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September 07, 2012

The Matthews Method

I have an insight into Chris Matthews.

Hat tip to Dave S., who did that Matthews parody last week, predicting, hilariously, Matthews' reaction to Clint Eastwood:

You know what strikes me? You got this guy, Clint Eastwood, he gets up there and he just looks angry. He looks like an angry, old, white man. And he's speaking to a group of angry, old, white men. So it plays well in the house, but this guy is detached from the pain of those that are left out.

I start to watch this guy, the scowl on his face, and it occurs to me that his role in Gran Torino was more of a biography than anything.

Perfect. And this set my mind to considering Chris Matthews', for lack of a better term, "style."

Chris Matthews realizes that a knock on liberal men is that they are effete and kind of effeminate. So I think he's made the conscious decision to overcompensate, by playing up a near-caricature of the Regular Red-Blooded Blue-Collar Guy Who Throws Back a Gin & Tonic or Nine At the Local Irish Pub.

But I say this is a caricature, because I'm pretty sure Chris Matthews' list of blue collar friends begins at his doorman and ends at his Artisan Tea Barista. Because his idea of "being blue collar" is to deliberate putting things into terms several degrees cruder and more juvenile than necessary.

He definitely doesn't want you to think he's an egghead or refined. Mission accomplished -- I don't. But then, does everything have to be this crude level of playground machismo? Rewind the tape from that statement in a previous post:

He the most powerful statement tonight he made is, I am the President. I am the President, and you're not, and I've had to do the tough things of leading this country, and you haven't, and you don't have a clue about foreign policy. It's all new to you, and you think all we have to do is take two tax cuts to solve our common cold because you don't have a clue as to how to solve this country's challenges. It was a profound statement of, I've got the best position in this country and in this race, because I am doing the job and you're just twiddling your fingers, thinking about what it might be like to be President. And that is huge...

It's all this crude parody of what Bubba -- or not Bubba, an urban Irish Bubba, a Paddy -- down at the bar is thinking. Or what Matthews thinks he's thinking. Which is insulting to Bubba, or Paddy.

His idea of "blue collar" is this never-ending stream of loud, drunken beer-swilled machismo; all gin-fueled pissing match, dick waggling bluster.

And it sounds really false from Chris Matthews (except for the gin-fueled part). Matthews, despite attempting to carve out a niche for himself as a Real Regular-Joe Who Also Likes Barack Obama a Whole Heck of a Lot, is, let's be honest, a soft chubby butterball who would most likely shit himself if an actual Real Man chinned up to him.

But this is what he does, day in, day out. It's all this punk mouth. Blue collar = punk mouth, in his mind.

You know, if you're R. Lee Ermey, I can accept this kind of talk. (Then again, I bet old Gunny is confident enough in his masculinity that he speaks less crudely than this.)

But if you're a soft, fat butterball of the exact effete urban pinky-out metrosexual type you're trying to define yourself against, then it all sounds pretty stupid. It sounds like an act, and it is an act, and the act is tired.

I think Chris Matthews is very similar to the Maureen Dowd in this, in as much as Chris Matthews tries to channel, I don't know, the mindthoughts of some macho masculine male man he once admired in West Side Story, Maureen Dowd's schtick is to channel, even in her advancing age, the snotty, bitchy eighth-grade Mean Girl she probably once was.

And that act is getting even cuter every day closer she gets to 60, let me tell you.

Matthews is what, 60? 63? 66? I don't know. Too old for this act, anyway.

For both of them: It's time to put away childish things. Let's start using our lower registers here. Let's start using our Adult Voices. Let's stop playing the punk and the bitch and try competing on the adult field of play.

Let's drop the whole schtick of pretending to be dumber and cruder than you both really are, because neither of you is terribly smart or elevated to begin with, so you haven't much margin for error here.

If you want to test my theory, try taking a very simple observation -- very obvious, very dumb -- but then do it Chris Matthews style, adding a lot of pointless dick-waggling bluster and unnecessary explication to it. Like, making it more difficult to understand with your unnecessarily convoluted analogy.

Like let's say you want to say Obama's got a confident, but easy, manner that appeals to many women. Simple enough, right? Here's that dumb observation, Matthews-fied:

It's like he's just this guy, right? And he knows who he is. And he's got a little swagger to him, a little Mick Jagger in the jimmy-leg, but not so much that you notice.

But your gal notices.

And this guy, right, he notices your gal, too, and that's a problem for you, because this guy's been around.

Bras aren't a mystery to this guy. He knows a clasp from a hook. He's touched base. He's tagged up. He knows his way around a hooter.

And that's how Obama wins Ohio.

It's this torrent of retarded gutter nonsense all to illustrate a point that hardly admitted of any additional clarification in the first place. It's like his idea of a real journalist is Bob Guccione.

Try it and tell me I'm wrong.


digg this
posted by Ace at 10:58 AM

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