Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
February 19, 2009 - February 12, 2009

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Playing the Gender Card

THINKING. Conventional Wisdom should be renamed. Conventional Wishdom would be better. Some of us actually watched the Democratic debate last week. We were encouraged to do so by the reportage that a couple of Democrat presidential candidates were actually standing up to Hillary. Wow. No good can come of that, we thought. But it might be fun to watch.

In the event, it was as pitiful as we might have expected. Like the eunuchs of the MSM, we tuned in hoping against hope that some progressive male might actually stand up to the Medusa and tell her that being the wife of a hick governor and a corrupt president doesn't automatically qualify you to rule the world. We should have known better. Obama's balls repose in a drawer of Michelle's vanity. Edwards's balls have been missing so long the Discovery Channel is producing documentaries about them designed to run in tandem with their latest futile search for the body of Jimmy Hoffa.

Of course, Obama and Edwards tried to secrete some testosterone in their encounter with Hillary, but she just raised her voice and they shrank like high school boys in a cold shower. Incomprehensibly, Obama couldn't even answer the one question he had attacked Hillary for not answering. He didn't know what he'd do about drivers licenses for illegal aliens either. That's when all the progressive metrosexuals in the audience reached instinctively for their crotches, hoping their own jewels weren't sitting in the same jar with Obama's on Hillary's nightstand.

Well. The conventional wisdom had it that Hillary now "pwned" the little black boy from Illinois. What the CW of the MSM never took into account was that Obama has just figured out a new way to play The Card. The Gender Card. According to today's Drudge, Obama is now beating Hillary in Iowa:

Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) draws support from 30 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, compared with 26 percent for Clinton and 22 percent for former senator John Edwards (N.C.).

Progressive men know the score. They know that women always win every argument. They know that men are hopelessly stupid, inept, inarticulate, and cowardly in every possible confrontation. And for that very reason, they're rallying like crazy behind the candidacy of the guy they can identify with as if he were their own brother. The guy who's so much like them his own wife can't stop ridiculing him long enough to make his biggest dream come true. The guy who's so much like them that with his whole future on the line, he still can't stand up to a woman even when she's sitting on the checkmate square and all he has to do is say the word.

I call it dirty politics. No man can be as castrated as Obama seems. What he's obviously doing is pretending to be the same kind of gutless emasculated schlub as 90 percent of technically male Democrats. Sure they have issues. We're all sorry for them. Sorry as can be. But that doesn't excuse this kind of cold-blooded pandering to the most pathetic demographic of the nation's most obnoxiously female party. It's just a disgusting ploy for male votes.

What the Republicans need to undo this sinister stratagem is akin to Watergate. They need to raid Hillary HQ and steal their most secret evidence of Obama scandal -- the videotape. It will blow the lid off this campaign. Obama nailing Michelle in their own bedroom, with her shuddering and screaming and weeping in orgasmic joy. That's Novak's scoop. If you're a Democrat, it's the end of the road. Especially the part at the end where Michelle meekly totters off to make her man a huge and well-earned Dagwood sandwich.

Why can't we have honest politics instead? You know the kind. A glorious mud wrestling match between Hllary and Michelle Obama. While Bill and Barack go off to pick up girls at elite colleges.

But it's way past time for the Democratic Party to forbid playing the Gender Card. It's pure exploitation to remind liberal men that they have no masculinity. It's cheap, easy, and shallow.

Oh. Never mind.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rush's Crush

Rush Limbaugh graciously boosted Fox News's daytime ratings today by
agreeing to a simulcast with Martha McCallum. The sparks were flying.

IMPROVING ON THE OLD WAY. Is he getting soft? Friday, he had an on-air guest, which is usually verboten. "The Great One," a.k.a. Mark Levin, the most ruthlessly go-for-the-jugular conservative there is (including Ann Coulter), appeared with Rush to promote his book about Sprite, a dog. At times, they were both in tears, and Levin parted the show biz curtain to reveal that Rush is a warm, compassionate, and generous friend. Limbaugh was clearly surprised and a bit befuddled at being unmasked as a real human being. Or so I thought.

Today, the Limbaugh Show threw us another curve. Rush did a simulcast with Martha McCallum of Fox News, who confessed her nervousness about being on the radio with an audience much larger than her usual TV audience. Rush was becomingly bashful in her presence and made a joke about how dumb men become in the presence of blondes. He subsequently said he was "drawing a blank" on one of her questions, although he answered it in his usual direct fashion.

The real surprise was that he allowed her to televise photos of him as a boy and young man, and he answered personal questions about his relationship with his father and his experience of drug rehab, which he called one of the best experiences of his life and something he "thanked God" for having gone through.

Rush Limbaugh doesn't have to do any of these things. His listeners know that he's not as pompous and arrogant as he pretends to be. They also don't need him to confess his personal failings or to share intimate parts of his private life. Why, then, is Rush developing an entirely new mode of communication with the mass audience?

