There are two kinds of good things in this world, according to my friend Don. There are the Irrefutables, and then, there are the things where you're like "You think you're soooooooooo cool, but you can't deny…" The irrefutables are, you know, just that. (Obama's race speech. Exile In Guyville. Thomas Frank's call for a new Grace Commission to expose the massive scam of government privatization which he admirably restrained himself from titling the Disgrace Commission.) But the latter things might make you squirm at first, like the epidemic of Irish Catholic overshare in the wake of Tim Russert, or Billy Joel's "Longest Time" or those fond memories you have of being 22 and voting for Ralph Nader who is who is now ripping on Barack Obama for "acting white" which brings us sheepishly to the contents of Barack Obama's iPod — EGADS SHERYL CROW — being ceremoniously revealed to Rolling Stone. On one hand, you know, like Peggy Noonan would say: Barf. On the other hand: Ludacris did some really irrefutable work. The most musically enhanced Crappy Hour in some time, with me and Megan after the jump.
MOE: Ralph Nader thinks Obama is "acting white" to hone in on "white guilt" which doesn't even make sense but white people are eating it up blah blah blah asbestos. Thought 1: I would really love to hear him discuss all this with Karl Rove. Thought 2: Ralph Nader is supposed to be Arab; where does he get off making payday loans and asbestos his thing???
MEGAN: Nader is Arab, though Christian Arabic. My question is whether he went and, like, looked at Obama's plans on predatory credit or mortgage fraud or Obama's agenda on agenda on poverty before he opened his maw and called him "half African-American" as an insult.
MEGAN: Oh, and payday loans are in there, too, Ralphie.
MOE: And Efraim Diveroli reminds Thomas Frank more of Jeff Spicoli than Andy Samberg. He advises Obama to launch a reverse Grace Commission to examine the "sordid history of privatization in all its details." That would, like, make my crappy hour every day. And yeah re Nader, it's not like he spent his political career in Vermont, move on…the antipathy he inspires from the old guard sanctimonious left is kind of amusing.
MOE: See, why can't all those California lefties be like these guys???
MEGAN: I could see you volunteering to staff that commission, dude. Did I ever tell you my dad's old job was "privatized" when Pataki took office in NY? They contracted out his whole department at the university to get people off the ostensible payroll (though mostly people were just shifted around into departments that were led by the friends of the Republican overseers), and in my dad's case, his boss went to the Powers That Be and showed them that the entire department, salaries, benefits and supplies, cost less than the outsourced gig and pointed out the contract they were about to sign would leave the university without technical support after 4.5 months if the number of calls remained the same. The PTB signed the contract anyway, the contractor met his service quota by the end of the 3rd month and stopped providing service at his initial rate, the university ended up quietly re-insourcing the contract and the Republicans got to claim "credit" for "getting" 10,000 people off the state payroll. Good times.
MEGAN: Re: the George Bush Sewage Treatment plant, a synchronized flush is a waste of water, people. Also, Republicans can't talk about wasting money renaming stuff after Republican Congressman now Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr's little crusade to name a building in every state after Ronald Reagan, which cost millions and millions of dollars. They can suck a ballot-initiative treatment plant and I can call it NATIONAL airport, fuck you very much.
MOE: Tell it to the Disgrace Commission! And yeah everyone calls it National Airport. Was it Chris Hitchens who was once interviewed and the whole time he spent blusterfully refusing to call it Reagan? Anyway that's something we can all agree on. Here is something else: Irish Catholics in the media really fucking how to embarrass themselves.
MEGAN: Um, wow, it's actually kind of hard to offend me but the person (people?) who wrote that have managed. Irish-Catholics are a "gang of kooks"? They have "the obsessiveness of their ethnic/religious culture"? Irish Catholics at NBC are "a gang of such perfect crackpots"? Patrick Buchanan is "the sane one of these three."?
MEGAN: Dude who wrote that: go fuck yourself.
MEGAN: For real.
MEGAN: With a spiky acid-tipped dick.
MEGAN: Instead of me just being angry, why don't we soothe my ruffled feathers by talking about Russ Feingold and why I really think he should've made Obama's short list. The man's a liberal's intellectual wet dream, a civil liberties god, etc.
