November 27, 2010

An Uproar of Absurdity

Justin Katz

Even the jaded among us might be surprised by the absurd longevity of the "Uproar over [Bristol] Palin" on Dancing with the Stars. It's difficult to ignore, though, the fact that such pop-cultural controversies can be relatively benign stand-ins for more substantial ideological and political battles:

This latest reality show tempest highlights the power of popularity over talent when mostly unregulated public voting is involved and, perhaps more dramatically, the polarizing effect of the Palin family name, which received prominent attention earlier this month in one of the most heated elections in recent memory.

Note the word "unregulated." The general sides are easy to draw: One side wishes to restrict criteria and channel participation toward its preferred outcome; the other side wishes criteria to be open so that it can persuade and, well, channel participation toward its preferred outcome.

The bit of insight underlying this particular controversy is that the Left has recognized the value of having its tacit dominance of pop culture and entertainment unchallenged for nearly the past half-century, and the Right willing to be more forthright (and honest) in its subversion:

Sarah Palin supporters helped organize campaigns to keep her daughter on the show, like radio talk host Tammy Bruce's "Operation Bristol." Conservative blogger Kevin DuJan's website also led a get-out-the-vote effort and wrote after Tuesday's results that Palin "drove the Left crazy for three months. Score!"

It's no surprise that Jennifer Grey, who found fame with the movie Dirty Dancing, won a dance competition centered around the premise of placing unlikely stars on the dance floor. It's never a surprise when mainstream shows, like So You Think You Can Dance, make left-wing political statements. And perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that the Left would squeal when it opens up the voting lines and Americans offer a different view.

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Can we just have a rule that limits mentions of "Dancing With the Stars" to once every . . . say . . . five years?

Never watched it . . . wasn't it on opposite Olberman?

Posted by: brassband at November 27, 2010 5:38 PM

So much about this show is manufactured, including the alleged death threats against Bristol (so Mama Grizzly can blame the libs).
The only reason the ABC suits didn't ride Tom DeLay like this last year is because the Exterminator's a little less photogenic.

Posted by: bella at November 27, 2010 5:49 PM

Tom Delay is a little less photogenic than Bristol?

Posted by: brassband at November 27, 2010 7:28 PM

A lot of the "womyn" who love to run down Palin and her daughter look like they couldn't get a date at the ACI on a Friday night.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 27, 2010 7:47 PM

The greatest absurdity is that anyone took the time to write about this absurdity.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at November 28, 2010 7:43 AM

I've never seen "Dancing With the Stars","American Idol","America's Got Talent","Survivor","The Great Race",or any other reality show that I can think of.Did I miss something?Probably not.
How can a reality show be real if it's choreographed?
Shows like "River Monsters" are good because there's no setup-and you learn things that are pretty amazing.
"Bizarre Foods"is good too.Some of the stuff Zimmern gags down is worse than sewage from the looks of it.But a lot of it is just interesting.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 28, 2010 9:34 AM

Joe --

I'll admit to watching American Idol from time to time, particularly toward the end of the season when the best performers are competing.

Because I have some involvement in vocal music myself, I find it interesting how a group of highly talented amateurs (and the folks who reach the last stages are all that) begin to sort themselves out when they are given access to professional orchestral arrangements, choreography, etc.

But "Dancing with the Stars?" Please.

Posted by: brassband at November 28, 2010 11:29 AM

One of my fellow agents in the INS was on "Cops" when they were covering the Multnomah County Sherrif's Dept.
I wouldn't want a camera over my shooulder when executing a forced entry-the thought of it can interfere with your reactions and get you or someone else killed.
"Cops' is a dumb idea.
I have watched it,though.because it isn't choreographed.I almosy lost it when a cop looked BACK at the camera after he rammed a door.You need total concentration at that moment so you don't f**k up.If it ever gets "routine"then you better get another assignment.
Personally,I'd sooner read a book(not on Kindle,either)and Phil-I actually can read without moving my lips.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 28, 2010 11:49 AM

In the greater scheme of things, it's pretty funny to watch the left suffering from Palin Syndrome, the fear of Sarah Palin descending done upon the left and brain washing them into supporting a conservative agenda. Symptoms include hallucinations of conspiracies and injecting her name into conversations devoid of her involvement to lessen the impact of left wing gaffs.

Posted by: G-Man at November 28, 2010 4:26 PM


Couple of good lines. Question is :Can you talk without waving your arms around?

Posted by: Phil at November 28, 2010 4:28 PM

Phil-what kind of remark is that?How would you know what I do when I speak?
Maybe it's your idea of ethnic humor.

Posted by: joe bernstein at November 28, 2010 5:22 PM

When did the Left suddenly become interested in merit-based success?

Oh, that's right- when someone they hate was about to win something.

Posted by: EMT at November 28, 2010 10:23 PM

It is crazy that "Dancing with the Stars" is even a political topic. What's next? Debating the merit of Meghan McCain's singing ability "American Idol"? Or Malia Obama's ability to best adults on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?"
Why is Bristol Palin even a "star?" She's the daughter of former governor/vp candidate who is best known for having a baby at 17. Does that make her a celebrity?

Posted by: Tabetha at November 29, 2010 11:57 AM


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