Friday, May 20, 2011
"My Name Is Maximus Douchemus"
Chances are by now you've seen or heard what can only be described as the awesomely surreal release issued by Newt Gingrich's press secretary Rick Tyler a couple of days ago. The statement was a response to the battering Gingrich has taken following a slew of choice public missteps during the past week, not the least of which was his criticism of the Paul Ryan budget -- what was swiftly chuckled at by the press and was even more swiftly labeled apostasy by those who've proudly passed the required 2012 Republican Purity Test.
If by some fluke you haven't yet experienced Camp Gingrich's official counter-attack, it's -- colorful. Actually, what it is is an epically florid piece of melodrama that casts Gingrich -- a man whose decades of Beltway self-pampering couldn't manifest themselves more gruesomely in his doughy physique -- as an Aragorn-like hero, valiantly slicing through a tidal wave of oncoming orcs with blades made of pure testosterone as Sauron rains snarky blog posts down from the fiery plume atop Mount Doom (or Capitol Hill, which is basically the same thing).
Really, it has to be seen to be believed -- and needless to say everybody has had fun with it over the past 48 hours simply because it's so rare that political PR hackery rises to this level of, well, poetry.
"The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces."
One of Rachel Maddow's producers created an appropriately bombastic photoshop tribute to the Gingrich statement.
And this was Colbert's take on it last night -- with a little help in the ACTING! department from John Lithgow:
For my part, as I re-read Tyler's press release a couple of times, I felt like I'd heard it somewhere before. That comically exaggerated style of prose -- it just sounded so familiar.
And then it hit me. Rick Tyler is just a nom de plume...
"Her Mind Is Aglow with Whirling, Transient Nodes of Thought Careening Through a Cosmic Vapor of Invention" (Originally Published, 3.25.10)
You know, I have to admit, I sat up pretty late last night trying to come up with something clever to do with this item.
I thought maybe I'd do a "Hannah Giles Orders Take-Out Chinese" theme, which would feature the bikini-clad Princess Leia to Andrew Breitbart's Jabba the Hutt -- Hannah Giles -- using all sorts of flowery metaphors and generally ostentatious vocabulary in the pursuit of the most mundane of tasks. Or maybe a fake ad for the "Hannah Giles School of Creative Writing," which would ostensibly offer to teach the neophyte the kind of poetic mastery of the English language that Hannah makes seem so effortless.
But it was Simon Owens over at Bloggasm who made me realize that you really can't beat up on Hannah Giles and feel good about it. She's just a dumb kid who got in way over her head. Yeah, she played an all-too-willing role in pretend provocateur James O'Keefe's ridiculous "take down" of ACORN -- a toothless non-profit that could barely afford to keep its fucking lights on, much less act as some sort of left-wing mafia enforcer; and sure, she really seemed to enjoy riding the wave and bathing in all the warm encomia from the right that followed her and Jimmy's little sting. But in the end, what the conservative media did to her was, ironically, what you'd expect to see done to the character she played in the now famous videos. They used her -- like a prostitute. Everybody did, to some extent.
So no, I'm not gonna pile on. That said, she does at least deserve to have the piece she penned for Breitbart's Big Journalism site regarding the dismantling of ACORN as a national organization -- her humorously florid pep talk to Right America about the need to keep fighting the good fight -- circulated far and wide. It's, well -- colorful.
Here's a chunk of it:
"Let me tell you something: If you know what is right, if you know what is pure, and if you can but for a second imagine attaining and sharing those things, then you must will all your power seek it out. If you do not, then the memory of that moment you imagined will forever itch inside your head and ache inside your heart until you are ruled by fear and tormented by regret...
We live in a quick cruel world that demands we bolt out of dreamland and wipe nostalgia’s sweet kisses away. Principles and beliefs are ageless only so long as those who possess them see to it they are not forgotten. Societies will always tend towards all things bad if the powers-at-be do not lead wisely and are not held accountable by the people.
The future is a blank canvas, a giant glowing question mark held in place by eternity. This is something that would send most people into a tailspin of wonder ,anxiety and fear. But to others, this makes life a bit simpler, an unknown future ought allow us to fully operate and thoroughly enjoy the present moment.
Challenge: take a step back and look at life on the Grand Scale. We are but specks of dust, here today gone tomorrow. What kind of spec are you going to be: The kind that gets swept under the rug? Or the mote that flies into the eye of deceit, threatening to agitate it beyond repair and forcing it to submit to truths brutally thorough cleansings?"
So, yeah. See, here I am -- not piling on at all.
Incidentally, the responses to the piece in the comment section are what you might expect:
"This lady can write. This has to be some of the most profoundly stirring prose I've read in some time."
-- impeach them all
"Great writing Hannah! You are truly an inspiration to me! I'll do what I can to be that "fly in the eye of deceit" from this end. I know you'll hold up yours! God bless you. God bless James. I have every confidence that we will win this war against this President of 'God damn America' Barack Hussein Obama and his comrades who are trying to enact a coup d'etat on America. Darkness is always overcome by the light."
-- Once always a marine
And with that, I'm doing what anyone in my position would do -- taking my laptop outside and ceremonially setting it on fire. Just not sure I'll ever be able to reach the lofty standards set by Cormac Giles there, so I don't see why I should even bother anymore.
Wait, does that count as piling on?
(Gingrich photoshop courtesy of Oliver Willis)