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The Cozy Spot

13 posts categorized "politics"

September 14, 2008

Obama's New Strategy

Politics, all on its own, tends to be dreary or monotonous at times but if you add gender and politics, it becomes more exciting, as Sarah Palin's entry has indicated. You'll come across many articles, such as this one in today's Sydney Morning Herald.

"Their reasoning was clear: deprive Palin of the spotlight and make a new attempt to twin McCain with unpopular Republican President Bush.

Ironically, Bush's political guru Karl Rove warned in a Wall Street Journal article on Thursday that attacking Palin was bad politics for Obama."

It makes me ask myself: should I read all that hoopla or focus on the obvious?

To me, it's about as obvious as pronounced Spandex camel toe.

One of the significant mistakes Barack Obama made is not selecting Hillary Clinton as his vice presidential candidate, and I believe (although my opinion doesn't matter, doesn't really count as an Aussie person living in the 'boonies' according to some) this will affect the overall dynamic. Some can interpret his move as traditional: opting for a male (and 'unknown' - compared to Hillary) running mate. He's already sidestepping Palin, and focusing on McCain. What does this mean? It can be interpreted in two ways: he's being chivalrous or he's afraid. All in all, it makes for interesting observation. Political campaigns, the way they're staged, every statement, speech and activity, are like fancy or sophisticated zoo displays. At least in a zoo, you'll have straightforward primate behavior. The human zoo is quite different or more complex, depending on which way you look at it. I'm not an alien believer, but on a hypoethetical level: What would an alien think if they could watch Earth like a reality television show? ("some male humans are incapable of accepting female political candidates?" or "they're so traditional in their selection based on gender, they're predictably boring and I'm writing to the network to complain?") In some ways, it's better than a reality show: political candidates dress better, make complex arguments and create more spin than a pro figure skater. You can't get that in ordinary reality television.

September 12, 2008

Pammy on Sarah Palin: "She Can Suck It" or When Celebrities Should Shut Up

How celebrities sabotage election candidates? They open their mouth and express trite views, but it’s their image that works against them. Do celebrities actually stop to think that they make it worse by entering political debates, or, like Pam Anderson, saying silly things that are just childish?

“I can‘t stand her(Sarah Palin), she can suck it!”

What the hell is that?

If you head back to the last election, and Michael Moore’s documentary on George W Bush, that entire film can be considered reverse publicity. So the question: can celebrities change the course of elections (in a negative way, by swinging votes)? I think so.

Does anyone take Pamela Anderson Lee seriously? I doubt it. My son doesn’t take her seriously every time he sees her on the news (her last Australian trip, and her cameo on Big Brother, tossing her hair every minute). The five hundred - and counting - comments after this news article also indicate the same thing - few take Pamela and Matt seriously.

Here are some comments:

" Who would listen to Pam or Matt? Since when did hollywood even deserve to tell the public what to say? What are their credentials? Oh, they can take on personas and make money - now that takes talent. I wish hollywood would get out of itself. Narcissism is like pride."

" Who cares what Pam A. or Matt D. think. Remember..they are actors which means they spend most of their time earning their living faking it."

Then there's this comment that had me laughing, only because it reminded me of the blowjob Pam gave Tommy Lee in 'that video.'

"You know...Pamela Anderson is such a low-life loser. Here's an opinion coming from a sleazy whore who strips and poses nude.....yeah GREAT family values girl. She gets violent and down right WACKO with anyone who hunts or even eats a burger or chicken sandwich...(which by the way sounds real good right now.) lol. All of these left-wing socialists need to move to China or Russia where they belong. And besides, she wouldn't be where she is today if she didn't have the 8 or so breast enlargements because of her insecurities and stupid shallow men following her every move. She's already showing her age. Maybe SHE needs to go "suck it". Obviously that is how she solves all of her issues with men and the world for that matter. The more these low-life losers open their mouths (no pun) the more people that are swinging (again no pun) their vote to the Republicans."

And this comment from a woman, and a poignant comment at that:

"Pam Anderson, a real top of the line role model for women. She's got absolutely nothing to offer but boobs."

