October 22, 2009

The Meanings of Balloon Boy.

Here are 5:
Liberals Take Their Cues from Balloon Boy...

Balloon Boy Is Out To Get Rush Limbaugh Too...

Balloon Boy Is The Defining Symbol Of Our Times...

Balloon Boy Is The End of Activism...

Balloon Boy Was Magical, When We Still Believed In Him...
Oh, surely, there are more than 5....

33 comments:

Henry said...

A balloon is mostly void.

(just doing my part to promote void day here at Althouse)

David said...

Bad parenting.

traditionalguy said...

Baloon Boy was the Roman Circus put on at the Media Coloseum to keep the Mob happy that there is still a functioning news service while the Propaganda Office for Emperor Obama continues to divert all real news that citizens need into an information blackhole. The Dad was just smart enough to have seen this opportunity first.

Ron said...

So for Halloween I'll go out as a crazy scheming reality show parent with a balloon with a little president in it...

chuck b. said...

I like something I saw on Twitter: Fact-checking is down, but after-the-fact checking is way, way up.

Billy said...

I'm so glad they found balloon boy!... I was afraid Michael Jackson was ordering takeout from heaven.

bagoh20 said...

Back when it first happened, I commented that I thought it was all simply an accident involving nothing but kids screwing up and then lying about it, but I was wrong. It was an adult screwing up and lying. Although it was a mistake, it appears it was no accident. I have now become 1% more cynical, that's what Balloon Boy means to me. I too have lost a little buoyancy.

Frank Lee said...

Balloon boy exposes the lameness of Althouse, who originally posted unskeptically about it and then scolded others days later for not being skeptical.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Balloon Boy is the fault of the Bush administration.

peter hoh said...

The internet does not disappoint: Hilter reacts to Balloon Boy hoax.

Awesome said...

My favorite I saw on Twitter commented on Obama:

Any1 else think the whole nation fascinated by a hotair balloon that turned out 2 be empty just might be symbolic?

bagoh20 said...

Coming this fall to theaters across the nation: Barack Obama IS Balloon Boy!

Comrade X said...

Frank Lee exposes its own genius by constantly changing its nick to insult althouse. why are you so smart Frank Lee, Barry Sr., Chuck R., J.J. Schmidt?

MadisonMan said...

peter: That was excellent.

Fred4Pres said...

The Baloon Boy Song

jaltcoh said...

The mainstream media will accept the word of an 8-year-old boy as the only underlying source for the top news story of the day.

William said...

Balloon Boy is a metaphor for high flown metaphors that contain not a kernel of truth. It's a very meta metaphor.

chickenlittle said...

Can we go back to talking about shelium balloons now?

Quayle said...

Balloon Boy is like the current stock market -- floating up but nothing really there.

Cedarford said...

Frank Lee said...
Balloon boy exposes the lameness of Althouse, who originally posted unskeptically about it and then scolded others days later for not being skeptical.


Frank Lee inadvertently exposes another Balloon Boy meme - dishonest people lying for personal advancement and getting caught.

Not only does Frank Lee change his "handle" frequently in attacking Althouse...being to craven and dishonest to stick to a single Internet name...his core dishonestly leads him to lie about what Althouse posted.

"Ballooon Boy

$%@&*!!"

As if $%@&*!! is manifestation of credulousness.

Frank Lee should realize one thing. No one thinks the Heene Family was cute or admirable in any way.

edutcher said...

I thought at the time it was a little odd to see that balloon wafting along on a spanking breeze, given that your average six year old weighs 50 - 60 pounds and said balloon looked a tad flimsy.

I decided to err on the side of caution, operating on the assumption that kids have done dumber things than this, and expressed hope the kid was OK.

Does that make me susceptible, skeptical, or soft-hearted?

(I know, Montaigne, fls, Freder, whomever will say I'm soft-headed).

MadisonMan said...

Why is the list exclusive? (that is -- why the or?)


