Thursday, December 31, 2015

America's Apprentice™ Episode 3: The Year in Video

The crew at Don's Basement had a hell of a time coming up with the top videos of the year. There have been so many news stories some of which did not include Donald Trump. Four of the five selected specifically involve the 2016 presidential election. The other one is about Baltimore. About race. And class. And alienation. And what I used to call "the spectacle"when I aspired to be a Situationist.
Ted Cruz and Machine Gun Bacon-

 I don't mean to be a bigot. I realize that some of my humor comes not from the "yes, and ..." world of improv but what I imagine to be the "no, but..." school of insult comics. That is to say one takes a characteristic of a person and then exaggerate to the point of ridicule. Like a Don Rickles, a Jack E. Leonard. Jackie Mason. I am usually just joking because I love all the different people.

Except maybe Ted Cruz who is a schmuck. He is a disgrace to all the Gentile-Americans because he cooks bacon after shooting a machine-gun. Jews know that not all Gentiles shoot machine-guns. Some have rifles and pistols. AR–15s, AK–47s, Hang grenades.

The best line abut Ted Cruz is from a former Bush 43 staffer who said, "why do people take an instant dislike to Ted Cruz. it saves time."


What are you doing in 2016?

 In April of 2015, we found out what the following Americans were planning for the year:

-White Woman growing tomatoes
 -Brownish woman moving to a new school district
-Two Spanish speaking guys are opening a restaurant
-Stay at home mom is going to work outside the home
 -Black couple is expecting a boy
-A young Asian woman is looking for a job
 -Male Gay couple getting married
- Sick kid will be in a school play
 -White woman is retiring
- White couple is remodeling their house and teaching their dog not to eat the garbage
- White guy has some company where he is pouring gravel or something inside
 -White woman announces (at 1.29 of her 2.15 video) that she is running for president.

Thus Hillary ends the suspense. She wants to be our champion.

Still tone deaf after all these years.


The Donald Descends!

To the strains of Neil Young's "Rockin in the Free World,"  on June 16, Donald Trump descends an escalator with third wife,  Melania to announce his candidacy for president. (Neil Young not happy about the music).

Trump says of his presentation, "there is no crowd like this." And it is true.  The campaign fluffed up the crowd by hiring actors for $50.00 for 3 hours work.
On the plus side this is above the $15.00 minimum wage that is being sought by progressives around the country.

Trump has been the biggest political story of 2015 with pundits on the left, right and center (including this one) repeatedly predicting his political demise. 

Time will tell.


It takes one to know one.

 Among all the candidates for president, only Rick Santorum understands ISIS. He understands that the ISIS is motivated by theology and that their theology requires them to hold onto territory in order to become the legitimate caliphate. Other candidates say the ISIS is a perversion of Islam, the thuggish remnants of the Iraqi army, the result of either the failed policies of Bush 43 and the neo-cons or the failed policies of Obama/Clinton.

Only Santorum seems to take them at face value. An army fighting a religious war against those who oppose the true faith. He's creepy but he is not necessarily wrong.


What if a game is played and there is no one to see it?

On April 29, The Baltimore Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox, 8 to 2. As it turned out, it was just one of 86 losses for the Sox in 2015 as they finished a dismal 19 games behind the eventual World Series winning Kansas City Royals.

The game on April 29 is notable because no fans were allowed to attend. In the previous days, citizens of Baltimore expressed their displeasure at the death of Freddie Gray, a 25 year old American. He had been arrested for illegal possession of a switch blade and died as a result of injuries incurred in the police van that gave him " a rough ride" to the station.

This eerie video captures the sense of unease that is part of the story of 2015. From Baltimore, Ferguson, Chicago, Paris, Syria, Israel, San Bernadino,  Somalia and everywhere betwixt and between, everyday life can sometimes ring hollow. Lives played out in empty stadiums. High fives exchanged after a home run. An organ plays "Take me out to the ball game" and it sounds like a dirge.


"In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation." Guy-Ernest Debord, "The Society of the Spectacle."

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