Monday, June 04, 2012

The scene I'd like to see

INT. HOTEL SUITE -- Day

A CANDIDATE IS HAVING A SCOTCH.   HIS CAMPAIGN ADVISER ENTERS.

ADVISER: I’ve prepared your speech for tonight's Religious Council Dinner.

CANDIDATE: Which God do I believe in for this one?

ADVISER: Still waiting on the polls, sir.

CANDIDATE: How religious are these nimrods?

ADVISER: Somewhere between tolerance-for-all and wearing sheets.

CANDIDATE: Fine. Just no kneeling or dunking anything.

ADVISER: Check. Singer Amy Grant will introduce you.

CANDIDATE: Oh. Then I will have something in common with this organization. We all want to fuck her.

ADVISER: Not according to Gallop. She trails Faith Hill by a wide margin. And Carrie Underwood – off the charts.

CANDIDATE: You and your polls. They’re all bullshit.


ADVISER: Sir, they’re accurate within a .05% margin of error. Except for audience testing on JOHN CARTER. Hard to believe Disney could miss that badly.

CANDIDATE: According to my non-scientific survey, no one in America watches television or movies anymore.

ADVISER: Sir, how can you say that?

CANDIDATE: Have you seen any of the shows that depict American politics?

ADVISER: No. I just watch DEADLIEST CATCH and GLEE.

CANDIDATE: They all portray us as back-stabbing, lying, low-life, buffoons.

ADVISER: Really? Then insiders must be consulting on those shows.

CANDIDATE: It’s staggering!  On VEEP, the chick from SEINFELD plays the Vice-President and is completely brain-dead. Her staff is one Iago after another. Then there’s BOSS starring Frasier. Jesus, everyone on that show fucks over everyone else. It’s how I imagine the William Morris Agency to be.  Or Shutter Island. And then that movie about Sarah Palin. According to that she was so fucking stupid she didn’t even know what countries fought in World War II.

ADVISER: Well, give them points for accuracy.

CANDIDATE: In all of these shows everyone swear like sailors. Including the fucking candidates. You watch the Sarah Palin movie, you’d think John McCain was in DEADWOOD. The general level of cynicism and distrust is overwhelming.

ADVISER: What about WEST WING?

CANDIDATE: A.) That was years ago, and B) that wasn’t about real politics. That was Candyland with people who talked fast. Today’s shows are way more realistic. And that’s why I believe no one watches television.


ADVISER: Because Americans would be so disheartened if they did?


CANDIDATE: No. Because I don’t understand how any reasonably intelligent person – and by that I mean one who knows that Nazis were the bad guys – could watch these shows and still buy into the bullshit we deliver to the public. How can anyone listen to our highly crafted speeches and believe we believe a single word of what we say? The photo ops are obviously so staged. I’m really going to get the Hispanic vote by eating a taco at some fucking fiesta? I’m honestly going to get more women voting for me because I wear the red tie over the yellow tie? It’s all so calculated, orchestrated, artificial and the worst part is – for the most part we still get away with it.

ADVISER: Well, BOSS is on Starz so no one sees that.


CANDIDATE: But they do see the others. And there was that George Clooney movie, IDES OF MARCH. Same thing. And if you can't vote for George Clooney, then hell, what's the point of the Constitution?  Face it, what we really do and what we’re really like is a worse kept secret than Barry Manilow being gay.

ADVISER: So what are you suggesting? That you drop the F-bomb at the Religious Council Meeting tonight? Say what you really believe? “Hi, I’m Jim Turner, I’m running for Governor, and I want to fuck Amy Grant!”?


CANDIDATE: You’re right, of course. I’d never win.

ADVISER:  She has something like fifteen kids!


CANDIDATE:  It’s just somewhat sad, don’tcha think? Here we are, supposedly the brightest, most informed people in the nation, and we only use those gifts to manipulate the public for our own personal gains.


ADVISER: Barry Manilow is gay?


CANDIDATE: (resigned): Get me the red tie.

23 comments:

Brooke McMaster said...

I LOVE this. So accurate. Well done x

Johnny Walker said...

Haha, brilliant! Ken, you really need to watch THE WIRE. The IDES OF MARCH was the "lite" version of that show.

Pulls out soapbox: You know who I think really benefits from people losing faith in their government? Corporations.

A corporation will do anything they can get away with (forget what's actually legal) in order to be a success. It's actually what capitalism demands of them (survival of the fittest, if you will -- if they don't do it, their competitors will). The only thing protecting the public from corporations is their government. It's the reason we have minimum wage. It's the reason the average person doesn't work 80 hours a week. It's the reason there's any healthcare at all.

A country that allows corporations to do whatever they please is a second or third world country. There's no minimum wage in India or China. People are paid precisely what the market says they're worth: Next to nothing. So they have shanty towns and poverty like Westerners cannot imagine.

The only people that benefit from a "smaller government" is the corporations, who then become free-er to do whatever they want to make more money.

I worry that people really don't have any faith in their elected officials any more. It's hard not to be cynical about them, sure, but if we lose faith in them completely, then we no longer have control over anything. No voice at all. And I worry that it's this lack of faith that currently allows people to be manipulated into voting for things that are actually against their own best interests.

It's worth remembering that Nixon exposed a side of politics that most politicians hadn't even seen before. It wasn't always rotten to the core.

This is just my 2c, and I'm sure many readers here disagree with what just came pouring out of me. I just hope those people are right!

Daws said...

