My Vagina is Not an Onion Ring

This is Hillary Clinton’s new campaign ad:

Pretty clever. Would mean more to me, I imagine, if I’d ever seen a single episode of The Sopranos, no less the final episode, but even having not, I get it. It’s fun. It’s vaguely hip. Just the attempt is actually quite charming.

Ann Althouse does not think any of these things.

Ann Althouse thinks it was a failure on many levels: 1. “Not everyone gets HBO, so you’ve got a cultural reference that’s a bit elitist.” 2. “Tony is a monstrous criminal and Carmela willfully blinds herself to his horrible flaws so that she can keep living in a highly desirable house. Are these good associations for Hillary?” 3. “Bill is a much better actor than Hillary, and this heightens the sense that she’s a pale substitute for the old President we can no longer have.”

But it’s really #4 on her list I want to highlight:

Bill says “No onion rings?” and Hillary responds “I’m looking out for ya.” Now, the script says onion rings, because that’s what the Sopranos were eating in that final scene, but I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the “O” of an onion ring is a vagina symbol. Hillary says no to that, driving the symbolism home. She’s “looking out” all right, vigilant over her husband, denying him the sustenance he craves. What does she have for him? Carrot sticks! The one closest to the camera has a rather disgusting greasy sheen to it. Here, Bill, in retaliation for all of your excessive “O” consumption, you may have a large bowl of phallic symbols! When we hear him say “No onion rings?,” the camera is on her, and Bill is off-screen, but at the bottom of the screen we see the carrot/phallus he’s holding toward her. Oh, yes, I know that Hillary supplying carrots is supposed to remind that Hillary will provide us with health care, that she’s “looking out for” us, but come on, they’re carrots! Everyone knows carrots are phallic symbols. But they’re cut up into little carrot sticks, you say? Just listen to yourself! I’m not going to point out everything.

The first comment on her post, from a commenter called “dave™©” is:

Lady, you are bug fuck crazy.

Bug. Fuck. Crazy.

I don’t know that I can really improve on that.

However, let me just point out that, although context is always important, statements like “I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the ‘O’ of an onion ring is a vagina symbol” are problematic because if, say, an onion ring is only representative of a vagina “coming from” a specific person, and there are multiple other reasons for including that onion ring (the Sopranos finale; Bill’s infamous battle with junk food), such assertions are, indeed, quite easily debatable.

If Clinton had poked an onion ring with a cigar, she might have been onto something, though.

[Thanks to Blogenfreude for the heads-up.]



Filed under 01_shakespeares_sister

61 responses to “My Vagina is Not an Onion Ring

  1. Forgive me if this is a double post (rass’n frass’n 500 errors!)

    I liked the ad. And while I realize that it’s a promo for her campaign song, and not strictly a “political” ad, I must say that I’m glad to see some humor being injected into the politisphere. Similarly, I highly enjoyed Bill Richardson’s “job interview” ads.

    I’m not saying that we should choose a candidate because s/he is funny (if we did though, should we pick George Carlin or Rita Rudner?), just that it’s a refreshing change of pace from the “my opponent will rip off the heads of baby’s…”.

    Well done.

    However, Celine Dion? WTP?

  2. Jaysus, I might have voted for he if she hadn’t picked :excuse me while I puke: any song by Celine Dion for her campaign song.

    Any ‘cool’ points gained with that ad are immediately lost by choosing Celine Dion.

    I mean, isn’t she Canadian? Wasn’t an artist from the US good enough? Really.


    Oh, and Ann Althouse is bug fuck crazy.

  3. SAP

    Wow, that Althouse is on a roll. I still can’t believe that she is a tenured law professor.

  4. I haven’t seen the Sopranos, either, so I am not sure I would not have recognized the scene without being told what it was. The onion ring / carrot interpretation seems overblown. It should only be an issue to people obsessed with the Clintons’ sex lives. What is more disturbing to me is the interpretation that Tony gets killed when the screen goes black. I really don’t want to associate that with a presidential candidate.

