Alright, another YouTube clip. A lame one, but the idea has kinky potential. Let's take a leap from the 16th century to the 21st century. If you are a cynic (and most of us historians are), you can say that politics haven't changed all that much - it's still all about intrigue, opportunism, manipulation and back-stabbing (back-slapping?).
But we shouldn't complain too much. As my favourite political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli pointed out in his Discourses on Livy: "Let not princes complain of the faults committed by the people subjected to their authority, for they result entirely from their own negligence or bad example." Well, in the age of democracy, the reverse is true as well - that is, we the people get the politicians we deserve. Actually, that was probably true in the old days already, when rulers came into power by inheritance or force instead of elections. As above, so below.
Speaking of elections, I'm glad that November 4th is finally around the corner. The US presidential race has been one of the political hot topics of 2008, of course. The international media are saturated with it, the blogosphere is saturated with it, and I'm saturated with it, too. For months now, there has been so much coverage in the German papers and news channels, you'd think it was the election of our own head of government. Which it almost is, in a way, because of the tremendous political, economic and cultural influence the United States wield around the globe. Anyway, as my good American penpal Indy tells me, she is getting a bit tired of the subject herself: enough buildup, time to vote and get it over with.
But whatever you may think about the glitzy (and fantastically expensive) machinery of US presidential campaigns, they certainly know how to stage politics as grand opera, which can be fairly entertaining and leaves ample room for parody. I sometimes wonder if the real TV pundits lampooned in the attached video clip are more accurately described as political analysts or theater critics. Probably theater critics, and bad ones at that. Most of their oh-so-insightful soundbites aren't any smarter than what is being said here.
I don't think the clip is all that funny or inventive. It's pretty dull, actually, but there is a lot you could do with the basic concept of "spanking for votes". I mean, think about it. The question I ask myself is, why didn't they get Michelle Obama and Sarah Palin in there? With paddles! Now that would have been fun. Michelle could have lectured about the pain of underprivileged minorities and Sarah about the importance of traditional values in school, while they whack the living daylights out of each other. That's what I'd call change in the political culture (can't write a column about the elections without the big C-word somewhere). And as the opening act, they could have staged a "MILF spanking contest" between Hillary Clinton and Cindy McCain. Also with paddles, of course.
Mind you, I would prefer canes myself, but that would be too European. Definitely not patriotic enough for Palin. Maybe Michelle Obama would go for it. Hey, she is a Harvard graduate and we all know how erudite and open-minded she is. Not one of the unenlightened plebeian peons who "cling to guns and religion" (what a success that remark was, for the Republicans). On the other hand, we shouldn't forget that hockey mom Palin is fairly cosmopolitan, too. As she keeps reminding us, Alaska is right next door to Russia, and that ought to count for something. With a bit of luck, we could persuade her to use the birch in addition to the paddle. It's a good weapon of choice for someone who likes hunting and outdoor fun.
What a pity that we will never get to see it. When it comes to porn, all that the American campaign of 2008 leaves us with are fake promises of an Obama sex video (used by cyber-criminals to spread malware) and Larry "The Maverick" Flynt's spoof Who's Nailin' Paylin? (haven't seen it, but I hear it contains a lot of deep drilling). Neither of which is kinky.
In a few days, it will all be over, anyway. To the Americans reading this blog, I hope you are planning to vote on Tuesday. If not, let me add my voice to the ones asking you to do so. I'm not going to make an endorsement. I certainly know who I'd vote for if I was an American citizen, but this is a spanking blog and I don't want to go into US party politics. I'm European and it's not really my job, anyway. What matters is that you vote for one of the candidates, that you exercise your democratic right and make your voice heard.
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