June 19, 2007

The new Hillary Clinton video is a take on the last scene of "The Sopranos."



It's clever, the way the video uses the jukebox business from the last "Sopranos" episode to remind us of Hillary's theme song contest. In case you care, I'll just tell you that the winner is "You and I," sung by Celine Dion, and if for some reason, you actually want to listen to that song, click here.

So what do we think of this video? The NYT political blogger Kate Phillips proclaims it "the best campaign spot we’ve seen this season." I don't think so. It was amusing seeing a cameo from Johnny Sack, but I've got some problems.

1. Not everyone gets HBO, so you've got a cultural reference that's a bit elitist. And some people wait for the DVDs, and they rankle at spoilers. But maybe everyone's supposed to have heard about the ending by now. Still, it might rub you the wrong way, to assume familiarity with "The Sopranos." And lots of Americans don't even approve of watching a show that is permeated with violence, obscene language, graphic sex, and the subjugation of women.

2. Do we really want to think of Bill and Hillary sitting in for Tony and Carmela? Tony is a monstrous criminal and Carmela willfully blinds herself to his horrible flaws so that she can keep living in a highly desirable house. Are these good associations for Hillary?

3. Bill is a much better actor than Hillary, and this heightens the sense that she's a pale substitute for the old President we can no longer have.

4. Bill says "No onion rings?" and Hillary responds "I'm looking out for ya." Now, the script says onion rings, because that's what the Sopranos were eating in that final scene, but I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the "O" of an onion ring is a vagina symbol. Hillary says no to that, driving the symbolism home. She's "looking out" all right, vigilant over her husband, denying him the sustenance he craves. What does she have for him? Carrot sticks! The one closest to the camera has a rather disgusting greasy sheen to it. Here, Bill, in retaliation for all of your excessive "O" consumption, you may have a large bowl of phallic symbols! When we hear him say "No onion rings?," the camera is on her, and Bill is off-screen, but at the bottom of the screen we see the carrot/phallus he's holding toward her. Oh, yes, I know that Hillary supplying carrots is supposed to remind that Hillary will provide us with health care, that she's "looking out for" us, but come on, they're carrots! Everyone knows carrots are phallic symbols. But they're cut up into little carrot sticks, you say? Just listen to yourself! I'm not going to point out everything.

ADDED: 5. The scene, as derived from "The Sopranos," is designed to create anxiety that an assassination is about to take place. Having Johnny Sack walk by and glare at her preserves that feeling of threat. It's supposed to work because with "The Sopranos," we were waiting to find out how the series would end, but here we are waiting to learn the outcome of the song contest, but it's pushing the envelope for the campaign to suggest an act of violence toward the candidate.

UPDATE: This post has spawned a whole subgenre of anti-Althousiana. I discuss that here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I have another post on the subject here. Excerpt:
A quirky post about a Clinton campaign video touched off a giant blog swarm and what I think was my highest traffic day ever. Based on an earlier blog swarm last September, I now know that what sets the left blogosphere into intense, concerted action is calling attention to Bill Clinton's old sexual problems. I wonder why....

I just want to emphasize that I stand by my original sexual interpretation. You've got a married couple talking about two foods, one of which is obviously a hole, and the other of which is so clearly phallic that this Google search gets over 70,000 hits.

The man wants the hole-shaped item, and the woman forbids it. She insists that he confine himself to the phallic item, which has been sliced down to puny, thin stick form. The man looks at it sadly, and the woman tells him it's for his own good. If you don't see sexual imagery there, you exist on a very narrow band of human imagination....

When Clinton sadly bites into the carrot stick of his own castration, it makes a crunch noise -- ouch! -- and it's that noise that causes the ominous looking man at the bar ("Johnny Sack") to turn and look at him. He then walks by and gives him a glare. What does that glare mean in the Clinton video? I think it means: "What kind of man are you?"

227 comments:

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Ann Althouse said...

