A. Ron Galbraith sent me this fascinating analysis of traffic on Pornhub.com during and after the Super Bowl, which suggests that Denver fans continued to have a hard time when the game was over. Get ready for more of that kind of talk. During the Super Bowl, internet traffic from Colorado and Washington to the web’s most popular pornographic video site deviated from average by -51% and -61%, respectively. After the game, Seattle traffic remained 17% below average, but Denver traffic was 11% higher than usual. It appears that Broncos fans drowned their sorrows in Kleenex, which gets weirder the longer you think about it.
Patriotic hyperbolist Rick Barber has released a new campaign commercial, and it is to his last commercial what 2001: A Space Odyssey is to Lolita. Props to The Cure for the link. In preparation for his run-off against Martha Roby for the Republican nomination to represent Alabama’s 2nd District in Congress, Barber has once again enlisted the help of some dead Presidents, but not in the cool way like Nas. In a video called, wisely, “Slavery,” Barber takes his case against the “tyrannical health care bill” to the ghost of George Washington and, at the climax of the narrative, the reanimated corpse Abe Lincoln, who is tastefully shot from the front.* Then comes bonus material. A crowd of people sing the fourth verse of the Star-Spangled Banner amid footage of wars, wars, wars, followed by a shot of Barber and Dale Peterson watching Glenn Beck in a bar. Since he’s going out, Peterson has brought his gun. Video after the jump.
As our unhealthy fixation on Rand Paul continues to grow, we at Combat! blog are impelled to consider the other prong of his narrative prod: authenticity. Paul and his ilk are, by their own avowal and by media announcement, outsiders—folks who feel the same way you do about the shysters in Washington because, like you, they watch ’em from afar. It’s a reform year. Two big stories dominate the news: 1) the entire country being economically, politically and environmentally fucked plus we’re losing two wars, and 2) people who cannot necessarily articulate the specific elements of #1 blaming the dang government. The trick, if you want to get elected in 2010, is to make yourself part of story #2. Hence the popularity of Rand Paul and his father, Ron, whose views are extreme but whose personae are paradoxically that of the everyman. As Meghan McCain put it, “I can’t help but interpret the congressman’s cult-like, libertarian-leaning following as yet another indicator of a growing resentment of all people incumbent and in power in Washington.”
Today we observe the birthday of staunch anti-communists George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Did you know that in college, Lincoln’s nickname was “Apeman?” His fraternity brothers would chant “Abe the ape! Abe the ape!” as he swung from the chandelier on one lithe arm, his oversized lips wrapped around a bottle. But Apeman Lincoln had a soul as tender as yours, and he feared the dignity he exchanged for acceptance made a terrible, perhaps irrevocable bargain. Lincoln understood from a young age the terrible seductions of certainty—the way people will persist in an ugliness, if only because within it they know their place. And so, on January 1st, 1863, President Lincoln stopped doing the Apeman trick.
Last Thursday, while the rest of us were eating stuffing and probably violating the Constitution, Sarah Palin was participating in a 5k Turkey Trot in Kennewick, Washington. As is often the case with Palin, though, the word “participating” does not mean what you want it to mean. It turns out that the former Alaska governor dropped out of the race midway through, ostensibly to avoid the crowd of onlookers waiting for her at the finish line. See, she just wanted to run in the race and meet some Real Americans, not turn the Red Cross charity event into some sort of Going Rogue publicity spectacle. That’s why she announced her participation only two days before on her Twitter feed, and why her team was called the Rogue Runners. And shame on you for finding some cruel poetry in Palin’s decision to quit a charity race she had time to enter because she quit the governorship of Alaska. You try operating the complex assemblage of touch-screens and levers required to synchronize the Palin II‘s legs for 3.1 miles.