While driving home from work, I heard a little news bulletin on the radio about controversy surrounding a recent Peloton ad. Peloton is some kind of high-end exercise bike that features videos of instructors shouting at you in that obnoxious, oddly stentorian way that hyper-motivational athletic types use when coaching quasi-sports for middle-aged women. You know the kind of voice I mean.
Apparently, the ad is “cringeworthy” because it features a woman working out, and then thanking her husband for the gift (presumably on the Christmas following the one where she received the bike). Also, the woman is attractive and already thin; never mind that we’re supposed to be “healthy at any size” (a concept, as my girlfriend explained to me, that does not mean we pretend 400-pound land monsters gobbling dozens of Quarter Pounders a day are “healthy,” but that a person can pursue a healthy lifestyle even if he’s morbidly obese).
The shrill feminists denouncing the ad are saying that the husband is shaming his wife into becoming even thinner—never mind that maybe she wanted an easy way to workout at home (skinny people can be unhealthy in their habits, too). Throughout the commercial, the wife records her progress, and critics are pointing out the anxious look on her face, suggesting she’s pleading for her husband’s affection.
When I was in college, I formed this ridiculous pseudo-band with a suitemate of mine (who has, apparently, now gone down some dark roads) called Blasphemy’s Belt, which my bio on another band’s website refers to as an “electro-pop humor duo.” I can’t remember how we came up with the name—our music wasn’t particularly or purposefully blasphemous (or good), and while we wore belts, they weren’t outrageous (just to keep our pants up)—but it was apparently catchy enough that people picked up on it.
The Belt never performed live, other than for an annoyed roommate, and a highly grating pop-up concert (at least, that’s what hipsters would call it nowadays) on our floor’s study room, but we generated enough buzz to get people to vote for us in a “Best of Columbia” survey in The Free Times. We didn’t win anything, but it was an object lesson in how enough hype can make people believe you have substance when you really don’t.
Rather than issue a grovelling apology, Carlson challenged anyone who took issue with his comments to come onto his show and debate him—what we used to do in the United States when we disagreed with someone.
Last night, Carlson opened his hit show on Fox News with a blistering monologue, calling out Media Matters and its tawdry relationship with other mainstream media outlets and the Democratic Party. Carlson called CNN anchor Brian Stelter the “house eunuch at CNN.”
It just goes to show that you can’t cuck the Tuck. Hopefully Fox News backs up their host. It’s also interesting seeing how based Tucker Carlson was as far back as 2006, which suggests he’s sincere in his populist peccadilloes.
I was wrong, as were most conservative (and some progressive) commentators: President Trump was right to hold out for a real State of the Union Address, rather than reviving the Jeffersonian tradition of the written address.
It was an address that was optimistic and accurate. Unlike most SOTU addresses, which tend to be tedious attempts to inflate small bits of good news beyond all reasonable proportions, Trump’s 2019 address described, in detail, just how great America is, and how far we’ve come in two short years.
It’s little wonder Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wanted to cancel the speech: how do Democrats respond to that? The first part of the speech was full of positive economic news, news that can’t be ignored or denied. The president detailed explosive wage and job growth, including the lowest unemployment rates for black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans in history.
Beyond the economic good news—and the vow that the United States will never be a socialist country—it was a fun speech (well, it was a bit long, and dragged a smidge, but not much). Even Democrats started getting up and dancing around at one point! Congress sang “Happy Birthday” to a Holocaust survivor. President Trump cut some jokes, and was clearly having a blast. As any performer knows, if you’re having fun on stage, the people in the audience will have fun, too.
If you missed the speech, go to YouTube, shut the office door, and fire that baby up while you file TPS reports. You won’t regret it.
Remember The Twilight Zone, those short, weird vignettes from the early days of television? Every episode featured some bizarre, last-minute twist, usually delivered with plenty of over-acting and frantic hysterics.