And a comment that hits the nail on the head (where celebrity political opinions are concerned):

"These folks need to remember they make their money living imaginary lives. They are entertainment. They are not looked up to for their scholarly advice.If they think they are then they have more imagination than I give them credit for."

The Politics of TV

We definitely have no personalities to have a midday talk show in Australia, which is why networks purchase overseas talk shows. Oprah has been a hit for years, and this week we started receiving two new shows that are apparently fast tracked from the United States: Ellen and The View. Apart from the fact that I'm becoming addicted to both, it's interesting to see the viewpoints of women on a show like The View.

On today's show (broadcast in Australia), the subject was politics, whether people were put off by actors' political views and it also touched upon speeches, and Sarah Palin. The women on the panel were discussing Palin's media appearances, saying that she needed to make more media appearances, or appear on more shows: if Biden is appearing on talk shows or other shows, she ought to be doing the same. Whoopi Goldberg explained why Oprah won't be having any political candidates on her show until after the election, which is fair, however Oprah has also voiced her support for Barack Obama. Besides, which president has time to appear on a talk show after winning an election? There are more pressing issues to work on. It does raise an interesting question about politics and the media. The reality is that the US is heavily in debt, and I mean the worst debt ever. Why is this important to other countries? It's important because it relates to trade and currency exchange, among other things. The Australian dollar recently saw a decrease in value after the US government stepped in to help the two US mortgage providers. The debt, in my opinion (even as a complete outsider) is the most urgent issue and I think that the media can enhance awareness of the issue, as well as give political candidates the chance to discuss their policies, rather than sit there 'dancing' with television personalities like Michelle Obama recently did. Really, who gives a crap about the candidates' spouses? They're not going to be working with aides and advisors, to make decisions that affect everyone but it seems that the media loves political spouses.

It's interesting to see how the media embraces politics or election campaigns in other countries, and I think the United States election process is the most interesting to view. Whether we receive a paltry amount of coverage here, via the few US televisions shows, we still see the way the networks treat politicians, or if you're like me and have a completely stuffed up sleep cycle that has you up at nights or mornings, you'll be able to see overseas news shows and how they approach this election. An interesting point that was raised on The View was the subject of speeches, how Palin had a Bush speechwriter writing her speeches. Then the women quickly said that Obama didn't have a speechwriter, and I thought, 'come on.' How do they know he doesn’t have a speechwriter? Which politician writes their own speeches all the time? The issue of celebrities endorsing politicians is tricky, and in my opinion, shouldn't be made public because it creates bias. If people vote for a candidate based on what a celebrity thinks, and little else, then they're wasting their voting privilege. When actors start getting political it makes you wonder about their 'talents'. Keep your political views to yourself, do your job as an actor, and leave it be, but more and more actors are becoming vocal and it makes me wonder if they do so in order to cover their own artistic limitations or feel inadequate in their professions. Isn't it enough that they enable people to escape through their films or put a smile on people's faces from time to time? Don't actors view this as a significant part of their art?

One thing that I find considerably interesting, as a person living on the other side of the world, is the way Sarah Palin's entry has altered the dynamics. My impression is that it has somehow shifted the dynamic. You can't get any more of a stronger woman that Palin and it's not about her hunting moose or having a capacity to handle the sight of blood. She's got a brood of children, she's vocal and articulate and she stands by her beliefs (even if she is anti-abortion). Ex-pat Australian author Clive James was on an Australian morning show this week and he (sarcastically) pointed out that you can't use a person's attractiveness anymore, that of it being politically incorrect, but he humorously pointed out the obvious: "Sarah Palin is an attractive woman, she is a babe, but you can't say that now." What makes her a babe? It's anyone's guess, but if you had to ask me, Sarah Palin (despite being a mother to a brood of children, and being a future young grandmother after her teenage daughter's pregnancy) doesn't look like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. She doesn't look exhausted or weathered by the issues. She looks like someone who could go for a round of moose hunting, and still make time for foreign policy, but she doesn't seem the type to do the talk show rounds, dance with television hosts or use time (that she could spend with her family, or her job) for frivolous pursuits, and the same applies to her husband. Incidentally, Cindy McCain's wife doesn’t seem the type to dance on television either. People don't really need to see how 'hip' a politician or a politician's spouse is, they really need assurance that someone can step up to the job and deal with crippling debt, and I think the shift in the recent popularity ratings reflect this. At the end of the day it isn't about being popular based on ethnicity or how 'hip' someone is, or what they wear, it's about the perception of capability, even if there are no guarantees at this point in the race, but the perception matters because people vote based on their perception.

