In a telling interview with the erudite Philadelphia radio program The Angelo Cataldi Show, Barack Obama said he would rather be Dr. J than president. (Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, gave some speech comparing herself to Rocky Balboa while wearing a fuchsia blazer.) Feminist hero Heidi Montag of The Hills announced her endorsement of John McCain, and her on-again boyfriend Spencer Pratt immediately shot back that he didn't think "anyone cares who Heidi Montag votes for." Well shit, Spencer, you know better than anyone that at least as many people care about Heidi's political stances as the fact that John McCain thinks Muqtada al Sadr is the one who came begging for a ceasefire, and that's way more than the number of people who care about the release of some 2003 Bush Administration memo authorizing torture-esque torture strategies, and even that is wayyyy more than the number of people who will sit still long enough to watch Errol Morris' new movie so...where was I? OMG EVILDOERS TRIED TO BLOW UP DISNEYLAND! Glamocracy's Megan and I are soooooo glad they didn't succeed.
MOE: Okay dammit, I can't find that John McCain clip. I'm refusing to take meds today because I've got all this work to do later, and I'm all over the place. On one side of me this woman on Fox News is saying we're not in recession, that the media and a vast Hugo Chavez-led left-wing conspiracy has formulated this whole con to get people to hate business and the free market, and I seriously want to reach into the TV and strangle her. Also, bitch is so young she looks like Enron collapsed before her first Purity Ball. Also, and this is shallow, but the hair: needs a blow out. Who are you, Southern-accented apologist for the plutocracy? Maybe you should spend a little time reading business news before you go on airing your conspiracy theories!!!
MOE: But anyway John McCain went on Letterman and made some funny cracks (and some nine-times-warmed-over ones but no one seems to be clipping those) and meanwhile Barack Obama has been bro-ing down with the sports talk radio guys on Philadelphia's WIP.
MEGAN: Do you mean this clip? The thing I hate about candidates on late night talk shows is that I don't really need to know that they can be "funny" anymore. They're just sort of not.
After Obama spoke about former Sixers legend Julius Erving - Dr. J - being a boyhood idol, Cataldi asked whether Obama would rather be the president or Dr. J.
"The Doctor," said Obama. "I think any kid growing up, if you got a chance to throw down the ball from the free throw line, that's better than just about anything."
MOE: can you ask her to get timestamps if it's too long
MOE: because the clips are really long
MEGAN: So, not that I know anything about basketball, but how soon until a Penna NBA team gives him that chance to throw some free throws?
MOE: The Sixers. Does Pittsburgh have a bball team? I'm thinking. Pittsburgh...Tribune-Review, Steelers, Warhol...can't think of an NBA team. Although if they have one, you know some dude out there in internet world is thinking to himself, "She's kidding, right? TELL ME SHE'S KIDDING." Also, incidentally, Obama, in agreement with Shepard Smith, does not think we need Congress investigating steroids, and he picked three out of the Final Four, although I don't know when that was. But...I feel like this conversation is getting so serious. Could we maybe get a link up in here to bring some levity to this terribly somber conversation?
MEGAN: I think the thing I'm still laughing at is the clip Jon Stewart showed last night of Rep Emmanuel Cleaver telling the oil comps that they approval ratings were lower than Congress's, meaning they were really "down low." I can't believe no one else thought that was funny.
MOE: Oh yeah the John Yoo torture memo, not to be mistaken for the John Woo torture memo. What's torture? You thought it had a pretty nebulous definition right?
The victim must experience intense pain or suffering of the kind that is equivalent to the pain that would be associated with serious physical injury so severe that death, organ failure or permanent damage resulting in a loss of significant body functions will likely result
MEGAN: Oh, God, my replacement CH dude, Spencer Ackerman, sent me something about that this morning. I can't do torture on an empty stomach, and the MSNBC people spent 10 minutes talking about pancakes at the same time.
MOE: I didn't see John Stewart last night. Dumb question: what is the fucking point of bringing in these former CEOs and shaming them in hearings no one watches for no discernible reason? Do they actually ask good questions ever? Can former CEOs even answer questions? What do they even know?
MEGAN: They make the news, Moe!
MEGAN: There's no other reason. Cameras come, their faces end up on TV and they get to be seen unloading on the boogeymen. That's it. There's no other purpose.
MOE: Oh so also, how do you inflict pain commensurate with organ failure, without actually causing organ failure? Also, how do they know what organ failure feels like?
MOE: Is that in the memo? Because that wasn't in the Times story.
MEGAN: You know what's sick? That was my first thought, too.
MEGAN: Like, how does one quantify the pain of organ failure?
MEGAN: And, which organ?
MEGAN: Like, can your brain fail?
MOE: Yeah like ...appendicitis hurt like a bitch, but is that even an important enough organ?
MOE: Appendicitis can't possibly hurt as much as kidney failure, can it?
MOE: And why do paper cuts hurt so much?
MEGAN: Stepping on glass hurts like a motherfucker. Yes, I used to take my shoes off after a night of clubbing in Boston.
MOE: And would it be more or less humane if they could devise some sort of way of artificially instilling deep emotional pain like your first really evil college boyfriend?
MEGAN: Oh, God, I mean, if they did that to me, I doubt I could confess to anything between the crying.
MEGAN: Oh, dude, MSNBC just showed some tennis player muffing a serve and then beating himself about his head with his racket until he bled.
MOE: Oh man I have done that before.
MOE: Maybe not with the bleeding.
MOE: I am to tennis as Obama is to bowling
MEGAN: I'm to bowling like Obama is to bowling and tennis, too. Pretty much all sports with balls I suck at. I can ski pretty well, though.
