Wednesday, July 21, 2004

While I was away, our Governator, Ahhnold Schwarzenegger, referred to the Democratic legislators as a bunch of "girly men" for their inability to pass the budget on time. Much has already been said about whether or not this was a homophobic insult or just a joke (frankly, it was a joke that relied on a homophobic insult to get the laugh). I want to just note the absurdity of the comment.

You've heard of art imitating life (or is it life imitating art?), but this goes a little further. This is politics imitating satire imitating "art" imitating life. Arnold never actually used the "girly man" term in his movies. It came from a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Hans and Franz, a couple of Schwarzenegger devotees, attempt to pump you up and cure your "girly man" problems.

You would think that, as Governor, Arnold would want to take himself a little more seriously than that. What he's done here is not simply reference a catch phrase from a popular movie (like Reagan's "Make my day" rhetoric); he's referenced a catch phrase from a comedy sketch
pointing out how ridiculous Arnold himself was/is.

The lines between life, entertainment, satire, and politics have all melted together. Everything is entertainment - including the state budget battle - and everything is satire. The politicians have long ceased being statesmen and now publicly admit to being nothing more than pale parodies of themselves.

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