lying... it's more high crimes and misdemeanors mentality expression--no it's not a high crime and it's not misdemeanor, but in the intent to mislead and derail, to misrepresent a partisan shill as "ordinary Joe" is utterly vile and despicable.

McCain, Palin, and their promoters are evil--not all might be intentionally evil, but the summation, is evil. They are arrogant, they are deceitful, they willfully mislead and disrespect... how can it not be evil? Then there's the implausible deniability regarding the calls for death. Palin claims her brother-in-law threatened to kill.... if there is any truth to that, I suspect it was the sort of thing said of "I'm going to kill that person!" said by someone who is annoyed at someone and, however, has no actual intention of committing murder or mayhem, it's an idiom that people use sometimes when irritated, but not normally on a bully pulpit....

#91 ::: bryan ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 02:42 AM:

Man, Obama sure fills out those slacks nice don't he.

#92 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 01:45 PM:

#87 TexAnne, I actually found that photo on a post specifically about Michelle Obama's preference for flats... On a blog devoted entirely to gushing about what she wears.

(Tried to post this yesterday, but ran into a SQL database thing?)

#93 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 04:54 PM:

Rose @#54 -- I'm not sure where you get that I don't find what he says/said/stands for awful -- I think I did say I found him abhorrent.

BUT -- the picture is taken out of context. The man did a little self-deprecating schtick that reminded me that he is, whether or not I like him or anything he stands for, human.

I think we have reached a point where the demonization of people with whom we disagree is so common that we start to forget that they are just people. And, even worse (and I think this is far truer of those of us on the left, especially when we are well-educated), we start to consider ourselves better than the people we oppose.

I despise pretty much everything the Bush-McCain cadre and their supporters believe in. I will fight them as long as they are there to fight (or I am). But I am going to try as hard as I can not to engage in anything that demonizes or dehumanizes these people (or any others). There is far too much evidence of what happens when we start thinking of others as "less than" us -- something that has made Bush and Co.'s policies successful, IMO -- for me to not try to avoid that particular trap.

There is still something to be said for fighting fairly. I don't think posting this picture encourages that. And, from a practical standpoint, I think this kind of thing gives ammunition to those people who claim that liberals are all a bunch of big, fat liars who try to sway people with their evil wiles.

#94 ::: Sajia Kabir ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 05:06 PM:

Excuse me, ADM, you're acting like everyone here is using this photo as definitive proof that McCain is unpresidential in his behaviour. As far as I can tell from scrolling down this thread, most people are simply having a laugh at him. Oh, we're not allowed to make fun of old white men, is that it?

#95 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Sajia @ 94... Oh, we're not allowed to make fun of old white men, is that it?

I'm not that old.

#96 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 07:26 PM:

Saji @ #94 --

I was responding in particular to Rose's comment, which seemed to me to be almost justifying making fun of McCain because he's a nasty little fck.

And it has nothing to do with old white men -- it has to do with the kind of schadenfreudlich undertone -- and the fact that some people think it's ok to make fun cruelly. OK -- this isn't all that cruel, but OTOH, anti-Hillary folks took special delight in showing pix of her laughing and smiling, and those were moments that, caught in stills, made her a target for all kinds of nasty comments. There's a really interesting article here in The Atlantic if anybody's interested and didn't already see it via CT.

Anyway, I wasn't taking all the commenters to task, initially or now. I was calling Avram on it.

FWIW, I think most of the jokes here are pretty legit, because they are making fun of stuff McCain said, and his actions, hypocrisy, etc. But the picture Avram posted is not just making fun, but opens up a forum for what I think is a particularly unpleasant form of mockery that I think is below ML -- and I think that's been clear from the comment thread, pretty much.

But then I didn't watch the Borat movie, nor do I watch "funniest videos" shows, because I think they encourage the same sort of unpleasantness -- they encourage people to feel better about themselves at the expense of others. YMMV.

#97 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 08:39 PM:

ADM: I think making mock of someone in the public light who makes that sort of thing is in bounds. It may be cheap, but lots of humor is cheap.

There is still something to be said for fighting fairly. I don't think posting this picture encourages that. And, from a practical standpoint, I think this kind of thing gives ammunition to those people who claim that liberals are all a bunch of big, fat liars who try to sway people with their evil wiles.

They don't need ammunition. They manufacture it. The false claims they make that the Ward Churchills, and the Harry Belafontes of the world must be publicly repudiated, with long paeans about how much we don't believe the least little thing they say, so the charges can be repeated; and the idea that these are movers and shakers of, "The Left" can be strengthened; and then the feasts of shrill-glee they get when someone like Sen. Durbin has the gall to speak the truth about something... No, they don't need us to hand them ammunition.

When I look at how much they pay the Michelle Malkins, and the Ann Coulters and the Glenn Becks, when I see them invite the Hagees, and the Dobsons and the Limbaughs to the halls of power, and then tell me I can't dare to compare the things the Limbaughs and the Coulters and the Malkins and the Becks are just entertainers; and no one listens to them, so what they say doesn't matter...

Well, I'm not going to tie my hands behind my back. The man entered a very public race, he went onto a national stage and, in a highly scrutinized venue, chose to do something ridiculous. Oops. The people who will hate me for laughing at it... well they need to lighten up. It's just a joke, right? I am tired of having that double standard used to beat me. If they want to see their guy treated with kid glove deference... they can damned well start by doing it to the other sides guys.

Because being called a traitor, and told people need to kill me, and my friends, and "liberal judges" and the like, it's not funny. And no one, I mean no one, whom any of them will listen to, will tell them they need to stop PAYING people to say shit like that.

So honestly... I don't care that it's a cheap shot. If that speaks ill of me, well I'm tired. 25 years of being on the defensive have made me cranky, and being blamed for being cranky (which is what it feels you are doing), well I'm not accept it. They didn't make me do it, but they sure as hell made it pretty plain that taking the high ground (Al Gore was "too stiff", "invented the internet": Kerry "flip-flopped", "shirked in Viet-nam" [hell, they wore band-aids with purple hearts, and Bob Dole lied about how you earn one; but I digress], Kerry's haircuts... all of the Clinton investigations) isn't going to do it; and no matter how civilised I may manage to be, I am not always a nice person. So long as I don't cross the line so far my friends have to tell me that was not only not nice, but truly wrong, I can live with that aspect of myself.

