Tag Archives: PBS

Mittens’ Etch A Sketch is at full tilt

Etch A Sketch art

Unfortunately, in the United States of Amnesia, you pretty much can “shake it up and … start all over again”* — and to a stunning degree, get away with it.

I watched last night’s presidential debate online as it unfolded live.

While everyone is declaring Mittens Romney the “winner,” I don’t see it.

It’s obvious that the multi-millionaire Mormon Mittens has shifted his message abruptly to the center in order to appeal to the so-called “swing voters” (a.k.a. “undecideds,” “independents,” etc.). It wasn’t nearly long ago enough (it was in May) that Mittens told his fat-cat donors that 47 percent of us Americans can go fuck ourselves that we now can believe Mittens’ claim of last night that he just wuvs every last one of us.

I believe the Mittens of May, not the Mittens of October.

Only when we reduce the presidential debates to pure theater, in which truthfulness doesn’t matter (theater is, after all, fiction), only when we view the presidential debates as entertainment, like a wrestling event, can we say that Mittens “won” last night’s debate.

Mittens lied every time his lips moved — contrary to his claims, a Mittens presidency would look like much the illegitimate George W. Bush presidency did, but we wouldn’t even have Big Bird — but hey, Mittens steamrolled all over senior-citizen moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS (whom Mittens badly wants to fire)! What a bad-ass alpha male Mittens is!

Frighteningly, it apparently is the “swing voters” who (at least largely) decide presidential elections these days, and if you are one of them, you just now are paying attention to the presidential race and you have no idea that just the day before yesterday, Mittens was singing a hard-right tune. If you just first tuned in last night and you believe everything that you are told, indeed, Mittens, from his debate performance — and, like it is with theater, it was a performance — might not strike you as that bad a guy.

Luckily, we need look only to the presidential debates of 2004 — in which John Kerry clearly cleaned dipshit George W. Bush’s clock, yet Bush “won” “re”-election nonetheless — to remind ourselves that a real (in Bush’s case) or imagined (in Barack Obama’s case) poor performance in the presidential debates certainly doesn’t spell certain doom for an incumbent president’s election (real or imagined) to a second term.

I expect Mittens to gain a percent or two in the nationwide polls over the next week, but I don’t expect that boost to last, and I still expect Barack Obama to win re-election. I expect that Obama will have learned from the chatter after his first debate with Mittens and will adjust his game accordingly.

The question remains, however, as to how easily the New and Improved! Mittens can dupe the “swing voters” who just now are paying attention.

*The infamous Etch A Sketch quote, recall, was that of (former?) senior Mittens campaign operative Eric Fehrnstrom, who in March told CNN, “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”

When you shake up an actual Etch A Sketch, everything disappears without a trace. Real life, however, isn’t that neat and tidy, yet Team Mittens apparently is going forward with the Etch-A-Sketch plan nonetheless. Indeed, according to the Mittens playbook, we’re even to just erase already the infamous “47 percent” remark that Mittens uttered just back in May.

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Why this gay man supports Planned Parenthood

On the surface, I suppose, I, as a gay man, have the least reason of any demographic group to support Planned Parenthood.

I don’t have to worry about experiencing an unplanned pregnancy because I’m not a woman. I don’t have to worry (very much at all) about accidentally impregnating a woman because I prefer members of my own sex. I don’t have to worry about contracting breast cancer. (Very probably.)

But I clearly see that we’re all connected, and that a right-wing attack on one of us is a right-wing attack on all of us.

That, and let’s face it: the right-wing hatred of women and the right-wing oppression of women overlaps with the right-wing hatred and the right-wing oppression of gay men. The patriarchal right wing values males and male heterosexuality and the masculine, and devalues females (regardless of their sexual orientation) and devalues gay men, because gay men, to the right wing, are part of the feminine that must be subjugated (indeed, in some cases, even, destroyed).

So whenever Planned Parenthood comes under attack by the misogynists, be they female-hating men or self-hating women, whether it be an attack by the self-loathing women who “lead” the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation or an attack by the women-hating stupid white men of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party who for now control the U.S. House of Representatives, I give Planned Parenthood another donation, usually of at least $20 or $25.

Seriously: These right-wing attacks on Planned Parenthood must be great business for PP. (Similarly, when National Public Radio and/or Public Broadcasting Service come under attack from the right wing, I give them donations, too.)

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation sure made a serious misstep by deciding to side with the right wing and fuck over Planned Parenthood. I have given to the Komen foundation at least once before, but I very most likely never will again. I would not be surprised if the foundation folds. (Indeed, it should, and others should assume the work of battling breast cancer.) You can’t say that you are for women and women’s rights but that you are against Planned Parenthood.

I also support Planned Parenthood because overpopulation harms all of us, regardless of our sex or sexual orientation.

Parenting experts have concluded that gay men and lesbians as a group probably make better parents than many if not most heterosexual couples because, among other reasons, same-sex couples who become parents obviously want to be parents, while about half of pregnancies that occur within heterosexual couplings are accidental. (What percentage of those unwanted pregnancies are terminated, I am not certain.)

For all of the societal ills of which gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) are (most often wrongfully) accused, the one thing that we are not guilty of is contributing to overpopulation and its many attendant problems, which include the depletion of the planet’s natural resources from increased human consumption of those resources, increased pollution from human activity (and increased global warming, of course), and the more immediately obvious sufferings that overpopulation causes, such as hunger, poverty, poverty-related crime, and the fact that there is a serious “quality-control” issue when more human beings are produced than can be adequately cared for, which includes not only meeting their physiological needs, but meeting their psychospiritual needs as well. (Indeed, humankind, despite what so many awful heterosexual parents appear to believe, does not live by bread alone.)

It’s ironic — one of the most shit-and-pissed-upon groups of people on the planet (non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) probably are the ones best equipped to save it.

In the meantime, I continue to support Planned Parenthood, which is at least decreasing the amount of damage that those who (easily can) take their reproductive ability for granted are doing to all of us.

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