Thursday, January 10, 2008

Do You See What I See?

Newsflash: Roxie’s World has busiest day ever in wake of Clinton victory in NH – Breaks 100 “unique visitors” in 24 hours barrier for first time!

Guys in Clicks and Eyeballs (CE) turn cartwheels in cubicles as wild celebration erupts! Creative Team (CT) and Political Division (PD) vie to take credit for stupendous breakthrough! “It’s because Roxie dropped the F-bomb,” a member of CT insisted. “It showed readers how passionately she cares about what’s going on, and they responded to that heart-felt display of raw emotion. We’ve had her on too short a leash. We need to let her run free, put it all out there – Let Roxie be Roxie!” “That’s ridiculous,” replied an analyst from PD. “Our data shows that readers don’t come here for vulgarity and death threats – ‘Get me my cattle gun,’ pshaw – but for lively yet reasoned political debate from the unique perspective of a progressive dog with strong ties to queerness, feminism, and academia. It’s a weird little demographic, I admit, but it’s our demographic, and that’s what has readers coming in droves.”

Meantime, off in the red chair, Moose’s shoulders ache from too many hours trolling the internets for images and analysis, but she is thinking, in the wake of all this success, of launching her own blog – maybe calling it “Butch PhD” – with visions of a thousand page loads a day dancing in her fevered brain. Mark Twain, director of the Office of Persona Management here in Roxie’s World, stalks off in disgust, muttering, “I’ve known butches, I’ve worked with butches, and you, m’am, are no butch.” He heads to Ishmael’s, the bar down the street from RW Enterprises, LLC, global headquarters.

(In truth, credit for the surge in traffic is due in part to the “Hillary’s Tears” post landing on the Buzzfeed list of Best Links on the topic. We’ve been in first or second place for most of the week [and we'll stay there if y'all do like you're supposed to do and click over to Buzzfeed and then back to us]. Thank you, Buzzfeed, and thank you, America, for turning politics into an obsessive focus on superficial personal traits, qualities, foibles, and quirks. Roxie’s World is deeply grateful for your profoundly shallow preoccupations.)

Now back to irregularly scheduled blog-a-licious programming. How about a fun round of everybody’s favorite game, Write a Caption for this Photo in the Voice of Someone Who Is Either Extremely Annoying or Incredibly Influential (or Both)? We’ll start. Words in italics were actually written by the person being imitated.

(Photo Credit: Carlos Barria, Reuters)

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd: There was a poignancy about the moment, as their eyes locked together in a gaze of mutual narcissism and insatiable ambition. The triumph of the mother set the stage for the ascent of the daughter. In that moment, Chelsea Clinton began planning the campaign of 2028 and her mother, recognizing the family spark in the young woman’s eyes, silently promised to do everything in her limitless power to assure their dynastic dreams would be fulfilled, even if all the girls hated them and all the boys thought they were ugly and nerdy and dull.

Professor and provocateur Camille Paglia: Hillary and Chelsea together are a classic feminazi package. The toxic gender bias is written in their adoring faces and is evident in poor, beneath-contempt Bill being relegated to the deep background of the photograph. Chelsea’s perversely prayerful hands underscore the near-messianic scale of her mother’s ambitions. Her daughter is just the latest in the long line of adoring women with whom Clinton has surrounded herself in an effort to seal herself off from the masculinity she disdains.

NBC “analyst” Chris Matthews: I hate to say this, but I am just going to say this because it’s a fact. The two of them together look really witchy, don’t you think? I mean, it’s double, double toil and trouble, isn’t it? Men look at this picture, and it just really grates on them, because you imagine what they might be saying to each other there, and it’s just fingernails on a blackboard, you know, because they’re probably looking around for some baboon’s blood, and that can’t be good.

Wa Po fashion editor Robin Givhan: Chelsea is never going anywhere with that nose. And, Hillary, gray boiled wool on a commander-in-chief? Please! Would you call Condi for a consult on true dominatrix dressing?

Lefty academic feminist blogger BitchPhD: I’ve got a cold and a fever and am too tired to do any serious blogging about this, plus PK has a soccer game this morning, and I still don’t know who I’m going to vote for in the Democratic primary, even if Obama never talks about women and Edwards’s recent comments about Hillary’s display of emotion were totally sexist, but I just want to say that I like this picture on feminist grounds and mom grounds. If my kid were a girl, I would be totally thrilled if she looked at me that way as I prepared to take over the world.

Nation columnist Katha Pollitt: I can’t comment on this photo. If I comment on this photo, I am perpetuating a system of gender bias that judges Hillary Clinton on the basis of appearances rather than policies and traps her in a double bind over and over again: if she wears a black pantsuit she's too masculine and if she wears a pink shell she's too feminine; if she's serious she's humorless and if she laughs she "cackles." That said, I think it’s a really sweet photo. If people don’t stop attacking her on these ridiculously sexist grounds, I am going to end up voting for her to spite them.

Please feel free to continue the game in comments. This one could go on forever, kids!

We're also pleased to report that a serious blogospheric backlash against Hillary-bashing seems to be taking hold. Much of the criticism is aimed at two of our favorite objects of ire, Mo Do and Chris Matthews. We should probably create a regular feature called something like The Quotable Blogosphere, to showcase little gems such as these:
Every vote for Hillary Clinton is a knife through the heart of Maureen Dowd. -- Lance Mannion

I wonder if Chris Matthews realizes that every time he or one of his fellow gasbags blithely reveal their sexist lizard brains like this, another little feminist gets her (or his) wings. -- Digby
There are also some tinkle-inducing Mo Do parodies out there, including a brilliant one by Jon Swift called "The Crying of Maureen Dowd," and another on Sisyphus Shrugged called "shorter Mo Do." Tom Watson has a funny piece called "The Matthews Meter" that explores whether the bloviator's "obsessive and openly sexist campaign against Hillary Clinton help or hurt the New York Senator in New Hampshire." We think it helped, so instead of firing Matthews we now call on MSNBC to put him on the air 24/7 until November 4. We just have to find a way to keep Moose away from the cattle gun until then.

Peace out, kids. Time to end our long, busy day in the blogosphere and do some actual, um, living!


  1. Anonymous9:19 PM EST

    My caption for that photo? Either: "Namaste," or, in those words just about everybody loves to hear (with or without the mode of address): "Mom, you were right!" Nice post, Roxie. I know you and the Moms are Hillary devotees, but can it simply be said that the pink shell was a mistake, in and of itself? Oh, and I *so* want Butch Ph.D. for my own blog, but I guess, in true butch fashion, I'll have to fight Moose for it. Or perhaps play a few games of one-on-one basketball? Damn. I'm a tiny point guard up against Moose's power forward. I'll get to work on my outside shot. Congrats on the continuing Buzzfeed attention

  2. Anonymous9:36 PM EST

    Fight me for it? Ha! I googled "Butch PhD" before I used it to confirm I was being original (for once!). It's mine by rights, I say -- and if I'm not mistaken you are something of an authority on such matters, aren't you?

    Let there be peace between us, DEB. I have a hunch your tiny point guard could take my power forward in any kind of game, except perhaps a drinking game. Which might not be a bad idea -- Meet me at Ishmael's! ;-)

  3. Anonymous9:13 AM EST

    "I've seen that look before. Condi gives me one of those when I fart in a national security meeting."


  4. WE may need to have an intervention with Mark Twain... I am seriously thinking he has a real problem... every time something doesn't go exactly his way... he is off to the pub!


    Chelsea (in best Montgomery Burns voice) "Eeeehhhxxcellent!"


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