Megan and I are convening in Murderdelphia tonight for tomorrow's Pennsylvania primary! This morning a seven-alarm fire reminded everyone once more there used to be an economy there. Now there are too many vacant buildings and not enough crackheads to fill them. Five murders happened over the weekend in Philly. Chelsea Clinton submitted her ass to a fag hag gang grope. Michael Moore endorsed Barack Obama. The railroad industry made a comeback. The Pope made some speeches. Jeremiah Wright is going on TV. Some Republican told other Republicans to forget Reagan. Jimmy Carter won't make it so easy on you! Obama said he thought John McCain would be better than Bush. (Maybe because the Walnuts' stubborn refusal to wear a flag pin dovetails with his own 1960s radicalism?) And number one Jezecrush Thomas Frank got a weekly column in the Wall Street Journal. "The landmark political fact of our time is the replacement of our middle-class republic by a plutocracy," he wrote. "If some candidate has a scheme to reverse this trend, they've got my vote, whether they prefer Courvoisier or beer bongs spiked with cough syrup." There's a thought to drank to! His new book is called The Wrecking Crew.
MOE: Thomas Frank: What exactly is he doing on the WSJ op-ed page? Does Rupert Murdoch have a soft spot for his eviscerations of late capitalism or is he friends with Peggy Noonan? Anyway, I want to have his babies etc. A long time ago I was dating a dude who not only remembered Valentine's Day, he bought me Commodify Your Dissent as a present. He is now married. (Let it be a lesson!) Anyway as presents go it was nice to see Thomas Frank in the papers and Bob Novak glowering in the corner.
MEGAN: Really, really working, If I'm ignoring you, it's because you're not talking about work and thus I am ignoring you.
MOE: Why is Novak always number one on the "Most Viewed List"?
MEGAN: I think Bob Novak lacks the ability to do anything but glower.
MOE: No dude he rules the most emailed list!
MEGAN: I think he hires those Chinese services that will click over and over to drive up your page views. They're really cheap, apparently.
MOE: Hey can you explain to me what Jimmy Carter is doing with Hamas?
MOE: I mean, I guess he is trying to broker some sort of piece but I haven't been able to click any of the links, mostly because of laziness.
MEGAN: Trying to maintain a sense of political relevancy? Fucking with Bush? Helping McCain win the election? Umm, overestimating his own diplomatic prowess?
MOE: Rick Santorum is on Fox News incidentally.
MOE: Warning America that Barack Obama is not a uniter.
MEGAN: Charlie Wilson was on MSNBC.
MEGAN: Like, the real guy, not Tom Hanks. But Rick Santorum is smarmy.
MOE: WHOA holy shit.
MEGAN: Also, I guarantee he's got dentures. And I would not hit that.
MOE: I just scrolled down on the Thomas Frank thing.
He will begin a weekly column each Wednesday in the Journal on May 14.
MEGAN: Wait, so, like, he'll have a weekly column starting in a month? I don't understand newspapers really.
MEGAN: Also, it is apparently a Tom Petty morning on MSBNC.
MOE: Yeah I guess but Thomas Frank? In the Wall Street Journal? Fuck...
MEGAN: Well, it makes more since then Bill "The Joker" Kristol in the motherfucking New York Times/
MOE: Ooooh, quick quiz! How many times since he won the nomination has John McCain been photographed wearing a flag pin on his lapel?
MOE: No takers?
MEGAN: But he doesn't have to because he's a war hero! And he's not a Muslim! And his middle name isn't Hussein! And he's not a Democrat, which means he is, by his very political affiliation, a patriot (if not a nationalist). Being a Republican is like having the American flag tattooed on your soul which is singing along to Proud to Be An American while your heart beats a military tattoo.
MOE: And being Barack Obama is a kitchen sink full of Yellow Peril!
MEGAN: Ooh! Ooh! Did you see? One of her foreign policy advisors, Richard Baum (who I'm gonna guess your dad intellectually opposes) resigned from Clinton's campaign because of her China-bashing?
MOE: Do you understand the subtle subliminal message Obama was trying to summon when he used that esoteric kitchen sink metapor? Because I think all the elitism made it fly over my head
MOE: Yeah Dad? I dare you to economically oppose this:
"Our reasoning was that while China certainly bears a share of responsibility for these (and other) problems, much (if not most) of the blame, at least on the economic issues, lies elsewhere," Baum wrote in an e-mail. He attributed the problems, at least in part, to America's high level of consumption, deficit spending and selective trade protectionism.
