Things That Rock: Republicans
Good to see you again. Sorry that it’s been so long since I last made you laugh, but I've had a tumultuous couple of weeks. You see, ever since I stole away from my monastery in the middle of the night (no, that ‘Brother’ in my name isn’t random) armed only with a box of
tagalongs Peanut Butter Patties and a pair of hook swords, I have been mercilessly pursued by a cadre of cyborg zombie ninjas hell-bent on forcing me back to the monastery where I would be forced to eat beets and contemplate Godel Escher Bach alongside the other monks for the rest of eternity. Hell no. But now that I’m safely holed up in a top-secret bunker located miles beneath Ayers Rock, I’m free to write another article!
Luckily for all you raging optimists, this one is about something that’s awesome, as opposed to something that’s terrible. Even better, it’s about a ‘diamond in the rough’ sort of awesomeness that can be hard to appreciate if you take it too seriously.* In other words: this year’s Republican presidential primaries.
The GOP candidates (or as I like to call them, Mitt & Friends) have been so ubiquitous in our culture these last few months that I’m sure your mind was assailed with a flood of images and quotes and feelings as soon as you saw those words. Maybe they’ve made you angry or sad or scared for the future of America. But hell, they were entertaining, weren’t they?
Yes they were. Especially once it became clear that turds like Michele Bachmann had no chance of making the cut, it was fun to kick back and watch Rick Perry metaphorically poop himself on live TV or listen to Herman Cain quote the Pokemon movie after his past as a serial rapist was revealed.
Here’s how I parlayed the possible terror of these primaries into something enjoyable: Imagine you went in for a routine dentist checkup. You expect it to be as routine and uneventful as it always is when you go in for these appointments every four years, but surprise! Your dentist finds deep rot in some of your teeth. A root canal’s the only thing for it. Shit, you’ve got a nonrefundable one-way ticket to of the most infamously painful procedures ever conceived by doctors. Begin the nervous freakout.
That root canal diagnosis (and the crippling fear that accompanied it on your part) was Bachmann winning the Ames Straw Poll, or perhaps Perry’s entry into the campaign as a veritable behemoth of money and charisma and prayer, plus former pizza CEO Herman Cain making the cover of Newsweek as the candidate to beat. Former pizza CEO! It sure looked like America was headed for an extremely painful procedure, wasn’t it?
But then a few days later, after you’ve spent several sleepless nights tossing and turning over your fate, you get a call from your dentist. He forgot to tell you: they’re going to knock you out for all of it. You won’t feel a thing. And painkillers being what they are these days, you’ll be right as rain within 24 hours.
For me, that brow-wiping ‘wheeeeeeeeeeew’ moment was the poll, one of the first after Cain and Perry and Bachmann had risen and fallen in the ratings like the figures on a merry go round (only if those figures were stupid clowns instead of the usual beautiful horses), that showed Newt Gingrich in first place. NEWT GINGRICH! FIRST PLACE! Good God, this man once impeached a president for infidelity while cheating on his second wife with a woman who ended up becoming his third wife, and later explained his extramarital affairs by saying that they were “partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country.” Yes! And he was in first place to be the Republican candidate for president! I had been almost scared to laugh at the primaries up to this point, like meeting a guy at a party who keeps nonsensically rambling about Clarence Thomas, only you don’t laugh because you can’t tell if he’s joking or drunk. But now Newt Gingrich was in first place! Turns out that guy was drunk and joking! Commence laughter!**
In a gold-in-the-sand kind of way, or perhaps in a we’ll-knock-you-out-for-the-entire-procedure kind of way, that subtle change in viewing the GOP primaries completely transforms the experience from frightening to hilarious. Once you don’t have to worry about finding a house in Canada (my personal Bachmann contingency plan), you can enjoy these video compilations of classic Bachmann quotes (complete with music!) and laugh at the complete absurdity of the existence of ‘classic Bachmann quotes.’ Once you don’t have to watch professional people seriously debate the 9-9-9 tax plan, you can enjoy the ceaseless stream of ridiculousness that is Herman Cain. Once Rick Santorum wins second place in the Iowa caucuses and opens the door to all sorts of Twitter-ready remarks about how Santorum is being spread in Iowa, it’s nothing but joy.
I loved these primaries. From a comedy standpoint, there really was nothing better. How can you not love a primary campaign that spawned a website devoted to showcasing animals with Newt Gingrich?
Unfortunately, it looks like we’re going to be stuck with Romney vs. Obama for the next few months, two rational, intelligent, and capable men locked in learned debate. Being the heinous renegade monk that I am, I don’t really know what ‘learned debate’ means, but I’m guessing there will be fewer Pokemon quotes involved. I don’t know what I’m going to do for reality TV entertainment. I mean, maybe you can sit through an episode of the Steven Tyler American Idol, but I certainly can’t. But then again, you’re probably a better person than I am, as evidenced by the fact that you’re not currently on the lam from a cadre of cyborg zombie ninjas.
—————————————————————————————————————————— *Much like the cinematography of Wayne's World 2. **And the systematic destruction of any shred of decency that remained in Fran's.