Archive - Jan 27, 2011

Men Of Action

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Memo to Sterling Archer and Tim Pawlenty: YOU ARE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN.

If you're a regular reader of this column, you know how often I use this space to praise things and give recommendations. If you're not a regular reader of this column, that frequency is "almost fucking never". I do that so that when I do recommend something, you notice and pay attention.

The second season of "Archer" premieres tonight on FX. "Archer" is my favorite current television show. Period. Possibly in my top five of all time. It's an animated spy comedy from the people behind Sealab 2021, which I really liked, and Frisky Dingo, which I loved with reservations. Archer, I love without reservations. Well, reservations for me. It's not for everyone. You have to like mean comedy. You have to like crude comedy. And you have to like super-dense comedy, the kind where the jokes are layered so thickly that you're picking new ones out on the third viewing. If you're fine with all that, then Archer is pure, unadulterated awesome in a turtleneck. And very, very funny.

And speaking of very, very funny - one thing about Sterling Archer, the titular character, is that the only thing he's good at is being a man of action. And he's only good at that occasionally. But that still puts him one up on Tim Pawlenty. It's vitally important that I begin my coverage of Tim Pawlenty's presidential campaign now, because the first debate is this May, and I can't imagine his campaign is gonna last much beyond that.

So anyway, Pawlenty's PAC made a "book trailer" for Pawlenty's obligatory book, "Courage To Stand".

I know you need a few minutes to absorb that. I did. I mean, publishing companies have been making book trailers for a few years now, in a futile attempt to market reading to the YouTube generation, but ones for political books, sponsored by the author's own PAC? That's fairly new. And what does our friend TIMMEH have to offer?

A shitload of stock footage, as far as I can tell. It's tough, because very few shots last more than a dozen frames, but there's a baby, and some athletes, and the Statue of Liberty, and a squadron of jets in formation, and the Earth, and something that looks like the Omega-4 mass relay, and a bunch of badly framed people so you're just seeing CHILD'S EYE! all of a sudden, and there's the Miracle on Ice and the moon landing and some cars and a bunch of guys in baseball caps.

I'm pretty sure the video is designed so that Mitt Romney will watch it, and seven days later, Sadako is gonna come crawling out of his Massachusetts 60" flatscreen. But hey, if he can get the rest of the frontrunners to do the same, TIMMEH might actually have a chance to lose to Obama in 2012.

And the sound! Someone at the Freedom First PAC shelled out for the deluxe, THX-certified edition of Michael Bay's Symphony for Subwoofer. If you watch the video, which I do not recommend, but if you do watch it, pay attention at around second 46 where Tim Pawlenty shakes someones hand, and it makes the sound of Iron Man coming in for a hard landing. On a giant timpani.

Also noteworthy - a shot of the Iwo Jima flag raising cropped so severely to fit the trailer's bajillion-to-one aspect ratio that all you can see are four pairs of heroic green shoulders. Oh, and the bit where he includes "settling the West" as part of America's historical accomplishments, because what says "vote Republican" better than cheering on indigenous displacement and attempted genocide?

I could write another thousand words on how awful the video is, but I don't have to, when a single, undoctored screen-grab from the video will suffice:

And watch some Archer.