Someone, in the heart of their party, believes the "Goldberg Doctrine" that the only way to beat a bully is to punch him in the nose.

As punches in the nose go, this is pretty mild.

#98 ::: Mez ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 08:57 PM:

I'm with ADM (#93) WRT demonization and/or dehumanisation of opponents. Here in Oz the Liberal/National coalition (formerly in government) labelled their opponents “Howard-haters”.

It was very easy to let yourself hate the man (and some of the Ministers) when you heard their smoothly twisted mendacities. I struggle even now to despise, abhor and refute when I can their policies, their works and their ideology, and revile the consequences without abusing them as people. For example, John W Howard once called himself George W Bush's “deputy” in the Pacific. This was thereafter derided as us being a “deputy sheriff” (said with Gunsmoke twang), which is neither what he said, nor, I hope, meant.

A sig I developed from Dune says “The greatest victory your enemy can have is to make you a mirror of himself.”  When I read the recently-linked-here comments over at Right Wing Nut House (If elected, Obama will be my President), they could be mirrored by quite a few Left Wing comments, swapping the names and some of the issues. I often do feel what they're expressing, if from another viewpoint entirely. And that worries me.

#99 ::: geekosaur ::: (view all by) ::: October 18, 2008, 09:28 PM:

I have to agree with Mez and ADM; when we cross the line into brutal mockery and/or demonization, we become what we hate. And that line is both narrower and closer than many people think.

#100 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 12:25 AM:

I agree that crossing "the line into brutal mockery and/or demonization" is both wrong and dangerous--but I honestly don't think we are all that close to the line, here. A matter of opinion, of course . . . but some context may help: I first saw this photo last night on the Tonight Show. Leno thought it was funny, too.

In other words, neither Avram nor Making Light is responsible for the photo's existence, and (reading the comments) most of us have just been laughing at a silly picture.

It is a silly picture. There are silly pictures of Obama out there, too, and I think that most of the ML posters are quite aware of that.

#101 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 01:58 AM:

Madeline F. @83: I found myself mentally captioning that one with "Hey--hey wait, guys--did you hear something?" (Barack's expression in contrast to Michelle's and the kids'.) Having just red the bad movie review post, I immediately started wondering what it was he heard and what horrors it might bode for our intrepid heroes as they step boldly forth!

#102 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 03:06 AM:

"Do not do unto others what you do not what done to you."

There was that story in a Groff Conklin anthology decades ago, entitled, "Basic Right."

Two people playing in what's supposed to be the same game, using different sets of rules, favors the game player who has fewer/less strict rule. Punishment for "cheating" particularly if the situation is one of dealing with a lying, vicious, malevolent set of hypocrites, shouldn't be banned, and neither should commensurate response to provocation.

#103 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 09:31 AM:

Terry Karney @ #97 -- I can understand your feelings, but can't agree with them. I disagree that the pic catches McCain doing something ridiculous -- it catches him doing something human and funny, and turns it into something ridiculous.

All of your complaints are valid -- so why take the cheap shot that makes the shooter look little and mean spirited? Take the shot to the solar plexus. There is enough true crap out there about McCain and Palin that should be used. I'm not talking about McCain's peccadillos, but about real stuff. Is The Village Voice right in its allegations about Palin's house, frex? and ... the Palin ethics report? No one is doing anything with that, and it's a real, actual issue that bears on whether she should be VP -- not to mention a heartbeat away from the top exec! Cheap shots are exactly that -- cheap. And sometimes they end up costing more than you think.

Mary Frances @#100 -- and your point is? Because you know, one of my students used a mildly homophobic expression in class the other day -- an expression that is extremely common. And when I called the student on it, the response was, "I don't have anything against gay people -- it's just a joke. I bet a lot of people here thought it was funny." And a lot did. Didn't make it ok.

Paula Lieberman @#102 -- the first rule that you state, and its more common converse, pretty much precludes commensurate response, unless your own rules say it's ok. But that would mean that you're both playing by the same rules. Me, I'd rather keep playing by the rules of civilized, well-mannered folk. But then, I always did prefer hanging out with the nerdy smart kids to trying to fit in with the bitchy girls who couldn't quite make it as cheerleaders or the stars of the school play.


#104 ::: Ursula L ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 11:43 AM:

I think that what makes this funny isn't just that it is a funny photo. McCain unconsciously created an image that is emblematic of his candidacy, and the problems with his party and the conservative movement.

He thinks he's being funny, he's actually being ridiculous. He thinks it is a fleeting moment that everyone will forget, but he's actually doing something memorable as being bad/stupid. He thinks he's being folksy, funny and showing he's an "ordinary person", but he's actually being undignified and unprofessional. He thinks being unprofessional and unintellectual is good, when in fact, his unprofessional and unintellectual nature makes him look a fool to Obama's calm, professional and thoughtful nature.

I look at this picture, and it's worth a thousand words. That's it. That's what we've been talking about - that the Republican cutesy, common, unintellectual guy-I'd-drink-a-beer-with attitude is contemptible, and Obama's alternative of calm, intellectual professionalism is admirable.

It wouldn't be funny if it was merely a joking moment caught at a bad angle. It's funny because it is evocative of a larger truth. Which is what good comedy is - and why Stewart, Colbert and Letterman have managed to pull off as much good political work as much of the mainstream media.

#105 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 12:30 PM:

ADM @103: I was responding in part to you, in part to Mez @94, and in part to Alan @74, who said that he saw "mean, sneaky selective editing from Making Light, a blog I thought incapable of it." I mentioned Leno (who is not one of my favorite comedians, by the way) partly because I found the association between the creation of this photo and Making Light to be a little strong--and you didn't say that, so I should have been clearer about how many people I was responding to and what I meant at that point in my comment. I'm sorry; I really should know better than to be so careless.