September 01, 2008

Monday's Weird Thought

I often begin my Monday with the usual list of things to do, that I never get through. I then berate myself for making that list. Really I'm not a list person. I am, but not the type of list person that ticks things off. I don't think that lists work. Anyway...

If I see anymore coverage about Sarah Palin, my head will undergo a 360 degree revolution. Okay, she's female. Get over it! When women run for 'high' roles in government, certain countries react like the female candidate is an alien. She's female! OMG, she's female! When Julia Gillard became Australia's deputy prime minister, it was, 'omg the first female!' Like she stepped on the freaking moon, and now we have to suffer with her elocution. It's like listening to a drag queen.

One weird thought that carried me over the weekend (all the Palin news coverage on TV and the newspapers), was the 'hockey mum' reference. "I'm a hockey mom!" like this qualification is sufficient or something. She also eats mooseburgers. Oh wow. I eat kangaroo steaks and sashimi. I then thought (and this is where it gets weird):

"I'm a Nintendo mum!" Not like that is exciting or anything, but I can comfortably use a remote controller to race around virtual motor tracks  on Mario Kart and or kill zombies in Resident Evil.

On a more serious note though, much as been made about Sarah Palin being an 'unknown' prior to the official announcement. So what? If anything, this can be beneficial for her. After all, there is such as thing as media saturation, being known to the point of nausea, a bit like that saying: familiarity breeds contempt. What I found intriguing? The reaction after the announcement; it was as though Barack Obama had been winded when he was asked about Sarah Palin by a journalist. I think many expected John McCain to go the traditional route, select a male running mate, but he's shocked everyone, and Obama, the 'representative' for change, went the traditional route, completely ignoring Hillary Clinton. I'm not a huge Hillary fan, but my fondness isn't based on politics, more based on media saturation, but it has to be said, or even a moron can see, that she campaigned like a warrior, taking her defeat like a warrior. It has to be a huge ego blow, and she gracefully conceded. The fact that she wasn't chosen as a running mate has to be a shock to many.

July 10, 2008

D'oh Politicial Moments

I've noticed that the only type of bad boy that is viewed in a negative way is a politician. Political bad boys are unsexy; an ass pimple is more appealing. I know there are worse things than a charismatically challenged politician but in the realm of politics there is nothing worse.
This snippet in the news had me laughing. I thought,"Why is the man with cadaverous eyes so surprised?"
The accompanying comment from a Telegraph reader is spot on:

"Can't Morris take a hint - trains don't work, roads a mess, education farces, hospital chaos, divided party, electricity shambles. How bad does it get until he realises it's time to go. This government can't get any worse."

June 20, 2008

Gordon Ramsay Senate Findings

One of my most memorable high school excursions featured a trip to Parliament House. What made it memorable was the crass behavior of politicians who were merely debating certain issues, but couldn’t refrain from screaming, swearing or being twats. When a politician appears in the media, they preen and behave in a pre-meditated manner, but when they’re in session, debating, they transform into frothing vultures,  so this week’s news regarding the Senate enquiry into Gordon Ramsay and his use of the F-word can be considered typically Australian as far as politician hypocrisy goes.

Continue reading "Gordon Ramsay Senate Findings" »

June 12, 2008

And I Wanted to Learn How to Drive...

And I thought I worked with morons at a telco? Thank goodness I don't work with politicians because they certainly take the biscuit.The latest ideas on the oil crisis are astounding. It seems like playing the blame game is trendy.

The other day Barack Obama proposed taxing oil companies (a definitive suggestion), but this plan has been recently declined with Republican senators voting against the move. Their "brilliant" idea -to solve the issue of the current oil crisis - is to drill for more oil. Guess where? The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and waters on the outer continental shelf. They completely ignore the economic drain of the recent Iraq war, and prefer to blame the Clinton administration. How far can I roll my eyes without bruising my orbits, I wonder?