I think he's stepping up in anticipation of the electoral ordeal the country will be experiencing in the next year. No one knows better than he does just how vicious Democrats, particularly Clintons, can get. In the past month he's already been the target of an unprecedented attack on a private citizen from the floor of the Senate, which he brilliantly turned against Reid, Pelosi, Clinton, et al. Still, he knows that the media environment -- thanks to blogs and reality TV and tabloid journalism -- is changing on a daily basis, and he has concluded that the disembodied Lowell Thomas/Edward R. Murrow "voice of reason" is not long for this world. That's what he's been for more than a decade to American conservatives. He's done it so effectively and so uniquely that he could retire forever at a moment's notice without having to surrender any more of his (obviously) intensely valued privacy.

Instead, he's innovating again. He's going to show us that a grandiloquent media identity and a sincerely humble personal identity can coexist in a way that enhances the credibility of both. Today's performance was an exemplary masterpiece. Yes -- like most single divorced men -- he found Martha McCallum attractive and allowed himself to be seen finding her attractive. Then he protested like crazy when his emails noted the fact. Genius. He's allowing his listeners to look behind the mask of managed celebrity and draw their own conclusions, confident that what they learn about him as a human being will only increase his believability when the partisan tornado that is the next Democrat assault on his (and our) integrity begins.

Hats off, Rush. It's a clever strategy and a brave one. You are personally committed to your beliefs. Showing a personal vulnerability you never had to proves it. Q.E.D.

P.S. Martha. He likes you. He really does. Give him a call.


Old guys are mostly just old guys. But we do have our points.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Multimedia Leo

Not just a painter -- da Vinci wrote dance hits, too.

MORE CODE CONSPIRACIES. It's not enough that he invented tanks and helicopters 400 years in advance. Or that in forging the Shroud of Turin, he might have invented photography half a millennium early. Despite his long deceasement, da Vinci is still cutting edge. Stung by the notion that Leonardo might have had seditious notions about Christianity (The Gospel According to Tom Hanks), an Italian musician named Giovanni Maria Pala has now discovered that the Last Supper fresco is also the first multimedia production in the history of art.

Pala, a 45-year-old musician who lives near the southern Italian city of Lecce, began studying Leonardo's painting in 2003, after hearing on a news program that researchers believed the artist and inventor had hidden a musical composition in the work.

"Afterward, I didn't hear anything more about it," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. "As a musician, I wanted to dig deeper."

In a book released Friday in Italy, Pala explains how he took elements of the painting that have symbolic value in Christian theology and interpreted them as musical clues.

Pala first saw that by drawing the five lines of a musical staff across the painting, the loaves of bread on the table as well as the hands of Jesus and the Apostles could each represent a musical note.

This fit the relation in Christian symbolism between the bread, representing the body of Christ, and the hands, which are used to bless the food, he said. But the notes made no sense musically until Pala realized that the score had to be read from right to left, following Leonardo's particular writing style.

In his book - "La Musica Celata" ("The Hidden Music") - Pala also describes how he found what he says are other clues in the painting that reveal the slow rhythm of the composition and the duration of each note.

The result is a 40-second "hymn to God" that Pala said sounds best on a pipe organ, the instrument most commonly used in Leonardo's time for spiritual music....

"A new figure emerges - he wasn't a heretic like some believe," Pala said. "What emerges is a man who believes, a man who really believes in God."

Truthfully, we suspected as much in our own treatment of the da Vinci code controversy a year-and-a-half ago. Now that we've been proven right, we can't help but crow a little.

On the other hand, if you look up the history of music, it seems that Leonardo's first music video hit the bricks in a near but losing dead heat with contemporary conventions for musical notation. Or did he sort of invent those from before-the-fact too?

The modern 5-line staff was first adopted in France, and became almost universal by the 16th century (although the use of staffs with other numbers of lines was still widespread well into the 17th century).

Because the neum system arose from the need to notate songs, exact timing was initially not a particular issue as the music would generally follow the natural rhythms of the Latin language. However, by the 10th century a system of representing up to four note lengths had been developed. These lengths were relative rather than absolute, and depended on the duration of the neighbouring notes. It was not until the 14th century that something like the present system of fixed note lengths arose. Starting in the 15th century, vertical bar lines were used to divide the staff into sections. These did not initially divide the music into measures (bars) of equal length (as most music then featured far fewer regular rhythmic patterns than in later periods), but appear to have been introduced as an aid to the eye for "lining up" notes on different staves that were to be played or sung at the same time. The use of regular measures (bars) became commonplace by the end of the 17th century.

When they get the writers' strike settled, we think it's time for a hilarious sitcom about how Leonardo invented absolutely everything, only nobody would listen. And he was gay, wasn't he? Perfect. For a title we're thinking "Hip Hop Wop." Unless that's not politically correct enough. And you'd need a co-star with blonde hair and big boobs. Maybe Jessica Some Body.

That's as far as we've got. But you probably have ideas of your own. What stumps us is who to cast as Leo. Forward your suggestions.

Back to Archive Index

Amazon Honor System Contribute to Learn More