Culturally Discombobulated

Tag: America

We all just need to get through this: West Virginia and Nebraska, 10 May 2016

Despite the overexcited energy and hyperbole they are programmed to engender, there was a subdued tone to cable news tonight. Gone was the febrile, unhinged coverage that has marked this strange electoral season. Perhaps, and this is probably just my wishful thinking, they feel a degree of guilt over their – the media’s – role in the triumph of Trumpism, or perhaps they’re just pacing themselves, taking a quick pause, before conventions, or perhaps they simply couldn’t bring themselves to get at all excited about what Nebraska and West Virginia might be thinking on matters that are already settled.

This new world where Trumpism exists as an actual legitimate political force is proving personally fascinating for how it is shattering a lot of my long held opinions. For one, I’m finding myself impressed with politicians in the GOP I previously never had time for; those who are deciding to not just conveniently line up behind the party’s nominee, but are proving resistant to him. Today, I actually found myself thinking fondly of Paul Ryan. We are most certainly in a new paradigm.

Cable news was grateful for the Sanders win in West Virginia as it allowed them to try and incite another exciting narrative. Clinton won a symbolic primary in Nebraska, but receives no delegates because Sanders had won an earlier caucus in March featuring a far smaller number of people. So Sanders wins a state though Clinton won a vote featuring three times as many votes in the state as in the former contest. I have no idea as to why the Nebraska Democrats would have a caucus and then two months later a symbolic primary. It is, however, worth remembering next time a Sanders supporter tells you about how the political system is conspiring against their candidate.

Sanders spoke impassionedly to a crowd of cheering students in Oregon after the result of his win in West Virginia was announced. I always find watching a Bernie rally somewhat bizarre; it’s as if you’ve discovered your old, hectoring eleventh grade science teacher has managed to create a messianic cult around himself.

American Notes: American Mother’s Day

AMERICAN MOTHER’S DAY: Confusingly, America designates a Sunday in May for Mother’s Day as opposed to the earlier Sunday in March that it is celebrated on in the UK and Ireland. This leads you to the awkward dilemma of debating whether you should celebrate the day twice. I’d advise yes – provided you can buy your cards on a two-for-one deal. American Mother’s Day is most noticeable as being the day of the year when middle-aged women across the country set out to scientifically prove that there is, after all, a bottom to the bottomless mimosa.

He’s found his Carly

Turns out vetting his candidate for veep didn’t take too long.

American Notes: White House Correspondents Dinner

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER: A cozy affair that has been going on for nearly a century between the White House press corps and the administration of the day. In its current form it acts as a Friars Club roast (only much tamer – so more of a light broiling, really, than a roast) of the sitting President, demonstrating year after year that there is nothing more inconducive to humor than an authority figure in on the joke*.  And who wants to see the press corps chuckling away to the Vice President’s unfunny filmed skits rather than treating the whole event with the disdain you’d hope from seasoned hacks? Just do away with the whole damned thing – and if the press still want to eat out once a year the White House could offer them the choice of a $25 gift card to either Chili’s or Red Lobster. Otherwise this may well be next year’s dinner.




* The exception to the normal toothless satire being the year that Stephen Colbert hosted and, in character, skewered George W. Bush. This, however, was one of those rare, unlikely to be repeated moments  when you had a comic skilled in irony and a President seemingly not in on the joke  Bearing in mind the increasing Hollywoodization of the ceremony, the sitting President almost certainly has to be a Republican in order for the roasting of the Commander-in-chief to have much bite to it