Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mike Gravel and Ron Paul Must Team Up To Destroy The 24 Hour News Networks...And This Playlist Will Be The Soundtrack

(Mike Gravel, South Carolina Debate, April 07)

(Mike Gravel Fucking Up Chris Matthews Old-School)

(Ron Paul Being Defamed By Fox News)

(Ron Paul, Reagan Library Debate)

Download: Black Sabbath - "The Mob Rules"
Download: Black Flag - "Rise Above"
Download: MC5 - "Kick Out The Jams"
Download: Minor Threat - "I Don't Wanna Hear It"
Download: Sleater-Kinney - "Combat Rock"
Download: Megadeth - "Peace Sells (But Who's Buying?)"
Download: Metallica - "Disposable Heroes"
Download: Metallica - "Leper Messiah"
Download: The Observers - "Symbols, Slogans, Lies"
Download: The Thermals - "A Pillar Of Salt"
Download: Public Enemy - "Party For Your Right To Fight"
Download: The Coup - "5 Million Ways To Kill A C.E.O"
Download: Dead Kennedys - "Holiday In Cambodia"
Download: Sonic Youth - "Youth Against Fascism"
Download: Big Trouble House - "Turn On The News" (Husker Du cover)

I’d hate to use MFR as my personal soapbox but, sweet merciful crap, after reading about the hype leading up to last night's first (annual?) CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate (read more here), I felt compelled to write down my thoughts and share them with you all; even if its just in this simple venue here. That, and post some raucously subversive music. It is an MP3 blog, after all.

First, some context: Sweet Jesus, I hate the 24 hour news networks. Simply put, if I wanted to be yelled at all day by a rotating cast of barely intelligible grown-ups, I would move back into my parents house and would intentionally forget my household responsibilities for an entire year. Because that's pretty much how I feel when I am watching either CNN or Fox News. Furthermore, if I wanted to be spoken to as if I had no idea that the thing 3 feet above my ass is actually my head (as I feel like the networks so often do, especially Fox), I would return to my kindergarten classroom. At the very least, I would get juice and nap-time--things which neither Glenn Beck nor Bill O'Reilly have offered me...yet.

Secondly, some more in-depth context: I am profoundly confused by America, specifically the way that America relates to its underdogs. There is a odd hypocrisy in the way we view underdogs. We, as a country, would have you believe that we value the Davids of the world (political or otherwise) and that we exude nothing but skepticism, at best, and contempt, at worst, toward the Goliaths. This fictional version of America is truly a meritocracy, a society where one is able to rise or fall by virtue of how much work and effort one wants to put in to achieve their dreams and goals. There are dreamers and idealists with the elbow grease and the ability to tell truth to power, but don't necessarily have the platform to express their views. So they have to fight, tooth and nail, in order to be heard. But once they are, the message catches on like wildfire. Soon, a grassroots campaign develops and more and more people sign on for, and approve of, the once-crazy underdog gains enough influence to persuade those who remain dubious that reform is in need and that the fatcats can't go on taking advantage of the good people anymore. The underdog triumphs, while BrownNose Q. Statusquoington skulks away. The underdog goes on to fight for the people he had to win over and the people who were by his side all along. Order is restored and there is justice for all as the underdog wins (you probably should have listened to Spoon as you read that last paragraph, what with the talk of underdogs and everything).

This phenomenon is known as every Frank Capra movie ever made and/or Paul Wellstone.

And yet, for all of the talk about, and idealization of, the underdog and the guys who have crazy ideas but, hey, hear me out, when they actually come along in the political arena, they're dismissed automatically as being...well, crazy. That's where the odd hypocrisy regarding underdogs comes in. Everyone wants to feel like they're rooting for the underdog, but no one actually ever does root for him/her. Or vote for him/her. Instead, they go with the candidate that looks and sounds the most reassuring and the candidate that seems like the kind of guy who you could just sit down and have a beer with.

That approach, as you well know, has done us a world of good over the past 7 years.

Considering that YouTube is one of the most egalitarian forms of media ever conceived, a debate format that consists of questions submitted by Joe Q. Sixpack's younger, nerdier, and more technologically adept brother (or sister) should have any presidential candidates shaking in their boots. It is the voter who is the underdog and, now, has the ability to directly address the people who are vying to represent him/her, ostensibly without fear of censorship or repercussion.

Except, naturally, not.

According to this Slate Article (scroll down to Monday, July 16th's post entitled "Is CNN Blowing It?"), CNN's editors picked which questions got asked. As opposed to a more democratic version, which would have meant that CNN/YouTube viewers would vote for the question they thought was the best. God forbid that something that's been advertising itself as groundbreaking and historical actually be groundbreaking and historical.

