Pig Lips, Crazy Eyes, Camille Paglia And The Dear Leader

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Some days were made for mocking, and between Camille Paglia's assertions that she's in touch with the "real" America and that Sarah Palin is the new Madonna, former Massachusetts governor Jane Swift's assertions that Barack Obama is a pig, North Korea's assertions that Kim Jong Il is totally fine and sending birthday greetings around the world and the Washington Post using this photo to demonstrate Sarah Palin's appeal to women, well, today is one of those days. Luckily, between Moe and me, we are totally up to that challenge. Fuck you, too, Wednesday.MOE: Hi! I am um in the [redacted]. You can delete that part though. Remember when I chatted you from [somewhere else] and mentioned I was in [somewhere else] and hoped no one would notice? They did. MEGAN: I will redact your location from the transcript! I am still in upstate New York, but I don't care if people notice. MOE: Whoa, can't read past the headline, Camille Paglia. I think we should talk about North Korea a bit today too though, just putting that out there. And oh yeah Obama the chauvinist pig. MEGAN: I'm down with that schedule of events, even if it does force me to read Camille Paglia and even (horrors) agree with her, despite her overwrought boating metaphors:

Oh, the sadomasochistic tedium of McCain's imprisonment in Hanoi being told over and over and over again at the Republican convention. Do McCain's credentials for the White House really consist only of that horrific ordeal? Americans owe every heroic, wounded veteran an incalculable debt of gratitude, but how do McCain's sufferings in a tiny, squalid cell 40 years ago logically translate into presidential aptitude in the 21st century? Cast him a statue or slap his name on a ship, and let's turn the damned page.


Oh, but then she sets to world right on its axis by accusing him of trying to "act black" by dropping his G's, as though nobody does that.

I have become increasingly uneasy about Obama's efforts to sound folksy and approachable by reflexively using inner-city African-American tones and locutions, which as a native of Hawaii he acquired relatively late in his development and which are painfully wrong for the target audience of rural working-class whites that he has been trying to reach. Obama on the road and even in major interviews has been droppin' his g's like there's no tomorrow.

And now I feel okay about mildly disliking her. MOE: She had to bring BDSM into it, didn't she. Now I am getting an image of Sarah Palin …ugh, she is conjuring up scenarios that will be used against me later when she figures out how to ban me from the Library of Congress or something. Also, droppin one's Gs is not a fucking African American pastime Camille Paglia. It's called L-I-V-I-N. MEGAN: It's also called not being a prissy intellectual. BUT, she does agree with you that there wasn't enough foreign policy in Obama's Invesco speech and then she decides that Palin has supplanted Madonna as a feminist superstar:

In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment.

This is, by the way, your BDSM-like punishment for linking me to Paglia before I finish a cup of coffee. HA, Camille Paglia might be older than John McCain, in the end:

She immediately reminded me of the frontier women of the Western states, which first granted women the right to vote after the Civil War — long before the federal amendment guaranteeing universal woman suffrage was passed in 1919.


How many frontierswomen do you think Paglia knew personally or saw speak? MOE: Hahahaha you mean like Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman? Because I sorta see how they're pursuing similar strategies with the hair. MEGAN: I will admit, I watched that show. My parents were very strict about TV and didn't have cable. See, I tend to think of Sarah Palin's hair as "wedding hair," but she is wearing it down more and more. My Glamour editor at the conventions said she thought she wore it up to look taller, but I did notice that McCain's kind of short when she's in heels so I'm guessing that's why she's wearing it down now. Okay, here's my last Paglia quote because you will appreciate it and because I frankly can't read any further after this without hurting myself or other people:

One reason I live in the leafy suburbs of Philadelphia and have never moved to New York or Washington is that, as a cultural analyst, I want to remain in touch with the mainstream of American life. I frequent fast-food restaurants, shop at the mall, and periodically visit Wal-Mart (its bird-seed section is nonpareil).


MOE: I really can't figure out how one advances to such lofty ranks of academia only to turn around and promulgate such partisan caricatures.

For Mr. Obama, the race is about the claims of modernism. There is "cool," and the confidence of the meritocracy in him. The Obama way is glib: It glides over the world without really taking it in. It has to it that fluency with political and economic matters that can be acquired in a hurry, an impatience with great moral and political complications.


MEGAN: Um, see, this guy lost me in the first paragraph:

But as Bob Woodward is the latest to remind us, it is presidents, not their understudies, who shape the destiny of nations.


