August 21, 2007

Weirdo, Boring, Dumb.

We figured out the political version of rock, paper, scissors. It all started yesterday, when one commenter, John Stodder wrote:
I think the memories of the last two campaigns are being jumbled. It was John Edwards who got smoked by Cheney, not Lieberman. And it was Gore who got smoked in the 2000 debates, not Lieberman. That's right, everybody: Skippy the Bush Kangaroo smoked Al Gore, three times, decisively. Don't give me this "mainstream media decided the outcome post-debate" nonsense. Gore looked like a total weirdo in all three debates, especially the one where he tried to look manly by standing close enough to Bush that he could have licked his ear. In the rock-paper-scissors of life, Dumb beats Weirdo every time.

Original Mike said:
Love it, but we need the 3rd state.

Smart beats Dumb, Dumb beats Weirdo, Weirdo beats Smart?

Needs work.
An hour later, he produced what Stodder then declared to be the answer: boring. So:
Weirdo beats Boring
Boring beats Dumb
Dumb beats Weirdo
The closest competition came from dishonest. But did we get it right? And does it extend beyond politics to -- as Stodder declared -- Hollywood and blogging? I like the idea of the rock-paper-scissors of life, but I'm distressed at the prominence of "boring" and "dumb"! They seem too much alike... and why all the negative?

Still, this trio works pretty well -- at least as well as rock, paper, scissors. I mean, did you ever really buy the whole paper covers rock bit? Ooh, covers. How dangerous for the rock!

ADDED: And you know what rock says:


rhhardin said...

Rock, paper and scissors is not boring. See the RPS gambit strategy page for a hint of the subtleties involved.

My own choice is the avalanche.

EnigmatiCore said...

Nothing beats rock.

Good old rock.

Christy said...

I thought "paper covers rock"?

Mr. Forward said...

"I thought "paper covers rock"?

That would be Rolling Stone magazine.

Mr. Forward said...

How about "Weirdo, Boring and Ron Paul" or is that redundant?

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought "paper covers rock"?"

Oops... corrected.

What a loser I'd be at the game.... Good old rock would always win.

Robin Goodfellow said...

I'm not sure even dumb/weirdo cover the right sets of axes for this to work.

FYI, here's the last several US presidential election results, apply labels and interpolate rules as you will:

2004 George W. Bush defeats John F. Kerry
2000 George W. Bush defeats Albert A. Gore
1996 William J. Clinton defeats Robert J. Dole
1992 William J. Clinton defeats George H. Bush (and H. Ross Perot)
1988 George H. Bush defeats Michael S. Dukakis
1984 Ronald Reagan defeats Walter F. Mondale
1980 Ronald Reagan defeats Jimmy Carter
1976 Jimmy Carter defeats Gerald R. Ford
1972 Richard M. Nixon defeats George McGovern

Original Mike said...

When I first learned paper-rock-scissors as a kid I had a hard time accepting "paper covers rock". Seemed a stretch.

Hairy said...

Hairybuddha says, "I'm so glad you highlighted the comments on that post, Professor Althouse. The post didn't interest me because I'm not interested in the Democratic VP search yet so I didn't open the comments section. But if you hadn't pointed us to the comments of that post, I would have missed one of the best comment discussion on this blog, which is unusually rich in comment discussion when the trolls aren't about. There, I said it. Best comment discussion on the blog that has the best comment discussions PERIOD. "

Ron said...

Rock is vain! Thus, if it gets covered it feels defeated! Paper is spineless, and scissors are cruel!

El Presidente said...

Good old rock:

Tim said...

Toll the vote count! I still think "Dishonest" is a better part of the trio than boring, as it's a better descriptor of politicians than "Boring," although I would allow for "Boring/Dumb" to be effective synonyms within this context.

It is especially applicable to Clinton v. Bush v. Perot; Bush (boring) would have beat Perot (weirdo); Perot may have beat Clinton (dishonest); but as the race unfolded, Dishonest beat Boring, and Boring beat Weirdo.

Sigivald said...

In Soviet Russia, Nothing Beats Rock.

CW said...

In 2000, the Cheney-Lieberman debate actually appeared to have two adults talking about the issues. In contrast, the Bush-Gore confrontations had a playground quality that was unbecoming for candidates for the presidency. I think that if you asked people whether the tickets should be turned upside down after the Cheney-Lieberman meeting, a lot of them would have said yes.