  5. evilchemistry

    I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion

    I love absolutist statements like that, especially when they come with extra vanity on the side. Tasty…

  6. GD! Talk about over analysis! It has been awhile since I have been at the doors of a vagina, but I don’t remember them bearing any resemblance to an onion ring. Perhaps I would find them tasty if they were.

    Is there a giant vagina symbol encyclopedia that only Ann is privy?

  7. The last time I was near a vagina I was emerging from it head first, but based on what my straight friends tell me, it does not resemble an onion ring. I’ve heard taco, a clam in need of a shave, a wood-loving and dam building rodent, and so forth, but never an onion ring.

    Ann, however, sounds like she’s projecting a great deal…

  8. Jeff

    I think Ann may be onto something here…What were Rudy and “The Donald” trying to say when “the Donald” did “the Motorboat” into the faux cleavage of a drag queen Rudy…was it a sublimitible (props to dubbya) acknowledgement that modern corporate robber barons suckle at the teat of the powerful political republican power elite? or maybe it was some sublimital homoerotic “crying game” acknowledgement of the desire for “the love that dare not speak it’s name”? Hey, Ms. Outhouse…what about McCain singing “Bomb Iran”? is it a tacit acknowledgement of the power of the fringe-right rabid bloodthursty chickenhawk republican warmongers? Come to think of it, in “The Hunt for Red October”, when Freddie Thompson said “A ruskie don’t take a crap without a plan, son”….is Freddie subconciously telling us he is into scatophelia?

    Hmmmm….Or maybe sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, ann…whattya think?

  9. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Even Freud his goofy self said that sometimes a cigar was just a cigar. Little Annie Fanny needs to get a life. 🙂

  10. Jeff

    I’ve heard taco, a clam in need of a shave, a wood-loving and dam building rodent, and so forth, but never an onion ring.

    Frankly, I’m preferential to “the little man in the leaky boat” or “bumpin’ uglies”

  11. Sometimes, when people have not had fulfilling sex in a while, they start to see sexuality everywhere.

    Maybe Ann just needs a carrot in her onion ring.

    (I’m goin’ to fry in lesbian hell for that one, I’m sure. Luckily, it will be hot enough to make onion rings.)

  12. texasshiva

    This overanalysis even beats my normal overanalysis (which I don’t post because I know I overanalyze. Gee…anyone ever notice “anal” is in “overanalyze?” Oooooh. Shiny thing!). Bill needs some onion rings. Hillary should rethink Celine Dion. And Ann Althouse needs to chill out just a bit.

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  14. Winchell

    Wow, the perverts really out themselves when you give them a a Rorschach Test or a political commercial to analyze, don’t they?
    I swear to fucking God! People are such haterz! Just for the sake of hating! I loves me some Hillary! If she won….oh man, the drunken stupor I’d wake up to the next morning. That election night might be enough salve to sooth my still open wounds from the last two election nights.

  15. JGabriel

    Mustang Bobby: “… based on what my straight friends tell me, it [the vagina] does not resemble an onion ring. I’ve heard taco, a clam in need of a shave, a wood-loving and dam building rodent, and so forth, but never an onion ring.”

    Uh, are you *sure* they’re straight? I tend to think they resemble the interior of tulips.

  16. I suppose we can thank the goddess she didn’t have calamari and mozzarella sticks, with marinara sauce…

  17. Well, I watched the Sopranos since Day One, and I loved Hillary’s spoof of the finale. I thought it was clever and spot-on timely.

    (Note: I am not a huge Hillary fan. I like her, though. And I’d be fine with her winning the WH, especially if she trounces that evil, scary egomaniac Rudy in so doing.)

    Ann Althouse has some serious issues. Jeeeeez. Someone needs to put some fresh batteries in the old toy collection, you know?

  18. Haven’t seen the Sporanos since the first season, so that part escaped me. Aside from that I find the whole thing too cutesy for my taste. Though, while watching, and before I got to the rest of the post, I thought not once about genitalia.