However, I also don't think your analogy @103 is really quite justified. This was a silly picture of a specific man acting silly. The joke didn't quite come off the way he meant it, partly because he wasn't think in terms of the "freeze frame" potential, I suspect--but we were still responding to a, well, bad joke, I guess: by laughing at the "comedian" rather than with him. I really don't see the laughter as especially cruel or derisive. It could be, but I honestly don't think it was, in this instance, based on the comments above. Certainly not like making a gratuitous comment about an individual or group of people who hadn't just done something silly in front of several million people.

The "it's only a joke" response is one I find particularly abhorrent, and I honestly didn't mean that (though I can see why you might have thought I did). Again, my apologies for not being clearer.

#106 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 03:19 PM:

Dudessas and Dudes -- You all simply must read this, over on Some Hedgehog's Live Journal. If ever there was the right audience for it, it's this one.

A curtsey and sweep of the chapeau to Charlie Stross for the pointer.

Everyone can laugh with a clear conscience.

Love, C.

#107 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 03:21 PM:

In any case, I'm glad to know that I wasn't the only person who was uncomfortable with the use of that photograph. I didn't like the "mock Cindy McCain" thread either, but I suppose I've already had my say on that topic.

#108 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 03:25 PM:

ADM: I was thinking about this today, and why 1: the picture amused me, and 2: why I thought it all right to use.

And it's because I don't think it's a cheap shot. I think it's an unwittingly apt shot.

The problem with the, "shot to the solar plexus" is that the solar plexi we want to hit aren't McCain, and the Press, it's the people who are looking at him. I've done solid shots on him (for years, because I thought his pandering to Bush, and forsaking Kerry when the Swift Boat Boys and the Republican Party were making a mockery of devoted service, to Kerry's fellows, and the nation, during Viet-Nam, was shameful, and then when he gave Bush more than he asked for on torture, and pretended it was "a compromise" and he was shocked, shocked to discover there was gambling going on in this establisment Bush was going to claim even more than McCain gave him [that he looks to lose his "winnings bothers me not at all, but I digress).

Part of what the campaign has been about is how much of Bush McCain want's to reprise. This makes McCain look a shambling zombie. It's coarse, but it's about issues. Is he too old? Is he too much like the man he wants to replace.

And, it hits the people who have been immune to solid doses of reason with an image (that thousand words) which might make them think about the facts/questions I (and Patrick, Teresa, julia, and all the others, here and away) have been talking about for years.

If those shots you think we should be sticking to were capable of doing the job, all on their own... this race would be a blow-out, instead of merely an Electoral Vote landslide.

Oddly enough, some of the, almost reflexive, defensiveness I decry in the mainstream politicos and pundits happened here. The accusation that we/I were resorting to cheap shots, below the belt; and unfair put me on the back foot. I took to excusing myself for something I didn't really think needed excusing.

Humor is a valid tool, and it's fair.

#109 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 04:18 PM:

@ADM #93

I wasn't remarking on the photo at all, just responding to your statment:

"watching this segment at the end made it easier to remember both how easy we find it to demonize people AND how important it is to remember that people may be likeable and still not the ones you want to run the country."

With my experience of the debate, which was to go from intellectual disagreement and mild personal sympathy for McCain to seething hatred. Not caused by demonizing the man, but by watching his public performance of his beliefs.

BTW, my name is Rosa, not Rose.

#110 ::: Christopher Davis ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 04:21 PM:

Paula Lieberman (#102): That's an Eric Frank Russell story, and a very good one.

By way of a bit of humor in your politics:
Seen in the NYT:

“So when he left Joe’s neighborhood in Toledo,” Ms. Palin said, “our opponent didn’t look real happy. Seems that the staged photo op there got ruined by a real person’s question.”
Ms. Palin, as has become her custom, did not take questions from the crowd or reporters.
To quote the RPG campaign post: "Oh dude, BURRRRRNNNN."

#111 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 09:13 PM:

#103 ADM

When the other person has already Done Unto You things which are nasty, vile, demeaning, insulting, deprecatory, self-defense, with responses to e.g. libel, and slander; come into the equation. McCain and Palin and their supporters are involved in egregious smear, innuendo, guilt by remote association, false witness testimony, and Big Lie campaigns.

McCain has already been "done unto" with massive vilenesses by McCain, Palin, and their associates. That calls for commensurate response to deal with the promulgation and memes of "adverse environment" which are what the Republithugs are engaging in.

They have a massive disinformation campaign going are, at least one Republican Party apparatchik with a direct line into the the White House four years ago was prosecuted with and then convicted of and served prison time, for election interference via running a phone jamming operation, in New Hampshire. There was systematic vote fraud in Ohio. There were the firings of US federal prosecutors who were Republicans, who refused to either or both pursue trumped up charges of vote fraud promotion against Democratic Party politicians, and/or drop investigation into Republican officials.

The corruption is shot throughout the matrix of the Republican Party, pandering to
o religious extremists intolerant of rights of anyone else to have freedom of religion and follow their own conscience/the tenets of their faiths in matters where the extremists demand that their faith's beliefs be the law of the land as regarding creation of the universe, medical procedures, reproductive control, diet....
o fascists
o demanding the dismantling of equal opportunity and equal access programs and regulations designed to attempt to provide equal opportunity regardless of race, creed, gender, etc., and limit "discrimination" to situations where there is a real requirement involved, as opposed to "requirements" being generated specifically to lock people out of opportunity....
o robber barons, the modern variety, and would-be robber barons
o those who aren't in marginal economic, social, health, etc., situation.

#112 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 19, 2008, 10:55 PM:

Someone disgusted at the McCain-Palin campaign and Palin's accusations, put up mannequins in his yard of Obama in a suit and McCain dressed as a Ku Klux Klansman...

#113 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 12:03 AM:

Paula just above -- still doesn't make it right or ethical. Just makes it sad. And I don't see how mocking someone addresses the situation in a constructive way.

Rosa @#109 -- oops! sorry.