MEGAN: But that's our birthright! And they're making money off of it! That's not cool! Dammit, it's GOT to be their fault!
MOE: This is a little more opposable:
On the question of human rights, Baum said he and others in the advisory group believe the Chinese leaders respond better to persistent advice than "self-righteous finger-pointing aimed at publicly shaming and humiliating them."
MEGAN: I don't think they give a shit either way.
MOE: So wait, the Pope...the spin seems to be that he's made all those pedophiles the centerpiece of a PR coup! But is it "just words" so to speak?
Anne Barrett Doyle, a founder of BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of the scandal, said that by condemning only pedophiles and not those who kept them in ministry, "it was a signal to us he will take no action. He came here to achieve a public-relations triumph and he did it."
MEGAN: Actually, that's what totally struck me about everything he said about the pervs. Unless I missed it, and I'll admit that I sort of stopped paying that much attention at some point, I didn't hear him say anything about the pedo-enablers, which were as much a part of the problem as everything. The fact that the Catholics has pervs among their ranks? Forgivable, presumably. The fact that Church leaders decided to fight the slow decline of men entering the priesthood (with the exception of my grad school friend Marcos, which, congrats!) by keeping pervs in the priesthood and moving them around every time they get caught molesting yet another young kid is the problem that strikes at the heart of the Church's relationship with the faithful, IMHO.
MEGAN: It's just another example of the kind of hypocritical, bad-stuff-enabling blind, overly-hierarchical patriarchy that drove me from the Church in the first place.
MOE: Why am I seeing so few quotes from the pope himself? What does he sound like? What did he say actually? Am I the only one who did not know Frank Bruni is a foremost chronicler of the abuse scandal?
MEGAN: I did not know that about Frank Bruni. I mean, I didn't hear a ton of him talking (I skipped listening to the Mass, obviously) but he has a very, very soft voice. Kind of high-pitched. German-mixed-with-Italian accent. Not a great public speaking voice, but perhaps he's more forceful-sounding in German or Italian.
MEGAN: And on the abuse, he said something along the lines of "it was really bad" and then he prayed with the survivors that stayed Catholic and met with him!
MOE: Why is it news that Obama thinks McCain would be better than Bush? Isn't that sort of like saying McCain knows more about foreign policy than Spencer Pratt?
MEGAN: Because, apparently, you can't acknowledge that some people in the other party are better than others or something.
MOE: Ugh did you read anything in the Times magazine? I just remembered it was the green issue. I am pretty sure green issues would do better if they made them some more synthetic color like neon orange. But anyway, the nation's railways are apparently expanding for the first time in ever. No way, right?! But it turns out their fuel efficiency for freight is 3x better than that of an 18-wheeler.
MEGAN: That's what the CSX commercial tells me, anyway.
MOE: Oh my god and file this under CNN reporters you could actually totally see walking through Central Park in a crystal meth haze.
MEGAN: I am sooooo sad about Richard Quest. Meth is bad, people, bad! Its use is correlated in the LGBT community with a rise in the incidences of STIs including HIV.
MEGAN: Also, it's nasty on the teeth. Oh, Richard. Please don't! Who else will I get my breathless Royals coverage from?
MOE: Well aren't we just all PSA today. Yeah, an increase in dumb behavior results in an increase in things that you get from engaging in dumb behavior. And yeah, if your teeth weren't British before...speaking of I have a case of Adderall mouth I should attend to.
MOE: Tomorrow's the primary. I think I'm voting in it. There's supposedly all sorts of horrible negative ads. Have you seen any of them?
MEGAN: You should totally vote in it. Are you going to Philly for it? Did you know I'm there covering it for Glamocracy?
MOE: Peggy Noonan thinks Hillary is finished and her campaign is officially in the red. Peggy loved a speech she gave but thinks she needs four more years to overcome the whole pants thign.
She'll need more than four years to shake off the impression she made in 2008. And this is how you'll know she's making another bid for the presidency. She will wear skirts. Gone will be the pantsuits that made her look like a small blond man with breasts. It's the new me, I wear skirts! Her first impulse is to think cosmetically. A long and weary life in politics has left her thinking this is the way to think.
And yes I was going to go to Philly for it. I'm kind of torn.
