Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What better occasion could there be to celebrate the straight talking of Young Johnny McCranky than Professor Irwin Corey's birthday (give or take)?


Yesterday was Professor Irwin Corey's 94th birthday. Here, in a regrettably poor-quality clip, is the world's foremost authority appearing with the Smothers Brothers in 1966. Just don't forget: Wherever you go, there you are.

by Ken

Poor Keith Olbermann couldn't get over it last night. It has finally come to this: Confronted with yet another contradiction between something Senator McCranky has just said andf what are supposed to be official McCranky positions, the McCranky campaign announced more or less officially -- it's hard to know what constitutes officialness in this wackjob of a campaign -- that the candidate doesn't speak for the campaign.

The candidate doesn't speak for the campaign.

Okay, it might seem more accurate to say that the campaign doesn't speak for the candidate, but in this case the distinction seems statistically insignificant. There's a whole lot of yammering coming out of McCranky Enterprises (meaning the entire entity comprising the candidate and the campaign), but it doesn't really seem to speak for anyone or anything. It's just talk.

It doesn't tell us anything about either (a) what Senator McCranky believes or (b) what he might do as president, but surely it isn't meant to. It's just meant to make listeners feel good, or feel mad, or feel something that would make them in some way feel like voting for the Crankyman. I would submit that at this late date in the senator's public career, about the only thing we know for sure about his beliefs is that he wants to be president. Oh yes, he wants very badly to be president.

By now we have learned that this is not, in general, a good or healthy thing, this business of wanting to be president. It may be the single most discouraging feature of our political system: that the sort of person who wants to be president badly enough to be willing to do what you have to do to have a realistic shot at becoming president is almost by definition someone no sensible person would want to be president.

Just why Young Johnny wants so badly to be president is an interesting question, and maybe we'll poke at it some other time, but for now it's not, except to note that it doesn't seem to have anything to do with all that stuff that's been coming out of his mouth -- or, for that matter, out of the campaign's mouth. That's just stuff he/they say.

Clearly it's becoming a growing annoyance to Senator McCranky when B-list (or lower!) reporters (you'll notice it's hardly ever the better-mannered high-profile reporters) actually press him on the flagrant contradiction between a position he's just enunciated and the one(s) he's staked out in the past. This makes him really, you know, cranky, and by now he's tried about every trick in the book -- heck, he's writing the book -- to avoid explaining the contradiction.

Starting with denying that there is any contradiction. Somehow Rachel Maddow always seems to be involved in Countdown discussions of the latest McCranky flipflops, and I love that look of bemused incredulity that comes over her face as she suggests the senator doesn't realize that the world has changed, and all that old stuff he said is still there on videotape, and computer users of even average skills can pull it up in a matter of minutes if not seconds.

Now that those reporters -- again, the B-list ones -- are getting more uppity about challenging the Crankyman about Stuff He Says, his responses are becoming almost comical. More and more frequently, for example, he employs the cunning strategy of not having a fucking clue what the reporter is talking about. He has no memory of supporting/opposing that proposition or voting for/against that bill. This could be just a memory problem, of course, but it could also be an inattention problem. Maybe that's how much attention he paid when he took his previous position on the proposition or bill in question.

Mind you, when he just lies about his record, I don't find it so funny, like when he was (finally!) challenged on his appalling record on veterans' issues and he went straight into one of his Liar Boy McCranky Hissy Fits of Indignation, called the questioner a liar, and shrieked how proud he is of his record on veterans' issues. That's not funny because in fact his record sucks. For a man whose one credible belief seems to be that we can never send enough American military people off to points abroad to kill and be killed, his record of lack of support for veterans should have him hooted off the platform every time he shows his smarmy mug in front of self-styled true patriots. But then, maybe he really doesn't know! All that tedious law-making and voting stuff really seems to exceed his interest level.

But it's kind of funny when he's exhausted his diversionary tactics on a particular subject and just declares, as he did the other day over the issue of gay adoptions, that that's not why he's running for president. Huh??? In fairness, it was at least a better answer than his by-then-rote-repeated belief in "two-parent families." Um, uh, Senator McCranky, you do realize that these same-sex couples adopting children are, er, couples? And that every couple on God's green earth consists of two of whatever has been coupled?

(Parenthetical question: Is it absolutely essential that every serious presidential contender be able to count all the way up to two? Isn't there a secretary of arithmetic to deal with that higher math stuff like trigonometry and such?)

I guess what I'm trying to say here is, it's an exercise in futility giving serious attention to what we might call, with a wry smile, Senator McCranky's "positions." That's not what his presidential campaign is about. It's about . . . well, don't ask me. It's not as if it was my idea that he run for president.

"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," the Wizard of Oz exhorted when the jig was pretty well up. In the same spirit, Senator McCranky might advise us to pay no attention to the stuff coming out of his gaping piehole. Actually, isn't that what his campaign just told us?


And here's the good professor explaining it all in his inimitable fashion this year (at age 93!) at the Cutting Room in New York City.

From Wikipedia:

Dressed in seedy formal wear and sneakers, with his bushy hair sprouting in all directions, Corey would amble on stage in a preoccupied manner, then begin his monologue with "However..." He created a new style of doublespeak comedy; instead of making up nonsense words like "krelman" and "trilloweg," like other comics, the professor would season his speech with many long and florid, but authentic, words. The professor would then launch into nonsensical observations about anything under the sun, but seldom actually making sense. Changing topics suddenly, he would wander around the stage, pontificating all the while. His very quick wit allowed him to hold his own against the most stubborn straight man, heckler or interviewer.

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At 8:26 PM, Blogger christian said...

I really think you would appreciate - a lot of those articles are right up your alley. Particularly Ian Schuldt.

At 9:00 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out. I'm not sure it's going to make me any less cranky, though.

Cheers --


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