MOE: Dude, maybe I am just too Irish Catholic, but I read that whole thing and thought - as I laughed — GUITY GUILTY GUILTY. All the oversharing! The demons! Using the romantic notion that the Irish Catholic are some scrappy disadvantaged minority in the Washington news media as an excuse to look out for the interests of Maria Shriver?? No, that's just kind of funny. But Maria Shriver repeating that story? As Kathleen Matthews said "All of us who are Irish say, Let's purge the dark side of our Irishnessand let's hold on to the good positive side of it." Which I think means get me a drink and I'll tell you the story of this one time a guy shaved off my pubic hair before we fucked and I thought it was really funny at the time because I was on Vicodin but not so much when it grew in. He was Catholic too, but Italian or Portuguese or something. Dark.
MOE: All of which is just to say.
MATTHEWS (6/16/08): So let me ask you about the ethnic piece of this. Why do Irish Catholics make some great cops, such great prosecutors? Michael, I mean, they are!
BARNICLE: I think it begins-as just Pat referenced, I think it begins with so many Irish Catholics of a certain age, of a certain generation, with their parochial school education, and they come to life later on with a missionary zeal for the truth because it begins in parochial school.
Maybe when I die you and Slut Machine can have an IM about being Irish and use some of these exchanges as a guide!
MEGAN: I used to have a Irish Catholic boyfriend shave my Bush regularly. But I don't think it had anything to do with us being Irish or him being Catholic or me being formerly-Catholic. I just don't like being called a kook or a wackjob because of the religion that my mother chooses to practice. Like we're all some crazy cult or something? I don't have a lot of lines, but that dude crossed it.
MEGAN: I mean, a lot of NY and Boston cops are Irish. I don't know that I'd call them all great, though. It's more like a family business for a lot of people, like the military but with less moving.
MOE: It just appealed to my missionary zeal for the truth I guess. The "cooks" part was just a joke pretty much. Okay, so what else? Ralph Nader is also profiled in the Post today. Such charisma that guy:
When an aide relays a young woman's request to stop for a picture, Nader has had enough. "No!" he snaps, walking away. "It's always 'one more'!"
MEGAN: Such a nice guy, that Nader. Can you believe people hate him? They've just been brainwashed by the two-party system! It's not because he's an egotistical, self-centered asshole who doesn't care what actually happens to this country as long as he gets on the teevee.
MOE: Oh god and the media is doing its best to make me squirm today…like did the Obama campaign really have to release his iPod playlist? I mean, sure, it's cute when Meghan McCain does it but…wouldn't it have just been cooler if some girl had been using his same Wifi signal and clicked on "Barry's LimeWire Tunes" and then the world got to know the only natural way how Obama was listening to pirated Ludacris tracks?
MOE: Musical interlude
MEGAN: Well, he totally had to prove that 99 Problems wasn't on it! Also, if I find out that the shitty new Sheryl Crow album is on his playlist, I'm out.
MEGAN: Is is sad that I sort of fucking love Roll Out? The summer that song was out, I was working in Bethesda and driving to work, and I used to blast it in the car with the windows down singing along, even though Move Bitch is a better D.C. traffic song.
MOE: God I fucking love YouTube. And no, "Roll Out" is just fucking irrefutable. My friend Don actually has these games, "The Irrefutables" where you take one artist, and you say totally arbitrarily, "Okay, there are nine irrefutable Billy Joel songs, NAME THEM." And then what ensues is part-race, part-debate over whether "Always a Woman" is indeed irrefutable or whether you should be hanged for even suggesting as much. And then there's another game called "You think you're so cool, but you can't deny…" And that's where you take a cheesy song or artist and then the debate is over whether you can, indeed, deny the merits of, you know, "Maybe I'm Amazed."
MOE: Or in the case of the Obama playlist, "My favorite Mistake"
MOE: You can also do it with other things, such as you think you're so cool, but you can't deny…TIM RUSSERT.
MEGAN: This is probs an Irrefutable.
MOE: Dude that movie was fucking irrefutable. The Stones are a band you never want to get into the Irrefutables with though because everyone's drunk and you can't count that high. You have to break it up with bands like that, like maybe Stones songs set in train stations…
MEGAN: Sorry, I'm now totally distracted by the Stones, damn you
MOE: Also, a final thing, you can't get into Irrefutables unless you have a certain amount of distance from the artist. Like I wouldn't personally attempt it with Neko Case or obviously the Replacements or Pavement, and you probably wouldn't want to get into it with Barack Obama and Stevie Wonder and to that end fucking yes, it is summer
MEGAN: Or, we could bring it all back to Tim Russert, yet again, since I'm a narcissitic Irish Catholic.