Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A VidShizzle That Leads Me To This Story.

As an old guy,
I'm occasionally asked
questions by students.

These rarely have anything to do with our class of course.

"What was it like before TV?"
"Did you know Richard Nixon?"

My favorite question lately has been
"What is the biggest change you've seen
in America?"

Actually asked to me by a reporter
at our crack paper.

"Smoking," I said.
"Everyone use to smoke.
Grocery stores, planes, libraries, churches.
Indoors. For pleasure.
I taught when half the class smoked.
Some sat by the window, but most didn't."

"What about the internet?" the reporter asked.
"9/11?" the photographer said, hopefully.

"Nope. Smoking."

They shake their heads like I'm pulling their legs.


From the NY Daily News:

A quirky political ad for Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has some people scratching their heads.

The video, hidden on the 2012 hopeful's YouTube page, features his chief of staff, Mark Block, tossing out a few lines to the camera then taking a drag from a cigarette.

"Mark Block here," he says, awkwardly, in the ad. "Since January, I've had the privilege of being the chief of staff to Herman Cain, and the chief operating officer of the Friends of Herman Cain."

The final moments feature Block taking a drag from a cigarette and blowing smoke at the camera. The music ends with a woman singing, "I am America."

Block dismissed criticism over his smoking.

"I'm not the only one that smokes in America for God's sake," he said on Fox News. "It was a choice I made and it was at the end of the ad. The real message that we're trying to get through was the Cain train is on a roll."
Full article.


  1. Dr, T, I agree with you about the social sea change represented by smoking.

    However, with the Cain ad, Mark Block's smoking isn't what gives me the willies.

    It's the very end, as "I am America" is being sung and Herman Cain's face fills the right half of the frame. It starts with a pretty standard close lipped, corporate head shot.

    And then he starts smiling ...

    One of those slow face changing smiles where he transforms from serious candidate to "Do you believe this shit?" Cheshire Cat.

    Yup, it's the staffer's cigarette that will snuff out Cain's campaign!

  2. Stephen Colbert ripped the shit out of that ad tonight with whiskey-guzzling Cain staffers and mockery of that looong slow smile.

    Mark Block says we've never seen a campaign like Herman Cain's and I say bullshit - does no one remember Allan Keyes? Certainly the issues are differnt (Keyes ran on abortion and markets; Cain is running on markets and "returning America's greatness") but I see the same sort of batshit insanity from both men.

    The truth is, the GOP has two candidates: the one its central committee wants, and the one the "serious" Republican voter desires. The former is Mitt "hair gell" Romney; the latter is Ron Paul. Both are awful candidates, but the GOP leadership wants Romney because he is a team player and pliable like Bush the Second. An insider. Ron Paul, on the other hand, is the angry man screaming gibberish in the desert to these people. I have a weird feeling Obama will have to duke it out with the Libertarian and not the blow-dried Mormon.

  3. Wow. His head shaking is interesting. "America has never seen a campaign like ours" and his head is shaking to the negatory. And the emphatic "no" his head shakes at putting "the united back into the United States of America."

    The smoking? Marlboro Man riff.


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