Cultural Imperialist

"Scathing Spats on Shallow Subjects"


Fri Jul 28



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Cruel Momster

Greg Piper

Michelle fulfills the first rule of politics, which is to have a hot woman by your side who distributes high moral fiber along with trips to school cafeterias to campaign for free lunches.

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You wouldn't be surprised to learn that someone married to Jesus operates on a slightly elevated moral plane.  First Lady Michelle Obama helps ashamed fat kids become neurotic skinny kids, defends the rights and dignity of the sleeveless, and protects her children from the dangers of television Monday through Friday.

What a wonderful moth-- wait, TV? The Internet is a subsidiary of Larry Flynt Publications and the Fist-Bumper is worried about TV? Did Tipper Gore (ask your parents) shoot up melanin and do a switcheroo?

Maybe this is just semantics and O-Mom-a is DVRing all the shows that Sasha and Malia love, like the one where that gay network executive grooms the First Daughters, so they can watch on the weekend.  But why let the girls watch "Glee" when you can summon the cast to perform at the White House Easter egg hunt?

You can posit that prepubescents pile on the pounds by parking in front of the TV, but I think the real reason Xena the Warrior Mom objects is simple disdain for the medium.  Cultured people analyze movies and plagiarize their friends' insights on Goodreads to discuss novels.  For these arbiters of taste, television jumped the same shark whose fins are in the Obamas' illicit soup a long time ago, with its uncomplicated moral lessons and contrived plots.  Media should reflect the human condition in all its beautiful squalor - you've probably heard something similar from a friend wearing a corduroy blazer over a T-shirt.

Better than having your kids get attached to the new "10 Things I Hate About You" show, which seriously rules, is to fill their schedules with noble pursuits.  Tennis, theater, South Lawn gardening, Model UN with Model China Veto - these are the things that bright little girls should be doing, in the fierce but caring eyes of M'Obama.

Yet what person hasn't been able to better empathize after watching it done on TV?  President Hasan's sacrifice on "24" embiggened us all.  In his eponymous sitcom, Chuck's dumping of Hannah to protect her from The Ring brought tears to eyes in a way that Sting's song about setting loved ones free never could.

The Obama style, in contrast, uses emotion-sensor technology to feel for people through the power of cold rationalism and taxpayer money.  Do we want Sasha and Malia to grow up like President Robot Daddy and Michylon, able to perfectly calculate humans' material needs but not speak to their souls?

Michelle's no-TV parenting risks shaping a generation where the "public good" obliterates the power of the individual, "activities" replace imagination and "sustainability" pushes out The King.  TV addresses our deepest needs for love, revenge and puns.  It shows us that what seems right now may be shortsighted 22 minutes later, upon which we learn to be ourselves, care about others and make a timely quip.  It shows us, in other words, how not to be self-righteous and oblivious do-gooders.

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O-Mama Knows Best

Jeremiah Lewis


I grew up without a television. My childhood was an uninterrupted orgy of fun as a result, a pleasant, even bucolic life without the hurried expectations of a sitcom needing to wrap up its three-act story within the half-hour timeslot. I can recall evenings feeling like I was missing out on something that other kids were getting, things they'd talk about the next day in class: that football game, that Simpsons episode. Little did I know that my parents' arbitration of this television-less existence made me a happy and bright person, even if I was (and am) culturally illiterate from the lack.

If Barack is a merciless Obaminator sent from the future to protect defenseless John “United States” Connor, Michelle is his Linda Hamilton, with brains, beauty, and a willingness to throw the hammer down on the Skynet of our day. Her quarantine applies to her children, Sasha and Malia, and the machine disease is television. The effect of this artificial “intelligence” is evident in our schools and in our homes; our country is littered with the undecayed bodies of children technically alive but mentally dead—the product of 2-6 hours per day on average in front of the tube. Unlearned except in the school of the soundbyte and the smart quip from Barney Stinson, children are now the products of parental responsibility left to moulder. If people complain about the nanny state, they should first point their fingers at the nanny box.

Of the bigger Obamas, Michelle is actually the caring and empathetic one, which is how it should be. We don't want a President who is one of us, but his wife damn well better be. Michelle fulfills the first rule of politics, which is to have a hot woman by your side who distributes high moral fiber along with trips to school cafeterias to campaign for free lunches, or who advocates for the primacy of soccer as a health-care initiative for kids. Let the President prescribe Machiavellian medicine to an unwilling populace. His wife will smooth things over with culture and grace. Even if you hate George Bush, you can't deny Laura was a keeper.

Hands-on parenting prevents needless adult stupidity; unlike television, a parent can dole out wisdom and discipline, can sense when a child needs to know more than what relational problems Lauren Graham is having during any given episode of... well, any show Lauren Graham is in. Television's purview is ultimately shallow and unrealistic, giving us problems only movie stars have and solving them within the net' exec's successful Nielsen ratings paradigm. These are not what our kids need to foster imagination. That's not to say television isn't enjoyable. But its presence is more stultifying than invigorating.

Michelle is raising two fine girls without television. Bravo! The poster children of a moral president need strict home settings, and Michelle's synaptic diet ought to be followed to the letter. We'd hate for Malia and Sasha to end up like the Bush twins.

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