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This election article (from July) jumped with both feet into the category I call "Making Everyone Dumber":
It is? Really? I didn't see any Obama debate performance in the primary (or since) that would make that easy to imagine. Is it easy to imagine just because Will Smith is black too?
Or, one might not. One might be a movie reviewer trying really hard to shoehorn a political subject into one's area of expertise. And one might come up with nothing the least bit illuminating or useful in several hundred words.
Even looking at the picture which accompanied it in the print edition (above) can start to make you dumber... Associating Presidential candidates with superficially similar movie stars ("Yes, Will Smith is black too!") and then pretending the movie stars' qualities give you insight into the candidates is really... useless.
...practically designed to give results with little relation to reality.
What was the point of this article? What value did it add, to anyone?
The Post has pushed more than a few of these idiot articles over the campaign, often (but not always) in its "Style" section, famed home of fashion critiques of public figures. (Why such things are deemed worth printing: a mystery.)
Here's another, also from July:
'The One'? Take a Number, Sen. Obama by David Montgomery [WPost]
At least it's upfront about its source. It takes a weird claim which the McCain camp made up and trumpeted but which Obama does not himself make, then proceeds to both make fun of and scold Obama for not living up to the claim. Is this any way to run a newspaper?
Uh... he is?
At this point I am now dumber for having read this article.
To pad the word count, it gets all Joseph Campbell on us, tells about the journey a "One" usually takes, and throws in several lines from The Matrix. Just because, I guess.
For good measure, the Obama headline is paired with pictures of: Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker, Keanu/Neo and Roger Daltrey as Tommy (??!).
Why this article was printed -- aside from giving free amplification to a nonsensical political attack -- is difficult to understand.
Thankfully I've stopped being exposed to much of this deeply stupid writing lately because we recently canceled delivery of the daily Washington Post (we still get Sundays).
If you feel you must associate a candidate with an actor, you really ought to work at it hard enough that you can draw more parallels than the most obvious & superficial. (Will Smith!)
The Daily Show did a more thorough job of matching John McCain's career with... Marlon Brando's.
John McCain: Reformed Maverick
When I saw this in September, the closing footage was really striking.
I remembered the 2000-era McCain somewhat favorably. He seemed to have at least some principles I could appreciate.
But he's pretty systematically dismembered that version of himself since then. See Steve Benen's list of McCain's position-switches in the last few years (currently holding at 76), almost all toward the right wing of the party.
I had read plenty of coverage of his reversals, but the clips the Daily Show used to contrast then (1999-2004) & now really brought it home to me.
He's really not the same guy at all.
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