So we basically got the same questions that the talking heads on television (but, sadly, not The Talking Heads) ask, but smaller, blurrier, and most likely, wearing a snowman costume. Incidentally, the gentleman who asked about global warming while wearing a snowman costume was from Minneapolis. Well played, my friend. Well played.

It's come to this, the most cynical, transparent, attempt to latch on to the "kids" and what they do with their spare time these days. What other conclusion can I reach? The 24 hour news networks need to be taken down from the inside.

And Mike Gravel and Ron Paul are just the people to do it.

If you haven't already, watch the clips at the top of this post. It will make the rest of it much easier to follow.

The thing I like most about Sen. Mike Gravel (along with his views on the war and the fact that he is unafraid of criticizing the other candidates) is that I think that he is genuinely about a millimeter away from making like Al Pacino and yelling "I'm out of order? You're out of order! This whole courtroom is out of order!" a la ...And Justice For All

If you don't believe me, check out this Gravel quote from the debate last night:

...Zach asked about change. You're not going to see any change when these people get elected.

We were asked about -- that we're united.

We're not united. I'm not united on many of their views. And I want to take on Barack Obama for a minute, who said he doesn't take money from lobbyists. Well, he has 134 bundlers. Now, what does he think that is?

And, besides that, he has received money from a Robert Wolf, the head of the USB (sic) bank in the United States, who raised $195,000 -- from this bank -- wait a second -- who has lobbyists in Washington...

If you watch the video of him, he just gets more and more animated while he speaks (hence the Pacino comparison). Not only that, but he's the only presidential candidate crazy enough to make a 7 minute avant-garde art-film for his campaign that consists of Gravel staring into the camera, then throwing a rock into a lake. This is basically the closest we can get to having Jean-Luc Godard in the White House. I suggest that we take it.

Basically, Gravel is nuts and I love him for it.

I like Congressman Paul for many of the reasons that I like Gravel: his animation, his consistency on the war, and his non-reluctance to criticize those in his party. Paul is radically libertarian, which means that, as a liberal, I will be thrilled with half of what he does as a leader and will go into a conniption by the other half of what he does as a leader. We live in a time where there seems to be both too much government in our lives and not enough government in our lives. We have the IRS and the FCC unfairly dictating our incomes and turning adults into children by playing moral watchdog. And yet, the only feasible way for the crises regarding health-care and global warming to be solved is for the government to intervene. I'd be curious to see how someone like Paul handles that dynamic. He'd either be a savior or plunge us further into the darkness.

Because of their common attributes, and the fact that they are both genuinely underdogs (1 percent of the vote, holla!), I think that Paul and Gravel would be the perfect team to undermine the news networks.

For those of you wondering, Paul= good cop, Gravel = bad cop.

I'm not entirely sure what needs to transpire - I just have vaguely Bill Hicks-esque visions of Gravel ripping out Nancy Grace's still beating heart while Paul withdraws all troops from Iraq and abolishes the Department of Homeland Security while no one is looking. Either that, or Gravel whips out his samurai sword and chops off Wolf Blitzer's hand when he asks one of his asinine "Raise your hand if..." debate questions while Paul gets rid of the IRS and FEMA.

God only knows what will happen when those poor bastards get their hands on Hannity and Colmes and the rest of Fox News. I predict Gravel roundhouses Hannity right in the face, while Paul uses the Jedi mind trick on Colmes to get him to reveal Rupert Murdoch's secret volcano island hideout. Meanwhile, as Bill O'Reilly sneaks up on Gravel, ready to implement his kung-fu death grip on him, Paul spins and throws a ninja star right between O'Reilly's head.

So if this were Enter The Dragon, Gravel = Bruce Lee and Paul = John Saxon.

None of this will ever happen, obviously. Because of mass media, David is Golith and Goliath is David and back again. But still, you gotta root for the underdog, right?

So Sen. Gravel and Congressman. Paul, to you I say be who you are and kick out the jams. And by jams, I mean, of course, the cable news networks.

(Jonathan Graef)

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Anonymous Vide08 said...

Love Gravel!
btw he doesn't really say such outrageous stuff, he says what a big part of the world is saying, in Europe he would be a big leader

agree with some of Paul's stuff, don't agree with his minimalistic view on government, but I respect him for having a consistent philosophical view for the most part, that already sets him apart from all the other Republican candidates

although I can't understand how a die hard libertarian can also be against pro choice and same sex marriage??? oh wait, he's 71 :)

btw great musical selection here, saw Metallica a few weeks ago, nothing compares to that

4:07 AM  
Blogger Jon said...

True on both counts regarding Gravel and Paul.

Paul is pro-life and anti-gay marriage? That's disappointing.

Glad you like the songs and thanks for commenting!


12:17 PM  

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