Terry Karney -- I don't believe in "unwittingly apt". To you, it might represent those things, but only in the sense that lots of candid pictures do the same thing -- and that's part of the problem. Hillary Clinton caught mid-laugh looks to many people like a harridan -- and a mad one at that! And I didn't think it funny when her opponents used such pictures to suggest that they were 'unwittingly apt'. I don't disagree that humour is a valid tool. I think satire is a wonderful thing. I think Tina Fey is doing a great job -- as are Colbert and Stewart. But this isn't humour, in my book. And frankly, if you think that a picture like this is going to do anything but piss off those same people who think it's unfair to publish an unretouched picture of Sarah Palin, then you really haven't been paying attention. In fact, if you think that reason plays much part at all, you have not been paying attention. The kind of reasoning you're talking about presupposes that people want the same sort of outcome and believe that the same sorts of things are good and bad. It also presupposes that you're right, and that reasoning means convincing others that you are. It denies them the right to their opinions. The people you're talking about don't necessarily value or want the same things you do. Yes, they want things better, but their better is not our better (because I do happen to agree that Liberal ideals are better).

Mary Frances @ #105 -- Thanks! That's a lot clearer. And you know, I would buy that bit about laughing with the comedian if it were a shot that seemed less geared to point out all the things that Terry Karney mentioned. He looks old, he's stooped, he's got his arms out like Frankenstein's monster ... (and that last part does bother me because even though I hate how much he milks his time in VietNam, he was injured there, then tortured, and he is disabled). But I doubt it was McCain's plan to look like that. The picture it *ought* to be is McCain doing that cartoon-y lean backwards while bouncing on his heels with little dust clouds puffing up on each bounce. *That* was what was happening. at the time, I did laugh -- because live, it was funny and he meant it to be. But I'm not sure it's exactly the same thing when a person can go through stills and take the one that makes a person look really bad to people who don't have the original context in mind.

#114 ::: Mary Frances ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 12:37 AM:

ADM @113: Oh, I'm laughing at him, not with him in this particular case--I just don't see that laughing at a comedian, or a politician, when the joke bombs is automatically cruel and/or derisive. It can be, of course, but it doesn't have to be.

However, senses of humor vary, and I've been told several times over the years that I have a fairly peculiar one. I still get the giggles over that dorky photo of Obama in the swimsuit, for example--but it doesn't strike me as a reason to vote for or against him, and I don't believe that a freeze-frame shot of McCain would be a reason to vote for or against him, either. Not for me, at least.

That said, I basically agree with you about the dangers of going too far in making fun of an opponent, for all sorts of reasons--becoming the enemy's mirror, among others. I just didn't read this particular posting or thread as reaching anywhere near that level of nastiness. Especially--maybe--since Avram also provided a link to the full-motion version (or had provided it by the time I saw this posting).

I hope that makes sense. If it doesn't, please blame the hour--it's been a long day . . .

#115 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 12:53 AM:

ADM @113: And frankly, if you think that a picture like this is going to do anything but piss off those same people who think it's unfair to publish an unretouched picture of Sarah Palin, then you really haven't been paying attention.

Oh, I've been paying attention, but I don't give a damn.

See, those people who froth at the mouth over Newsweek's Palin cover, there are exactly two things I can do that would make them happy: (1) I can vote for McCain, or (2) I can kill myself. Since I'm not willing to do either of those two things, they're going to be pissed at anything I do.

Have you not noticed that these people manufacture controversies? Have you not noticed that they lie about Obama's religion, about his birth certificate, about his family? Have you not noticed that they lied about McCain's family in 2000, when he was Bush's rival? That they lied about Gore in 2000, and about Kerry in '04?

If you don't like the picture, fine, don't like it. But don't try to convince me that I should have refrained from posting it in order to avoid pissing off people who are going to be pissed off regardless.

#116 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 01:19 AM:

I am not a McCain supporter. I'm not one of the people who are "going to be pissed off regardless"; I am, instead, someone who is disappointed when Making Light takes the low road to what is, ultimately, still the conclusion with which I agree.

#117 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 02:42 AM:

ADM: If you don't think reason plays into it.... how is one to make the "hit to the Solar Plexus" you were saying needed to be committed with reason. I am arguing that this type of thing is going in below the point of reason. That it lands the body blows which sweet reason can't.

You think that's dirty pool.

What I see is people telling the Dems what they have to do to win... and it boils down to having to worry about pissing the Republicans off. Well I don't care so much any more. If that means I've been "polarised" so be it. I don't hate the people who support Republicans (for all that I am deeply disturbed by what I hear/see as being their motives/understandings), but I sure as blazed don't think Brooks, Frum, etc. are really being honest when they tell the Dems what they need to do to be "taken seriously, and have a real shot at winning" is A, B, and C. These are not people who want the Dems to win, so why in the name of all that's holy should I listen to them.

I am certain we are irreconilable on this. I don't know that my utter disgust for McCain doesn't make me more willing to mock him, but honestly, that I am willing to leave it at mockery is a huge point in my favor... because honestly, tar and feathers are too good for him, IMO, given what he has done to the reputation of the nation, and the safety of those in uniform. If I were to be captured, for any reason... my fate is guaranteed to be no better than his was; and it's his fault. And he's proud of that, he defends what he did. Mockery is the least of things he deserves.

#118 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 01:27 PM:

Bah. I'm pleased the picture got posted. It's funny, and I might not have seen it otherwise.

For those who feel that all men are silly, both those we like and those we don't like, it confirms that. For those who feel that Republicans are cthuloid entities, it confirms that. For those who feel that ML is full of weenies, it confirms that.

I think it's good to point out that ML is not the be all and end all, but I don't think this post leads naturally to that conclusion.

#119 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 03:22 PM:

I think my discomfort with this stems from too early an exposure to A Horse and His Boy.

"Beware! Beware! Beware! The bolt of Tash falls from above!"

"Does it ever get caught on a hook half-way?" asked Corin.

"Shame, Corin," said the King. "Never taunt a man save when he is stronger than you: then, as you please."

I know that we haven't won this thing, but it does feel—to me—like kicking a man when he's down. And that makes me squirm.

#120 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 03:26 PM:

ADM

What you are lamenting as unethical and demeaning on the part of the cohorts who oppose and laugh at the mcplns and their plans for continuing and making even more extreme the last 8 years of lies and pillaging, shredding of the Constitution and our civil liberties -- while, of course lying that they are allied with the neoCON and dominionist agenda -- is known in the trade as "The Emperor's New Clothes."

