Archive for April, 2010

One of the more curious things about Virginia’s Confederate History Month

April 12, 2010

As a Southerner, myself, I can understand the fascination with the Confederacy more than those people who hail from the North, I suppose. But I find it interesting that people in the South like to consistently bring up the fact that they are losers. My favorite scene in “A Fish Called Wanda” is when John Cleese is prodding Kevin Kline while waste deep in a barrel of oil. Kline says that the U.S. has never lost a war and Cleese brings up Vietnam. Kline claims it was a tie.

The fact is that Americans don’t like losers and tend to downplay our own losing. I think one of the reasons soccer will never truly take off is that the national team doesn’t win and they won’t win until soccer takes off. It’s a catch-22 that does not bode well for the beautiful game in the USA.

To show how little we like losing, note that the only president in living memory that I can think of that won the national election after having previously lost it is Richard Nixon (others had lost primaries only to come back and win the whole thing, but that’s a bit different). In Nixon’s case, where he lost to JFK in 1960 and then won in 1968, is a special case since LBJ decided not to run, RFK was killed, and George Wallace ran as a third party candidate which skewed the final results. Otherwise, losers don’t fare well in the proudest country in the world. (more…)

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On Saturday Night Live

April 12, 2010

When Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton, I was unsure as to how SNL would be able to survive the three years between him eventually winning the presidency and the next election cycle. SNL had been running on fumes since the mid-90s gaining the necessary fuel to survive only in the September thru November stretch before the presidential elections. Occasionally they could bust out some worthwhile sketch involving the all-too-easy caricatures of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. But No Drama Obama didn’t hold the same promise as Slick Willie and Dubya. Fred Armisen doesn’t really do a very good job with Obama in my opinion. Plus, the comedy, from the sketches I’ve seen, has to rely on Obama as a straight man responding to the general craziness of Washington. Biden has more promise, but I think Biden is funnier than any impersonation of him could be. I wondered if this might actually spell the end of the institution. (more…)