The Cranky Media Guy

weekly commentaries and editorials
   Editorial Page
   Weasel Of The Week
   News Talk
   Cranky Music Man
   Editorial Cartoon

monthly feature columns    Fast Food Critic
   Who Is 'Blue Collar'?

The Crank Tank    Previous Columns
   Weasels Hall of Shame

editorial page

I Love It When You Lie To Me

by The Cranky Media Guy

When I was growing up back in the Bronx, I had a friend who was a compulsive liar.  He would make up stuff all the time; he just couldn't help himself.  Once, several of us Catholic boys were talking about experiences we had had in church.  Guy told us how the priest had burned his ears with the candles used for the ritual blessing of the throat one year.  One of my other friends pointed out that the candles used for the ceremony are never lit.  Red-faced and embarrassed, Guy suddenly remembered a pressing engagement and ran off.  Like I said, he just couldn't help himself.

The more I see of Al Gore, the more I'm reminded of my friend Guy.  It's like the vice-president just can't help himself.  The interesting thing about compulsive liars is that they lie about stuff that doesn't even matter.  There was a record store in Greenwich Village that Guy used to frequent.  The proprietor would put aside records he thought my friend would like.  Rather than tell the man that he wasn't interested in buying every record he picked out for him, Guy invented a story about moving to England.  That way he could avoid going to the store and his absence would be explained, he reasoned.

Gore seems to use similar "logic".  Instead of just saying that he used to be anti-abortion and has since changed his mind on the issue, he continues to insist that he has "always been pro-choice" despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.   While some people might be skeptical about the reason behind his change of heart, if Al just didn't tell a idiotic lie instead, it would be accepted.   That's the kind of thing that makes me think his tendency to bullshit is compulsive.  He tells lies that don't even help him in the long run.

I don't want you to think that I'm one of these Rush Limbaugh-types who say that everything the Democrats do is demonic and the Republicans can do no wrong.  Reagan seemed to have more than a touch of Guy in him, if you'll recall.  He told stories about the combat he was involved in during WWII, at a time when Warner Brothers seemed to think he was eating at their commissary in Hollywood.  The Reagan years are behind us now.  Gore is currently trying to get us to let him move into the Big House at 1600.  Do we really need another prevaricator running the show?

How'd a guy like Gore get to be vice-president (and possibly the next president)?  What the hell's the matter with us that we let assholes like this have the keys to the limo called democracy?  I mean, it is us he's trying to bullshit, after all.  In a just world, he'd be wearing a clown suit and sitting in a dunk tank at the Allentown Fair.  For some reason, though, the more guys like that B.S. us, the more we reward them.  It reminds me of guys I would see in bars during my college years.  I didn't drink, so I could just kind of watch what was going on around me.  I'd see these smooth operators telling girls all kinds of stupid stories about their alleged exploits and it would fry my hide.  I'd like to say that was because I didn't like to see women manipulated like that, but my hide-frying was mostly because those guys got laid and I didn't.  Just didn't seem fair, you know?

Maybe that's a good metaphor for the whole American electoral process:  it's a big pick-up scene.  The voters are the pretty girl standing at the bar alone.  First, John McCain walks over.  "You know, I was a POW for five and a half years," he says, trying to make eye contact.  She smiles at him, noncommittally. 

Then, George W. Bush saunters toward her.  "I sent a man to the electric chair just this morning," is his opening line.  Voter Girl is not sure how to respond to that. 

Next up is Bill Bradley.  "I played in the NBA.  I guess that proves that white men can jump, huh?"  She smiles.  He's likeable, but she's not really sure what she thinks of him.

There's an awkward silence in the group.  Suddenly, the bar's door opens and in walks Al Gore.  He spots Voter Girl from across the room and, attempting to look casual, heads toward her.  "I don't know if you realize this," he says, "but I invented the Internet."  She is intrigued.  Seeing her interest, he continues.  "I discovered Love Canal, I live on a farm and I was the inspiration for Love Story." 

"Tell me more," she coos. 

Looking deep into her eyes and dropping his voice into a Barry White register, he says, "I've always been pro-choice."

"Take me, I'm yours," says the girl.  Gore sweeps her off her feet and carries her off into the night. 

Silently, McCain, Bradley and Bush stare at the closing door for a long moment.  Finally, the silence is broken.  "Damn, he's good," says Bradley.  The others nod in agreement.  All three toss back the remainder of their drinks before heading off into the night, alone.




web design Chriss Hight