We are laughing because more and more and more people are seeing that the proud emperor parading before us isn't wearing anything.

Love, C.

#121 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 03:28 PM:

No, we haven't won this thing, and the mcplns are doing their best to see that we don't by any means possible, including, again, stealing the election.

Reports are showing up where electronic voter machines are used for early voting of Obama tripping to mcCain, just for starters. Voters themselves noticed this and have called it in. There are NO reports of mcCain votes tripping over to Obama.

Love, C.

#122 ::: Mchl Mtrccl ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:12 PM:

thnk th rctn f vryn hr s typcl f Dms crss th cntr.

Y ll hv bn wtng fr s lng t bsh rnd th Rpblcns tht whn th chnc rss, y rn rnd n crcls nd p n th rg lk n vr cffntd pdl.

Thn, whn y d gt t mk jk, y ht blw th blt - mkng mny thnk tht Dms dn't knw hw t fght. Tht smhw thy'r pl, wtry yd gks wh r stll md bcs thy ddn't g t th prm, thy st t hm nd wtchd Str Trk nd rd sck ssmv.

t's chp sht. Y gys nd t t t p nd tk nthr whck t t.

#123 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:18 PM:

Touchscreens have to be calibrated and it can be fairly easy for them to get out of whack. Also, many of them measure the finger position in front of the screen, not on the screen itself, and typically the screen is positioned below the user so the user is looking down at it at an angle. When it looks like their finger is on a button, it actually is slightly above the button, and the touchscreen needs to be calibrated to compensate for the typical viewing angle. I'm not surprised that there are reports of touchscreens misinterpreting votes, especially in early voting.

The lack of complaints about votes being switched from McCain to Obama is easily explained. In order to complain, someone would have to try to vote for McCain, they'd have to be able to tell the machine recorded Obama instead, and they'd have to care. It's not impossible, but it's sufficiently improbable.

#124 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:22 PM:

re #122: Ah, a "you people". Or should that be "y ppl?"

#125 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:27 PM:

Warren Ellis provides evidence as to Why My American Readers Should Vote This Time. "Because you either want the same kind of country this woman wants, or you don’t."

#126 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:37 PM:

Making Light is not an official organ of the Democratic Party. Avram is not a campaign official. Avram stated that he posted the picture because it expresses how he feels. There is no reason to believe he is trying to influence the election, or even trying to change the minds of Making Light readers who remain McCain supporters. The picture may be a cheap laugh, but it's not a cheap shot.

After years of being accused of being un-American, terrorist sympathizers, perverts, corrupt, anti-progress, and generally worthless, after all that, now we're being told that we can't indulge in one bit of basically harmless mockery, because that would be "below the belt." Well I think that advice came from somewhere below the belt too.

#127 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:53 PM:

It's a cheap shot. You guys need to tee it up and take another whack at it.

That sounds like a violent way to play golf.

#128 ::: Mchl Mtrccl ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 04:54 PM:

Tm, tht dvc cm frm smn wh rds ths blg n wkl bss, 'm cmlr wth th plyrs nd th slnt f ths dnc.

"ftr yrs f bng ccsd f bng n-mrcn, trrrst smpthzrs, prvrts, crrpt, nt-prgrss, nd gnrll wrthlss"

Tht phrs rght thr brs m t - Dms nd lbs lwys sm t b whn, n mttr wht thy'r dscssng. Cwb p.

#129 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:00 PM:

Cowboy up

Is that the sequel to Brokeback Mountain?

#130 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:01 PM:

Don't feed the trolls.

#131 ::: Mchl Mtrccl ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:09 PM:

'm trll bcs hv dffrnt pnn? Nc.

Cwb p sn't th sql t Brkbck Mntn. (Hr's hpng tht flm nvr ctll cms nt xstnc, th frst ws bd ngh)

t's bscll nthr tk n mn p.

#132 ::: Lexica ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:12 PM:

Hmm... so there's a borderline "you people" in 122, and we get called "whiny" in 128. (By someone who claims to read ML weekly, which is interesting.)

Rapidly heading for a bingo, I think.

#133 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Wha? Being called a traitorous failure as a soldier (which I have), because I don't believe in torture, isn't below the belt.

Thinking this is funny enough to share... is below the belt.

Taking reasonable offense at being called said traitorous failure is whiny...

Bitching that running an unimproved photo of the candidate isn't.

Thinking someone who's never posted before, and is using trollish behavior out to be called out for it (some silly nonsense about acountability, and judging people on what they do) is cheap, and unfair.

Coming in from nowhere, and telling the regulars they need to respect your opinion because (honest Injun) you've been a regular lurker for a long time is reasonable and just.

Now that I know where you stand.... lets jest say your dogs don't hunt. Man up and admit you're being an ass.

Then I might have some respect for your subsequent opinions, but while you are weaseling and whining about how unfair it is all these, "liberal" are judging you by your actions, I'll be sitting over here, poking such fun as my conscience permits, at the weaklings who can't take a joke.

#134 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:27 PM:

Post-scriptum, intentionally in a second post:

The last sentence (about taking jokes) was an intentional use of the Limbaugh, Coulter, Malkin, defense.

I leave it as an exercise to the reader to determine if I was, in fact, joking when I insulting Motorcycle Mike. I was not levelling those accusations at anyone else in the thread. I disagree with Earl, and ADM, but I don't doubt their sincerity,nor that they are making honest arguments; in good faith. I am not mocking their sentiments.

I just didn't think a disclaimer, in the post itself, was a good idea, as it would steal from such impact as the bare reading was meant to convey.

#135 ::: Mchl Mtrccl ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:50 PM:

'm bng n ss bcs Trr Krn sd t sy tht? ky. 'm n ss. nd y'r bg tgh sldjr.

Yr wrtng s cnvltd nd vrl wrght.

hv nt bn whnng. Mrl pntng t tht th bck nd frth n ths brd s typcl f th lbrl clp trp tht gs n whnvr ny ss s pt n th tbl.

G pk yrslf.

#136 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:56 PM:

Michael Motorcycle:

What are you trying to achieve, here? Are you trying to convince anyone of anything, or are you just being a twit? Because if you were actually interested in doing anything other than stirring shit, and if you actually have read this blog in the past, you would have done things differently.

