The Horror: Convention Notes

If you are going to play a cheesy, terrifically overplayed song, play tbe best version available. Notice that the strains of “Sweet Caroline: The Muzak Version” used to introduce Caroline Kennedy managed to eliminate the punchy “so good, so good” riff. “Cringeworthy” is too kind for that schtick.

Teddy looked infinitely better than we had any right to expect. While the Republican rank-and-file, along with the lumpenprole, see him as te edevil incarnate, you know very well that the Republican Congressional leadership had a lump in their throat. He gave it his all, and what do they follow up with? “You’re Still the One,” a song that was execrable upon its release and which had only turned increasinly rancid over the years. Cloying, so saccharine that in gilding the lily it actually stripped the moment of its poignancy.

…None of which even compared to the disaster that was “Isn’t She Wonderful” after Mrs. Obama’s paint-by-numbers apologia. Another dismally, abysmally banal song that should never be heard outside of weddings, the audacity, if I might use the word, of following her sisterhood-is-somewhat-powerful-but-not-like-a-threatening-way paint-by-numbers rhetoric with such a balatanly sexist, trivializing tune was staggering. Sheeesh. Michelle just doesn’t look great, she is actually HOT; is that really what you want to emphasize? “Aw, shucks, that’s my little lady.”

I suppose it is, when you figure the audience they want to recapture. But I can’t imagine it was music to the ears of the serious Hillary people. You were almost waiting for, “and she makes a mean chocolate cookie, tooo … unlike SOME women we know.”

And no, Clipper, I don’t think Team Clinton surreptitiously popped in the CD.

The Conventions–because you can be assured that the Republican event will just as sterile,putrid, maudline, and blatantly tasteless in an in-your-face-Vegasy kind of way, lotsa music that people stopped listeing to when 8-tracks went outta style–really do display America at its bottom feeding, desperate-underneath-frozen-smiles self. Kinda like the halftime show at the Super Bowl–a joyless, controlled and contrived performance attended by faux laughter, even ecstasy, because, man, you’re the audience and that’s what’s expected. So play your part, good sheep, because nobody loves a black sheep.  Are we really so tasteless?

(Well, Bruce is gonna follow up at Ivesco. I’ve had to think about how I feel about that for a while now. What I come up with is, maybe oddly enough: Bruce will lend gravitas to the occasion. No, really. He is The Boss, he is the elder statesman of this generation, he’s integrity, hardworking, Jersey roots, none of it faked, so his approbation really does mean something; he doesn’t do benedictions with any regularity, as you’ve noticed. Of course he’d gonna whip out that great american songbook thing he’s been doing lately; me, I’d like to see him do a Jersey set.

But really: it’s sad. Grown up people making heroes out of the kinds of people we all couldn’t stand in high school. Obama, McCain, Romney–remember them in high school? Sure ya do. They smiled at you–Obama and Romney did, anyway, but none of them really had much time for the likes of you. They were born for the shtick, the con, and evenually the big lie and the big score.


The Dems theme this year: My daddy worked in the mill. Thank you John Edwards. Hillary’s daddy worked in the mill too. As did Michelle Obama’s. So did Joe Biden’s. I swear, if Mark Warner walks out there and starts telling me about his Daddy’s 18 hrs a day on the floor/in the mines/on the line etc, I’m done.

That said, McCain and Romney will pull their own prole shtick, despite both of them having been born with a silver spoon and devoted their political lives to ensuring that them with the silver spoons keeps ’em. As for the rest of us? Let ’em eat cake. That said, McCain put himself in the line of fire, and while going halfway around the world to unleash hell upon millions of third world tribesmen doesn’t exactly strike me as sensible or very heroic, he gets prole points for that. I’ve hated to watch him turn into a sycophantic unprincipled lackey over the course of this decade, but he was once almost a mensch, you know, no easy feat for a politician.



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