MOE: Even Wii tennis, which is the really disgraceful thing. Anyway, there's a bunch of shit going on that I feel duty-bound to try and approach today, namely because of this story in the Washington Post about all the lonely unwatched Iraq war documentaries.
Perhaps you can feel it in the strange way that the war is beginning to feel increasingly like a distant, historical event in two very different films. In Ellen Spiro's "Body of War" (co-produced and co-directed by Phil Donahue), video of the October 2002 congressional debate on the Iraq war resolution has that familiar-but-foreign quality of things now slipping into the near past. Politicians hector each other, with faces less wrinkled, hair less gray than they have today. Names that were once so familiar you felt like they were family (what happened to Phil Gramm?) are slipping into the realms of amnesia. The urgency of the threat of weapons of mass destruction — announced by the president and parroted by the Congress — feels odd, too, not just because no WMDs were found but because the very foundations of the war have shifted so many times over the past half-decade.
MEGAN: Phil Gramm retired from Congress and uses his name to bring attention to conservative tax groups. I think he might do some lawyer-y stuff, too.
MEGAN: I mean, I think to a great degree that's why most Americans want to end the war but are easily distracted by the economy and the elections and the sale at the mall to the point where they don't do anything about it other than express their opinion to pollsters.
MEGAN: It's the perfect PR strategy — make sure that virtually nothing changes for the vast majority of people except for those who "volunteered" and no one will care because most Americans are inherent self-obsessed and selfish.
MOE: Okay and five years later McCain gets shit brazenly wrong on the sequence of events that led to... well, whatever is happening in Basra right now, which again, I can describe only in terms of "Shiite majority" and "names I haven't gotten to the point of being to spell without thinking." There is some ceasefire, arranged in Iran with Moqtada al Sadr, and McCain is acting like Sadr was begging for it when really, hello, Sadr is in Iran, what does he care?
MOE: And meanwhile Fox News is reporting something on vicious killer bees.
MEGAN: Also, Sadr asked for it because it makes him look better and gives him more political power.
MOE: And killer Botox
MOE: And killer third graders.
MEGAN: Oh, Jesus, killer bees? Again.
MEGAN: The third graders thing is all over MSNBC. They said the teacher's whole class "mutineed" as though they were on the HMS Bounty.
MOE: And killer swarthy Jamaicans
MEGAN: Wait, so, like, aren't the other killer bees African?
MOE: Okay you know what? I think I am going to have to succumb to the adderall today. All the static is making me despondent. Oh, and we haven't even heard about Hillary's little Rocky stunt! There is this picture on the front page of two guys sitting on a dirt road in Zimbabwe listening to the shortwave radio for news about the elections. It looks pleasant there, and sunny. Not taking meds makes me want to sit on a dirt road and listen to the radio for a little while.
MEGAN: Actually, that would be cool.
MEGAN: Zimbabwe seems like it was a lovely place before Mugabe decided he didn't want to leave office
MEGAN: But it looks like he may actually leave office this time, so maybe we can hope that unlike the opposition leader in Kenya — who beat the Powers That Be and took office in reform but got addicted to power and started a little ethnic cleansing to keep it — the new guy in Zimbabwe will actually be good for the country.
MOE: I'm starting to totally get why Obama would be Dr. J.
MEGAN: No one scrutinizes Dr J's pastor or asks if he's black enough or too black.
MEGAN: I mean, that last part is really awful, now that I think about it.
MOE: Ha ha classic Obama basketball footage. Isn't the Internet grand?
MEGAN: I sat in on an interview yesterday that an interracial radio producer friend of mine conducted with an interracial professor who studies race issues, and they talked about the weird humiliation of calling yourself multiracial, or of being identified more by how you look than how you feel. It was like being in a conversation I had no business being in and it was fascinating.
MEGAN: And the professor mentioned that in surveys (racist) people will talk about how difficult it will be for kids of such unions because they know better than to talk about how the unions themselves make them (the racists) uncomfortable.
MEGAN: Which is an awkward segue to the Hillary backer who says that us white people just like Obama because he's "articulate" because we don't know anything about "articulate" black people. Oh, and the backer is African-American Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver.
MOE: Yeah racism is weird. That's about all I have to say today. I gave my big race speech yesterday.
MEGAN: Ah, well, I'll keep going.
MEGAN: Or not, I am sort of inarticulate in my rage against his statements.
MOE: Wait, also, I want to rant a second about some commenter who hated on me for being an anti-intellectual.
MEGAN: Ok, seriously, there's the laugh line for the day. You're an anti-intellectual?
MOE: Yeah and having something against Beckett.
MOE: I wish Beckett had written a novel from the perspective of a blogger.
MOE: No blogger would have the attention span to read it but the first 10 pages would have us all in tears anyway.
MEGAN: Wait, so, if you don't like Beckett, you're an anti-intellectual?
MOE: I do like Beckett, that's what was confusing.
MOE: Then the commenter admonished me for not reading enough and I was like, LADY, IF YOU CAN'T FUCKING FOLLOW MY SENTENCES TO DETERMINE MY ACTUAL MEANING, MAYBE YOU ARE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO READ MORE.
MEGAN: You know what, who reads enough?
MEGAN: Nobody reads enough.
MOE: I know a few people. Insufferable ones mostly.
MEGAN: Ok, maybe I do, too, but a very small number of them.
MEGAN: But, really, even those people tend to read a lot in a genre.
MEGAN: I like literature. I like poetry. Big biographies, non fiction thought books? I have to force myself and I already work the rest of the day.