I'm calling you are a troll because you are trolling. You're using "you people" arguments, over-generalizing, and sneering. You know fine well that persuasion in the face of opposing viewpoints doesn't work when you go about it that way.

Quit it. If you have something to say, say it in a fashion that contributes to the conversation. If not, you're typing with a 21.5*-letter keyboard.

-----
* and, as they say, sometimes y

#137 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 05:57 PM:

Get lost, Michael Motorcycle. You're a hypocrite and a loser, and we don't care what you think of us. And you can bounce on a red hot stove for all I care.

#138 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:02 PM:

abi, I would submit that while subsequent posts of M&M's might be worthy of all 26 letters, 21.5 are sufficient to express what needs to be said in his posts thus far.

#139 ::: Mchl Mtrccl ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:05 PM:

'll typ slwly bcs knw mst f y cn't rd tht fst.

Th cmmnt ws md tht sng th pctr f McCn ws chp sht n th prt f Mkng Lght.

Ppl rctd, mny syng tht, t pt t smply "h, t's ky whn th Rpbs d t, bt w'r nt llwd."

Thr ws ls dbt vr wht's fnn.

rd ll f ths psts nd md my bsrvtns: tht smtms strtyps hv bt f trth n thm - lbrls r vr snstv bldng hrts.

ttcks fllwd. nd rspndd.

My vw: Th pctr sn't ll tht fnn, nt bcs t's f McCn, bt bcs t's sght gg tht lss mpct f th prsn dsn't s hw t ccrrd.

s tht ntrllsh ngh fr vrn? nd ws tht n ttmpt t flrtng frm Xphr?

#140 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:07 PM:

Right, IP address check completed. Bell, book and candle out.

Michael Motorcycle, AKA:

  • JJ Fozz

  • The Lift

  • Fiji

  • BronxWarrior

  • Nacho Chuck

and indeed all others posting from 216.230.110.66, you are banned from Making Light.

You bastard. I trusted you. I liked you. I defended you, welcomed you, persuaded everyone to forgive you your initial awkwardnesses. I even warned you privately instead of outing you when you socked us the first time. I am more than disappointed.

Do not darken our threads again, in any guise, under any name.

#141 ::: Madeline F ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:13 PM:

Well, that's too bad. JJ Fozz had potential, but his socks were jackasses. Jolly well done, abi.

#142 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:14 PM:

MM 139: Is that untrollish enough for everyone?

No, it's even more blatantly trollish, actually. "I'll type slowly because I know most of you can't read that fast" makes whatever else you say in your post worthless, even the bits that are vaguely civil.

And was that an attempt at flirting from Xopher?

Attempting to make me vomit is yet another trollery. Et sht nd d, y scmbg.

#143 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:17 PM:

DAMMIT. Yeah, JJ Fozz had me fooled too. I kept telling other people to give him a chance, explained what he really meant, and so on. Wow. He managed to make it hurt, which is a victory of sorts.

abi, I'm sure you're on this, but as I write his posts in this thread still have their vowels. I don't think they need to, do you?

#144 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:19 PM:

Ah. As I figured. Thank you.

#145 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:21 PM:

abi @ 140... Wow. Now, where is that photo of Jessica Lange as Hera?

#146 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:30 PM:

Tcha!

Why do people use sock puppets, anyway? I'm quite comfortable saying I found the use of that picture problematic, without hiding who I am.

#147 ::: Rikibeth ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:37 PM:

It's a pity. JJ Fozz had some decent moments, especially when he was talking about his dog.

abi, you're a very impressive moderator.

#148 ::: joann ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:57 PM:

abi #140:

Surely that's "never darken our vowels again"?

#149 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 06:57 PM:

I didn't understand the explanation as to why no votes for mcCain trip to Obama, when votes for Obama trip to mcCain. Tom said it wasn't a problem and it wasn't nefarious, but I didn't understand why he thinks that is so. Or was he saying that no early voters are voting for mcCain. If that is what he's saying, how does he know that?

Love, C.

#150 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 07:19 PM:

Well... I am amused, more than hurt or angry. I was giving Mr. Fozz slack (esp. after our intial interaction).

I'm sorry he took advantage of you abi. That was a shitheel thing to do, far worse than any abuse he tried to heap on me.

#151 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 07:29 PM:

What amuses me is the ineptitude of those who do sockpuppetry. I mean, if I was really trying to have one (apart from needing someone to help with rewrite), I have four places in, easy, walking distance with free internet, and a good half half-dozen in ten minutes distance.

So IP addies should never match.

#152 ::: Bruce Cohen (SpeakerToManagers) ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 07:45 PM:

ADM

To add to Constance' point, there's an old adage that "tyranny fears only ridicule". Satire and parody are often the only weapons available to those who would fight against authoritarianism. And, make no mistake, McCain is an authoritarian, and needs to be fought.

Besides which, it's nice that the US has finally started to move out of the "No-Parody" Zone, where it was impossible to create parodies of the people in power more absurd than they themselves were. I can laugh at that picture without having to feel like I'm laughing at country being flayed on a table.

#153 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 08:18 PM:

Man, I'm still burnt up about this. I really had high hopes for JJ Fozz. And I was really trying to learn to be gentle with newcomers, and not assume they were trolls just because their first post was dorky.

But of course, if we start going HULK SMASH every time a newbie doesn't know every one of our community customs, we'll deserve the bad reputation we'll get—and that's what jackholes like Mchl Mtrccl are trying to do to us when they come and play these games. So I'll try to be nice, but it's going to be that much harder, thanks to him.

Rejoice, creepazoid. You scored off us. I hope you walk in front of a bus.

#154 ::: Allan Beatty ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 09:10 PM:

Sheesh, it's too bad I was traveling today and missed the opportunity to watch the whole Michele Metrocceli (or whatever its name was) drama as it unfolded.

But back to the original topic... it's all beyond me now, as I went in to the county auditor's office this morning and cast an early ballot. I wonder what it will feel like to have a president that I voted for.

