The Hollywood Globes
I always thought the Golden Globes was an allusion to the amount of mammary displayed by those Hollywood feminists who speak out against objectifying women as they engage in an onstage orgy of self-objectification. Not so this year. Not only did the actresses of Tinsel Town wear black as symbolic mourning over the death of silent acceptance of sexual harassment, they suddenly came down with a case of demure syndrome. They looked classy – even sexy – in gowns that did not reveal more flesh than they concealed. Gone were the side slits that rose to the armpits. Gone were the bountiful expanses of bare buttocks as well as the side boobs, the bottom boobs and the peaking nipples. Well, almost gone. Actresses Halle Berry, Margo Robbie, Issa Rae, Eva Longoria and most notably Kate Hudson opted for those plunging necklines that plunge well past the mammary sag line – terminating near the umbilicus.
And then there was Blanca Blanco (literally translated as White White). She wore (almost) what amounted to a big red scarf. Well, that is a bit of an exaggeration. A big red scarf would have covered more skin. She got a lot of pushback for defying the black dress code, but not much was said about her attempt to win the award for objectified slut of the year. She has my vote.
Conversely, carrying the new-found modesty to the extreme, Elisabeth Moss wore a dress reminiscent of a 1940s schoolmarm.
The all-important fashionista aspect of the program was paralleled by political messaging. Since this year’s program was devoted solely to the sexual harassment theme, it was challenging for every presenter and award recipient to find rhetorical variations on the theme. The stern assurances of change, the repetitious condemnation of the culture that made Hollywood famous – infamous, if you prefer -- and cliché responses were all an endless loop.
The one exception was a rather effective speech by Oprah Winfrey, which got her a tongue-in-cheek presidential endorsement from comedian (note comedian) Seth Meyers. The coverage since has been so extensive among Democrats and the media that one must conclude that these folks are taking the joke seriously. One columnist said that Oprah was the ONLY chance the Democrats have in 2020. If that is the case, the donkey party is in far worse condition than even I realized.
The least post-event coverage was paid to the primary purpose of the program – the movie awards. A perusal of the morning after media failed to provide much information about the winners and losers. I guess even Hollywood has its priorities.
Beat the Press
White House aide Stephen Miller turned CNN’s Meet the Press into a more appropriately labeled program of “beat the press” – as with a two-by-four to the lens.
Those who watched the kerfuffle between host Jake Tapper and Miller had Trump fans saying Miller crushed Tapper, while the never Trump folks were of the opposite opinion. As would be expected, CNN’s hyperbolic anchors and parroting panelists came to the defense of Tapper – working very hard to spin public opinion against Miller.
But what about those who are not part of the opposing political bases? I am inclined to think that the more objective Americans who saw the entire confrontation – as opposed to the selected outtakes offered up by CNN and others – would score the match as a TKO by Miller.
First, it was Tapper who lost his cool. He could not tolerate Miller’s words. It was almost as if Tapper had a sudden attack of hyperacusis (an intolerance to common sounds). He became visibly angry and said some things that a news host ought not say. The more Miller asked for a small bit of air time – three minutes – to mention some of the accomplishments of the Trump administration, the more Tapper overpowered his guest. At one point, Tapper accused Miller of talking to an audience of one – meaning for the ears of the President. Miller made mucho points when he noted that CNN spends 24 hours a day trashing trump and cannot even allow three minutes to explain some positive policy accomplishments. Miller was not on CNN to be interviewed but to be excoriated.
To use a boxing analogy, Miller was striking blow after blow while Tapper was rhetorically staggering and looking for his intellectual footing. Tapper retaliated with many wild swings that missed their mark.
Among the hardest hits to the chin was when Miller accused Tapper and CNN of being out of tune and touch with the American people. Tapper’s petulance came to the surface when Miller asked why he could not have a couple minutes to talk about the accomplishments and Tapper allowed his arrogance to show when he retorted “because this is my program.”