Ben: You are exactly the sort of person I was referring to in the next post (linked in the update) when I said: "Maybe you just sit there pleasantly and think: Isn't it clever for Hillary to use the "Sopranos" scene as a device for informing us about her new campaign song and to include some cute business where she alludes to her concern about health care by having a nice bowl of carrots instead of the onion rings they had on "The Sopranos"? If so, aren't you the good little voter, accepting the message Senator Clinton hoped to insert in your receptacle of a brain? The famously controlled former First Lady is pleased there are people like you"

And there you are, all pleased with yourself about the woeful one-dimensional state of your mind.

benj. said...

oh wow, wow. yeah, you are totally nuts. totally nuts. i was reading along, and i thought it was going to just be the usual level of tortured logic and sophomoric analysis, but dammmnnnn if you didn't send that one right out into the stratosphere! i mean, ... wow.

Ann Althouse said...

benj. -- are you the same as ben, grown a j? Anyway, why bother to write something like that? You're just repeating the same point and not finding any interesting words. "Wow" is a pretty weak observation. What lameness... I wanted to respond to something and there are just 100 comments telling me I'm crazy. Booooring.

andrewsac said...

Ann-

I see that all you can do is comment on the sex stuff. For Shame! No take on my other musings? Maybe nothing constuctive to say about her 8 years as first lady, or her landslide victory in New York, or her Senate victory that made history? How about her lead in the polls, despite crazies like you tearing her down? I thought you conservatives LOVED people who could stay married in adversity, or did Rudy, Newt, and all the rest get your stamp of approval just because they had an R in front of the name? Unreal. Guess saving their marriage gets a big thumbs down from you. (In case you missed it, Newt left his first two wives after he cheated, and Rudy announced his divorce at a press confrence after divorcing his cousin to marry HER!) Nothing on Bush and his lies either. Pathetic. It seems that you are stuck on the homophobia and mysoginy too. Careful - your prejudice is showing! When you are ready to talk about why you are uncomfortable being in charge of your own orgasm, post again. I enjoy our little talks.

Shoes4Industry said...

It's too bad you went off on that onion ring / carrot stick jag, because your other observations are spot on, along with those fellow traveler Maureen Dowd.

The video PROVES that Hillary does not have the GOOD JUDGMENT and common SENSE to be the defacto leader of the Free World, which is becoming LESS free by the minute.

Too bad she doesn't have the simple self awareness to realize this and STEP DOWN and end this fools mission she's on while she still has a shred of dignity.

gman said...

Sometimes an onion ring is just an onion ring. Ann, you're mixing up you meds again. Get thee to rehab, like yesterday!

expatbrian said...

everything I have heard is true. You are a jerk. The Soprano's is considered by many experts to be the very best that has ever been on TV. Any candidate would be doing well to be as popular as Tony and Carmella. If you have a problem with violence, maybe you ought to join the cause of getting our troops out of the illegal war in Iraq. If you have a problem with bad language, grow up and join the real world. If you have a problem with sexual content, well, I'm sure you do have a PROBLEM with that.

Craig C Clarke said...

Nobody has adequately explained what the deep-fried vagina rings in the Sopranos episode were meant to symbolize.

TheGayGrandpa said...

My penis is not a carrot stick. Lady haven't you got anything better to do? How absurd you are and disgusting, get your mind out of the gutter. It only reflects bad on you!

ReverendS said...

This whole "Onion Ring Vagina" debacle is my first exposure to the writings of Althouse. As far as first impressions go, it isn't a great one.

It reminds me of the minor controversy when Hillary was first running for office, and a Best of Billy Joel cd was used for some easy listening background music. Word got out that the song Captain Jack, a song featuring references to drug use and masturbation, was on the play list, and Giuliani immediately called a press conference to declare the Captain Jack song proof that the Democrats are the "Pro Drug, Pro Masturbation Party."

In short, when you have to push this hard to criticize someone, you just come off rather sad and pathetic. Give it a rest and give us some useful commentary.

announcerguy said...

