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February 09, 2009

Ferrell's Freudian Slip

When we were just a rosy cheeked little Editorial Staff and ran crying to our mother over some childhood slight, she wisely counseled that the petty torments of those who revel in the pain or humiliation of their fellow humans reveal more about the character of the tormentor than they do about the supposed flaws of their victims.

Her words were the first thing which sprang to mind when we read this story:

Last night, I wrote about how BDS was alive and well in NYC and on prominent display in a show that has been running on Broadway since the inauguration that makes fun of our 43rd president using, among other things, a picture of a male part of the anatomy being commented on by an “actor” who resembles a male part of the anatomy.

Anyway, if you think that was bad, make sure you read the write-up the NY Post has on the show. It doesn’t just bash Bush; it bashes our troops, too (via Don Surber):

Pointless? Pretty much, but near the end of the show things turn tasteless as well. Ferrell/Bush asks the audience for a moment of silence to honor our troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the performance I saw, most of the audience members went silent but a few tittered nervously. Who can blame them? This is a comedy show. They were expecting a gag, and they soon got one.

After a few seconds of silence a phone on the stage rings, and everyone laughs. The relief is palpable. Hurrah! That thing about honoring our war dead? It really was just the setup to a joke!

Ferrell/Bush is startled by the noise too, because he’s already told us that the phone is just a prop that isn’t connected to anything. He picks up the phone, listens for a second and says, “I didn’t know ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ is playing! I love Tom Wopat too!” Then he tells the audience that he was afraid God was calling him on the phone. “Swear to God - I thought I was having a heart attack in my butt hole!”

The problem is, during what turned out to be merely a pause to set up the punchline, I actually was thinking about our war dead, and so were a lot of others. Left and right, we all believe, or supposedly do, in honoring the sacrifice of our servicemen and women.

Here, Hollywood is letting its mask slip. Ferrell and his director Adam McKay are so confident that everyone shares their contempt for Bush that they slosh over into contempt for all things associated with Bush: the show includes cracks about Texas, Christianity, and finally the military.

The military is the military. It isn’t going to whine. It isn’t going to organize a team of protesters to cause a ruckus in front of the Cort Theatre. It is just going to keep its head down and drive on.

A moment of truth here: we, too, have had our moments of discomfort with veneration of all things military. Though at first blush it's comforting to see the decline and fall of the John Forgainst Kerryesque narrative in which American soldiers are either helpless victims or deranged postal workers in training, it's hard to see unconditional support for the military as any more healthy for this country in the long run.

This is why we've been so critical, on occasion, of the creeping sense of entitlement sometimes encountered on military forums. That this mentality represents understandable pushback against over the top attacks from some on the anti-war left may make behavior that violates our values easier to sympathize with; but it does not and cannot excuse it. The last thing the military needs is to become a mob of next generation Jesse Jacksons constantly holding the civilian community hostage to some idealized alternative reality, in which every service member along with their spouses and children (heh... she said "member") is automagically anointed with the mantle of heroism simply because we served.... and they didn't.

Let's face it peoples: civilian or military, we all put on our Hanes ultrasheers one leg at a time and there are many ways to serve this country. The military does not hold a monopoly on civic virtue or patriotism.

That said, it speaks volumes when a man chooses to perform what has been pretty uniformly deemed a one man show that "really isn't about Bush. It's about us" in front of a giant penis.

Exactly what it says, I leave it to you to decide.

Posted by Cassandra at February 9, 2009 05:54 AM

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My old man joined the Army in 1935 still looking for adventure after "cowboying" in Arizona and New Mexico for a few years. He landed at Casablanca with Patton and spent the war crawling into places where he could locate Kraut positions for his unit's artillery. When we were kids he complained about goddamn 4-F bastards. He said Kennedy was lying about Vietnam and it was going to be bigger than Korea. When Vietnam ruined his Army he complained about goddamn draftee bastards--of whom his Colonel sent the most troublesome to him for counseling. When my brother was getting close to 18, the old Sarge told us that under no circumstances were we to get drafted and become cannon fodder for the goddamn politicians. He suggested the Air Force to by brother, noting they had the best food, and he said nothing to me, knowing I would find a way to stay out. He would be very proud of his Army today but would never accept more than a fair shake and appreciation for a job well done. Will Ferrell he would refer to as a sorry bastard, which says it all.

