The Tragedy of Mittlet, Prince of Michigan

David Brooks has really done it this time. In today’s column, he’s proposed that Gaius Julius Mittensus Caesar take a few moments in tomorrow’s debate to address the plebeians and reassure them that his performance to date was nothing but the trifling mummery of a rude mechanical; the stuff of which dreams are made that is or is not and dares not cross the bourne to the undiscovered country lest it discover Ophelia in the shower or something. Polonius Mittensus is neither a borrower nor a lender, though despite this he seems to have lost both loans and friends.

And that’s where David Brooks comes in. Cue moronery in five…four…three…two…one…

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to use the opening minutes of this debate a little differently. I’d like to say that I wish everybody could have known my father, George Romney. He was a great public servant and I’ve always tried to live up to his example. The problem is that you get caught up in the competitiveness of a campaign and all the consultants want to make you something you’re not.”

In other words, Mitt’s dad was a nice guy. That totally qualifies him to be president. Obama’s dad was a dick; he ran off on the kid, after all. So if a guy with a total dickbag for a father can become president, what about a guy with a dad who was like the second coming of Christ? Cheese and crackers, folks, he was even a lath-and-plaster man! That’s pretty much carpentry for non-hippies!

“I’ve allowed that to happen to me. I’m a nonideological guy running in an ideological age, and I’ve been pretending to be more of an ideologue than I really am. I’m a sophisticated guy running in a populist moment. I’ve ended up dumbing myself down.”

In other words Mitt’s a spineless sociopath with no moral center and an odd sense of entitlement to the presidency. Thus, he allowed Grover Norquist and the Koch brothers to put on some Barry White, draw a hot bath, and make sweet love to his non-ideological personal opinions until he gushed free-market tea party rhetoric that makes no sense to anyone save for the most sophistic of douchebags.

“The next president is going to face some wicked problems. The first is the “fiscal cliff.” The next president is going to have to forge a grand compromise on the budget. President Obama has tried and failed to do this over the past four years. There’s no reason to think he’d do any better over the next four.”

Shout-out to Timmy, Tommy-Twosies, and Seanny Duff—Southie for fackin’ life, dahg! Leht’s drink some beeyahs and wahtch the Town agahn! Go Pats!

“He’s failed, first, because he’s just not a very good negotiator. You don’t have to believe me. Read Bob Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics.” Obama spent the last campaign promising to be postpartisan and then in his first weeks in office, in the fullness of his victory, he shut down all cooperation with Republicans and killed any hope of bipartisan cooperation.”

David Brooks believes that one should always reference a book, no matter how stupid the reference might look—why should anyone care that Mitt read Bob Woodward’s book? Also, Obama sucks at negotiating because, well, let’s face it: he’s black and he was negotiating with a bunch of dudes who resemble the dried up shit one sometimes sees on hiking trails. You know the kind—it’s been there for a long time and is shriveled, old, and white. It’s exactly like the Republican congressional delegation.

“Furthermore, he’s too insular. As Woodward reports, he’s constantly leaving people in the dark — his negotiating partners and people in his own party. They’re perpetually being blindsided and confused by his amorphous positions. There’s no trust. If I were in business, there’s no way I would do a deal with this guy.”

I see that someone’s still a bit grumpy about not being invited to any cool White House parties! Also, the idea that Mitt “wouldn’t have done business with [that] guy” is fucking hilarious, as is the quip about Obama being “amorphous,” given that Romneybot has proven on several occasions to be but a mirror of whatever’s convenient, which necessarily makes him an untrustworthy douche. And to get a sense of Mitt’s business ethic, just talk to all the companies that Bain fucked about how awesome it was to do business with an aloof, insular, amorphous, glad-handing ball of crab-infested pubic hair.

“The second wicked problem the next president will face is sluggish growth. I assume you know that everything President Obama and I have been saying on this subject has been total garbage. Presidents and governors don’t “create jobs.” We don’t have the ability to “grow the economy.” There’s no magic lever.”

At this point I’m confused as to whether Brooks is alluding to New England slang or musical theater. Was sluggish growth something that Elphaba sang about? I guess it could have been, seeing as how those damn midgets in Oz were all a bunch of socialists!

“Instead, an administration makes a thousand small decisions, each of which subtly adds to or detracts from a positive growth environment. The Obama administration, which is either hostile to or aloof from business, has made a thousand tax, regulatory and spending decisions that are biased away from growth and biased toward other priorities. American competitiveness has fallen in each of the past four years, according to the World Economic Forum. Medical device makers, for example, are being chased overseas. The economy in 2012 is worse than the economy in 2011. That’s inexcusable.”

While it’s true that the United States now ranks 5th in the WEF’s competitiveness report, it should be noted that the report is fabricated mainly from surveys given to “business leaders” in the surveyed economy. For instance, while the report draws upon hard data to reach conclusions regarding certain macroeconomic factors, additional subjective variables such as “property rights” and “cooperation in labor-employer relations” are included in the rankings. These subjective categories account for roughly two-thirds of the data used to compile the rankings, while publicly available hard data account for one-third. Thus, two-thirds of the study relies on the subjectivity of human opinion. So let’s not–how would Huey Freeman say it?–“dick ride” the WEF’s competitiveness report.

Let’s also consider that Switzerland, Singapore, Finland, and Sweden all rank higher than the United States, and all provide universal health care to their citizens (with a range of methodologies). So if you take this report at all seriously, SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE DAMAGING THE ECONOMY.