In Australia, PM Kevin Rudd points his finger toward OPEC - "apply the blowtorch to the OPEC organisation and it's time that happened." That's nice, just make the highest producers of oil mad, and hope for cheaper oil. Brilliant Kev!

Meanwhile, UK PM Gordon Brown is a whipper-snapper
- realizing that the world was in a current state of oil shock in May of this year. Jeez Gordy, any faster huh. Talk about a Road Runner. Furthermore, he said that something had to be done about it, but hasn't really proposed any real suggestions apart from an 'international strategy.' As for the strategy? Get your crystal balls out, and North Sea oil reached its oil peak in 1999.

It's clear that none of the above politicians (including Obama) understand oil, that increasing production/drilling isn't going to solve the problem in the long run.

A large chunk of the problem is geological. In the beginning, when a fresh oil deposit is found, it is buried in a high pressured reservoir, and it is easier to extract, but as production increases, the pressure decreases, so the oil will come out at a slower rate (ie less oil). The other thing is that larger oil fields are often exploited/used first, so when production does take a dip, and a peak is reached, smaller oil fields are left, and companies begin scrambling for the next - smaller - oil deposit. A combination of these two factors best represents the current state of North Sea Oil.

Thus, in some way, the Republicans are correct in saying (in the Washington Post article) that taxing won't help/solve the issue (even though they are drill-crazy). Obama is looking for a quick fix, that will put him in the sin bin with oil producers/companies, because he wants to be the next president, and Kevin Rudd/Gordon Brown have no frigging idea about what they're talking about - and most politicians try to tackle the issue of porn and obscenity? Puhleaze!

Ah well, there goes my dream of learning how to drive. I always thought I'd learn how to drive before I lost my virginity, but things didn't pan out that way.

June 11, 2008

The Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones Show?

When Bill Clinton had a recent tantrum, and called a Vanity Fair writer a ‘sleazy, dishonest, slimy scumbag,’ I thought, you can sure talk!

I then laughed, and retraced Bill’s lack of chivalry. He is chivalric-ally challenged. Not only did he deny being intimate with Monica, but he didn’t think twice about his professional position, and how that would indeed look should he get caught out, and did he get caught? Not only did he get caught, but he placed more pressure on his wife to publicly deal with his philandering. Personally, I didn’t give two rat’s testicles about his womanizing. Most people fantasize about trying out a different person after being married for donkey’s years, and if they say they don’t, they’re either lying or they’re saints. What got me all peevy was his deluded definition of ‘sexual relations.’ If oral sex isn’t sexually intimate, then hell, all women would fellate rather than shake. Enter a job interview, and instead of saying hi, just get down on one’s knees and unzip the male interviewer’s fly.

When Bill said what he said, he relegated blowjobs to the status of handshakes. They were no longer intimate, shit, they weren’t part of the sexually intimate sphere of human conduct. The other, I couldn't imagine how Hillary would return to the White House - what, with all the fond memories she must have of her husband's last term.

When women are treated like the Exxon-Valdex oil spill, or treated like their contamination rivals that of Chernobyl, they don’t stop until they find an effective way to unleash their revenge. Sometimes books and media appearances are not enough. Enter the web.

Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones aren’t stopping at books or media appearances, they’re planning on charging $1.99 for their confessions on their soon to be developed (I couldn’t find it after numerous searches. Maybe they're talking to attorneys about their legal options.) web site. And I don’t think people will be surfing or reading it for the information. Everyone around the world is currently trying to digest the latest Clinton saga. People will be tuned in to see the extent of a woman’s wrath. It will be the online equivalent of ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’ The web animates such anger. The most recent tales of a rejected New York housewife to hit YouTube were hilarious in a perverse way, and the woman’s anger knew no bounds. Nothing was sacred, not even her husband’s porn or her explosive sexual revelations. Every person’s nightmare (or it should be every person’s nightmare) is being shown on YouTube. For a man, being emasculated on YouTube can be a reality. It’s been done. What else is there to do?

