Raging Moderate by Will Durst
Knew he shouldn’t. Couldn’t help himself. I’m talking about the beaming leer in Rick Perry’s mug shot. Or to be more precise, his smug shot. In the photo released by the Austin Police Department, the Texas Governor grins like a Cheshire Cat who just cleaned out the canary department of a PetSmart and is presetting his Lexus’ GPS for another store.
Because he vetoed the budget of the Travis County Attorney General, who refused to resign following a drunken driving conviction, Perry is now being indicted on two federal felony counts relating to abuse of power. Which for a politician is real similar to being accused of breathing through their mouths. No big deal. The loyal opposition is programmed to consider all power abusive. A fact extensively covered in the freshman orientation pamphlet.
The three reasons he’s smirking are obvious. One: there’s a better chance of being struck by lightning while holding Charlize Theron’s purse stuffed with winning Powerball tickets, than being convicted. Two: he can wear these charges as a loud red badge of partisan courage, rekindling presidential aspirations. As for the third thing… well, he’ll have to get back to you. Ooops.
This is all proof that today- any and or all publicity is good publicity. Andy Warhol’s future has arrived and taken over the conference room. Famous for 15 minutes. That’s the goal. You don’t have to be talented or accomplished or good looking or an artist or even credible. Just get your name and face out there. Get on television. Even basic cable. By hook or by crook or by booking photo.
Arianna Huffington sold her website to AOL for $315 million based on the business model of rounding up scores of scripting serfs who will write for free. With 7 series and a spate of spin- offs, the Bravo Network has practically given up on narrative programming, morphing into the Real Housewives or Women be Fighting and Stuff Network. The Weather Channel has a new reality show called 3 Fat Guys in the Woods, which infringes on absolutely no fairness in advertising doctrines. Anybody can be a star. Build your brand. We’re all one viral post away from the big time.
The NFL has attempted to harness these ambitions by charging musical acts to perform at their Super Bowl Halftime Show. The three finalists, Katy Perry, Coldplay and Rihanna have each been asked to pony up for the privilege of performing in front of billions of people AND to kick back a slice of their post- show concert tour. Next they’ll want an NFL logo carved in the haircut of the bass player. And who’s going to argue? It’s the bass player.
The most humane solution would be for the NFL to pay viewers to watch their overproduced lip-synched parody of an extravaganza. Or maybe just go back to marching bands and Frisbee catching dogs. But where’s the money in that?
Kim Kardashian’s new iPhone app is expected to make over 100 million dollars this year alone. The goal of the game is to do anything and everything to become famous. Just that. Fame. It’s all about the exposure. Of course, in the Midwest we were taught you can die from exposure. Then again, couldn’t happen to a nicer couple than Rick Perry and Kim Kardashian. And the 3 Fat Guys in the Woods.
Copyright ©2014, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including his one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG” which will appear at the Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin Aug 26-30. thirdavenueplayhouse.com