PEYOTE BREAK AT THE RNC

I'm going to have to defer NPF on account of…whatever the hell we just saw. This is the strangest non-Admiral Stockdale thing I can recall seeing in the context of a presidential election.

It's safe to say that whoever approved, "So the 82 year old loose cannon is going to go out there and ad-lib for 10 minutes" has been fired. Watching this shitshow unfold on stage must have been like water torture for the slick, highly polished, overproduced Romney campaign.

Poor Mittens. Try as he did, I'm almost certain that this is the only part of the convention anyone is going to remember.

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42 Responses to “PEYOTE BREAK AT THE RNC”

  1. J. Dryden Says:

    Others have, in the comments here, recently raised the issue of "why do conservatives suck so badly at being funny." (I might have added "on purpose," but we'll let that pass.) It might be time to explore that issue, given what passed for humor at the Convention.

    There's the obvious problem of a complete lack of self-awareness. Humor–good humor–requires on objective stance, from which to mock others not from a biased perspective, but from a God's-eye-seriously-anyone-looking-at-this-*has*-to-see-it's-funny perspective. Politically active people do not have this ability–they're blinkered, and have to be to get things done. (Note, please, that this explains why "Democratic" or "liberal" humor is also, almost always, shriekingly unfunny.) Watching a bunch of well-fed, well-heeled white people bellow about how their lives have sucked so much the past four years is just…clear evidence that these people do not understand what funny is.

    Humor is, with rare exceptions, a young person's game. Few people get funnier with age. Conservatives tend to be older. QED. (Again, this is odd, because there is nothing funnier than a College Republican.)

    Humor is the opposite of engagement–it's observational. Conservatives don't want to *be* disengaged and they don't want *you* to be disengaged. There's no such thing as "disengaged rabble-rousing." (Again, this point applies equally to Democrats.)

    Humor is skeptical. (Or cynical, if you're lazy.) Conservatism is faith-based and value-oriented. Oil and water.

    All of which means that when you see any kind of political "humor," whether from the left or right perspective, it's always the vegan equivalent of pastry: something that tries to be what it cannot be, and in mimicking the appearance of the thing, just comes across as weird and wrong.

    All of which is to say: Clint, truly you are a god among men. I bow to no one in my admiration of you. But even gods are limited in their bailiwicks, and riffing for a crowd of chanting bigots is outside of yours. No man, however talented, can be the servant of two masters, and no one can be a Republican and a Comedian at the same time. Stick to quietly ruminative film-making.

  2. Dr. Mac Says:

    Here, here.

  3. Barb Says:

    maybe he thought he was on the set of Mrs. Eastwood & Co.

    go away, clint

    "…..Eastwood has fathered at least seven children by five different women and been described as a "serial womanizer".[4][5] He had affairs with actresses Catherine Deneuve,[275][276] Jill Banner,[277] Jamie Rose,[278] Inger Stevens,[279] Jo Ann Harris,[280] Jean Seberg,[281] script analyst Megan Rose,[280][282] James Brolin's former wife Jane,[283] columnist Bridget Byrne, [284] and swimming champion Anita Lhoest.[275]
    Eastwood married Maggie Johnson on December 19, 1953, six months after they met on a blind date.[285] While separated from Johnson, Eastwood had an affair with dancer Roxanne Tunis, with whom he had his first child, Kimber Tunis (born June 17, 1964); he did not publicly acknowledge her until 1996.[286] After a reconciliation, he had two children with Johnson: Kyle Eastwood (born May 19, 1968) and Alison Eastwood (born May 22, 1972). Eastwood filed for divorce in 1979 after another long separation, but the $25 million divorce settlement was not finalized until May 1984.[287][288]
    Eastwood entered a relationship with actress Sondra Locke in 1975. They lived together for fourteen years, despite the fact that Locke remained married (in name only) to her gay husband, Gordon Anderson.[289][290] Locke had two abortions and a tubal ligation within the first four years of the relationship…………………………………
    (wiki)

  4. Both Sides Do It Says:

    The guy who authorized Eastwood was Stuart Stevens, Romney's top adviser. He ain't goin' anywhere. The campaign's statement on the debacle – released while Romney was speaking – includes the spin "His ad libbing was a break from all the political speeches". Ah yes, the light-hearted break from the political speeches, scheduled to be the first speech broadcast on the networks.

    Campaign operatives were also saying no-one from the campaign had vetted the speech. First: no-one from Romney's campaign had the guts to stand up to Clint Eastwood, which is the kind of tough leadership and hard-headed results-oriented attitude Romney is counting on to win him the election. Second, there was, a . . . chair? on stage? with Eastwood, right? Either someone put it there or Eastwood is a hell of a lot better than he seemed.

    Romney/Ryan 2012!

    Shamelessly stolen from twitter:

    The perfect image of the modern Republican party: an old white man smugly arguing with an imaginary black man.

