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Conservative Political Commentary

Quote of the Day

Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

There's No Fool Like an Old Fool Who's Trying to Be Cool
posted by Bathus

My faithful blogmate Tom, in an attempt to rouse me from the depths of bloglethargy, emailed me today:
I'll know you're overworked if you don't manage to post something on this at the blog.
Against the grain of my natural indolence, I clicked the link, which opened to this amusing article:
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore on Monday unveiled his new television network, "Current," which aims to attract younger viewers with short videos and a tie-in with the popular Google Inc. search engine.

The network plans to debut on Aug. 1 and be available to 19 million subscription television viewers, Gore said at a news conference at the cable industry's annual convention. Gore led an investment group that last May bought the network from Vivendi Universal for an undisclosed sum.

The channel will show professionally produced segments as well as viewer-produced videos mostly short in length, running from a few seconds to up to 15 minutes.

"We are about empowering this generation of young people in their 20s, the 18-34 population, to engage in a dialogue of democracy and to tell their stories about what's going in their lives in the dominant media of our time," he said.

Viewers will also be able to vote for their favorite videos and get tutorials via the Internet on how to produce their own segments, according to network officials.

"We're starting something new and we're trying to bring about a change in the way the television medium is used," said Gore. "We know it's hard, but we're excited about trying."

. . . .

"We have no intention of being a Democratic channel, a liberal channel, or a TV version of Air America, that's not what we're all about," he said, referring to the liberal radio network.

Gore serves as chairman of the board of that channel.
My dear friend Tom, it is so very kind of you to try to goad me gently off my fat duff. (And since I do appear to have arisen from that most vital organ, let me remind you that it is now your turn to post something.)

But the topic you propose has just barely enticed me to stir from my lethargy. Limo liberals collaborating on a "new" media venture to interest a youthful demographic in political issues was already a worn out concept some twenty years ago when MTV et al. gave us Hands Across America. Inasmuch as Al Gore has promised that Current's founders "have no intention of being a Democratic channel, a liberal channel, or a TV version of Air America," we can safely assume the opposite, which is a guarantee that Current cannot succeed in its stated purpose.

There is nothing in that story to excite me from my happy repose.

On the other hand, the mere mention of Al Gore supplies all the justification I need to republish (for the third time!) the photo affixed to the conclusion of this post. That's my only real reason, Tom, for responding to your feeble incitement. Everything else written hereafter is just a pretext for re-posting that photo, which may be the best damn piece of work I've ever done in my entire life.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

So now, on with the pretext . . .

Regarding Al Gore's yearning to . . . ahem . . . stimulate, er, I mean empower, the young: Given a choice between mindless politics mixed with other forms of mindlessness, and mindlessness exclusively devoted to more closely related subjects (i.e., sex, parties, sex parties, getting a good buzz on, and music you can dirty-dance to), the members of Current's target demographic will always prefer the purer stuff.

Alas, one of the classic condescensions of the liberal mind is the assumption that the young, and every other demographic for that matter, cannot digest political material unless it first is slathered with an age-appropriate condiment, i.e., sex, fast-moving images, and other cool stuff for the youthful, the predictable ethnic seasoning for minorities, etc.

Then again, a sentence like the latest Gorism,
We are about empowering this generation of young people in their 20s, the 18-34 population, to engage in a dialogue of democracy
which is apparently Current's manifesto, illustrates precisely why today's liberals must always employ the mental equivlent of a thick enteric coating to render their excretions marginally palatable for human consumption.

So Al, could you get back to us with a more definitive answer about whether "this generation of young people" includes persons 18 to 34 or is restricted to those in their 20s?

That amusing demographic confusion, while saving Gore's "empowerment" pabulum from being ignored out of hand as typical liberal fatuity, does so only by exposing (once again) the speaker's self-ridiculing vapidity. Whatever noble thought Gore hoped to inspire with his promise to "empower this generation" was dragged straight to the ground by his brief but deadly foray into an impossibly banal demographic question. Would a person who actually cared about "empowering young people" trip himself up on the overly nice question of whether 18 to 20 year olds and post-thirty year olds fit the definition? One could exhaust many hours in Freudian speculations about what kind of concerns must be flitting about in the Gore's strange mind to cause him publicly to exhibit such inapposite confusion. The end of those speculations would inevitably confirm what we already know: Al Gore is an excruciatingly vapid man.

Yet now, with his clumsy appeal to youth, Al Gore's vapidity has acquired a hideously comic quality, like an old lady wearing hotpants. It really is funny if, that is, you can stand to look without gagging.

As the saying goes, there's no fool like an old fool, especially an old fool trying to be cool, most especially when the old fool trying to be cool happens to be Al Gore.

The fact is, to the extent that the young do take a genuine interest in matters political, they prefer theirs without spurious flavorings, coatings, and packagings. The least bright and the most spoiled of the young perhaps will not notice when they are being pandered to with a vengeance, and if they do notice, they might even appreciate it if a little high-sounding political talk lends a more noble character to the indulgence of primal youthful inclinations. But even the dull and the spoiled will grow bored quickly if the political content distracts much from their primary interests. So if Current's programming quickly evolves (and it would be an evolution, not a devolution) to contain amid pure and mindless sex-promotion not more than a hint of the mindless liberal sloganeering so well-illustrated by Gore's fatuity, the new channel might help sell a few six packs of Budweiser or ten packs of Trojans.

Most likely, the enterprise will fail altogether. In the meantime, we have the amusement of watching a spectacle combining a novel form of comedy with an ancient one:

       worn out old fart liberals, like Al Gore and his liberal last-generation internet millionaire buddies, making fools of themselves by throwing away their own money, which would be something new,

and

       worn out old fart liberals, like Al Gore and his liberal last-generation internet millionaire buddies, making fools of themselves by trying to be cool with the kids, which is something old fart liberals have been doing from time immemorial.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Post Script: As promised, and to further empower this generation of young people (whether they be in their 20s or in the 18-34 population), I include herewith the following classic image, slightly photoshopped by yours truly, showing Al Gore engaging in what he seems to think is the "dialogue of democracy."

posted by Bathus | 4/05/2005 09:45:00 PM
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Blogger James Fletcher Baxter said...

I thought he said, "I didn't break ANY laws!" selah

9:08 AM, May 02, 2005  

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