Proving to be unable to dodge Miller’s punches, Tapper finally grabbed onto the ropes and threw in the towel before the end of the interview. Tapper had a narrative and a script, and he could not make his guest comply. The Tapper view of information supremacy reminded me of the Mika Brzezinski claim that it was the media’s role to determine what the people think.
Currently, the stable of potential Democrat candidates for 2020 is a political stable of mares and studs that look more like glue factory material than thoroughbreds ready for another race around the Oval Office. The currently leading contenders are Vermont’s socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, who would be 79 on Inauguration day, former Vice President Joe Biden, who would be 78, Hillary (never give up an ambition) Clinton, 73 if inaugurated. If you assume the Democrats win in 2020 and the winner serves a full eight years, these three would not pass the presidential baton until the ages of 88, 86 and 81 respectively. In that group, Senator Elizabeth Warren would be a youthful 71 on Inauguration day and 79 at the end of two terms.
Despite all the media conjecture over which of these septuagenarians is likely to secure the nomination, it is unlikely that any of them will. As the former Democrat National Chairman Howard Dean advised, these older pols should get out of the way for the next generation. But who is that next generation.
There are a few governors and senators biting at the bit. There is one major businessman who has already commenced his campaign for the White House without saying so. That is the highly ambitious billionaire Tom Steyer – the man behind those ubiquitous impeachment television commercials. At 60 years old, he is not exactly the next generation that he claims to represent.
Perhaps the strongest contender, however, might just be a young Massachusetts congressman by the name of Joseph P. Kennedy III. He is the grandson and namesake of the Kennedy patriarch who sired two senators, one President of the United States and a couple congressmen.
In 2020, Congressman Joe Kennedy will be almost exactly the age of his uncle John F. Kennedy when he took the oath of office. The young legislator is blessed with the Kennedy iconic good looks – the face of Ireland, as they say -- and has inherited the family charismatic platform style. So far – or at least as far as we know – Joe the Third has not fallen prey to any of the Kennedy’s tawdry, salacious and scandalous habits.
Uncharacteristic of the Kennedy’s, Joe has stayed out of the limelight. Very few Americans are even aware of his existence. This may be changing, however. He was recently featured in a fundraising communication from CHC BOLD PAC, a Democrat political action committee that claims to be the voice of the Latino community. In that solicitation, Kennedy accuses the GOP of being heartless in its healthcare policy – a well-established Democrat talking-point canard.
He says in the fundraising email that “There is no mercy in a country that turns their back on those most in need of protection: the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the suffering.” In that statement, the young Kennedy shows that he has also developed the family trait of grandiose rhetoric devoid of substance – selling the sizzle when there is no beef.
While he is currently rather unknown, he has the advantage of massive instant exposure from the fawning left-leaning media the moment he tiptoes to the edge of the political spotlight. If Obama could send a tingle up the leg of Chris Matthews, this young congressman should have the Kennedy-loving MSNBC personality wetting himself.
So, keep one eye on that handsome Irishman standing in the political wing off stage left.
PostScript on Bannon
Professors of literature refer to the “Shakespearean Flaw” – that human weakness that results in personal tragedy. For Steve Bannon, it was a monumental ego that had him believing that he was THE more important, most influential and most intelligent person in America – maybe the world. He sees his fall from grace in a self-comparison to a truly monumental figure of history and literature.
He sees himself to a modern-day Thomas Cromwell, whose falling out with King Henry VIII lead to more than his political demise, as is the case with Bannon, but to his death. Bannon might want to keep in mind that he seems to have a lot fewer friends to bemoan his downfall than did Cromwell.
Aloha also means goodbye
Did you know that the liberal paradise of Hawaii is now an exodus state? Why are they leaving? The circumstances may vary, but the reasons boil down to a category of one – it has become too expensive. Ironically, the greatest percentage of those leaving the Aloha State (15 percent to be exact) are heading to another expensive exodus state, California. Go figure. Perhaps they should not be too quick to unpack their bags.