The newly formed congressional supercommittee’s 12 members are charged with finding more than $1 trillion in budget savings this fall. Their clout could attract more campaign contributions, and lawmakers are demanding greater accountability for the money the panel’s members take in. [emph mine]
Nah, you think?
Good thing, then, that we have men of high principle on this supercommittee, such as The Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz (or is it The Tin Man?):
Earlier this week, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) told the Boston Globe he’d decided not to do any fundraising while he serves on the supercommittee. However, possibly out of deference to colleagues who do plan to raise funds, Kerry downplayed his decision when asked about it.
“I think that too much is being made out of that. People are doing business here in the United States Senate all the time,” he says, “and unfortunately, because of the nature of politics, they have to raise money too. So I’m not going to get into that discussion.”
Too bad he’s not in a position to do anything about “the nature of politics”—you know, like a position of power or something. And I guess we’re supposed to believe that Kerry is taking the high road by refusing to do any fundraising. That’s because he’s not going to need to—his mere presence on that supercommittee will be all the fundraising he needs. Notice he didn’t say “refuse to accept any funds.”
Cyberspace was all abuzz on Monday, thanks to Lady Gaga’s “shocking” VMA performance of “You and I” dressed as a young Ralph Macchio, or at least that’s what it looked like from here. It was creative and bold, and definitely entertaining – but shocking? Eh. Then again, a second look is out of the question as the generous folks at MTV promptly scrubbed the Web of any footage in an attempt to sell the awards show in its entirety to every preteen with a PayPal account. But that’s beside the point.
Cross-dressing is hardly a novel concept, for an entertainer at least. The music industry is filled with gender-benders like David Bowie and Prince, Madonna, Annie Lennox, Boy George and Robert Smith. Even Kurt Cobain sang a song in a floral frock now and then. The irony is that amid all the tweet and talk of Man-Gaga on Monday, the anniversary of a truly jaw-dropping onstage act quietly passed: It’s now been more than 42 years since the first time Iggy Pop cut himself onstage on August 29, 1969.
Nothing’s Shocking: Thank You, Iggy Pop
I stopped watching MTV somewhere around the mid-nineties, not long after Cobain put an end to himself and the grunge era with a shotgun blast to his face and shortly before the music video was replaced by a succession of pathetic “reality” shows featuring houses full of vain 20-somethings acting as if they were the first humans in recorded history to discover sex. In spite of that, and my better instincts, I stopped on the VMAs while channel surfing the other night, and I caught the Gaga performance mentioned above. I have to say, forget about shocking, even “creative and bold” and “definitely entertaining” are absurd exaggerations. I stuck around long enough to see a couple of awards handed out and maybe one or two other performances, and that was all I could take. It was just another reminder of how fucking lame MTV is, how what’s really on offer is just a tame, housebroken imitation of “shocking,” “creative,” and “bold.” MTV is a square who is trying to impress upon you how cool he is, who invites you over to his “pad” and tells you to make yourself comfortable and then frowns when you put your feet on the table. MTV would have no use for Iggy Pop; and, more importantly, Iggy Pop would have no use for MTV. G.G. Allin, if he were still alive, wouldn’t be allowed within 200 miles of the VMAs, not that he’d want to be. That’s too bad. I think I’d be willing to pay good money to see him shit on that stage and throw it in the crowd, especially if he got some on Russell Brand and Katy Perry. It might not be shocking, but it’d be pretty damn funny.