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Apr 22, 2008

War On Terror: The Game Show


President 28% has sunk so pitifully low that he's taken to honoring Iraq vets through the vehicle of the television game show.  And, how fitting he should make his debut on a contest with the strong arm label: Deal Or No Deal.

Most painful to witness here is the emotional response -- engendered less by the fact the President would reach out to a veteran than the recognition on the part of the audience (check wonderous gaping mouth in pic #3) that the leader of the free world would actually take time out of his day to engage with such mundanity.

But then, isn't this Bush -- who spent way too long lugging around all those books from Karl's reading list -- really finding his own speed?

I'm particularly interested in your take on pic #1.

video via: President Bush On Deal Or No Deal: Watch Video (Huffington Post)


Pic no. 1, eh? Well in form it could well be an illustration for Orwell's 1984, with Big Brother's hypertrophied broadcast image framed by pillars and set off against the little people, the listening populace, turned toward him. We see only their backs, and don't know their reactions or expressions, because it doesn't matter: their only role is listen and obey.

But the garish colors and the magnified triviality of the occasion take us from portentous spectacle to satire, and past satire to slapstick. This is Big Brother the TV show, but modulated downmarket. So far downmarket, in fact, that putting a red nose on Bush was rejected as too elitist. I don't think even The Onion would touch it.

There is jumbo portion of Schadenfreude available here. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Pic # 1 is Wizard of Oz, right?

Tina Fey is brilliant and I think 30 Rock ranks with Green Acres for reality-bending satire that is so unbelievable that it becomes perfectly believable. The other programming in the background of 30 Rock, game shows like Who Farted? or reality programming like MILF Island deliver a double jolt: first, that's outrageous, followed nearly instantly by … hmmm, it just might work.

I haven't seen this episode with the President of the United States looking like a mashup of Goofy and Big Brother. Hilarious. Is it the latest episode?

It's hard work!

For me, pic #1 falls short of evoking 1984 for two reasons. One, Bush's plaintive, puppy-dog expression; two, there are only three people watching - indicating Bush's popularity is evenlower than the reported 28%.

In pic #3, what jumped out was not the gape-mouthed awe in the background, but the foreground figure, raising her hand to her face either to shield her eyes from the image of Bush, or to suppress the urge to hurl.

For those old enough, this is reminiscent of Nixon's "sock it to me" appearance on LaughIn.

Except Nixon was funny. Bush is just a stupid clown.

I saw the clip and it reminded me of many futuristic films in which the "Great Leader" appears in various venues with a headshot on a huge screen. ROLLERBALL comes to mind, V IS FOR VINDETTA, 1984, SPACEBALLS, etc etc. We have all seen them whether it was a serious film or a comedy. I would judge this real life version with Bush as a comedy.

my first thought when I saw the show last night was the President continues to use soldiers as props, my second thought was how can NBC ever be critical of their new found friend?

W actually looks sad and forlorn in #1. Also, shows a stronger resemblance to his dad than any photo of him I have seen.

I have to wonder if they vetted the audience. With 69% of any random audience thinking Bush is doing a terrible job - what would stop them from Booing? I certainly would if I'd been invited onto a game show to watch a game and a 20' tall image of Bush were projected onto a screen. I'd BOO till I dropped or was kicked out. I'd make them tape it all again.

What are they going to do - arrest me for posing a security threat to a recorded image of this WAR CRIMINAL we have as a president?

This shot looks alot like the shot of the leader of the Heaven's Gate cult.


Wizard of Oz; there's somone behind the sad-eyed muppet pulling the strings.

Definitely Wizard of Oz, to me.

Pic #1 makes Bush look like a painful image from the past.

By far the best moment of the show happened, just before Bush made his 'appearance', when host Howie Mandel thanked the soldier for his three tours in Iraq by saying, "two of which you volunteered for". A very subtle, yet clever reference to the stop/loss program.

The interesting footnote is that ratings for the show dropped 27%....

It reminded me of the Wizard of Oz, except knowing how much bluster there was and nothing was there behind the image since he looks very sad. Maybe he is beginning to realize what a failure his policies have been. Probably reading too much into it... he just really likes the show.

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