Sunday, March 08, 2009
The Clinton Campaign reminds me of "Police Academy"(Vibe Throwback)
As any self-respecting black person who happens to have scores of white friends will tell you, sometimes maintaining said relationships requires you to walk a line thinner than Amy Winehouse's silhouette - an ongoing battle consisting of trying not to come across like a malcontented militant every time someone makes an ethnic misstatement and doing your damnedest to never be the human embodiment of a black character in a John Hughes movie, an inconsequential mascot of sorts. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of white folks out there who happen to be cooler than Eskimo vagina, individuals who have the good sense that god gave them - people who, upon their last dying day, will never have a Romney-esque moment of racial awkwardness anywhere on their resume. But sometimes, after giving a person the black friend "stamp of approval" so to speak, they broadside you with the obligatory "What's up my nigga?" in a crowded bar or sarcastically ask you if you think O.J was guilty or not. Suddenly you find yourself standing on the corner of "Schooling them" street and "abandoning the entire fucking friendship" avenue. Because of that, similar to the way a historically abused animal may flinch or growl aggressively if a random person simply goes to pet them - you overreact and tend to see examples of blatant racism when there is none. *Enter a very innocent game of "Trivial Pursuit"*.
Around Christmas time, my friend Jodi and her husband Sam invited me over their house for a duel celebration of sorts - of both the day that epitomizes consumerism and the announcement that my dear friend was expecting her very first child. After a delicious dinner, and digesting so many spirits that the liver of this underachieving writer summoned the ghost of Ernest Hemingway - the ten or so people who were left split up into pairs and decided to take part in a friendly game of "Trivial Pursuit". Everyone was laughing, good times were had by all - and even though I pride myself on knowing an inordinate amount of useless information necessary to crush the will of lesser mortals in these types of trivia games, I had decided just to have a good time. That was until, after having a few softball questions about Hip Hop thrown my direction - I heard someone say, "Shit man, he would know that!!" It didn't even matter to me who had said it, my brain automatically went into overdrive - that night, I was intent on proving that I was no throwaway character in a John Hughes flick. When asked a simple question about Ronald Reagan, I answered it, then proceeded to unnecessarily name the four men who acted as Chief of Staff under his administration - when a pedestrian question was posed to me about a Dr. Suess book title, not only did a answer it before the person even finished asking it, I went on a rather breathy and ill-advised rant about Iambic Pentameter. No one was impressed with my "vast grasp" of the issues, which was the first sign that I might have overreacted. Then when I realized that Jodi was the person who made the comment that set me off, a woman who I've had a million and one conversations about Hip Hop with - I automatically felt like that abused canine who bites people with the purest of intentions.
From that point the rest of the night went swimmingly well, but I did take something from that Christmas party that keeps me up most nights - when it comes to those abysmal "Police Academy" movies, I'm like a dread-locked walking Encyclopedia on the subject. A simple question about Steve Gutenberg segued into me breaking down every character and their specific quirks, what happened in each respective movie, even stating the government names of the actors who played roles in those respective flicks. I think it was in the middle of me breaking down the utter complexities of the character Takleberry, when I realized that there are some striking similarities between the "Police Academy" movies and Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Hillary Clinton as "Cadet Laverne Hooks": I'm well aware that the "Laverne Hooks" role was a seldom used supporting character, and the comparison to Hillary Clinton might seem a bit strange - Mrs. Clinton being a formidable opponent to Barack Obama and a political powerhouse who has been in the publics consciousness for more than two decades. But the one thing that I noticed about the Laverne Hooks character, because of her soft spoken nature and extreme shyness - was an almost desperate need for the outside world to shower her with nothing but pity. Hillary is a very strong woman, she couldn't have gotten to where she is without boatloads of toughness - but whenever she's in a bind she plays the gender card like a master poker player. For example, "tear heard round the world" right before New Hampshire, her claiming that her opponents were "piling on" her during one of the debates - and what I feel was an open invitation to a pity party when she supposedly loaned her campaign 5 million dollars. A continuous theme with the Laverne Hooks is that when she is pushed to the limit, her soft-spoken nature is abandoned for that of a commanding drill Sargent - and we all witnessed Ms. Clinton "find her voice" after New Hampshire.
Bill Clinton as "Cadet Carey Mahoney": Just like the character that Steve Guttenberg portrays, Bill Clinton is also a silver-tongued ladies man with a penchant for mischief and Shenanigans. From his constant squabbling with reporters, shamelessly distorting Obama's Iraq war position, to his ill-advised "Jesse Jackson" comment - this political season has really brought out Bill's zaniness. I'm still waiting for Bubba to put shoe polish around the end of Barack Obama's megaphone.
Mark Penn - "Cadet Eugene Tackleberry": Who doesn't love Tackleberry? When I think about the walking arsenal with a heart of gold, the guy whose over-zealousness might put an extremely large hole in your grandmother's back, but only for the greater good of course - I automatically think of Hillary Clinton's top campaign strategist, Mark Penn. Like Tackleberry, dismissing low calibre service revolvers given to him by the department for his own brand of lethal machinery, not only will Mr. Penn instruct campaign surrogates to damage their good names(and not so good names) by leveling baseless smears at Obama - when all else fails, he emerges from the shadows to do the dirty work himself. But then again, in a head to head match-up - Mark Penn is much more of an unsavory person than Tackleberry ever could be. Tackleberry busts heads, Mark Penn busts unions, Takleberry represents the people he's protecting - Mark Penn's company represents Blackwater.Game. Set. Match. Like. A . Motherfucker.
Howard Wolfson - "Cadet Larvelle Jones": We can all agree, now looking back at those "Police Academy" movies, that they were both fundamentally bad and predictably formulaic - but the one thing that never gets old is the character of "Cadet Larvelle Jones" played by actor Michael Winslow. His art of distracting people by verbally imitating gun shots, foot steps, and horses sounds is absolutely a force to be reckoned with - which is why I'm equally impressed by Hillary Clinton's press secretary Howard Wolfson, based how his sole intention of distracting the American voter with whats really important. Whether its Tony Rezko, Obama apparently snubbing Hillary, and this recent nonsense about Barack being afraid to debate Hillary in Wisconsin after 18 debates - it immediately becomes apparent that Michael Winslow doesn't have shit on Howard Wolfson.
Clinton Campaign Staffers - "The Kirklands": You remember the Kirklands? A fun-loving bunch introduced to us in the second Police Academy installment, a family that expressed their love for each other with stiff right jabs and your garden variety body blow - its pretty stunning how much Hillary Clinton's campaign staffers mirror this fictitious family. With Mark Penn and Mandy Grunwald engaging in shouting matches, campaign shake-ups, resignations/demotions - not for nothing, but a well placed fist to the chin would be a better alternative to the absolute disarray the Clinton Campaign seems to be in right now.