Why Do They Hate America?

There is an element out there that despises America and all our nation stands for. They view us a decadent, as twisted and perverted. They think the fact that we allow women a modicum of autonomy and gays to live makes us a country that deserves its destruction.

Those people are better known to the world as conservatives.

Today’s latest example of conservative hatred of America comes from Kathleen Parker, who starts out with a line that will get Dinesh D’Souza’s naughty parts all engorged and tingling:

If our enemies don’t hate us, it’s an oversight.

Shazam!

Parker explains why our enemies should hate us:

The confluence of the worst of modern American trends — national narcissism,
the sexualization of all things animate and otherwise, and the devaluing of
currencies from literature to public discourse — has reached a perfect storm of idiocy in the form of MTV-style political videos.

That’s right — the ultimate sign of America’s moral degeneracy is cheaply made pro-Obama videos! Bow down to the caliphate — our fate is sealed!

Can the culture possibly go any lower before the barbarians simply waltz through America’s front door, left lazily ajar by the last one to shake her booty?

Interesting that it’s “her” booty, ain’t it? But of course, that’s the problem. Parker is furious that some women have chosen to go on YouTube and dance and sing to support their candidates. Now, you may say, “Well, it beats dancing and signing to support beer, so who cares?” Kathleen Parker, damn it!

[T]hey are rewarded millions of views on YouTube, the favorite medium of narcissists gone wild, and recognition by the alleged mainstream media. For just a few humps and bumps, fame belongs to the teeniest bikiniest.

Well…yeah. This isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. It seems to me that we’ve been using sex to sell things since the dawn of time. Indeed, in a way this is refreshing, because the ads are at least apparently self-directed, and the women starring in them are using the ads to support a candidate they like and advance their own careers.

Which Parker admits:

All the videos are low-budget flicks allegedly made for fun and parody. All are choreographed in the style of MTV, lots of flash and flesh set to pop music against a backdrop of Americana.

The “Hott4Hill” video star, whose name I’m trying not to learn, claims on her
Web site that she’s just kidding. She’s not a lesbian, she’s not political. She’s just a girl lookin’ to have some fun.

She’s also a former “American Idol” contestant who did not miscalculate the value such a video would bring her way.

So…she made a video herself, using styles developed in 1987 (I assume, as MTV hasn’t run a video since then), and then uploaded it onto the internets.

I’m still trying to figure out how this is a bad thing.

Now, you may be wondering: is Jeff just blowing smoke? Is he covering for a couple of depraved women who are all but pole dancing? Well, see for yourself. Here’s the Obama Girl video and he’re the Hot4Hill one. Now, all things being equal…the songs kinda suck, all and all. I give the slight edge to the Hot4Hill video, just for the line, “I know you’re not gay/But I’m hopin’ for bi.”

That said, the two songs aren’t particularly evil, either; they’re banal, over all. Slightly better than Christian Rock, slightly worse than New Country, but certainly nothing worse than any of us has seen before. And actually, the videos are put together pretty well for amateur work.

It’s a couple of women having fun with the conventions of poppy love songs and politics. Mildly amusing and nowhere near a reason for our enemies to hate us. But Kathleen Parker knows the sinister truth.

What to make of all this? The videos are apparently popular and add a dimension of shtick for voters already weary of the campaign that began two
years too soon. Phenomena that attract the attention of millions can’t reasonably be ignored by the larger media. Or can they?

Let’s see…yep, they can.

As these new forms of communication continue to emerge, we will continue to be deluged by every hot new thing. But some of us miss every old thing — the quieter lessons of adults delivered without a rhythmic thump, and a moment or two free of libidinous tease.

Oh, give me a break. It is a travesty that “Hardball” is featuring the woman behind “Hott4Hill” while ignoring all substantive debate on anything. But we’re talking about “Hardball.” They weren’t going to feature substantive debate anyhow. Indeed, the cable news channels are already a wasteland of tripe. At least “Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl” has a tangental relationship to the campaign, unlike your average nightly white-woman-in-peril story or Paris Hilton update.

If you want “the quieter lessons of adults,” cable news ain’t going to do it for you, and hasn’t for years. That’s not the fault of the internet, or some new coarsening of debate. That’s the direct result of the kind of discourse best captured in a soundbite or lousy column.

The attention-seeking, self-important desperation that drives today’s virtual world is boundless and, apparently, boundary-less. What’s next? Photoshopped porn flicks featuring, well, take your pick?