    From Bob Newhart: I heard that Clint Eastwood was channeling me at the RNC. My lawyers and I are drafting our lawsuit…

    Every Which Way But Lucid

  5. Middle Seaman Says:

    Clint's speech was better than the NJ oversized and the Ryan lying machine. In each case, I heard about three sentences before I moved on the music. They should all carry the Surgeon General Warning.

  6. Chris "Limey" Lewis Says:

    Clint Eastwood is still a legend in my eyes, if a lunatic. Anyone who doesn't love "Dirty Harry" is a filthy homosex communofascist who should go back to Russia etc etc.

    Seriously though, I love his work in films, and politically he is generally on the less lunatic fringe of the party. But this is just a moment where I'm wishing "PLease Clint, sit down! These people are crazy!"

  7. Number Three Says:

    Why conservatives aren't funny . . .

    I would limit this to contemporary U.S. variety conservatives. Evelyn Waugh is a great example of a funny conservative, I think. "Scoop" is still the best book about how the press works, and it has several LOL throw-away lines.

    The thing is, humor requires irony, what J. Dryden above called "disengagement". In 1980, the GOP decided to do away with irony and ambiguity in favor of a B/W worldview . . . a large part of the culture went with them.

  8. Jamon Y. Huevos Says:

    Grandpa Simpson yelling at clouds isn't so weird, really. It's the RNC; you expect that shit. What I don't get is why the candidates wives always point at random people. What's up with all the pointing?

  9. Talisker Says:

    Transcript here:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rnc-2012-clint-eastwoods-speech-to-the-republican-convention-in-tampa-full-text/2012/08/30/4247043c-f314-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_print.html

    I would almost suspect Clint of deliberately trying to sabotage Romney, but it's more likely to be a case of Celebrity Ego + Cranky Old Guy syndromes.

    @Both Sides Do It: Would have loved to see the look on Stevens' face during Clint's speech. Yeah, we've got an awesome celebrity! He'll bring the house down! Oh… shit…

  10. bingobangoboy Says:

    This was shocking. I actually feel sorry for him.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    Jayzoos H. Keerist in a full body cast – THAT was painful to watch!

    And what was with the hair?
    All of the hairdressers were busy carefully molding Mitt's famous black & gray coiffure – using cultivated French bee's wax to keep it in place, and adrenal fluid drawn from poor adolescent Greek boys, for that youthful sheen?

    Or was it left that way on purpose by Clint, in his role as a Director, letting the hair be symbolic of his speech?
    Old, gray, and not going in any particular direction.

    And Conservatives can't be funny, because they suffer from a severe irony deficiency.

  12. c u n d gulag Says:

    Uhm…Btw Clint, guess who ALSO has a Law Degree?

    Willard "Mitt" Romney!
    YOUR pick to replace another lawyer.
    Clint – did you not know that, forget it, or throw that knowledge away, along with your dignity?

    After graduating with that degree, Mitt chose to be the only form of life lower than being a Corporate Attorney – a vulture capitalist.

  13. FMguru Says:

    I had no idea Clint was such an Andy Kaufman fan. That was a tremendous tribute.

  14. buckyblue Says:

    Romney's campaign knew they'd let the Alzheimer's patient get to the open mic, they sent out their spin before our side's talking heads could pummel them for it. Next week, before Obama speaks, we will have an interpretive dance piece by the remaining actors from the Golden Girls; er, meaning Betty White. And that will make more sense than what Eastwood said.

  15. Vinny Says:

    It's funny to see Clint criticizing the President about getting out of Gitmo, especially since most Republicans (…OK, and Democrats) in the Senate voted to keep it open.
    It's even funnier, and by funnier I mean sadder, to watch all of the old rich white crowd laughing along with smug self assured laughter.

  16. acer Says:

    @Vinny:

    AND the war in Afghanistan.

    Watching Eastwood fawn over Romney is like watching old hippies project their dreams on Obama in 2008. With twice the delusion.

    First is was Reddit and Betty White. Now this. Can we give our senior citizens a few minutes of quiet time, people?

  17. Dave Dell Says:

    The thought crossed my mind as well that CE did this on purpose to sabotage the Romney speech.

  18. Monkey Business Says:

    The RNC had a Hologram Reagan in it's back pocket, but went with Eastwood instead because they were afraid Hologram Reagan would overshadow Romney.

    What does it say about Mitt Romney that the RNC is afraid he would be overshadowed by a HOLOGRAM of Reagan?

  19. mothra Says:

    It's always possible that Clint was drunk. See Ed's post from yesterday…

  20. Surly Duff Says:

    I'll summarize Clint's speech for anyone who cannot view the video:
    "We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell them stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time I took the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe so I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on them. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter’, you’d say. Now where were we, oh ya. The important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because if the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones.”

