October 13, 2012

"Anything as perfect and simple-sounding as this motto is always in danger of becoming a cliché..."

"...  but there’s nothing like putting it in the mouths of politicians to speed up that process."

What's the point of a catchphrase? You want it to catch on and then you want to control it? Speech doesn't work like that. Words have a life of their own. Phrases are born, have their narrative arcs, and sometimes they die — that is, they come to be regarded as clichés, and then no one wants to use them anymore.

The dispute at the link is over the Mitt Romney's use of “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose" from the TV show “Friday Night Lights.”

Hey, remember when Walter Mondale appropriated "Where's the beef?" from the Wendy's commercial? Where was the outrage?

53 comments:

Michael K said...

" I can admit that if President Obama was using “Clear Eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” as if he was Matt Saracen I would find this adorable, "

Yes, bipartisan.

Irene said...

"Don't stop thinking about tomorrow."

Amexpat said...

"Where's the beef?" from the Wendy's commercial? Where was the outrage?

Mondale attributed "where's the beef" to an ad. It was also used as a quip against an opponent and not as a personal motto.

CWJ said...

More faux outrage from the left. Just another tactic in the larger strategy of silencing your opponents.

Bob Ellison said...

"“Friday Night Lights”...is a Texas-set ode to the importance, integrity and strength of the hetero-normative family and community do-it-yourself-ism that’s also a paean to public schools and public servants and the safety nets they provide for the young and underprivileged."

That's amazing writing right there.

Maguro said...

So it's "adorable" when Obama uses the motto, but, like, really bad when the other guy does the same thing.

Ummm...OK. Thanks for sharing, I guess.

CWJ said...

Mythico, the famous medium, recently conjured the shade of Shakespeare, and reported the the bard was offended that Romney uses the English language.

traditionalguy said...

We were laughing this morning about your latest Althousianisms, "The fun deaf among us" and "The Church of the Grim."

That was a liberating thought picture.

MadisonMan said...

There was no internet echo chamber in 1984.

CWJ said...

Bob Ellison - no, that's a run-on sentence.

Bob Ellison said...

CWJ, it's actually not a run-on! More of a case of the runs on the keyboard, with a few too many looks in Roget's.

kcom said...

Wah! Wah! Wah! I mentioned "Where's the beef" in a comment the other day and I get absolutely no credit from Althouse for it. How unfair.

Boo hoo hoo!

edutcher said...

If Axelrod & Plouffe had hijacked it, the guy would be wetting himself with joy.

CWJ said...

Good one! Bob E

EDH said...

Salon, please leave "Friday Night Lights" alone.

Buzz Bissinger goes on Twitter rant
The "Friday Night Lights" writer's Twitter meltdown
BY JILLIAN RAYFIELD
Salon.com

Buzz Bizzinger, the journalist and author of “Friday Night Lights,” began this week by talking up Romney and his debate performance. Today he typed his mind on Twitter. Here’s the rapid deterioration:

buzzbissinger@buzzbissinger
I am also supporting MItt Romney. If you think I am the only one look at the Pew and Gallup polls. Romney up 12 points in Pew.

buzzbissinger@buzzbissinger
Oh wait. Is that the sound of open-minded liberals sounding like asshole Conservatives: PEW POLL SAMPLE SKEWED! PEW POLL SAMPLE WAS SKEWED!


Notice, when a musical artist either endorses a Democrat or asks a Republican candidate to refrain from using their song (even thought they paid appropriate licensing fees), it's all just a matter of creative endorsement, and a natural result of their heightened cultural sensitivities.

CWJ said...

Ann's Salon link is fairly even handed compared to Peter Berg (director and writer of the tv show). He actually wrote the Romney campaign to complain about their use of the phrase. Gee, I wonder who made THAT letter public?

frank said...

This is the first time I've read Salon and thus Willa Paskew and no doubt the last. But I must give credit where credit is due. It's also the first time I've ever saw a cunt admit to being a cunt. Wonders never cease!

Bob Ellison said...

The "where's the beef" debate clip is instructive. I watched the debate live at the time, and walked away thinking it had been boring and unimportant. The newspeople, however, latched onto "where's the beef" as the big take-away. I was shocked by the difference in assessment between me and the people paid to talk about the debate.

frank said...

Excuse me, Willa Paskin, MS Cunt.

eddie willers said...

The author of Friday Night Lights, Buzz Bissinger, came out with an anguished endorsement of Mitt Romney. He is a lifelong Democrat and is now joining David Mamet in finding out just how tolerant liberals are.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/11/buzz-bissinger-on-being-savaged-by-the-liberal-media-after-backing-mitt-romney.html

Erika said...

I don't like her use of the word 'bipartisan.' I watched the entire series over the course of a couple months last year and I don't seem to recall the showing being all YAY REPUBLICANS ARE GOOD AND ALSO DEMOCRATS ARE ALSO GOOD. I think she meant 'nonpartisan,' in that partisan politics or viewpoints were simply not a part of the structure of the show.