Posted by: Gary Ogletree at February 9, 2009 07:53 AM

...a picture of a male part of the anatomy being commented on by an “actor” who resembles a male part of the anatomy.

Nah. He's got more in common with a part of *human* anatomy -- and a flaming, gaping one, at that...

Posted by: BillT at February 9, 2009 09:45 AM

I am riding with the Patriot Guard Riders at 10:30 a.m. today to stand a flag line at the cemetery that is the final resting place of a warrior my age who served during Viet Nam.

Our motto is "Standing for those who stood for us." Unfortunately, it also has the intent of protecting 'those who stood for us' from those who take their liberties for granted.

Note to Ogletree; The 'Old Sarge' understood all to well the virtue presented by Shakespeare in
Henry V, St. Crispin Day speech.

Particular attention be paid to that part reading;

...Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

GOD Bless 'Ole Sarge' and the warrior/heroes that paid the price for freedom througout our history.

Posted by: vet66 at February 9, 2009 10:44 AM

Bless you for doing that.

We have several Patriot Guard members amongst the Villainry. They were in attendence at a Memorial Day ceremony the Spousal Unit and I attended last year - I was dying to hop on board one of the cycles (I was offered a ride over to the VFW to have a beer afterwards) but I was wearing a suit and I think my skirt would have hiked up unacceptably high on my leg as on your much-beloved pinup at the top of my site ;p

Regretfully, I decided to let discretion be the better part of valor. Drawback of preferring stockings to pantyhose.

Sometimes it's no fun pretending to be a lady...


Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2009 10:51 AM

I do *not* wear Ultrasheers. They make my legs look all splotchy.

And the run if you just look at them funny.

Which, when you think about it - happens a lot if I wear them.

But I'm with ya on we can carry the veneration too far piece.

It's made me uncomfortable a time or two - and, I think it's also made us (and I was guilty of this) too quick to make [sic] offense. Such as when we reacted to the percieved slight of the Super Bowl Honor Guard, when we were, in fact, wrong.

And we essentially bullied the NFL into doing what we wanted, and did them a disservice in the doing of it.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 9, 2009 12:34 PM


That was precisely what I was thinking of. Although there have been plenty of other examples. That dimwit with the 2 acre yard being a prime example.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 9, 2009 01:20 PM

Long before he made a big splash streaking in Old School, I told everyone that was willing to listen that Will Ferrell is the second-unfunniest man paid a lot of money to be funny (#1 on the list? Pauly Shore), and that the decline of Saturday Night Live could be gauged by the fact that he was the go-to guy for laughs. His diving to the depth of making a toddler use longshoreman language in his web video shows not only how base and simplistic comedy has become nowadays, but also how simple the people that laugh at it are. This also explains the continuing success of Family Guy, the content of which would have been unthinkable on primetime TV (on Sundays, no less) back when some Americans were shocked at Married With Children.

FWIW: Topping my current list of unfunny funny folks? Taking over the spot once held by Al Franken, Ms. Sarah Silverman. Number One with a bullet.

Posted by: L.N. Smithee at February 9, 2009 02:34 PM

"Sometimes it's no fun pretending to be a lady..."

I'm not going to do it. No.way. I.refuse.

Posted by: Austin Powers at February 9, 2009 02:59 PM

"Sometimes it's no fun pretending to be a lady..."
I'd bet that Ferrell has a similar thought, at least when he pretends to be a man.

Posted by: bthun at February 9, 2009 08:04 PM

Will Ferrell is a simple tool who never grew beyond sophmoric fraternity boy hi hinks at USC.