:)

Chip Ahoy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

^^^ The spellchecker in text changes my words to something else entirely, a real word but one without meaning in the sentence. It passes if I don't catch it immediately. It changed emblematic to embolic, nothing to noting.

~~~~~

The meanings of Balloon Boy are emblematic of nothing at all. The events mean not a thing beyond what they actually are. The elements of the episode are insufficiently metaphoric to serve as allegory to modern American life, and they're insufficiently analogous to anything else in modern life to represent anything other than themselves. The meanings have nothing to do with liberalism, health care hopes, or bogus Limbaugh quotes, Jon & Kate, the musical Chicago, Paris Hilton, Facebook, other people jumping into the spotlight, nor the end of activism, Kayne West, Anne Frank, or the magic in believing boyhood dreams.

The meanings of the episode as I see them:

* A near pathologic need for instant televised fame for a single individual.

* A willingness to drag one's family into their own nefarious pathology.

* Willingness to hazard the smooth operation of normal flight paths in the pursuit of misguided self promotion.

* A willingness to play against societies' concern for children for the purpose of self-promotion .

* The eagerness of news concerns to cover apparently spectacular and potentially tragic catastrophes whenever it's possible.

* The heartbreaking innocence of children and their inability to grasp the meaning of a larger lie when played out by a person upon whom they're 100% dependent and imbued with total trust.

* The strain abuse in all its forms causes to a marriage and to a family unit.

* The eagerness of state bureaucracy to punish when it realizes it's been punked.

* The paucity of scientific knowledge that leads to theta inability of news readers to discern the difference between two things so completely different as a hot-air balloon and a helium balloon.

* Infantilization of the modern male as demonstrated by age-inappropriate haircut.

* The easy accessibility of fabulous toys.

* Kids think they're great hiders, but they're actually rather easy to find.

* Boys will be boys and when you're a boy at least you have that as an excuse, once you're grown up, though, not so much.

* A fantastic bloggable event.

Theo Boehm said...

Looking for meaning in all the wrong places.

chickenlittle said...

Fantastic rant Chip Ahoy! It could use a little Gil Scott-Heron music in the background is all.

c3 said...

what, what what!!! Wait a minute, did i miss something. What's all this about a Balloon boy

Cedarford said...

I'd add a few things to Chip Ahoy's rant:

1. The inability of journalists and TV news readers or behind scenes producers to analyze events as they unfold. Instead, they play to hype...then try to fit that news into 5-6 preset narratives...such as the Victimhood of the Poor Mother, the Hero cops in charge of making everything perfectly safe again, "imagine how everyone is feeeeeeeelllling!!" narratives.

2. The congenital inability of the Head Cop In Charge to refrain at news conferences from calling his people heroes for doing their job. Or thanking other paid government employees in other jurisdictions from doing their jobs - so heroically...

3. The inability of news people at hour-long Head Cop/Head Mayor In Charge press conferences to get much of any news. In equal parts blame by inane reporter questions" "So how does the Mother of the Victim feeeeeeeel?" to the Head Man's determination to "pimp credit for all his peeps" as the only reason he is standing in front of "journalists".

4. Complete lack of disgust in the media at the deceit and manipulative lies of the grifter family - while such disgust was pervasive in the US people.

michael farris said...

Balloon Boy is punishment for our sins from a petty, spiteful and generally passive aggressive god.

Unless we shape up and clean up, there will be many, many more Balloon Boys, each lamer and more hysterical than the previous Balloon Boy.

Jim Howard said...

Baloon Boy was just another mess caused by BushHitlerChenyBurton that poor old President Obama has to clean up.

kentuckyliz said...

I am going to stop saying, "That will go over like a lead balloon."

Instead, I shall say, "That will go over like a fart in an elevator."

Methadras said...

chickenlittle said...

Fantastic rant Chip Ahoy! It could use a little Gil Scott-Heron music in the background is all.


I was thinking either Sousa or Wagner.

Lauren said...

. Any why is the media CONTINUING TO GIVE HIM EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTS???? Wouldn't the best thing to do in this situation would be for the press to IGNORE this "story"?????