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Life Imitates Cartoon

A glance at the latest Disney Channel offerings made me think: what's the most common set up for the vast majority of contemporary popular cartoon shows? Feisty, study-resistant (sometimes smart, but not book-smart), charming boy with an intelligent but unfunny and often nagging sister who exists to be a foil and to get her brother out of trouble. And what this reminded me of most is the Hillary & Barack Show: he's the charming but not terribly studious sort who's more fun to be around; she's the serious, knowledgeable one who's more reliable when the shit hits the fan. Anyone who's seen any of the debates (particularly the last one) can attest to this dichotomy. He's Bart Simpson, she's Lisa. People like him better but when it comes to who knows what it takes to be president, he always punts to her.

However, as Lisa Simpson can tell you, people vote not for who's better equipped but whom they like better. While few may remember (or may be honest enough to recall), people voted for Bush because he seemed like a fun guy (if you like cruel humor) while Gore was a bore. Same thing with Kerry: no one doubted who was the real mensch, who would get us out of Iraq, who would stop the bleeding; same in California: Schwarzenegger is an empty suit but, hey, he's the Terminator. Hillary was toast not simply because she's female (though that is a huge part of it, don't kid yourself) but because she was not a wild and crazy guy. Bill had the killer combo: he was a fun and charming guy and he was brilliant (though he knew well enough to downplay that part).

And so one would assume that, come November, success is inevitable. But look closer: we will have two Bart Simpsons running. While he looks like an old duffer now, John McCain is Bart only seasoned by war and time. That's why the sex scandal didn't hurt him; it only proved there's still fire in the house even if there's snow on the roof. He was a hotshot pilot, cocky and outgoing with a legendary temper. C'mon, this guy jumped and rolled through a wall of fire to escape a burning plane. And yet he's humble, even about his own heroism. So November's a jump ball, particularly given the short attention span of young voters. What will still sell in November depends upon what remains trendy: World of Warquest or Guitar Hero?


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2008 11:26 pm (UTC)
Outstanding Observation
Since 1994, when I first moved to Texas, the decisions had already been made by the time the primary rolled around. And then nobody would campaign here for the general election because it was a shoe-in for all our Electorial College votes for the GOP nominee. Why spend precious dollars in Texas?

I hadn't seen nor heard a presidential election advertisement on television or radio since the last millennium.

So even if it is just the primary, it looks like our vote may actually count for something.
Mar. 4th, 2008 08:56 am (UTC)
Oof...nailed it, like usual. (And good for sal!, her vote finally making a difference! -- we voted for Edwards, and maybe that'll end up making a diff as well.)

I'm amazed that the Obamabots -- and, mainly, the media -- have warmed us up to Sen. Clinton, whom we didn't much like in this race. It's like the impeachment, making you love the quasi-Republican Bill Clinton: the more one sees the conduct of their enemies, the better one likes the Clintons themselves.

That said, Mark Penn & Co. should only find another line of work. :P

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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