Here's another Freudian riddle for you to analyze, Ann: southern Utah contains landmarks with peculiar and suggestive shapes. They're named "Molly's Nipple" and "Box Death Hollow."

Both of them are in the vicinity that President Clinton designated as a national monument in 1996. Coincidence??

I'll anxiously await your interpretation, based upon your Freud-filtered-through-Fellini amateur analysis.

There's one more famous quote of Freud's to keep in mind - "One is very crazy when in love."

My analysis? You're obviously in love with Hillary. What else would explain such hostility towards Bill...and why would you help her spread her video via viral marketing?

Yes, you're crazy, Ann...like a fox.

Joseph said...

Show me on the doll where he touched you.

RiskMan said...

First time on this blog. I don't think I'll be bookmarking it. Since there is no such thing as a funny conservative I have to assume this person takes herself and her ideas somewhat seriously, in which case I can only assume the writer suffers from a yet undiagnosed emotional disorder. And I am now suffering from a headache, having read the entire post. God help us.

Frank said...

Ann Althouse said: So, the homophobia of the left emerges alongside the misogyny. There's this notion that because you're on the left these things don't count against you. But they do. Shame!

Ann? Yo, Frank again. I said you that it seems you're a blatant, butch lesbian. I never said there was anything wrong with that. But you're pretty hostile to it. Are you equating homosexuality with misogyny? WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM WITH LESBIANS?

Embrace yourself, embrace Hillary. The place you're in must be very lonely...

Ann Althouse said...

Frank, you know very well that you meant it as a cruel insult and that marks you as homophobic. Shame on you.

Kevin Wolf said...

I don't think I've ever read anything so lazy and dumb. Cheap Freudianism mascarading as political analysis. I think. I'm not sure because the post is too poorly thought out to have any real meaning.

Ann Althouse said...

Kevin: It's not my fault they put cheap Freudian imagery in their video!

Windyridge said...

Good grief! You are reading way to much into this clip. It's hilarious. I never saw the show but heard so much about it and saw the scene on the web. Talk about over analysing this to death.

Frank said...

My annunciating my suspicion that you may be lesbian is an insult? THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A LESBIAN. I don't know why you're offended.

You can take issues with my analysis, but it's several fold more supportable than your own about the Clintons, music and onion rings. The crux of my analysis, Ann, is that I think you've got some serious projection going on. And you've expressed very clearly that you're very angry about my evoking the "L" word to characterize your projection.

Any homophobia here, Ann, is not being expressed by me. Heck, 'some of my best friends are lesbians...' I even live with one (no kidding). Your discomfort, however, comes across loud and clear.

Take it as you will, Ann. Your analysis of onion rings says a lot more about you than it ever could about Senator Clinton's presidential campaign...

USpace said...

Ya gotta love the PIAPS!

if you're MAD
punish your country
- VOTE for Hillary
.

James said...

The song Hillary should have chosen:

"The Bitch is Back"

The Exalted said...

Ann Althouse said...
Kevin: It's not my fault they put cheap Freudian imagery in their video!


um, you think the professionals in hillary's camp put freudian imagery in her campaign commercial? with onion rings? and, given bill's rather famous history with unhealthy eating, this is the most plausible inference for you?

surely, surely, you are not this stupid.

Ann Althouse said...

Exalted: Apparently, you are stupid enough to think video only has one level. News alert: there are multiple levels in video, and when a married couple, especially one with a well-know sexual problem, has an argument about carrots and onion rings, there is a sexual level to it. Wake up.

Devil's Advocate said...

Althouse is the poster child for Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

If the incident about Jessica Valenti's breasts had not convinced people that Althouse is demented, this will.

The woman belongs in a mental institution, not a university.

scott said...

mrs. obama said america is "ignorant" and "just downright mean."

scott said...

look at all the hillary hate here.

Mary Beth said...

Why did they pick a song by a Canadian?

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