MEGAN: I try not to watch political ads because I kill enough brain cells with drinking.
MOE: The Bush twins are apparently going to be at the 92nd St. Y tomorrow night, so I might come back up.
MEGAN: She looks like a small blonde man with breasts? Peggy, please.
MOE: I dunno
MOE: I kind of love how carried away she gets:
The other is elitism, a charge that clearly grates on him and unnerves his wife, who has a great deal that would be attractive in a first lady (intelligence, accomplishment, beauty) but lacks placidity, which is, actually, necessary. All first ladies, first spouses, should be like Denis Thatcher, slightly dazed, mildly inscrutable, utterly supportive. It is the only job in the world where "seems slightly drugged" is a positive job qualification.
MEGAN: Well, if you came down tonight, we could Crap on Philly tomorrow morning and you could be back in time for the Bush twins.
MOE: Hahaha you want to come to my polling place?
MEGAN: Wow, so Nooner's a Laura Bush fan? I prefer my political wives be actual humans.
MEGAN: That would be hilarious! Where's your polling place? I could take pictures of Democracy In Action!
MOE: It's at 12th and Federal, a South Philadelphia social club with a name that translates to "Home of the Crazy" I think...um...and speaking of, is all they're talking about on the non-Fox News the Weather Underground?
MEGAN: Sixties radicals play big with the still-think-we-coulda-won-Vietnam Fox News viewership. Pat Buchanan is yelling on MSNBC.
MOE: About the weather?
MOE: Michael Moore just endorsed.
I haven't spoken publicly 'til now as to who I would vote for, primarily for two reasons: 1) Who cares?; and 2) I (and most people I know) don't give a rat's ass whose name is on the ballot in November, as long as there's a picture of JFK and FDR riding a donkey at the top of the ballot, and the word "Democratic" next to the candidate's name.
Seriously, I know so many people who don't care if the name under the Big "D" is Dancer, Prancer, Clinton or Blitzen. It can be Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Barry Obama or the Dalai Lama.
MEGAN: Does that help Obama with blue collar voters, or do they only remember "Bowling for Columbine" and the health care movie and not "Roger and Me"?
MOE: What is the diff between the Weathermen and the Weather Underground?
MOE: And I think they probably remember Fahrenheit 9/11 as that movie was like bigger at the BO than Harold & Kumar. I saw that movie at a matinee in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The theater was packed with kids who looked like they'd come straight from a group interview to work at Abercrombie & Fitch. They didn't shut up the whole time. I felt so sure they would turn up to the polls to vote for Kerry! But I think Obama might do a better job turning them out.
MEGAN: I saw Farenheit 911 drunk at a midnight showing at the second run theater in my neighborhood with my friend Larry. We drank sangria to numb it, and then walked back to my place and watched the 9/11 movie those French guys taped with the closest firehouse that CBS aired without commercials, that I knew I had to watch but couldn't until then. And then I drove him home at like 3:30 in the morning. And I still didn't support the Iraq War. I wasn't even all that keen on Afghanistan.
MOE: Whoa and Jeremiah Wright is finally talking.
MEGAN: Oh, that should be interesting.
MOE: Oh speaking of fires, that fire in Philly looked horrific. Maybe we should visit. Are you arriving tonight?
MEGAN: I'm arriving at 12:30 today. Basically, when I get done here, I'm throwing shit in a suitcase and calling a cab and hopefully getting the train.
MOE: Oh great, Hamas endorses Obama, now Jimmy Cater too?
MEGAN: So, yeah, I'm around tonight.
MOE: Cool maybe I'll just come tonight then.
MEGAN: Yeah, Spencer and I decided on Friday it was part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, but then he wrote it smarter and stuff. And, yeah, you should totally come tonight. What the hell do I know about Philly? I'm probably still banned from the bar I was at the last time I was there, because I met my best friend from the 6th and 7th grade that I hadn't seen in 15 years and, um, well, we played "Hanging Tough" and "Humpty Dance" on the Internet jukebox in a dive bar and they asked us to leave and not come back.
MOE: Yeah if I come Mission of Burma will be on the jukebox and it will so not be run on servers. That's what's great about Philly; it is truly Old Economy that way.
MEGAN: I promise to keep my quarters in my purse and save everyone in Philly the pain of drunken-Megan jukebox selections. It's just not safe any other way.