I’m not surprised by Jennifer and Paula’s choice to opt for a personal website. After all, it’s not like they will earn a profit from displaying their wrath on YouTube. As to what led them in this direction? Maybe the recent revelation of the Clinton’s collected wealth pushed them over the edge. I'm now wondering what it will take for them to get over Bill Clinton. They remind me of the type of girlfriend who does not get over ex boyfriends or lovers, the type that goes on and on, dissecting every fucking detail of a relationship until you feel your brain go numb from listening to it all.

June 10, 2008

Keeping Up Appearances

Apart from a woman's physical appearance being tied to her attractiveness – by the media – it seems that appearances are somewhat linked to assertions on behavior.

The mainstream media is interesting. When Heather Mills was going through divorce courts and demanding more money from Sir Paul, it appeared that every photographer was submitting the crap images. I think photographers thought, 'wow, I can really sell the crappy selection: Heather in every position that makes her appear like she is about to dismember someone.

Brendan Nelson, current Australian opposition leader has gone further. He has called one female federal senator an ugly bully, and I thought that bully would have sufficed. The caper Nelson is referring to is the latest scandal involving NSW education minister John Della Bosca and wife, federal Labor MP Belinda Neal. They went into this 'don't you know who I am!' tizz at a nightclub, which is alleged to have occurred after they were requested to move tables.

It's been an interesting episode. Della Bosca apparently said he isn't responsible for his wife's actions – talk about chivalry. His wife apparently uttered the worst comments to nightclub staff, comments to the effect of, "I'll have your job" and "I'll close you down."

But when men are bullies, they are merely referred to as bullies or –as occurs in some weird environments – assertive people. However, women are given worse treatment. They aren't merely called bullies, but 'ugly bullies.'

It's as though there is a silent code of conduct within western society, one that is linked to a woman's physical appearance. In the Sydney Morning Herald article, the picture (of Belinda) chosen, is one where she is clearly squinting under a strong sun, but when it is added to the story, and Brendan Nelson's tirade, it adds more flavor to the story, somehow emphasizing Nelson's comments.

Our media dominated society does tend to rely on images to portray certain characteristics and behaviors - even when these elements are not true depictions.

June 09, 2008

Phew, My Pubes Aren't Gray

I thought my pubes would turn gray. Hillary finally conceded, but I think she is twitching for the VP job. I did tell myself that it was bedtime, but as the sky lightens I also crave a morning coffee and right now, on the Today Show, the Hillary speech is playing through. I have lost count - let's not forget I've been up for hours (I mean many hours that I think I'm going to pop a Normison tonight).

There's a saying in Greek, which won't translate well in English, but it's said when one has to wait - and wait - for an update. I've been muttering it all weekend (in Greek) at home. The closest English translation would be:

"You've impregnated me! Come On!" Which is like saying, "shit, now I have to wait nine months for an answer!?" And that is how I felt with all this Hillary intrigue: will she, when will she, but she has to because there is nothing else to do but concede defeat. It's no fun to concede defeat, and very few people concede defeat in a noble way. However, Hillary's tone doesn't convince me. It didn't convince me when she said that she began to get the White House back, to finally (finally!) finish off by backing Obama.

I suppose I'm a bit bummed, because there go my excuses to wait up all night so I can watch Diane Sawyer (I wish she would be my adoptive mum!) - with the exception of today. No Diane.

The usual argument at home goes like this (and reaches its conclusion when I get really cranky and say something like, "I'm old enough to stay up for chrissake!":

"When are you going to go to sleep?"
"Soon, I've just got some stuff to do."
"But I thought you did that."
"I've got some website related things to do," big fat lie because although I do, it doesn't mean I can't do it earlier or offline - but I extend it so when 4 AM rocks round, there I am in front of the LCD big screen. The only thing missing these last few weeks, the lead up to the nomination, was pop corn. I don't want to reveal how many Tim Tams I devoured during this time, except to say "thank Christ my pants still fit me."

Then 4 AM will come round, then it will be 5, or round about now - 6:30 - and I'll hear, "Don't tell me you didn't go to sleep. What were you doing?"
"Watching ABC News?"
"Can't you wait until the fucking newspaper?"
"I don't read newspaper...papers...I read them online..." and if I say that in front of my son, my son will call me a scrooge or a "cheapie."

I'm glad it's a public holiday today. See, the Queen comes in handy. Every time it's Queen's birthday, we have a day off.

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