Except when those zany prolifers went nuts and staged a big yelly sign-waving protest when a rumor went around that Mrs. Taylor had encouraged Becky to have an abortion. I remember shaking my head and thinking that the writers of the show just Could.Not.Help.Themselves. It was such a sour, implausible, cardboard note in an otherwise finely nuanced show.

America's Politico said...

I am wondering if any of the candidates will do the Gangnam Style of Campaigning in October.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpZhZAr1cQU

Should we have Biden suddenly do the Gangnam...

Sorun said...

I'm still disappointed that Romney didn't choose "Hope & Change" as his campaign slogan. Of course it's not original, but that's what would've made it so good.

Chip Ahoy said...

Erika, that's what the run-on sentence is about, packing it with both conservative and liberal things so that it describes a bipartisan show. It's what make it ridiculous.

It displays the distortion of the writer because it doesn't exist. But it is needed to tell Romney to stop using the phrase. Typical tactic. Add it to the pile of 50,000 ways to suggest someone shut up.

Tim said...

Mitt Romney should ask Jim Harbaugh to write the response letter to the pussies at Salon and Peter Berg.

It would be epic, yet concise, smackdown.

Tim said...

... AN epic,...

the wolf said...

Outrage is the default emotion of the left and hypocrisy is their guide.

Erika said...

Also, 'hetero-normative,' ha ha. Who talks like that? Asshats, that's who.

wyo sis said...

Sometimes I just think, OK it's time. Bring on the apocalypse. People can't get any more hypocritical, then...somehow they do.

O Ritmo Segundo said...

So how does someone who claims to be completely turned off by politics manage to regularly, without fail, upload five to ten blog posts a day concerning nothing but politics?

I have a sneaking suspicion that the "lawprof" in you might smell a rat. But the narcissist is holding her nose.

gadfly said...

"Obama has used it too . . . " - equals end of feigned outrage. Is Friday Night Lights a bi-partisan show? I have never watched it. Is it even political and is that really all that Salon has to write about?

Salon should take on the subject of Benghazi where Obama lied and Americans were murdered. Why were we even there as the last foreign consulate that was occupied and flying a flag?

Seven Machos said...

The author admits that that she wouldn't give a shit if Obama did the same thing; it would be "adorable."

This election is going to be a rout! Romney will be president. The only real question is how bad it's going to be down ticket for the Democrats.

I, for one, hope that Romney works with Democrats like he did in Massachusetts to produce bipartisan law. And I hope the Democrats will work with Rommey.

Michael K said...

" O Ritmo Segundo said...
So how does someone who claims to be completely turned off by politics manage to regularly, without fail, upload five to ten blog posts a day concerning nothing but politics?"

Anybody else notices the apparent kidnapping of the lefties ? Once in a while one manages to smuggle out a snark.

I have concluded that the lefties realize the election is lost. That's why they don't care if Slow Joe pisses off all the women and independents. One last shot at the hated GOP is all they have left.

We are going to see an epidemic of PTSD after November 6 that will dwarf Iraq and Afghanistan vets. Gingrich was right that the recovery of the economy will begin election night once it is apparent that Obama has lost. That will also begin the PTSD epidemic.

Sammy said...

I hate to burst this guy's bubble, but 99% of Americans don't realize this phrase comes from his show. Which is why his show is no longer on the air. He should be flattered that he wanted to use it.

It's better than Obama's "Vote like your lady parts depend on it." Sure, it's original...but only because no one else is sexist enough to come up with such nauseating drivel.





deborah said...

"I, for one, hope that Romney works with Democrats like he did in Massachusetts to produce bipartisan law. And I hope the Democrats will work with Rommey."


A-quar-i-usss!

O Ritmo Segundo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O Ritmo Segundo said...

Michael:

Which swing states will The Rominator win?

As for Seven Machos' history of predictions, I note that in August 2010 he confidently told us that the ruling against California's Proposition 8 would be overturned. Hasn't happened yet, although the circuit court did affirm the decision earlier this year.

It's possible he was referring to an appeal to the Supreme Court, possibly due next year. But by this course of logic, maybe Machos means that Romney will run for and win the presidency in 2016.

I also fail to see what he finds so exciting about the idea of a Republican president working with Democrats given his blame of Obama for the refusal of Republican legislators to work with the current president. Obama's endorsement of Republican ideas that the current Congress refused is notable. Even the individual mandate (a Republican idea) and Romney-Care outline of the ACA are things that the Republicans did their best to oppose.

It seems they don't really care at all about getting the work done; they just care about the party of the person signing their legislation.

Very unpatriotic.

Chip Ahoy said...

Yes, that confused me too Ritmo, when 'they're demoralized, drive right through' seems the better option.

