Buzz Words

NosferatuI remember a day more than twenty years ago, back when I was a teaching assistant in a course on European cinema at a huge state university deep in the land of white bread and mayonnaise. The professor was lecturing on FW Murnau’s Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens.

I’m just paraphrasing here, but this is basically what he said:

Don’t think of the vampire as a literal monster who can turn into a bat and who sucks blood from his victims. Instead, think of the foreigner, the other, the stranger, the alien, the carrier of unfamiliar diseases and strange customs… the Jew.

I watched him make this statement, and saw that he was making an effort to look out over the entire lecture hall, but that as hard as he tried, by the time he got to the end of it, his eyes were focused right… on… me. All I could do was smile right back at him, and that was enough to jar him into averting his gaze.

I was reminded of that incident while watching the Republican convention last night. The major speakers didn’t bother with even a sliver of subtlety. They polished up their old culture war buzz words and held them up like they were eternal truths.

Mitt Romney jumped all over the “eastern elites,” and proclaimed that the sun was getting ready to rise in the west. He left out the fact that he holds two post-graduate degrees from Harvard University, that he’s a leader of the eastern financial elite, that he has homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire in addition to Utah (and maybe a few places I’m not aware of), that he claimed in 1982 to be a moderate who hadn’t supported Reagan-Bush, and that his own father was born in Mexico because his family had lived there in exile for a few generations due to the fact that a major tenet of their religious beliefs was deemed alien, immoral, and illegal in the US.

Mike Huckabee warned us of “European ideas,” leaving out the fact that this nation was founded by idealists who hoped to build a nation based on the ideas of a couple of European philosophers.

And Rudy Giuliani, life-long New Yorker, adulterer and three-time groom, multi-millionaire orator and security consultant to folks like Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, a supporter of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, further warned us that those bi-coastal elites — Hollywood and the East coast media — just don’t understand the real America.

And every time they mentioned the media, Europe, or Hollywood, I’d look in their faces and see that professor (who grew up in Los Angeles, by the way) who just couldn’t keep his eyes off the one Jew in the room when he talked about the Other.

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The Church Ladies

Guess where everyone’s favorite lying sack of shit was Sunday morning. While you’re at it, guess who was there with him. Yes, it’s true. Rudy, who considered the priesthood in his youth but apparently gave it up because he couldn’t stop thinking about super hot chicks (a problem we can only hope his third marriage will finally relieve), was at a church in Miami with Katherine Harris: the Hispanic evangelical El Rey Jesus church, to be precise.

I don’t know how often Rudy normally attends services, but the Daily News pretty clearly implies that he’s not a regular churchgoer these days.

For the mayor – who as a young man considered the priesthood – it marked the sudden discovery of God on the campaign trail, with a speech that was part sermon and part political pitch.

In other words, he’s pandering! Not only that, but Mr. English Only was pandering at a bilingual church. It’s almost as good as Romney speaking out against layoffs.

Rudy Giuliani and Katherine Harris at a church

Rumor has it that later this week he’s going to get a handgun and stand outside a Planned Parenthood clinic threatening anyone who’s walking in. Then he’s going to get those two gay men he used to live with and lock them up with one of those ex-gay counselors until they’re just begging for Rudy’s sloppy seconds.

Hat tip to Crooks and Liars

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