“The third big problem is Medicare and rising health care costs, which are bankrupting this country. Let me tell you the brutal truth. Nobody knows how to reduce health care inflation. There are two basic approaches, and we probably have to try both simultaneously.”

This is laughable. See the WEF’s report on the top 5 countries, and examine their spending on health care services:

Switzerland: 11.4%
Singapore: 3%
Finland: 9.2%
Sweden: 10%
United States: 17.2%

Then, look at how they do it. Only a fucking idiot would say “nobody knows how to reduce health care inflation.” Although I imagine that Romneybot’s plan of starving roughly 47% of U.S. citizens to death has the benefit of substantially reducing the health care burden.

“I’m willing to pursue any experiment, from any political direction, that lowers costs and saves Medicare. Democrats are campaigning as the party that will fight to the death to preserve the Medicare status quo. If they win, the lesson will be: Never Touch Medicare. No Democrat or Republican will dare reform the system, and we will go bankrupt.”

This paragraph is an interesting rhetorical diversion that carries the same semiotic weight as a bag of dicks; that is to say, very little weight indeed. Allow me to rephrase: “Democrats want to do anything to save Medicare, but I’m willing to do anything to save Medicare. We can’t let them do anything to save Medicare, but I will definitely do anything to save it.”

“At last, I’ve tried to be on the level with you. This president was audacious in 2008, but, as you can see from his negligible agenda, he’s now exhausted. I’m not an inspiring conviction politician, but I’ll try anything to help us succeed. You make the choice.”

Unless that plan involves raising taxes to raise revenue, or standing up to small-minded bigots within the Republican party, or anything that involves helping the poor. Because fuck those guys.

Vinny’s Epilogue

Now my contract’s renegotiated,
And what monies I have are tripled,
Which is most fair: now, ‘tis true
I must be here confined by Steve,
Or sent to Seaside. Let me not,
Since I have my boyfriend got
And pardon’d the Instigator, dwell
In this Staten Island by your spell;
But release me from my moms
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle fist-pump of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my storyline fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Triple A’s to enforce, battles to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by smoosh,
Which pierces so that it allegedly assaults
A hippo named Mercy, but frees of fault.
As you from a zoo would pardon’d be,
Let me return with Paulie D.

Again, noted theater critic Brian Moylan provided the inspiration for this in his Friday recap of The Jersey Shore.

Merchant of Seaside

Inspired by yet another fantastic post about the Jersey Shore on Gawker, I wrote the following:

Signior Denton, many a time and oft
On the Boardwalk you have hated on me
About my partying and my nuisances:
Still I have borne it with a patient fist-pump,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
You call me idiot, cut-throat juicer,
And spit upon my Guido Ed Hardy,
And all for the sake of entertainment.
Well, then, it now appears you need my ratings:
Piss off, then; you come to me and you say
‘Vinny, we would have page views;’ you say so;
You, that did void your bowels on our show
And insult me as you spurn a c-list VH1’er
Out of your offices: page views are your suit
What should I say to you? Should I not say
‘Hath a Pinchot money? Is it possible
A Bonaduce can lend a thousand unique visitors? Or
Shall I bend low and in a Real Worlder’s key,
With bated breath and simplistic drunkenness, say this:
‘Fair sir, you shit on me on Friday last;
You spurned me such a day; another time
You called me Situationesque; and for these courtesies
I’ll lend you this many readers’?

Keep ’em coming, Gawker–I haven’t even gotten to Caliban yet!

Shakespeare Would Have Loved the Jersey Shore

To smoosh, or not to smoosh, that is the question:
Whether ‘tis Baser in the mind to suffer
The Stings and Lesions of clubbing’s Fortune,
Or take Arms against a Sea of Grenades
And by opposing jump on them: to smoosh,
To sleep no more, and by a smoosh to say we end
The blue balls, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to? ‘Tis a getting in
Devoutly to be wished. To smoosh to sleep,
To sleep perchance to smoosh; Ay, there’s a rub,
For in that smoosh what tricks may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal magnum,
Must give us pause. There’s the attention
That makes Calamity of such long fame:
For who would bear the Tricks and Grenades of time,
The Ronnies’s wrong, the Situation’s Contumely,
The bangs of despised Grenades, the cab’s delay,
The insolence of laundrywomen, and the Spurns
That patient argument with JWoww make,
When he himself might his Smoosh make
With bold Bodyspray? Who would GTL bear,
To grunt and sweat beneath camera’s lights,
But that dread of something after Fame,
The Undiscovered Jersey, from whose bourne
No Guido returns, Confuses the will
And makes us rather bear those tricks we have
Than to fly to Grenades we know not of.
Thus Desparation does make fameballs of us all,
And thus the Native hue of hangovers
Is sicklied o’er, with the pale cast of Smoosh
And enterprises of the great Sitch and Paulie,
With this regard their attentions turn awry,
And lose the name of smooshing. Soft you now,
The fair Snooki? Guidette, in thy Orisons
Be all my smooshes remembered.

As a note, a few weeks ago, inspired by the psychoanalytic power of one Mr. Brian Moylan, I left this as comment on one of his Jersey Shore recaps. I reproduce it here in the interest of garnering attention for myself (attention-seeking behavior? on the Internet? surely not!).

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