    That said, Ann Althouse is bug fuck crazy.

  19. Doktor Wankenstein

    “Where’s Chelsea?”

    “Parking the car…”

    Bump! Bump! Bump!

    Laughed my heiney off.

  20. Althouse may be “crazy,” Melissa, but you’ve paid attention to her, haven’t you? I ignore people who I consider to be crazy. What does that say about you? Perhaps you thought, “Well, I gotta post something today…. I know, that crazy Althouse chick!”

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  22. "Fair and Balanced" Dave

    My penis is not a carrot stick either!

  23. I liked the ad, but I laughed more at this post and the comments!!!!!

    Fresh batteries indeed.

  24. Mamasquab

    So maybe Celine is a nod to international cooperation? Althouse needs fresh batteries in her brain, too.

  25. Althouse thinks that referencing the finale of the Sopranos is elitist? I don’t watch the show, but I heard the final scene on the radio on my way in to work, saw articles about it in 2 newspapers, read a zillion blog posts on it, heard people talking about it in the cafeteria, and later that day in the gym. I saw the whole scene on the channel 7 news, I think, or maybe CNN. Maybe both.

    If you’re an American, you had to work to stay *away* from that scene.

    As for the sex thing… I got nothing. Sex is pretty much the driving force in our brains, I think, and some people just haven’t come to terms with it. Onion rings are not a symbol as far as I know. Would she have had the same complaint if it had been cheese fries?

  26. oddjob

    Thanks Liss. I completely agree! If Althouse’s analysis qualifies as “feminist” then it’s a sort of feminism that harms rather than helps. As you rightly say, she ignores far too much context.

    And yes, poking an onion ring with a cigar would be a different message altogether.

  27. Arkades

    Wow. Talking about reaching for things to be offended about.

    “I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the ‘O’ of an onion ring is a vagina symbol”

    Dear Ann:

    I disagree with your assertion.




    I imagine the more libertarian-leaning residents of Right Blogistan must be a fury over the Hil-denies-Bil-Onion-Rings ad for another reason entirely: she’s controlling what her husband, another (presumably autonomous) adult, does and does not get to eat. She’s the Nanny State, personified! Look out!

  28. nightshift66

    The onion ring/carrot stick was obviously a jibe at Bill’s long-known penchant for greasy fast food and Hillary was playing the role of a spouse getting him to eat healthier.

    I just THOUGHT I was obsessed with sex. A.A. is making me look like a piker.

  29. EatinAtDaDinna

    If your vagina was an onoin ring you would probably be the happiest girl on the planet. Especially if it were beer battered. Seriously who doesn’t like onion rings. I’d be eatin at your dinna.

    Hillary is a fool!!

  30. Melissa McEwan

    Althouse may be “crazy,” Melissa, but you’ve paid attention to her, haven’t you? I ignore people who I consider to be crazy. What does that say about you?

    Let me explain this slowly and using small words so you can understand it: I don’t really think Ann Althouse is crazy. I let her commenter make the joke, but I went on to treat her critique with some seriousness, because, as a feminist, I’m keen to acknowledge when people are misrepresenting feminism. I thought it was appropriate to point out that her “feminist critique” was nothing more than an unthoughtful application of half-assed Freudianism masquerading as feminism.

  31. Um…
    bug. fuck. crazy.

    But on to Althouse and her ever so… ridiculously fucked up take on the last Hillary ad.

    1) No, HBO is not elitist. In fact, moron, most people go without basics like health insurance or a workable car rather than give up their cable tv.

    And even if you don’t have HBO, have you been living under a rock? The last scene of the Sopranos has been replayed on you tube, cable news, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, talked about on the late night talk shows ad nauseum, and around the workplace, every where… (I am currently working for HBO’s direct competitor and EVERYBODY is still talking about it.)

    2)Tony/Carmella vs. Bill/Hillary: The end of the Sopranos solidified that fact that in the end, despite both their flaws and their moments of nobility, they are just people. Normal almost.