#155 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 09:40 PM:

Bruce Cohen @#152 -- That works for me. What doesn't is that I don't think this is really ridicule. I think it's mockery. See, I think making fun of McCain thinking Zapatero was from Latin America, or not knowing Shi'ites from Sunnis is both fine and can be very funny. I think jokes about 7 houses are funny. But to me, this really like laughing at someone when they trip and fall. Not quite like laughing at someone in an electric wheelchair with a dead battery, but along those lines. Obviously a lot of people disagree with me, or believe it's justified. YMMV.

#156 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 10:00 PM:

Constance, my comment about the lack of complaints from McCain voters was snarky, based on my completely unsubstantiated gut feeling that Obama's supporters are highly motivated and McCain's not so. I'm sorry the way I said it was confusing.

Seriously, I didn't mean that the voting machine errors are not a problem. One of the ways people are disenfranchised is by providing lousy machines with lousy support, and not enough of them, and in polling places that are hard to reach. Excessive lousiness should be a warning flag, and should receive strict scrutiny. The state may need to be forced to provide more and better equipment, keep the polls open longer, and pay for manual recounts.

If there are more nefarious things going on with voting machines, it's not going to be so obvious as pushing one candidate's button and another candidate's button gets the check mark. It's going to be more like there's a huge Bradley effect and everyone's going to act surprised and sorrowed and they thought it was a thing of the past.

#157 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 10:47 PM:

Just noticed that the online reemvoweler tool I just tried converts McCn into meccano. heh.

#158 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2008, 11:09 PM:

McCain's Ha Ha Only Kidding Gotcha Gotcha Gotcha failed. He or his handlers miscalculated on what it literally would come out looking like on the replay in frame-by-frame excerpting individual frames.... sort of like Harlan Ellison's antics at the most recent LA Con, at the Hugos....

#159 ::: R. M. Koske ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 08:45 AM:

#136, abi

If not, you're typing with a 21.5*-letter keyboard.

* and, as they say, sometimes y

I do like how you put that.

Post #140 wasn't too shabby, either.


#149, Constance -

Even though his second paragraph is purely making fun (as he explained at 156), I think that TomB's first paragraph at #123 may actually explain why there are few complaints about switching from McCain to Obama.

If the screens are all arranged with the candidates listed in alphabetical order and the errors result (as Tom suggested) from voters hitting the screen higher than they meant to, then a vote for Obama will read as a vote for McCain, because McCain will be above Obama. A vote for McCain that is mis-struck in the same way simply won't register (because there's no name above his) and the voter will realize what went wrong and try again.

This assumes that the list is alphabetical by last name and not by party, and further assumes that most screens are tilted to induce a too-high strike rather than variable mis-strikes. I'm not at all sure how valid those assumptions are.

#160 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:09 AM:

For the record, I am not sorry for the amount of rope I gave JJ Fozz, though I am unlikely to warn someone privately to stop socking again.

I would encourage everyone to be welcoming to newcomers, even if this particular one has disappointed us sorely. Do it because you would want to be welcomed into a new community, do it because it's the right thing, or do it because it's a form of defiance against his incivility*. Whatever your reason, please do treat more newcomers with the patience and forbearance that we showed him.

-----
* Actually, I think that JJ Fozz did what he did not because he was deliberately destructive, but because he was weak. Sneering and cynicism gets more reaction with less effort than his level of prose did. I think he wanted the attention too much to keep to what he knew to be the right line of behavior.

In short, now that the ire has subsided, I pity him more than anything else. And if that is, in its own way, belittling and insulting, I'm sorry, but that's what he's earned.

#161 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:21 AM:

abi @ 160... Sneering and cynicism gets more reaction with less effort than his level of prose did.

He could have tried puns.

As for what you said about the next newcomers...
But of course.
The Golden Rule may not always serve us well, but we haven't given up on it.

#162 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:27 AM:

Thanks, TomB for the explanation.

But I believe this is a serious problem.

Recently the ATM at our bank were redesigned and very badly so, meaning one makes a lot of mistakes, but because of the design, not because one doesn't know what one is doing.

The difference is that you see your error immediately and can correct it. Voting machines -- well, who knows? As we also all know, these machines can easily be manipulated from offsite.

Love, C.

#163 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:33 AM:

ADM

Yesterday a dead black bear cub was dumped on the campus of North Carolina University with two Obama signs on his body.

30 sets of tires were slashed at an Obama rally.

A Minnesota congresswoman called for an investigation as to which senators and reps are 'real Americans.'

A voter hung Obama in effigy from a tree in his front yard.

Giuliani hysterically demands investigation into Obama's drug use.

Ridicule is the last weapon of the dispossessed. Which is why fascists and tyrants always end up making it a death penalty offense.

Love, C.

#164 ::: Adrian Smith ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 11:47 AM:

Constance@163: Yesterday a dead black bear cub was dumped on the campus of North Carolina University with two Obama signs on his body.

30 sets of tires were slashed at an Obama rally.

A Minnesota congresswoman called for an investigation as to which senators and reps are 'real Americans.'

A voter hung Obama in effigy from a tree in his front yard.

Giuliani hysterically demands investigation into Obama's drug use.

All kind of smacks of desperation to me.

Doing my sweet best to keep the schadenfreude under control, but it gets difficult at times.

#165 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 12:52 PM:

abi @ 160: For the record, I am not sorry for the amount of rope I gave JJ Fozz, though I am unlikely to warn someone privately to stop socking again.

I think you did the right thing. For my part... perhaps I've spent too much time coping with people with that kind of behaviour, but I was a bit surprised it took him so long to blow up. (See Spock's comments about civilized behaviour at the end of Mirror, Mirror.) Colour me cynical. I'd rather that you'd have been right and me wrong.

20.5-letter keyboard, surely?

#166 ::: Rosa ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 01:13 PM:

For the record, Michelle Bachman (that Minnesota Congresswoman) has always been that way. She just doesn't usually have such a wide audience for it. She's in no way indicative of the general state of the Republican party, except as an example of the fact that some people will vote for lower taxes regardless of the loonytunes social stuff that goes with it.

Also, after she exposed her McCarthyite ambitions, her opponent (who has the politically unhelpful name Elwyn Tinklenberg) has raised almost $1 million (the report I saw last night said $800,000) and now has a chance of actually beating her.

