Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why Joe Biden?

Joe Biden laughed hysterically at Paul Ryan during their debate. The funny thing is: the joke's on him. Joe Biden is the most lampooned politician in America at present. Why? Because he has a target on his chest  the size of a barn door. How? By carrying himself with haughtiness. We laugh hardest at the man who can't laugh at himself; we laugh most at the men who don't get the joke. We laugh at those we laugh at -- but, we laugh with those we laugh with. Biden is the source of humor because he repeatedly makes jokes that he himself doesn't get. Had he more self-awareness, and more real world humility, he would, at his worst, be a source of pity. We all need a little pity now and then; we all choose words that we'd rather, upon reflection, recall. Sometimes we don't say what we really mean. In his debate with Paul Ryan, Biden claimed, "I always mean what I say." Did he mean to imply that Barack Obama was an exceptional minority candidate because:
"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. "I mean, that's a storybook, man."
Did he mean to frighten the dickens out of voters with the prospect that his OWN relatively inexperienced running mate would face doomsday if he won the election:
"And here's the point I want to make. Mark my words. Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's gonna have to make some really tough - I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's gonna happen. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate... And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you, not financially to help him, we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right. Because all these decisions, all these decisions, once they're made if they work, then they weren't viewed as a crisis. If they don't work, it's viewed as you didn't make the right decision, a little bit like how we hesitated so long dealing with Bosnia and dealing with Kosovo, and consequently 200,000 people lost their lives that maybe didn't have to lose lives. It's how we made a mistake in Iraq. We made a mistake in Somalia. So there's gonna be some tough decisions. They may emanate from the Middle East. They may emanate from the sub-continent. They may emanate from Russia's newly-emboldened position because they're floating in a sea of oil... Only thing I'm asking you is, you know, gird your loins. We're gonna win with your help, God willing, we're gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It's like cleaning the Aegean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than - think about it, literally, think about it - this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets, this is a systemic problem we have with this economy."
Did he mean to say that?

Also, did he mean to evoke outrage by telling African Americans that Republicans want to, "Put you all back in chains"?

Did he mean to say all these things? According to him, apparently he did.

He won't laugh at himself; so, we laugh at him. Men who sometimes don't mean what they say are pitied; men who always mean what they say are lampooned.

For your consideration, here's a slideshow of Biden parodies at Huffington Post.

Saturday Night Live spent most of their debate sketch making fun of Paul Ryan, but they did have a few funny lines about Joe Biden.
Biden was predictably portrayed as a lovable buffoon. When asked about his Catholic faith’s teachings on abortion, Biden explained he was a “real world Catholic.”
“I accept the teachings of the Catholic Church, but then, like most Catholics I ignore them and do what ever I want,” he explains. “I feel kind of guilty about that, but yeah, whatever.”
Biden also tells the audience that “things may be bad where you live, but I guarantee you its a paradise next to the burning coal heap that is Scranton, Pennsylvania.”
Biden also calls Paul Ryan “shark-eyes,” reminding him that he is “old man strong.”
“When the Amtrak breaks down during my morning commute, I strip down to my tighty whiteys and push that b**ch all the way to Washington,” he boasts.
The skit mocked Paul Ryan for talking about marathons, for calling his unborn daughter a bean, for drinking a lot of water, and for his facial gestures and his sweating brow.
- The Washington Examiner
If you looked at The Onion the day after last week’s vice presidential debate, you’d see a homepage dominated by one thing: Joe Biden.
The comedic website has put its satiric spin on the 2012 campaign throughout its entirety, but no one has been featured and spoofed with more enthusiasm than the vice president.
“He’s meant a lot to us,” Onion editor Will Tracy told POLITICO. “I thought it was very funny looking at and seeing biden everywhere. That to me was great.”
Part of the blanket coverage on big political nights is a result of the Onion’s desire to provide more frequent, up-to-date content in order to attract more visitors to their website. But, while the Onion has spoofed President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, the character that they’ve developed for Biden resonates better with both Onion writers and website visitors.
“He’s like the breakout character if we were writing a sitcom,” said Tracy. “He’s the guy who’s clearly the fan favorite, and, in a way, he’s the easiest and the most fun for us to write.”
It’s a blessing of riches that the Onion staff has to be aware of, lest they abuse the gift.
“You want to use that character sparingly so that people don’t get tired of it. There was a time — and we might still be in that time — in which we were generating Biden ideas faster than we actually wanted to print them, so we actually had to tell people to ease up a little bit because you don’t want to go to that well too many times. So we’ve tried to space out our Biden coverage as much as possible so that we’re not just oversaturating the market.”
Their character of Biden — a lovable, out-out-touch frat guy — is admittedly unlike the real Biden, but Tracy hopes that perhaps you’ll forget that.
“I think of Joe Biden being much testifer and less laid back than our character who’s just sort of a good time guy and laid back,” said Tracy. “My sense is that we’ve done so much on him that our vision for our version of Joe Biden has, in some way, seeped into the nation’s consciousness that people think our character of Joe Biden is somehow him.”

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