OH REALLY FOUAD AJAMI? Dick Cheney had nothing to do with nothing? Bob Woodward is all knowing? Fuuuuuck you. MOE: Wow I always figured Camille lived in the terrible drug-addled overtaxed national chain store underserved den of iniquity that is the other side of City Line, the glorified sixth borough Philadelphia. Now I realize she is a real true American, or something. Oh right? Too ADD to remember that line just now. Um, what's he smoking, seriously? Did Bob Woodward's latest book finally debunk that batshit liberal conspiracy that Cheney somehow runs the Bush Administration? MEGAN: I think Woodward's book — like all of Woodward's books, relies too heavily on the Big-Man theory of political science in which all of the actions of the entire Executive Branch rest on the shoulders of one man. Thus, is Bush really in charge and his minions report to him rather than — as is always the case — power being actually more diffuse in practice because Bush's speeches are scripted, his opinions are formed by underlings and presented to him and his policies formed by committee. Only people with outsized personalities and force can actually ram their own ideas through that system, which is why people credit Dick Cheney with having more power than the average VP — and, from what I've heard, rightly so. MOE: Of course he does…From what I recall of Woodward's previous books Dick "Big Time" was Woodward's "Big Man" in a lot of ways, right? Unless I'm thinking of the books on Condi Rice, or by Ron Suskind, or, fuck if I know. Anyway I just don't think this fact is disputed. Cheney runs shit, the end. Next up: Obama makes a coy little joke employing a shop-worn cliche and the Republicans go positively deranged. I can safely say I would feel the exact way if McCain made a the same comment re Hillary. It was sorta funny! Not offensive! Imagine if this happened in the UK. You might have to leave the bar at 11 p.m. and that would suck, but no MP would have the conscience to feign "offense" about it. Oh god…BOAR WAR. MEGAN: HAHAHAHAHA. Oh, shit, I miss your puns. There are a total of 5 people in America who might get that. Anyway, I I wondered aloud this morning whether pigs have lips but a Google image search proved that they do and that they can be eaten, were one to be so inclined. I think the campaigns need to sack up and have a pig-lip eating contest and whomever gags first concedes the Presidency. MOE: Sorry, not my pun. It's the cover of the NY Post. I still need coffee. Hey, check out the pic of the guy on this story about how Palin is "energizing women of all walks of life." That dude looks pretty energized. Or possibly "diabolical"! MEGAN: Um, I love how the Washington Post just called him a woman. Like, I loved it almost as much as the Post's headline writers, who have apparently expanded the audience for jokes about British colonialist conflicts by a factor of 10. Anyway, what I want to know is how come since Obama's next line was about stinky rotten fish, no former female Massachusetts governor is calling out Obama for making inappropriate comments about the smell of Sarah Palin's vagina? Huh, Jane Swift? Did you miss that? Because I really think commenting on vaginal odor is, like, totally worse than saying she looks pig-like, not that he said that either but if this is taking-fake-offense day, that's the fake offense I'm taking. Jane Swift doesn't care about women with vaginal odor. MOE: Hahaha maybe you could be the first. Do you think some people become Republican spinmasters just for absurd opportunities like that? Sorry I'm reading about North Korea. The government is claiming Kim is fine, he sent a birthday greeting to Bashar Assad just to prove it, no one can say what said birthday card consisted of but wouldn't it be cool if it were some sort of strippergram, "foreign doctors" have maybe been summoned to the country to nurse Dear Leader back to health, I am still struggling (Googling) to figure out who noticed Kim's absence in the first place. Does the Chosun Ilbo or whatever have a Pyongyang Bureau? Does Xinhua? MEGAN: I'm going to go out on a very wide, broad limb here and suggest that one of Seoul's newspapers of record probably doesn't have a really big Pyongyag bureau, if only because of the Dear Leader's penchant for kidnapping South Koreans (and others). Xinhua might, in which case I'm sort of curious what China's interest might be in promoting a story that Kim Jong Il might not be long for the world. Either way, you'd think that if Kim Jong Il was so cool with counterfeiting money and pirating everything under the sun that he might've pirated a couple of copies of Photoshop and kidnapped a couple of South Koreans or Japanese people that know how to use it to take care of contingencies like this. MOE: I feel like the news out of North Korea would be a lot more interesting if the South Korean papers had a "really big bureau" there. I feel like news about the place always comes from people who've gotten out, though. Oh yeah and Vice. And when they have an anniversary celebration, are there C-Span feeds of that? Because this here is straight-up Kremlinology.

On Monday, North Korea's nominal No. 2 leader, Kim Yong Nam, gave a 60th-anniversary speech that referred to Kim Jong Il mainly in the past tense, said Jonathan Pollack, an Asia expert at the Naval War College. "Generally, when he is praised to the skies, it is in the present tense. But the predominant tone is looking back," he said.


MEGAN: Do we pirate their cable?


A Small Turnip

Anyone else read the piece by Tom Friedman in the NYT today? [www.nytimes.com]

He has me seriously convinced that the Obama campaign needs a reboot. Like, a deep breath, back to the drawing boards, let's shake off the last month, think again, and fucking fight reboot. Because the Democrats are feeling fucking stale right now. We have got to start setting the level of discourse again.

This Republican resurgence is a real threat, and I need Obama to prove to us that he can counter these sorts of dangers. It's real, and the Democrats have got to change their game to defeat it.