    3) Who’s the better actor? Oh give me a break! You really think about this shit?

    4) Onion Rings. Seriously? The man has a heart condition. She gave him carrots. Tony Soprano ordered onion rings for the table. Bill can’t eat that shit anymore. Hillary orders for the table, she orders carrots. They’re just fucking carrots. Not some goofy metaphor for her health care policy. The man used to hoard greasy food until it nearly killed him. She orders him something healthy, we all get it, and it’s funny. It’s called comedy. And you’re. an. idiot.

    5) Having Johnny Sack in the shot was not designed to create anxiety about an assasination. We, as viewers, recognized it was Johnny Sack, but if you’ve ever been to a diner there’s always that creepy guy around. He looks at them funny, they look at each other like, “who is that guy?” And if you are going to spoof the real thing, you have to have the “members only guy.” Who better than someone from the actual show.

    You. Are. An. Idiot.
    Bug fuck crazy.

  32. Canuck Liz

    Um, we don’t actually consider Celine Dion a Canadian, thank you very much. You are more than welcome to her!


  33. Melissa McEwan

    Having Johnny Sack in the shot was not designed to create anxiety about an assasination.

    With regard to the whole assassination thing, if Hillary isn’t thinking about what a massive possibility that is for whomever becomes the first female president, she’s an idiot. And we all know Hillary isn’t an idiot.

    So even if it were designed to create anxiety about an assassination, good for her for being cheeky about what has to be absolutely petrifying for any presidential candidate, no less Hillary Clinton. (And Barack Obama.)

  34. I also loved TRex’s take on this (the Lesser Perfessor!):

    Well, it appears that Clinton Derangement Syndrome has driven Dame Althouse right ’round the twist. I’ve maintained for months that the Lesser Perfesser was a few balloon animals shy of a birthday party, but today, oh, today she has hopped on the short bus to Woof-Woof Land and left a note (in crayon) behind saying that she hates us all and she’s never, ever coming back.
    Apparently in the Mind of Ann Althouse absolutely anything (even something as innocuous as a humble onion ring) gets larded down with layers of psycho-sexual significance when it’s submerged in the warm, sticky tide of sexual charisma that surrounds our former president like a fog.

    Boy, I bet Jessica Valenti is relieved by this development. Looks like we now have conclusive proof that the whole Unpleasantness from last fall was just a spasm of Althouse’s mania to compulsively eroticize anything and anyone (apparently up to and including innocent foodstuffs) that is unlucky enough to be photographed with Big Dog. I wonder if Ms. Valenti realizes now that she could have been wearing a blouse made of prepared vegetables and the reaction would have been exactly the same.

  35. tas

    I kinda wish Althouse was correct in her assertion that vaginas are onion rings. If so, I’d eat out more often.

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  37. car

    I have never, ever thought of a vagina when I saw an onion ring. Never.
    What on earth must she think of Dunkin’ Donuts?

  38. Althouse is a nutter — BUT — I do agree with her in that I thought this video was a bad idea. First thing that went through my mind was “why the hell is she associating herself with the Mafia, even as a joke?” It plays right into the hands of the Clinton Conspiracy brigade.

    And yes, they are nutters too, but one thing I have learned on the Internet is “Don’t feed the trolls.”

  39. Maybe the Sopranos reference was a way of mocking the Clinton conspiracy trolls.

  40. I’m coming to the conclusion that it’s fun to see people like Ms. Althouse and her ilk go over the edge like this. It’s vastly entertaining, and it also reveals their true nature when they get all wound up about onion rings, carrot sticks, and cigars; they want to show that they stayed awake during their high school junior year Intro to Psych class.

    It’s like playing with a laser pointer with a cat.

  41. Melissa McEwan

    It plays right into the hands of the Clinton Conspiracy brigade.

    Who cares. Everything she does is said to “play into their hands” one way or another. And after 15 years of their attacks, she’s still the leading Democratic contender. I really don’t think that’s much incentive to care about what they’re capable of.