But you raise an interesting point about the military and civilian abuse/adulation. The military is composed of people; some do well, some don't. Some will be true warriors going out "where the Iron Crosses grow" to paraphrase an old movie; and some will get out of theatre as soon as they have three grains of rice in their worthless backside. Some will go to the front lines and never fire a shot because they're frozen with fear.

The military responds to civilian control; they quite properly wish that their lives not be wasted by feckless politicians. It's been the United States' good fortune that, faced with contumely from silly civilians or President's wives, the military has usually said, "Don't mean a thing, drive on."

But faced with colossal putzes like Ferrell, it's tough to adopt that attitude.

Posted by: Mike Myers at February 9, 2009 11:40 PM

I do *not* wear Ultrasheers.

The difference between John and me.

I never would have thought the fact that I don't wear 'em was worth mentioning...

Posted by: BillT at February 10, 2009 06:17 AM

Oooooh snap! :p

Posted by: Cassandra at February 10, 2009 06:25 AM

FWIW, I agree with you, Mike.

Every day I see them do things that really torque me and I have to grab myself by the scruff of the neck and wave off. The medal of honor inaugural ball was one of those things. I saw that very early and wanted to write about it, but at some point this stuff just becomes an outrage-fest.

I will wait and see what he does next year. I am not about jumping all over every little misstep (and to me, that wasn't a "little" misstep). But in the larger scheme of things this is a huge country and the guy's got a million things he's juggling. Taking offense over every perceived slight is really a bit much.

Given, he hasn't a clue about military etiquette or traditions and he really needs to get one, buy one, whatever. But I don't expect him to hit the ground running on day one. Being a progressive he isn't culturally or philosophically inclined to know or care about this sort of thing and it is bound to be a huge shock to the system.

Also, I wasn't aware John had opined on the Stuperbowl brouhaha, so that wasn't aimed at him ;p

Almost wrote about that one too but in the end decided to reserve my ammunition for times when it actually matters. Couldn't see getting my knickers all in a twist over something like that. It just shows to go you, though, that people do get 'sensitized' to certain issues on both sides of the political spectrum and this can cause us to go a bit hermitile. I know that I have done so in the past.

That is one reason I'm trying to go with a 'less heat, more light' policy. It won't get you linked but hopefully it ratchets down the animosity level a bit.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 10, 2009 06:38 AM

"Also, I wasn't aware John had opined on the Stuperbowl brouhaha, so that wasn't aimed at him ;p"

Horrid Harridan. Boldly admitting you only read me if I stuff your mailbox.

And Bill - to busy to post, but not too busy to commit a drive-by snarking on me in a different corner of the Blogiverse when he should be doing some 'tooning...

Oh, and like I didn't deliberately hand you guys that line to play with.

You act like yer original or something...

What is that Cassie always does at this point?

Oh, yeah: ;P

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 10, 2009 12:31 PM

I joined the military in 1977 and am still in to this day, although I'm getting close to retiring (later this year). Saw a lot of places and met a lot of folks during my 30+ years, enjoyed it immensely. I've also been appreciative of the support & thanks the American people have extended to me and other troops in the field, but like most GIs, it's kinda embarrassing at times. None of us are ten feet tall, nor, unfortunately bullet-proof. But there is a bit of pride in being able to say "been there, done that".

Not exactly sure what a Hanes ultrasheer is, but I'll take your word on the one leg at a time thing; some sort of stocking?


Posted by: Tater at February 10, 2009 12:50 PM

They're expensive stockings :p

Posted by: Cassandra at February 10, 2009 01:12 PM

And they make my legs look all splotchy.

Heh. I'm bored today, and you're paying the price.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at February 10, 2009 03:58 PM

...but not too busy to commit a drive-by snarking on me in a different corner of the Blogiverse when he should be doing some 'tooning...

I haven't figured out how to get Spandex™ inserts into the frames your frame is in...

Posted by: BillT at February 11, 2009 06:04 AM