Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Big Day and Bill O Snaps

Hello everyone!

Today is the big day: the last day to turn in your ballot here in Oregon, no later than 8pm PDT to be exact.

For those readers who live in another state, Oregon has this fantastic mail-in ballot system, and here's how it works. Basically, the state mails you a ballot. You then have three weeks or so to fill it out, and you can do so wherever and whenever you want (I recommend the handicapped stall in the IHOP bathroom after a night of heavy drinking). Then you can either throw a stamp on it and mail it, or you can drop it off at one of the strategically placed official ballot dropsites around town (or at an unofficial dropsite, but your vote may not be counted). It's a really convenient system, though I do remember one of my former political science instructors pointing out that Oregon's voter turnout rates are no higher than in the rest of the nation.

Anyway, as I'm sure all of you are aware, I've been spending the past two months or so shilling for Steve Novick. It's been a lot of fun, even the time when I ended up talking to the nutcase who told me about his idea to put satellites up in space that would vaporize people who cross the border illegally, and about how he killed a bunch of people Vietnam.

But all that work comes down to tonight--whether or not Steve wins the primaries. The polls are showing it to be neck and neck, so who knows. Tomorrow, I'll either be stoked or bummed. If he wins, I'll continue shilling for the next 5 1/2 months until the general. However, if he loses, I'll have to go find a job. There's no way I could go work for Steve's opponent, Jeff Merkley. Seriously, how could I work for this guy?

In the meantime, I've been keeping myself busy with homework avoiding my homework. I wonder if my poli-sci instructor would let me copy and paste this blog posting and turn it in as an assignment?

Something else that I'm sure you're all aware of is my intense disliking of Bill O'Reilly. I've never met him, so I can't say anything bad about him personally, although if I did meet him, I imagine he would come across as a pompous, arrogant, insecure dickwad. But since I've never met him, I won't say what I just said.

However, what I can't stand is the damage he and people like him do to our political discourse. He peddles bullshit and propaganda disguised as news. I don't have any problem with his opinion, but I do have a problem that he backs up his opinion with more opinion and/or falsehoods. If he's simply making mistakes, then he should retract his statements once they're proven wrong like they teach you to do in Journalism 101. But he rarely if ever retracts anything, and that tells me his falsehoods are deliberate lies. These lies are so bad that there are even websites dedicated to documenting them all.

I also abhor his "debating style," which consists of nothing more than shouting over the other person and/or calling him or her a "pinhead," and that's only on the rare occasion when someone on his show who disagrees with him actually gets more than a few seconds to make a point. And if he's having a off-day and a guest is able to say something reasonable, he'll shout that person down or even cut off the person's microphone. He reminds me of a high school bully who, on the first day of his senior year, would find the weakest-looking freshmen kid to beat up to impress his knuckle-dragging football buddies who would then jump in if the kid put up any kind of a fight.

He's scum of the worst kind. I wouldn't care, but he has way too much influence on the public debate.

The fact that he's scum is the reason he ended up with so much influence. He was willing to be scum for the highest bidder, and as a result, the highest bidder gave him a format to shill for them. Sure, I shilled for Novick, but I didn't get paid to do so. I did it because I honestly think this country would be a better place with him in the Senate. And by "this country," I mean regular people like you and I, not News Corporation executives and their CEO buddies. You know, the real elitists, the ones O'Reilly shills for, the ones who apparently think we're stupid enough to buy it. So we end up with bogus debates about orange juice or whether someone pointed out that bitter people are bitter and nonsensical metaphors because they don't want us thinking about our real problems, unless we're busy blaming them on each other. But that's what usually happens, and we're all worse off because of it.

As a result, I find myself feeling pleased every time I come across something that exposes O'Reilly for the ass-napkin he truly is. Last week I came across an instant classic on "The YouTubes." This is footage from the early 90s when he was the host of Inside Edition, a celebrity tabloid show, and I doubt it was much of a leap for him to go from tabloid to his current gig. Anyway, during this taping Bill O apparently forgets how to read a teleprompter and flies into a rage over it. Too much cocaine, perhaps? Hey, if he gets to make unfounded claims on his show, why can't I? Warning: the clip contains naughty, naughty language, so anyone too young or sensitive might want to leave the room after clicking on it:



Ah, I must have seen that twenty seven times, and yet I still laugh each time.

Of course, it's clear he was angry, but the question was why? What was going on in his mind during all this? Well, when O'Reilly wants to spin better understand what other people are thinking when they speak, he brings in a "body language expert." That's exactly what Keith Olbermann did:



Of course, this wouldn't be complete without a DANCE REMIX:



Greatest. Song. Ever. This is the one I want for my cell phone ringer!

Anyway, I'm going to get back to my routine of pacing and chewing my fingernails while waiting for the results to come in. If Novick loses, at least I can cheer myself up by listening to the O'Reilly dance remix!

Rob

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