  42. tas

    rslux: When Hillary breathes, the conspiracy nutters will go ga-ga. There’s really nothing she can do that won’t drive them bonkers.

  43. Um, we don’t actually consider Celine Dion a Canadian, thank you very much. You are more than welcome to her!

    No, really. We insist.

    As for the precise animal metaphor that best describes Althouse’s craziness, I’ve always preferred “batshit crazy.” Call me a traditionalist.

  44. Those of us bloggers in Madison who are not Ann Althouse can only look on in stunned amazement at the marvels of the tenure process… There seems to be a lot of derangement going on among University of Wisconsin profs these days. In addition to the Nonstop Nonsequitur Machine with the Bizarre Freudian Fixations, we also have the dean of American climatologists going a bit off the rails in his dotage.

    Reid Bryson is 87 and helped lay the groundwork for the scientific study of global warming. Years ago, I had him as a professor, and he was known as a brilliant scientist and a wonderful teacher. He was a poet of climate, a lyricist of weather, a mesmerizing lecturer about climate’s impact on humans and vice versa. Now he bad-mouths Al Gore and his skeptical statements are widely quoted by global warming opponents. What happened? The University of Wisconsin emeritus prof outlived his expertise and found himself stranded on the far side of a paradigm shift.

    Because of his considerable accomplishments in the past, we should probably cut Bryson a bit of slack; after all, he is 87. But Ann Althouse is not.

  45. Susan

    What a great ad! Would have been interesting to catch a glimpse of Chelsea. And the Big Dog looks fantastic! (The last episode of “The Sopranos” was the only one I’ve seen–I assume it was a mild one for the series.)

  46. Dan

    Vaginas are deep fried and full of cholesterol? Geez, you just can’t eat anything anymore!

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  48. stark

    I liked it, even though Clinton is my least favorite of the top three Democrats. If you just look at it as a vehicle to introduce her theme song, it was pretty effective.

  49. Grandjester

    Well to be fair, Ann rolls in flour and dips herself in hot oil before doin’ the nasty… Don’t ask how I know this.

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  51. As I commented over at Hilzoy’s post on this, while I thought Althouse’s “I doubt if any blogger will disagree” was ironic (and she’s since claimed she was baiting her critics with that line), in her follow-up post (linked in an update in the original) she defends her analysis at some length – no irony there, and thus every critique of her has been largely on target. The woman is obssessed with Bill Clinton’s sex life, and in her follow-up post she paints herself as some sort of bold, revolutionary media analyst who’s “not so obedient” as the easily duped masses or whatever. Really, check out her follow-up, I think it’s nuttier than the initial post:

  52. From comments at the link referenced in the above comment:

    Ann Althouse said:

    My favorite part of all this is that whenever you guys order onion rings, you’ll have to think of me. I now own onion rings.

    OH yes. Definitely two tacos short of a combination plate.

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  54. litbrit
    Jun 20th, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    Oooohh. That’s so sad. Really.

    (Your metaphor is a lot better than any of hers. 😉 )

  55. Melissa McEwan

    I think it’s nuttier than the initial post

    Hmm. Interesting that she chose to ignore the feminist blog included in the round-up at Memeorandum. But maybe that’s because I actually explained what was structurally wrong with her argument.

  56. r@d@r

    I now own onion rings

    may we officially refer to ms. althouse as “ringo” from now on?

    “O-Ring” would also suffice.

  57. r@d@r

    and you know what? all things considered…..completely regardless of what i think of either of the clintons politically…..that shit cracked me up!! that’s probably the kind of ad i’d have put together if i was running for president. for one thing – it doesn’t even come close to dumbing down for or talking down to its audience. it assumes that you are smart, have a sense of humor, and are intolerant of bullshit. NONE of the political ads i have seen take that kind of stance. so – while i am hideously unlikely to ever vote for HRC, it’s pretty goddamned effective culture-jamming.

  58. And she has a college education you say?

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  61. Pingback: The Impolitic: Hilary has a new video and Althouse has Monica envy

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