  21. mel in oregon Says:

    eastwood was good at playing tough cowboys & cops. but he's been wealthy for decades. his net worth is 1 1/2 times romneys. so he has no idea what's it's like to be 50,60,70 or 80 with no prospect of ever getting ahead or even out of the finacial mess 1/2 of americans are in. those that say obama is a failure don't know what they're talking about. his goal has always been to get very wealthy after he leaves the whitehouse. he saw how clinton did it, & by god he deserves it too, he believes. obama, clinton, gw bush, romney, ryan, they don't give a shit about the poor, how many people fell out of the middle class, how many people have gone backrupt, how many have lost their homes, how many young adults start their adult life deeply in debt. none of this matters to these guys. all they care about is sucking up to the very wealthy, because that's how they get wealthy or wealthier. eastwood looks like a total ass, because romney/ryan will just make things a helluva lot worse than even the insipid obama has done. but he doesn't give a shit either since he's a part of the wealthy establishment. what they are all saying is fuck the poor & those that have suffered hardship. fuck the wealthy is what mel in oregon says.

  22. caroljane Says:

    The Spare Heir would have been better as the Surprise Dirty Harry,

  23. Mo Says:

    Surly Duff for the WIN!

  24. Patti Says:

    I love the part where they laugh about student loans. Ha! Look what poor people have to do to get that fancy book learnin'!

  25. JulMonty Says:

    That was painful – but worth sitting thru when I saw the faces of Anny Romney and Paul Ryan wife at the end – a pic is worth a thousand words. Ouch!~

  26. Arslan Says:

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who thought of Grandpa Simpson after this debacle. And I'm even happier to see that other readers managed to bring up some of Grandpa's greatest moments(the strike-breaker story and the headline OLD MAN YELLS AT CLOUD). I guess for Clint it would be OLD MAN ARGUES WITH CHAIR.

  27. doug Says:

    I was surprised he just came out and said it.
    "Politicians are employees of ours"
    By 'ours' I am pretty sure he meant well off folks.
    By 'Politicians' I am pretty sure he meant both the D's and R's.

    Sounds lucid to me….

  28. DB Says:

    I love how conservatives usually present themselves as people who thumb their noses at Hollywood—but then the moment anyone from the entertainment industry throws them a bone, they slobber all over it. It's an obvious symptom of an I-pretend-to-hate-them–because-they-don't-like-me syndrome.

  29. Drivebyposter Says:

    Clint Eastwood seriously fucking said that conservatives don't go hotdogging? And he said it at republican woodstock.

    Oh and you NEVER hear ANYTHING about republican actors. Ronald Reagan would be spinning in his grave if conservative actors started voicing their opinions.
    /sarcasm

  30. ladiesbane Says:

    Who says conservatives aren't funny? I laughed. It's the Dems who make me cry. But Eastwood's performance-art rendition of Grandpa Simpson was just the Cheyne-Stokes breathing of a meme that was Rome….or thought it was.

  31. gaudeamus Says:

    C'mon, now. Mitty was lightly punk'd (along with Obama). Mr. Eastwood is a long-time Libertarian, (The Libertarians being rudely excluded from the RNC festivities). He asked an aide for the chair right before he went on, and he was supposed to talk for a mere 5 minutes, not 12. I think he is disappointed in both parties' behavior, but he showed more subtle humor than the rancorous attacking meme that's been the rhetoric from both parties. Sure, he wasn't polished, but he didn't have (or care) to be. Nonetheless, was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the soaring pomposity and empty platitudes that formed the bulk of the RNC speeches.

  32. Heywood J. Says:

    MAAAATLOCK!

  33. lless Says:

    I think you are scapgoating peyote for what alcohol wrought.

  34. Da Moose Says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/get-your-war-on_n_1845072.html

  35. Somerville Says:

    As yet one more instance of just how out of touch with the vast majority of human beings he is, we have Mitt's response to Eastwood's 'talk'

    Romney thought Clint Eastwood was 'funny'

    Mitt Romney thought Clint Eastwood and his "invisible Obama" routine was "funny."

    "I was backstage with him and he was laughing," Romney strategist Stuart Stevens told reporters today.
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/08/clint-eastwood-invisible-obama-mitt-romney-empty-chair-/1#.UENe4yI2eRk

  36. xynzee Says:

    I'm curious. Wasn't he recently panned for his role in that pro-Obama ad for "Half-time America"?

    Also how does his acting and direction in/of that gratuitously and blatantly pro-euthanasia piece of pap "Million Dollar Baby" square him with the likes of Rick [NSWF] and the rest of the "pro-life" agenda of the GOP?

  37. bob_is_boring Says:

    ed: "Poor Mittens."

    False.

  38. beejeez Says:

    Actually, I think Clint just saw an opportunity to plug his new movie. Turns out he didn't do himself any favors.

  39. caroljane Says:

    I am convinced that Donald Trump was originally scheduled to do that bit but they changed their minds.

    The Donald would have been funnier.

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  41. Mal Rootkit Says:

    & besides that, a local housewife was able to
    whiten her teeth using this weird old trick.