Events of the past two weeks have reminded me of the quote from Hunter S. Thompson: "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." And the pros turned out in force, in virtually every field. Here are some of the highlights:
1. It all started with the MTV Video Music Awards
on September 9. Britney Spears
opened the show with a dance number that garnered reviews reminscent of Dean Wormer
of "Animal House"
fame ("fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life"). Britney's performance also spawned an especially passionate response
by the extremely androgynous and appropriately named Chris Crocker
. Chris' performance in turned garnered numerous satirical imitations. Expect Crocker to receive personal appearance contracts from the same folks who signed William Hung
to his record deal.
2. O.J. Simpson.
Need I say more? On the night of Thursday, September 13, O.J. Simpson and his buddies stormed a Las Vegas hotel room and robbed some sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint of numerous items which O.J. claims are his. One of the robbers taped himself committing the robbery (can you hear the weirdness meter breaking?), and the audio tape also demonstrated that the gang trapped the dealers in the hotel room, which, under the law, is kidnapping. Three days later, the police arrested O.J. and charged him with 6 felonies and other offenses that could land him in jail for life.
3. In the world of politics, September 19-20 registered especially high on the crazy scale. The Democrats, who were elected to the majority in Congress last November, suddenly forgot that they control the place. On Wednesday, they failed to pass an amendment by Scots Irish tough guy Senator Jim Webb of Virginia to give our troops as much time at home between military deployments as they spend in combat. The same day, the Democrats failed to get a majority for Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd's bill to restore Habeas Corpus, the right of detainees to challenge their detention in federal court. It's not often that both support for our troops and our Constitution get thrown in the garbage on the same day.
The next day was no better. On Thursday, the Democrats failed to muster enough votes to pass a bill from Senators Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Harry Reid of Nevada, the Senate Majority Leader, to force troop withdrawals from Iraq by next June, by limiting funding of the Iraq War after that point to non-combat duties such as redeployment of our troops.
Then, in the final blow, the Democrats not only allowed a ludicrous resolution from Republican Senator John Cornyn
condemning the MoveOn.org General Petreus ad
to come to the Senate floor for a vote (the Democrats get to control what does and does not get voted on), 23 Senate Democrats actually voted for the resolution. It was an obvious trap set by the Republicans, whereby President Bush let Petreus spout Bush's Iraq policy so that any criticism of the policy would be seen as criticism of our patriotic General. The Democrats fell into the trap completely. I challenge anyone to go to MoveOn.org, read the ad
, whose facts are sourced and footnoted, and then tell me which part of it is inaccurate. Then again, I didn't think Britney Spears' performance at the VMAs was as bad as everyone says either, so maybe I'm just a contrarian.
4. On Friday, Rudolph Giuliani
spoke before the National Rifle Association
. Giuliani had previously called the NRA members "extremists" and has hammered them for, among other things, opposing the Assault Weapons ban. So he had to be on his best behavior, right? Not quite. In the middle of his speech, Giuliani takes a call on his cell phone, and starts talking to his wife.
5. The two-week crazy festival was capped by the appearance of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University yesterday. In what was perhaps the strangest and rudest introduction in history, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger, who, after all, invited Ahmadinejad to speak in the first place, goes on a long tirade against the Iranian President, calling him "a petty and cruel dictator" to his face.
Ahmadinejad lobbed the craziness ball back in Bollinger's court when, in response to a question about the Iranian government's reported killing of homosexuals, he replied, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country ... I don't know who's told you that we have this." The auditorium erupted in laughter. Ahmadinejad went on to say that the Holocaust never happened, "Israel? What Israel?", and that Iran does not support terrorists but does give aid to the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
Hopefully, now that this two weeks of insanity has passed, we can get back to hooker-chasing Senators, celebrities dashing off to rehab, invading and occupying countries that didn't attack us, and other signs of normality in 2007 America.