Joan said...

This came up on facebook, where I have several friends in the online tv/movie critic field. Back in the day, I once wrote a spirited defense of Friday Night Lights. It was a great show in spite of of its liberal leanings -- the way they dealt with racism, abortion, the military, drug-dealing parents... was nearly always over the top. But the characters and the families were very realistically portrayed. Mr & Mrs Coach were the best written and played married couple ever to appear on television.

All that said -- the show never did anything in the ratings, and Berg should be happy that it's getting some reflected glow from the Romney campaign. Accusing the campaign of plagiarism makes him look like a jerk.

John Matthews said...

The real people portrayed in the TV show "Friday Night Lights" are all voting for Romney.

madAsHell said...

It's interesting to see how things change, but remain the same.

harrogate said...

It's most certainly not a run-on sentence. "That's" is not being used the way you think it is.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The genuinely bi-partisan TV show shouldn't be politicized

In what way is Romney politicizing it? He's using it to motivate his people. It's not like he's somehow using it to say that President Obama is failing to live up this or that.

The fact is, the only ones who are politicizing it are the people complaining about Romney.

Ignorance is Bliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erika said...

In what way is Romney politicizing it? He's using it to motivate his people. It's not like he's somehow using it to say that President Obama is failing to live up this or that.

I agree, and that went through my mind too. Does the fact that a politician uses an item make it "politicized?" Is his coffeemaker politicized? (OK, bad example.) How about a hotel he stays in? Does it get Republican cooties? Maybe if he said, this quote Clear eyes; full hearts; can't lose is the perfect embodiment of the Republican ethos, Willa might have something, but that politicization charge is silly unless you subscribe to the idea to merely touch something is to politicize it.

Ann Althouse said...

"The real people portrayed in the TV show "Friday Night Lights" are all voting for Romney."

So you would think the people connected with the show wouldn't want to offend its viewers. But I guess those weren't the viewers. The viewers were a bunch of liberals who looked down on those people? But the viewers didn't view enough to keep it on the air.

Sad!

Mitch H. said...

Apparently the Salon people also hated it when the writer of the book the show was based on wrote about his endorsement of the Romney-Ryan ticket. So instead of going for the basic left-wing version of "shut up and sing, they've decided to be complete and utter hypocrites instead and ramble on, attacking Romney for using the phrase created by... ultimately, someone who's endorsing his campaign.

Yeah, whatever.

Also? I understand it's supposed to be a sort-of red state kind of show, but I've never watched it. Generally speaking, sports dramas don't tend to grab me unless they're based on Adachi manga.

Mitch H. said...

Apparently the Salon people also hated it when the writer of the book the show was based on wrote about his endorsement of the Romney-Ryan ticket. So instead of going for the basic left-wing version of "shut up and sing, they've decided to be complete and utter hypocrites instead and ramble on, attacking Romney for using the phrase created by... ultimately, someone who's endorsing his campaign.

Yeah, whatever.

Also? I understand it's supposed to be a sort-of red state kind of show, but I've never watched it. Generally speaking, sports dramas don't tend to grab me unless they're based on Adachi manga.

sydney said...

Wow. Gary Hart sounds like a Republican. I had forgotten how close the two parties once were. Thats probably why I once voted for so many Democrats.

America's Politico said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CatherineM said...

Ann, you might like the show. I think it may be my all time favorite show, and I only watched it after it was off the air. Once I brought it up at work, I found there are other people who have watched the show over and over. One guy I work with had 5 t-shirts. A woman I work with recently watched all 5 seasons on the train commuting, but said she wouldn't watch it again (and again) like we do (because who does that?). Then she saw Romney touching the sign and said, "I think I need to watch it again, maybe this time with my husband."

It's also the greatest marriage ever depicted on tv.

The funny thing about Peter Berg is, you would think that he might change his mind about Romney - some guy I characterize as a horrible person loves my show.

What bothers Berg is, Romney voters who love the show and maybe some people on the fence who love the show in my office saw that and said, "That is so cool." The fact that this might influence people, is "not lost on him." And like Mrs. Coach, "I appreciate that y'all."

Joe Schmoe said...

Ann, you're hitting a couple of my favorite shows this weekend. I loved the Office when Steve Carrell was on, and my wife and I both loved Friday Night Lights.

In the next debate I wish Obama would use Mr. T's 'I pity the fool...'

Joe Schmoe said...

Yeah, Friday Night Lights got low ratings and had to fight to stay on the air, but the upside is that it had a nice run for about 5 seasons, and then when it ended most of the story arcs were wrapped up like nice little packages. That rarely happens on TV these days, where successful shows run far past their expiration dates. In this case, its lack of ratings contributed to its impactful, poignant content that wasn't stretched beyond all bounds of reason just so they could run for twice as many seasons than they should have.