Archive - Apr 22, 2010

Look, I Didn't Make The Flag

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If there's one area in which I am a complete laissez-faire libertarian, it's in regards to shit that don't matter. Like entertainment. I mean, I enjoy entertainment, but other than basic consumer protections on the media and tubes that bring it to me, I think the government can comfortably stay the fuck away. So I have no problem, in principle, with the Coalition of Usual Idiots' plan to launch "RightNet", a low-rent, right-wing cable network this summer.

I mean, yeah, I thought we already had channels like PAX, GoodLife, the Hallmark Channel, TBN, and half a dozen more similar channels already on the dial to whet whatever yen there was out there for this kind of programming, but what the hell. Let the free market have its say, even if the "free market" in this case is likely to be propped up by politically-motivated wealthy types. If that's how they want to spend their money, who am I to stop them? So I won't stop them. Couldn't if I wanted to, and I'd be wrong if I wanted to.

I'll JUDGE them, of course. I'm not crazy. That's the free marketplace of ideas at work, baby! So what does RightNet promise to have on the air by summer? Three shows, plus Kelsey Grammer as their spokesperson. Personally, I'd question the wisdom of anyone who gave Kelsey Grammer something large and expensive to drive, but hey, it's not my money.

First up is "Right To Laugh", a conservative stand-up comedy show. You know how, on Cops, the people being arrested are always told they have the right to remain silent, but they never, ever do? Well, this show is called "Right to Laugh". The show is, as far as I can tell, somehow being filmed live from a T.J. Chucklefuck's comedy club in 1984. The jokes are all topical, yet somehow simultaneously 30 years old. Of course, they may have put the best bits in the trailer, in which case the Large Hadron Collider will only be the second most likely machine on the planet to create a world-killing suck vortex.

Then there's "Running", a "reality" series that's really a documentary series about six Republican candidates for Congress in, I hope, 2010. Otherwise, I'll be dodging spoilers ALL SUMMER. I can only assume they don't call it a documentary because documentaries are for liberal pussies and Michael Moore. The closest to an offensive thing I saw in the trailer before I got bored and started skipping ahead was one candidate calling his opponent, Henry Waxman, an "infestation". So clearly they're not following the sharpest knives in the political drawer.

And then there's "Politics and Poker", which capitalizes on the televised poker obsession about five years too late, and capitalizing on the "let's watch Andrew Breitbart on television" craze an infinite number of years both too late and too early. Bonus points to them, though, for actually shooting the show in a basement with barely enough room for the cameraman to move around. It makes the cinematography and lighting very accidentally-art-school. Take the bonus points away for an epic dick-joke fail, specifically, "Speaking of gay marriage, are you done with your wieners?" If you need some pointers on wangjapery, RightNet, read on.

You see, RightNet has a logo. It's supposed to be a stylized R in a circle. And then they put the logo on a flag, and then took a picture of a guy holding the flag in front of his face. It looks a little something exactly like this:

Um, guys? That's not an R. You might be able to convince a few vegans it's a straw mushroom, but that's way outside your target audience. I think we all know what that is, and I think we all know how stunningly on-message it is that the closest thing you have to a mascot has it for a head. The poker guys may be done with their weiners, but your graphics dude is clearly just getting started.