Really? That was supposed to constitute crying? A few imperceptible sniffles and suddenly John "If your son was dead maybe you'd feel okay getting $400 haircuts too" Edwards is all "time for some masculine steely resolve"? Yeah, I don't think so. Here's the thing about crying: it's the purest — and vulgarest and most abusable — physical manifestation of and/or appeal to one's "empathy gene." Hillary chokes up and says she has so many ideas about how to run the country, and it reminds us of the time we moved out of the first apartment we shared with a livein and thought OMG we had so many ideas about how we were going to, like, paint shit together. Oh sure, a dude looks at our "ideas" and probably claims he sees "romantic delusions" (and probably also, "drama.") And fair enough. But without tears how can you adequately express the simple sadness when grim reality gets in the way of the dreams you dared to dream, the hopes you so AUDACIOUSLY held? Or, uh, react when Tara Reid loses her virginity in American Pie? We discuss Hillary's crying in a very sappy crappy hour ATJ.
MOE: Okay so Hillary choked up and suddenly it's the meme to end all femememes. the Femmeme fatale. Before we get all "sincere" I would like to know what they are saying "inside the Beltway" about this. I thought Givhan hit the nail on the head when she asked Would she have been more persuasive if she'd shed one perfect tear like Demi Moore in "Ghost"? The problem is that then you get into the backlash to the imagined backlash part, which is a lot easier to do than actual genuine reaction.
MEGAN: I think there is significant debate as to whether is was real, staged or the result of exhaustion.
MOE: Of course, because they are such good triangulators, it now seems like it's ALL of those things!
MEGAN: Can you be all of those things?
MOE: Staged so the small government big gun contingent can feel free to yell "Iron my shirt" and other highly original epithets at rallies and then President Bubba can swoop in and defend his short, old, FEMALE wife and play the loyal husband and then we can all rush to judge both "reactions" with our own, "shut the fuck up, MEN" reactions.
MEGAN: I'm voting exhaustion.
MOE: Well you WOULD say that.
And a woman
But the thing is, when you are exhausted to the point of choking up, don't you actually CRY?
That was not crying.
That was some steely motherfucking resolve.
MEGAN: True. But I get emotional in basically three circumstances: hormones, exhaustion and frustration.
No, she held back the tears but her voice broke.
MOE: AND THEY ALWAYS ALLY THEMSELVES TOGETHER.
WE ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING THREE FRONT WARS.
MEGAN: Can't be a man, don't be a girl.
MOE: I guess her voice broke, but I was like, "wait I thought she was supposed to cry in this video?!"
This is one of those moments that, if I were covering the campaign, I would be so exhausted and frustrated I wouldn't even notice Hillary.
MEGAN: True. I think everyone's exhausted. I mean, just because she didn't actually break down-break down, she definitely got choked up, and at a very opportune moment.
And she's being dragged over the coals for it, for being (according to the Edwardses) not a tough enough person to lead this country.
MOE: Right, Edwards has got to be exhausted too.
MEGAN: 2 weeks ago, she was frigid and too manly or something, and she gets a little choked up and no one says that anymore, but it's a whole new round of criticism,
MOE: Otherwise he is just a supreme tool for saying that.
MEGAN: I think he might be a tool.
MOE: Right, which is why Edwards is such a dumbass. The thing I have trouble is that we are all REACTING to this against the media perception of Hillary as this Machialesbian iron woman. And I guess that's what she wants us to react to. Or does she? I dunno. She can't win. And maybe that's just it: she can't win. But can we?
Let's go back and watch the video one more time!
Or let's not and say we did.
MEGAN: I watched it like 3 times yesterday, so I'm done.
Technically, she chokes up, gets it together and then chokes up again.
Weak, exhausted or calculating.
MOE: Yeah, and the first time she chokes up it's unexpected, but by the second time she chokes up you're like, "Work it girl!"
MEGAN: Which she does.
MOE: Well yeah, because I would never actually tell Hillary to "work it girl," I am actually just articulating the voice in my head that is imagining the voice inside the head of a Hillary supporter or an undecided underloved middle aged single mom with a month's supply of 100-calorie snack packs and a copy of eat pray love or a flamboyant gay man or some other stereotype now that I am at home during daytime television hours and I am thinking, "What Would The Stereotype Think?"
But when I watch it as myself, my reaction is, "Oh good lord it's not a CRY unless SNOT is present."
MEGAN: Well, those 100 calorie snack packs are pretty good.
No, I can cry briefly without snot!
I only get snot when I start legitimately sobbing.
MOE: I HATE hundred calorie snack packs. They are not RATIONAL.
MEGAN: I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years less than 6 months ago. Believe me, I know ALL the stages of crying.
MOE: Have you checked the UNIT PRICE of those snack packs?
MEGAN: Yes. You're paying for the packaging.
MOE: Well yes I understand.
MEGAN: They are for people with no self control, who would, say, eat an entire bowl of popcorn.
The packaging cost is our self-flagellation.
MOE: Hey, don't worry about the bowl of popcorn! You eat an entire bowl and get all the self-loathing of a bona fide food binge and you've really only consumed somewhere between 240 and 350 calories, tops! That rationale doesn't really work on me anymore. Also, the hands. You can't type and eat popcorn at the same time! When I'm hungry, I grab a snickers. 290 calories. Wait did I just expose myself as some other sort of prisoner of media images and perceptions? Probs yeah. Anyway, CRYING. I don't think what Hillary did should have counted as crying because she kept it in check like a total pro. On the other hand, she's a pro! It's so hard.
Hey, did you cry at Atonement?
MEGAN: I haven't seen it, but, um, well, I cry when the Beast dies in the cartoon Beauty and the Beast. And when Demi Moore does in Ghost. And, um, really drunk after my college boyfriend dumped me I cried when Tara Reid lost her virginity in American Pie. So, let's just say that, when I see it, I definitely will, which is why I'll be glad that movie theatres are dark.
MOE: Oooh, I cried at the movie Jersey Girl — but I was on a plane. I cried at Traffic. I cried reading Eat Pray Love though I had just broken up with my boyfriend so it doesn't count. But it's hard to cry when you're talking. That's why Hillary did it so good. When she said "I have so many ideas for this country" that was totally an awesome teary statement. Like when you're moving out of the house you shared with your boyfriend and looking out at all the stupid $3 Ikea possessions you acquired together and you're just like "I had so may IDEAS about how we were finally going to make this place look not like a dormroom-meets-crack den. Woe are the limits of the human condition for landing us here!!"
MEGAN: Yeah, I can't cry and talk.
But I'm glad to know any post-break-up crying at stupid shit doesn't count!
MOE: Well the thing about crying is that i think it activates your imagination. Like "omg I have so many IDEAS guys just give me a chance!!" When we do have a woman president I hope she allows herself to cry and get those kinds of notions and ideas that men only get when they get high.
MEGAN: Men also get all those notions after sex, and then forget them all when they wake up.
I think it's because crying relieves so much stress and personal frustration, it's like the snotty equivalent of a deep tissue massage.
MOE: I wish I could cry right now.
MEGAN: I'd rather have the massage, personally, but partly because my masseur is named Antoine and he has a sexy French accept.
MOE: but no. I don't care enough anymore.
MEGAN: Er, accent. Freudian slip.
MOE: I have to go re-watch Atonement.