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October 20, 2004

That Edwards Video

A couple of people have sent me the link to this video of John Edwards primping before a TV appearance.

Like Instapundit, I don't see what the big deal is.

Actually, I could easily see myself making a big deal over this, just to score a cheap shot, but unfortunately that would put me on the side of the unfunny poseur who calls himself an artist for putting together a rather banal video installation of pundits getting ready to go on the air. Harry Shearer, I mean.

Yeah, look, I know he was in Spinal Tap, but let's face it, Shearer wasn't just speaking in character when he said that Nigel/Guest was the fire and McKean/St. Hubbins was the ice and Shearer/Smalls was the "lukewarm water." He was also speaking of his personal contribution to every bit he's ever been in-- always, always he is the lukewarm water. He's always the guy you could easily swap out with any actor you could think of (off the top of my head-- Richard Roundtree-- why not?) and probably improve the comedy.

And yeah, the Male Synchronized Swimming bit was funny. But the man's been in show business (owing to a family connection, I think) his whole life. One would hope he'd have at least four or five minutes for his career highlights reel.

What keeps me from pouncing on this video is the smug and utterly unwarranted condescension of the Hollywood set, people who have been getting make-up nearly every day for their adult lives, now trying to pose as some sort of cutting-edge artistes by showing how foolish a non-SAG-member looks when he gets made-up. Yes, it's all a little effeminate; no man really wants to be seen getting made up (although, secretly, we all do want to be handsome; we just don't want to seem as if we care about it either way). But we're in the television age, and looks definitely count, and if John Edwards wants to play with his bangs to make sure they look just so, I can't really blame him.

You know what else would look foolish? Video of someone just waking up in the morning, drool coming out of the corner of the mouth, bed-head in full effect, the pattern from the afghan imprinted on puffy skin. It happens to all of us, of course; I just don't see what the big fuss would be if someone captured George Bush looking less than presidential before his first coffee of the day.

So, bravissimo, Harry Shearer. Lacking any genuine artistic talent, you've taken the normal avenue of those who seek attention but lack talent-- "conceptual art," art with no skill or craft behind it, just a sort-of cute idea and the money and name-recognition to get it installed in a gallery. And sure, I think Chris Matthews is a dope, but not because he's staring off into space as he waits for his live-shot; what the hell else should he be doing with the two minutes he has before air-time? Splitting atoms?

And yeah, John Edwards is a bit girly getting his hair sprayed. But honestly, when I do make my appearance on Paula Zahn, you can bet your ass I'm going to be all dolled up, girlfriend. The hair will be disheveled, but professionaly disheveled, the sort of carefree, natural look that takes a team of well-paid professionals two hours to acheive.

Anyway. Just a case where a hatred of the talentless but unjustly rewarded exceeds my love of political hackery. Sorry.


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posted by Ace at 04:50 AM

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