Friday, September 12, 2008

Lip Stick on a Pig - Snakes on a Plane

It might have been Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, (no not Tony Blair) throwing a hand of diplo-doo doo into the US election race with an article that endorsed Barack, whilst ignoring any crumbs of comfort about McCain.

McCain's campaign team cried : "foul".

Or that swines around the world started bleating in unison to an almighty din. Lipstick!

A dash of lipstick on porky goes a long way and we'll not hear the rest of this, particularly as in some back yard somewhere the Society For the Protection of Lipsticks on a Pig, will soon be convening their first meeting.

Pigs have feelings too.

However as Big Bangs go, this almost suffocated the real news of the day of a giant matrix built in Geneva looking for the meaning of the universe.

Whilst, the back chat was: "we're all going to die - from an enveloping black hole", Sex and the Politics was almost seen as far riskier.

Barack's comments (faux pas); Palin's lipstick comment, (amusing); then the BBC's PM radio news programme retrieved a McCain comment from recent archives with him poking lipstick on a pig (not faux pas).

What is it about lipstick on a pig, which is now up to 580,000 google entries and rising by the piglet?

Media boredom? There's no denying there's so little in the way of howlers that if you're a network news producer you've got to find something on any candidate, even finger-drilling their ears for dry wax.

"The big story today: Obama is trigger happy. The nuclear codes are unsafe. Here's why".

Experts of the diplomatic persuasion might tut tut: words, dear boy are our weapon of choice, so one must choose them carefully.

Obfuscation often is preferred to what you really think, and mind you it's all in the timing dear boy!

US politics, as else where is a collection of leaders from the straight talking types -tell em like it is, to the carefully chosen worders. And it's often believed the electorate crave a change in negotiating talk after long periods.

In the UK, PM Brown was supposed to the Labour leader of choice after years of Blair, the slicker worder.

But from recent news pollings the party is zombing to its demise at the next election.

Critics of police interviewing techniques, adopted long ago by the media, refer to it as "shaping".

Making a pre-conceived suggestion about an event, which if shaped well comes to adopt the meaning the interviewer intended.

It's one reason in live interviews, politicians very rarely answer an interviewer with the question they posed.

At a distance, making something seemingly harmless stick is what editors might called juxtaposed editing.

In Eisenstein's famous BattleShip Potemkin, two seemingly unrelated events when brought together provide new meaning. One an arm action, the Second a cut eye.

The result: somebody just had their face slashed.

Lipstick on a pig ~ slang for when someone tries to dress something up, but is still that something. usually used on ugly broads, when they put on a skirt

High Drama
High drama!

Here, in conversation at the Uni ( who cares what Brits think?) there is a collision of awe and incredulity in this live poker election game.

It is by any stretch of a scriptwriter's imagination the best film that's never been made relegating Melannie Griffith's Working Girl to something dreary and tired.

"From Put to President" - the tale of one hard working hockey mum from a small town becomes the most powerful woman in the world.

Even the connoisseured Palm D'or could not conceal their tear-drenched handkerchief at its premiere.

My favourite though is "lipstick on a pig- the docufilm drama" - made by one of the US' favorite Video Journalists _______________ ( stick name here)

November 6th McCain is President

March 15th McCain goes in for a routine check up and is held in for tests. Media report Whitehouse says there is nothing wrong with McCain.

March 15th: Media Reports: Russia says new evidence that US played a role in Georgia breaches international diplomacy. Its military warship Peter the Great just outside US water fires unidentified war head in what US claims is provocation.

US tells Russia to cease all activities otherwise there will be consequences.

Russia and US in stand off.

Political pundits comb through events of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis as history plays itself out.

Hollywood star Samuel L Jackson's playing agent Wayne on L.O.P says the film's a hit because it mirrors society.

There's a scene in Roger Donaldson's 13 Days, when military brass are leaning on President JFK to meet the Soviets head-on. Cut to a naval chief being berated because he doesn't quite understand the subtlety of a missile fire being an intricate diplomatic chess move.

It's a message, high in stakes of double dutch speech amongst the learned types.

If as the fear factor amongst millions of Americans is Palin does becomes president by default, could you believe she'd be in the decision-making chair, and not the special aides and policy wonks of her immediate circle?

Hail the real vice presidents turned decision-makers: middle-aged, grey suited men, insiders of Washington and some. That much Palin owes the party, for the fact she's made her piece of history, now let us do the right thing.

No president is bigger than the machine, unless they've a shed load of past contacts from Capital Hill to create their own machine. Which is why as an outsider it's nay impossible to make your own decision, cuz "you just don't understand how at the higher echelons we work".

Meanwhile the US's rogue states will be playing their own "diplomatic games". Take on the president in a bluff game, observe the reaction. The less experienced the person is the more likely they'll take a while, silence sows doubt, then let the US media pick up the act: Who Governs the US, screams the headlines.

The best weapon of diplomatic confabulation is confusion. Confusion is next in the diplomatic dictionary to "Implosion". You just have to sit back and watch.

That much I have come to observe in international relations either attending one of the UK's revered foreign affairs clubs, Chatham House, since 1994 and putting some of them on air.

Rivetting Stuf
All riveting stuff

Actor Matt Damon is frothing. He's seen "Lipsticks on a Pig".

By the time I get to visit, Chatham House, so busy haven't been for almost 2 years, I'm hoping the speaker can shed some light on the international diplomacy question.

Says Chatham House:

Professor Paul Green, Director of the Institute of Politics, Arthur Rubloff Professor Policy Studies, Roosevelt University; Political Analyst for WGN Radio, Chicago is a nationally recognized political expert who has attended every major party convention since 1984 will give an analysis of the 2008 US Presidential race.

Meanwhile back to the media.

Question? Are there some things that might be off limits for the media?

And does integrity matter above ratings? In other words if you're a network trying to book the presidential runners and their deputies are there some things you won't touch on because you burn your future bridges if you do?

The greater good is getting them into your studio again, and again, and again.

And come the election who is Bin Laden likely to play to to the US audience?

Who will Laden endorse given his craving for scrapping for an open fight with the "Evil One"?

Tricky one and how will it gets spun, but get ready he's done it once.

In the run towards South Africa's epoch election in the 90s, a political insider told me a story.

I could never verify it but I trusted him.

Rumours were circulating of Mandela's ill-health and in the country to meet the great man was one of his idols, Ali.

The press demanded a photoshoot and whilst Mandela's aides were reluctant to get him out of bed, they needed something to quell the rumours, which my insider claims he hand a hand in advising his aides.

The picture duly appeared in the papers the next day: Mandela clenched fist with his idol looking a picture of health.

And that's the status quo . The US media's column inches and reels generated in this election run will hardly tell you anything, unless someone cracks under pressure.

There is a tacit understanding of how "we can work together".

Maggie Thatcher ( no, she's no longer Britain's prime minster) hated being interviewed by the public. You know the clip I'm talking about.

Every thing's so staged managed, that it looks almost implausible to come any great TV, that is unless the unpredictable happens.

It may not have counted for much, but more PM Brown big bangs may reveal more about the candidates and whether anyone of them rants about pigs.

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