Friday, September 7, 2012

You might be a middle aged white guy into Rap, but you are no Rick Rubin.

In an attempt to read articles longer and more substantive than the ones on the average blog, I've been scouring The Atlantic, The American Conservative, Vanity Fair and Time. Some of the stuff was good, while others, meh. But then I came upon this. This... this horrible, unfunny smash up of faux-sociology, hip hop terminology, misogyny and Republicanism, courtesy of The National Review:

"You want off-the-charts status? Check out the curriculum vitae of one Willard M. Romney: $200 million in the bank (and a hell of a lot more if he didn’t give so much away), apex alpha executive, CEO, chairman of the board, governor, bishop, boss of everything he’s ever touched. Son of the same, father of more. It is a curious scientific fact (explained in evolutionary biology by the Trivers-Willard hypothesis — Willard, notice) that high-status animals tend to have more male offspring than female offspring, which holds true across many species, from red deer to mink to Homo sap. The offspring of rich families are statistically biased in favor of sons — the children of the general population are 51 percent male and 49 percent female, but the children of the Forbes billionaire list are 60 percent male. Have a gander at that Romney family picture: five sons, zero daughters. Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). When they go to church at their summer-vacation home, the Romney clan makes up a third of the congregation. He is basically a tribal chieftain.

Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes."
I'm no slave to political correctness and do not catch the vapors over sexist jokes. I like off color comedy. I have seen roughly every episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm", and Leon has become my favorite character. And if you've watched just one episode featuring this dude, I'm sure you understand why I'm using it as an example. My point is, I'm not easily taken aback by satirical pokes at popular culture, whether it's about race, religion, sex, politics or whatever.

But that up there? Not only is it actually offensive, it's not even funny. I actually re-read it repeatedly, thinking maybe I was missing something. After the third go round, I realized it was missing a whole lot. Wit, common sense and an editor to stop the madness. Think I protest too much? Here's more:

"From an evolutionary point of view, Mitt Romney should get 100 percent of the female vote. All of it. He should get Michelle Obama’s vote. You can insert your own Mormon polygamy joke here, but the ladies do tend to flock to successful executives and entrepreneurs. Saleh al-Rajhi, billionaire banker, left behind 61 children when he cashed out last year.

We don’t do harems here, of course, but Romney is exactly the kind of guy who in another time and place would have the option of maintaining one. He’s a boss. Given that we are no longer roaming the veldt for the most part, money is a reasonable stand-in for social status. Romney’s net worth is more than that of the last eight U.S. presidents combined. He set up a trust for his grandkids and kicked in about seven times Barack Obama’s net worth, which at $11.8 million is not inconsiderable but probably less than Romney’s tax bill in a good year. If he hadn’t given away so much money to his church, charities, and grandkids, Mitt Romney would have more money than Jay-Z."
The writer, Kevin D. Williamson, uses "boss" more than Rick Ross. Combined with the mention of Jay-Z, I'm wondering if this dude caught a piece of "106 & Park" and thought it gave him some street cred. Or permission for the ubiquitous use of hip hop terms in a cover story in a once renowned right wing publication. It gives neither.

"Some Occupy Wall Street types, believing it to be the height of wit, have begun to spell Romney’s name “Rmoney.” But Romney can do better than that — put it in all caps: R-MONEY. Jay-Z can keep his puny little lowercase letters and the Maybach: R-MONEY doesn’t own a flashy car with rims, R-MONEY does billion-dollar deals with Keystone Automotive and Delphi. You want to make it rain? R-MONEY is going to make it storm, like biblical. Rappers boast about their fat stacks: R-MONEY’s fat stacks live in a beachfront house of their own in the Hamptons, and the bricks in that house are made from tightly bound hundred-dollar bills."
On further thought, maybe Williamson doesn't really want Romney in the Oval Office. He can't. Not with that paragraph.

"Bain is a financial firm, but Romney wasn’t some Wall Street bank-monkey with a pitch book. He was the guy who fired you. He was a boss, like his dad, and like his sons probably will be. Barack Obama was never in charge of anything of any significance until the delicate geniuses who make up the electorate of this fine republic handed him the keys to the Treasury and the nuclear football because we were tired of Frenchmen sneering at us when we went on vacation."

Again, references to the almighty power of the inherited Y chromosome. And "boss". And a passing insult at voters. Niiiiice.

"Look at his fat stacks. Look at that mess of sons and grandchildren. Look at a picture of Ann Romney on her wedding day and that cocky smirk on his face. What exactly has Mitt Romney got to be insecure about? That he’s not as prodigious a patriarch as Ramses II or as rich as >Lakshmi Mittal? I bet he sleeps at night and never worries about that. He has done everything right in life, and he should own it. And by own it, I mean put it on the black card and stow it in the G6 — or at least in first class, for Pete’s sake."
Oh yes, because fat stacks and siring boys are the necessary prerequisites for Commander-in-Chief. *Eyeroll*

I hope for the integrity(?) of The National Review, Williamson stays far, far away from BET, Vibe or whatever bit of urban media he's been imbibing on and learns the difference between misogynistic crass and comedic class.

I guess I'll be sticking to my regular blogs.


Red Cardigan said...

Oh, good grief. What a ridiculous National Review piece. That sort of thing is an embarrassment to conservatives.

Alisha, I'm sending your post over to Rod Dreher at The American Conservative, because I think he'll have about as much patience with it as you did--if that much! :)

Alisha De Freitas said...

Isn't it embarrassing? It just all kinds of wrong! Thanks for passing it on. I'd love to read his thought on it.

Jesus-in-the-city said...

That piece was just plain disrespectful! But it doesn't surprise me. Just last week I caught some of Al Sharptons show (my sister was watching it) and they had this odd little characature of Romney in the bottom corner of the screen with these huge bug eyes looking like a cartoon. When they did that to Obama and Michelle there was this huge hooplah, but with Romeny, it's ok? I also think its in really poor taste for a so-called Reverend to be demonstrating such disrespectful behavior toward anyone, whether they share the same political beliefs or not.

And i don't get this huge fascination with Romney's wealth! I really don't. I mean, he's rich! I get it! Since when did that become something to be criticized about? Take a look at most of American popular culture and it's pretty safe to say that's something that we, as a public, esteem (not getting into whether that's correct or not, but thats clearly the way it is). So it's ok for our rappers to be rich but not our president? I saw a clip from Michelle Obama's speech the other night and she mentioned how we all want to see our kids grow up and be successful and make something of themselves... Unless our kids are Mitt Romney, and then it's totally shameful?!

Anyway, I'm not a super political person and I'm an independent who has pretty much voted democratic in every election of my voting eligibility (this will be my first election as a Christian). I just really can't stand the hypocrisy and smearing that is going on in this election. I don't even know if I'm going to vote, but if I am, it won't be for Obama,

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Aja, actually this writer isn't smearing Romney... He's actually giving him big ups for being so rich. The National Review is a conservative magazine.

Now the way he's chosen to give him his props for being a "boss" is offensive, strange and corny all at once.

As for Rev. Al... Come on! Would you expect any less? He's far from being non-partisan and doesn't pretend otherwise. I don't watch his show. Have no interest.

Jesus-in-the-city said...

Ok, now that I've read this correctly, this guy has definitely been watching too much "Cribs"! ...

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