Thursday, August 07, 2008


From Keith Olbermann (by way of a TPM writer):
That not only in that McCain ad were there two underdressed blondes mixed with the black guy in the ad, but there are also images of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Washington Monument, and the Victory Column in Berlin, as Bob Herbert put it, "phallic symbols"—three phallic symbols, two blondes and Barack Obama.
Interested in phallic symbols, Keith? I got yer phallic symbol right here -- and it's just for you.

Seriously, you know that Olbermann is smart enough not to take this nonsense seriously. Apparently, the Obama camp believes that they can get away with the same crap in the general election that they pulled in the primary: Throw opponents off their game by crying "Racism!" at every opportunity. If someone you don't like says "Pass the salt," scream about the racism inherent in the choice of salt.

The trick may work with guilt-addled Dems, but in the general, it'll just piss everyone off.

By the way, a reader asks an interesting question: Is the McCain ad sexist? Using Paris Hilton as a symbol of vapidity amounts to a blond joke. On the other hand, the folks who put the ad together needed a face that instantly conveyed the message "celebrity silliness." I can't think of a male celebrity who would do that job.

Well, maybe Keith Olbermann.


Anonymous said...

"I can't think of a male celebrity who would do that job."

William Something-or-other, the head lifeguard from the series Baywatch

Anonymous said...

You are supporting my earlier comment about the McCain ad being essentially a blonde joke. I don't know why you say "on the other hand." That you can't think of a male celebrity that would do the job is precisely because people have different images of women than they do of men. Blonde women aren't dumber than blonde men, people just think they are.

Anonymous said...

I've been blessed in my long life to have courted and been loved by some women who anyone would say are remarkably beautiful; ordinary and pretty women also. Am I alone or aesthetically impaired in thinking that Paris Hilton's looks verge on being homely?


Joseph Cannon said...

It's not really a matter of "dumber." Looking at it from the point of view of the guy making the ad, what you need is someone who functions as a human symbol of vapidity.

The Baywatch reference might work.

In a previous generation, Liberace might have functioned. He was famous for being famous (although he also had some actual musical talent). But then, showing his mug would have brought up all sort of distracting gay issues.

What I'm looking for is a real-life equivalent to Ben Stiller as Derek Zoolander. A male bimbo.

Can anyone think of an example?

Anonymous said...

I read that the image is not the tower of Pisa--is in fact in Berlin near where he spoke, so it makes sense to include it in the ad. I wish these people could at least be factual while they are spouting off.

Anonymous said...

foxx: Like many women, I have become hypervigilent on sexism during the past year, not necessarily "blonde prejudice", I did read the British study that concluded that blonde women make men dumb, but, do you really think that most people perceive blonde women to be dumb or that it really takes four Polish people to screw in a light bulb? No, they are just silly jokes that wormed their way into our culture.

Paris Hilton is so obviously not dumb, but has parlayed "playing" dumb into a multi-million dollar "celebrity" career. It's her world wide recognizability as only a "celebrity" that is at play here. David Hasselhof would have played well in Germany, but that would have been misunderstood because they love him, Gerry Lewis in France, same thing, here not so much. There is no other man, woman, child, or TV pet blonde or not, that could have been used so perfectly to depict professional vapidity.

Citizen K said...

Keanu Reeves.

Ask anyone and he's at the top of the list. Or google "vapid male actors". Slam dunk.

Anonymous said...

What about Brody Jenner? Not only is he the "star" of a fake-reality TV show, but his dad is famous for being a track & field star 30+ years ago, and his mom was Miss Tennessee... he's gotta be as good as Paris (not as recognizable? then how about Perez Hilton, it would have been cooler if McCaine used Perez in his commercials)

Anonymous said...

Kato Kaelin?