The risk of violence from desperation is a lot less hopeful. But Ms. Bachmann is not really part of the pattern.

#167 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 01:31 PM:

Constance.. Ridicule is the last weapon of the dispossessed. Which is why fascists and tyrants always end up making it a death penalty offense.

When TCM ran a documentary about Chaplin's The Great Dictator, someone who had worked for Hitler said that the latter didn't pay much attention to Chaplin. I find that as believable as Dubya admitting on live TV that he is an incompetent.

#168 ::: Gabrielle ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 05:03 PM:

Now, that's worth a barrel roll.

#169 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: October 21, 2008, 10:37 PM:

Constance @#163

I think you missed my comment to Bruce Cohen. You and some of the others also clearly have a different idea of humour than I do. I see a huge difference between satire and parody (e.g., The Great Dictator), which are subversive and do threaten their targets' hold on power, and mockery, which is what you get when you have a freeze-frame of a picture taken from a bad camera angle that seems to accentuate McCain's physical impairments and have nothing to do with his beliefs or abilities. The one is funny and arguably one of the greatest benefits (and proofs) of living in a free society. The other is just mean-spirited.

Besides, you and some of the others can trot out as many, "but McCain's people are mean, so this is ok and funny, and oh, we're still so much better than they are," arguments that you like --

where I come from, two wrongs don't make a right.

#170 ::: TomB ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 01:40 AM:

This is not two wrongs making a right.

McCain's done a lot more than two wrongs. Trying to weasel out of his own law on campaign finance reform is a wrong. Supporting Bush's war is a wrong. Supporting torture is a wrong. Staffing his campaign with lobbyists is a wrong. Pandering to the religious right is a wrong. And so on, sadly.

Posting a mocking picture really doesn't rank with the kinds of wrongs that McCain represents. It isn't like McCain double-parked or forgot to floss and zing we come back at him with a hard punch below the belt.

It is true that this particular image is not up to the standard of Chaplin in The Great Dictator. Not only that, all my posts really suck compared to Mark Twain's. So? Should we all shut ourselves up in despair at our inadequacy?

#171 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 01:34 PM:

ADM

You appear to have missed my point. It's not about humor. It's about a weapon available to the far less powerful to wield against the prodigiously powerful who are peeing on the less powerful.

These people have been waging class war against people like me for decades. They've been making themselves more powerful all along, and taking away from people like me all along my freedom of movement, my freedom to work, my freedom for leading a healthy life, my freedom to protest what they are doing to me.

I repeat -- this isn't about humor as entertainment. It's about humor as a weapon for people who don't have much else.

It's a very powerful weapon, which is why the neoCONs strategy for a very long time was mockery -- laughing at -- people like me, and barely or not at all veiling the threats against me for punishment as they saw fit.

It's a very powerful weapons because it was the people like Olberman and Colbert who first began using it to show the world that we, at least, saw they had no clothes. And it was the beginning of the turning of the tide -- that and the failure of their levees. Too bad that it took so long. If it hadn't maybe millions in Iraq would still be alive, not to mention the people trapped and drowned in New Orleans.

Again, it's not about humor. It's about humor as part of an arsenal.

There's a reason bards and minstrels were so powerful in ancient cultures. There's a reason praisesinger and satirists still have power in some African cultures. This is part of the spectrum that intelligence uses against those who are too powerful for their own good, and particularly too powerful for my own good.

Love, C.

#172 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 01:44 PM:

ADM, if McCain does this sort of thing very often - sticking his tongue out all the way is what I'm talking about - then surely his campaign people have told him to stop. It's something that makes him look ridiculous, so he's being ridiculed.
If we can't make fun of candidates, if we always have to take them Very Seriously, then what?

#173 ::: OG ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 03:45 PM:

ADM, I don't see that this picture "seems to accentuate McCain's physical impairments" or even reminds most people about them. I just see someone acting silly, and that silliness (mostly the facial expression) reminds me of the way a child will follow people and make faces and stalking motions behind their backs.

#174 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 03:56 PM:

To piggy-back on the last two comments, even though the conversation is close to done, it seems: my feeling about this picture isn't that it's necessarily mocking--it's evidence, to me, that John McCain is out of touch with the culture of the 21st century. Internet culture, especially. He should know by now that there are many people willing to take his silly faces and eye-rolls and tongue-flicks and blinks and mash them up and put them on YouTube. The fact that he leaves himself open to this implies that either he has no idea about internet culture, or his staff has no idea about internet culture, or they don't think it's got enough of an impact to matter. They're wrong. The viral videos, both YouTube made and SNL made, are flying around the 'net in all the places I hang out. They're a big part of the discourse in this election cycle, and to ignore it is to reveal a lack of political savvy that I expect our president to have in the 21st century.

#175 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 08:11 PM:

kouredios @174, yes, what you said is a good point, but if these little physical tics, gestures &c, are a longstanding habit, it could be very hard indeed to entirely excise them, especially at a busy, stressful time. Trying could end up in a really stiff affect, also bad news.

#176 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 09:50 PM:

#173 OG

ADM, I don't see that this picture "seems to accentuate McCain's physical impairments" or even reminds most people about them. I just see someone acting silly, and that silliness (mostly the facial expression) reminds me of the way a child will follow people and make faces and stalking motions behind their backs.

I don't see it as "silly," I see it as childish, stupid, and spiteful... especially stupid and spiteful because McCain is no neophyte politician in a first clueless wonder term. He's been in the media sight for years, starting with return from southeast Asia, then went on campaign for political office.... spiteful, nasty, offensiveness.. he knows about media treatment of politicians, and why should he get special soft touch hands off consideration?!

#177 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: October 22, 2008, 10:47 PM:

Epacris @ 175: You're right of course, but he's already pretty stiff. I suppose I haven't watched his other debates as closely as these past three, so I can't say whether the blinking and the lizard tongue are habits, but sticking your tongue out and making a silly face when you are faced with a walking traffic jam is definitely something under your control, yes?

#178 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: October 29, 2008, 07:54 PM:

The canine version.

#179 ::: OtterB sees spam ::: (view all by) ::: August 25, 2014, 12:30 PM:

Non-English spam at #179

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