Ken, didn't you see Bullworth?

Becca said...

I'm pickin' up what you're puttin' down.

By the by, the WV is getting freakin' (not fuckin', I'm not a fuckin' politician, or even Kristin fuckin' Stewart) ridiculous. A fuzzy photo of a number? Insanity.

Becca said...

For whatever it's worth (2 cents?), I agree with you, Johnny Walker. But then, I'm considered a loony leftist in the USA (aka: conservative in Europe).

Irene said...

Very funny. How about another scene where one of them, or both, is female. I'd like to see that!

HourOfLead said...

I suppose that the next thing you're going to tell me is that a sitting President couldn't have a heart attack and be replaced by an identical, non-genetically related twin who wins over the county by becoming a verbal loose-cannon who only speaks the truth? I call bullshit, sir.
I suppose that the next thing you'll tell me is that a kid from the Midwest with an associate's degree couldn't become the CEO of his uncle's Fortune 100 company by starting in the mailroom and assuming a fired executive's office while spouting fortune cookie business jargon.

I say, good day, sir.

nairam_tdlowneorg said...

Hi Ken,

is it possible to get a Series Bible of MASH, Cheers, Almost Perfect or Frasier anywhere? That would be awesome. I'm currently writing on a Sitcom Bible for a major network and could need some examples from the best. ;)

Thanks!
Marian

Jim S said...

Ken,

I just listened to a Alan Sepinwall/Dan Feinberg podcast and Feinberg was livid that casting directors keep hiring Australians and Englishmen to play Americans. His point is that there are a lot of unemployed American Actors and they can't all suck. (Look at John Hamm, a working actor for years, but he gets Mad Men and he's a star. He was around. How did all the casting directors miss him?)

The LA Times then ran an article on how casting directors are looking for actors in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, etc. They say they broaden the talent pool at pilot season.

Long story short (too late), is the talent pool that shallow? As i said, there are a lot of unemployed actors out there. But is the number of good actors really that limited that we have to get tough Montana sheriffs from Australia?

BigTed said...

But "democracy is a pointless spectacle where we choose between two indistinguishable political parties, neither of whom represent the people but the interests of the powerful business elites who run the world.” (At least, that's what the foul-mouthed British comedian who ruined "Arthur" told us on the MTV Movie Awards last night. And if you can't trust someone in show business to explain global politics, who can you trust?)

RCP said...

I agree with you, Johnny Walker, though I think politics has always had an element of the rotten (people can get funny where money and power are concerned).

Money and apathy create trouble. The only thing that can trump the sick amount of money in politics - candidates running for president in 2012 will raise and spend around one billion each, I believe - is for people to vote and keep informed about what their elected representatives are doing in office - then kick them out or keep them in. In other countries, people literally die in the streets trying to win this kind of power - here, it's apparently too much of an inconvenience to spend 15 minutes voting every two and four years.

Politicans now spend an inordinate amount of their time having to raise money for reelection. With voters not bothering to show up, and special interests (read corporations) having bottomless big bucks, guess whose going to get the politician's ear?

That said - there are some fantastic politicians who work their asses off, but they don't seem to get the coverage of the scandals.

Really enjoyed this post, Ken.

Sebastian Peitsch said...

Ken,

the problem is that the people who vote for the candidate because he ate a taco really believe he is like them because he ate a taco.

You can't really blame the ignorant for being ignorant.

You can only blame the _willful_ ignorant, namely the 50% who don't vote. People who should know better. Because they are the ones who stay at home. They know it's all a sham. And in the end the people who don't look behind the curtain elect the president while the rest reads blog posts like this one, laughs, and doesn't vote during the next election - because they have better things to do. Because they feel that watching Bill Maher rant is doing enough.

It should be like this: anyone who doesn't vote has to shut the f*** up for the next four years about politics. Because they took themselves out of the game. Because right now, you (I mean they) are wiseasses who should know better.

So to anyone who reads this: if you voted you can't really feel offended. If you didn't: shame on you.

I know the system is shit. But not voting is giving up and letting the bottomfeeders dictate YOUR LIFE.

There. I feel better now.

Anonymous said...

What's going on? Where's the personal attacks? The sweeping statements? The bilious rage?

It's like it's become civil in here or something.

Bryan said...

Hehehe..

Kirk said...

A bit of homage to Mad magazine in that title.

Jango said...

Hi Ken,

Any comments , critiques regarding Warren Littlefield's new book "top of the rock: rise and fall of must-see tv" ?
Is it true that Kelsey grammer was often unprepared because of his substance abuse and Ratzenberger had to be held back trying to punch him out?
Would love to hear if these things really happened.

MrTact said...

Lewis Black has a great bit about performing -- I think it was at a USO benefit -- in the same show as Amy Grant and Vince Gill. It is completely filthy and hilarious. Also, I think it's on Spotify.

Longtime Reader, Occasional Commenter said...

Brilliant.

HogsAteMySister said...

Sigh.

Big sigh.

Dana Gabbard said...

NPR just had a story on how cell phones are making surveytaking less reliable.

chuckcd said...

Did someone say were fucking Kristin Stewart?

chuckcd said...

Anybody that thinks who we elect makes any difference is fooling themselves.

We could get 10 monkeys in sweaters and they would do the same job.

A politicians job is to get elected, then do whatever they can to get re-elected.

I put them about 50 feet below lawyers and 100 feet below used car salesmen.

perky said...

I'd do Amy Grant...