Worse — columns by Kathleen Parker.

I hate to be the one to break the news, but every person in the universe has a tush. There are only so many ways to display it. Yours is not that interesting. But tell that to the producers who can’t resist booking the latest tushette.

Well, that may be…but by Parker’s own stats, the “Obama Girl” video has received 2.4 million hits. That means the woman who made it has an interesting message and/or tush. It’s certainly more hits than Parker’s crappy column is goign to get. Who’s uninteresting?

Deep-thinking pundits are wondering whether these videos help or hurt the candidates they purport to support. Some commentators eager to play up the lesbian angle from the Hillary tape have posited a gay-play theory in hopes of hurting the former first lady.

Here’s the truth: The girly tapes of the 2008 election make Hillary Clinton look like Margaret Thatcher, reminding all that America has never been more in need of grown-up women in high places.

Oy. Where to begin?

Here’s the thing: I think we can all have a reasonable discussion about whether the girls-dancing-for-candidates thing is a positive thing vis a vis the devaluing of women as mere sex object. I would argue it can be, mainly because these women are choosing and controling their objectification. They’re making the affirmative decision to use sex to
sell their candidates and themselves. But your milage may vary.

More than that, I think it’s particularly insane to jump on this little bit of fluff. In the grand scheme of things, none of this is advancing anything in particular, but I’ll say this: ordinary people are actually getting involved in the process, even if they have a mercenary dual goal.

Are they involved in a goofy way? Yes, but they’re using pop culture to sell their viewpoint. And frankly, I’m hard-pressed to see why that’s a bad thing. It would be nice if all of our national discourse was full of brilliant arguments by people who are well aware of the minutia of various policy proposals, but we live in a world where people take Chris Matthews seriously. Given that, I think it’s going to be okay if a few people want to dance for their candidates, and a few others want to watch them.

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10 Comments

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10 responses to “Why Do They Hate America?

  1. SAP

    Shorter Kathleen Parker: How dare those pretty young things give away their goods for nothing, while I have to slave away at this keyboard and never get to shake my ass?

    Now, you may be wondering: is Jeff just blowing smoke? Is he covering for a couple of depraved women who are all but pole dancing?

    And if so, why is holding out from the rest of his buddies at Shakesville? 🙂

  2. Benjamin

    Woah, woah….
    MTV is still socially relevant?

  3. As these new forms of communication continue to emerge, we will continue to be deluged by every hot new thing. But some of us miss every old thing — the quieter lessons of adults delivered without a rhythmic thump, and a moment or two free of libidinous tease.

    In that case, she probably shouldn’t be spending her time on YouTube chasing down videos of young women dancing.

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  5. First of all, an inciteful and funny post.

    Second of all, John points to one of the most relevant quotatations from Parker’s original post. This fear of new technologies and the dumbing down of culture is typical of people who wish to be “taste makers.” Although I have my own anxieties about the internet, it is ultimately a good thing – it’s the further democratization of speech, which is a threatening thing.

    When Guttenburg began printing on the movable type press, he first printed the Bible. In the vernacular language. The proliferation of books and other printed goods in 16th and 17th century England made the more conservative members of society worried – and particularly concerned about the “dumbing down” of culture.

    This isn’t new. We should be celebrating living in an exciting time when the nature of communication faces revolution after revolution.

    But then, as Bob Novak might think, I might be a shrill blogger.

  6. Well said, Jeff!

    Your introductory paragraph had me thinking about why “they” do hate us, and though you took it to another level (and thank you for that!) I’d like to re-frame the question:

    Does anyone really think “they” would come half way around the world and sacrifice their lives to kill us ’cause we’re partying too hearty???

    …or could it be that they’re willing to die to stop our endless rape of their countries, pillaging of their resources and trashing of their cultures for the profit of our wealthiest few?

    If I were “them,” I might hate me too!

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  8. Doctor Jay

    My, oh, my. I believe that Kathleen Parker is the woman that wrote a column, years ago, about Jessica Lynch, claiming that what made her a hero was good ol’ country living. And it had nothing, NOTHING I tell you, to do with feminism.

    That was a “what the poop?” moment, for sure.

  9. I have nothing to add to the fine post and comments except to make the general observation that there are far more shallow pundits around than even I had suspected, in my cynicism.

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