Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What I Won't Miss

As December comes to an end, it's time to say good-bye to 2008.

There are many things I will NOT miss and are more than happy to leave them behind.

In no particular order, I will not miss...

1) The Bush Administration (I know, still stuck with them for the first 20 days, but at least they are on their way out the door). I will especially not miss Dick "The Dick" Cheney, Condoleeza "Sycophant" Rice, Dana "Paid to Lie" Perino and George "I Give Myself Nicknames" W. Bush.

2) The nasty depths Hilary went to to try to defeat Obama and then the even nastier depths McCain and Palin plumbed. (But I am also very happy their tired tactics didn't work.)

3) Seeing "Made in China" on everything. It is the high fructose corn syrup of manufacturing. Unfortunately, it's not going away any time soon, but I predict it will diminish as the new administration works to fix the economy. US manufacturing will increase and consumers will also seek out more local resources to give their money to.

4) People claiming climate change (Global Warming) doesn't exist. This winter will have wild mood swings of zero degree weather one day and temps in the 50s and 60s the next. The more this happens, the more people clam up about it not existing.

5) People whose 15 minutes of fame are up. Looking at you Joe the Plumber.

6) The SUV as we know it. Time to get small.

7) The possibility of a pre-emptive war with Iran.

8) The Minnesota recount - assuming it will be over before the end of 2009.

9) The lack of common sense when it comes to sex education in schools. Levi's baby's momma, Bristol, should be a living testament to the failure of teaching current trends, such as abstinence.

10) Shoppers brawling and trampling one another.

11) People passing off fake memoirs as the truth. I don't mind you fooling Oprah, I just find it absurd that people feel they need to lie to make their lives more interesting (i.e., marketable).

12) Jennifer Aniston only getting press when she slams Angelina. However, she is more than welcome to continue posing for pictures only wearing a neck tie. Although, I would like to see her move to bow ties.

13) O% interest credit card and loan pitches.

14) End of year lists.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Republican National Committee Chair candidate Chip Saltsman is in hot water for distributing a CD featuring which song parody?"

18% said "Baa-Baa Black President"
- Have you any pull?

16% said "Obama Cracked Corn"
- And I don't care. Crack all the corn you want.

No one went for "John Jacob Jingle Hussein Schmidt"
- Hey, that's my name, too!

66% got it right with "Barack the Magic Negro"

According to The Huffington Post, the Republican National Committee is set to host a historic series of discussions and debates in early January that will likely affect not just the future platform of the party, but the makeup and racial dynamics of its members.

The forums come at a time when the GOP is undergoing an intense bout of political soul-searching, made even more urgent by revelations that a leading RNC chair candidate distributed a racially insensitive CD as a Holiday gift.

Reaction to Chip Saltsman's distribution of a CD including the song "Barack the Magic Negro" has been mixed. James Richardson, a former RNC staffer, called it "political suicide." Current RNC chair Mike Duncan said he was "shocked and appalled." But Ken Blackwell, the African-American former Ohio Attorney General and another candidate for the chairmanship, dismissed criticism as "hypersensitivity in the press."

Do a little searching and you can find the song on-line. Here's the first verse...

Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.

The L.A. Times, they called him that

'Cause he's not authentic like me.

Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper

Said he makes guilty whites feel good

They'll vote for him, and not for me

'Cause he's not from the hood.

Here's what you need to know, it's done from the point-of-view of Al Sharpton who, in the song, is upset that Obama is winning with white voters. As a comic premise, it's not a bad one. I think it would have been stronger with Jesse Jackson, especially in the wake of his comment about wanting to take Obama to the vet's to be fixed. The song also doesn't do much to explore or heighten the issue, mainly because it is saddled with being a strick song parody. And the chorus is the only thing mildly funny about the song and that ain't enough to sustain it.

If a student brought this in to one of my classes, this would be my feedback. Good premise, ditch the parody and write an original song, build a context around it. What just happened that makes Al want to sing about Barack. How does it change him? Does he secretly wish white people liked him better? By the end of the song, does he want to be more like Obama and trade in his sweat suits or does he want to double his efforts to be more Al?

Unless the song was rewritten, I wouldn't consider its inclusion in a show. And I certainly wouldn't distribute it to the Republican National Committee when I want to be their chairperson. Please leave comedy in the hands of professionals.