Friday Night Lite Open Thread: Mr. Punch, Osama and Chen GuangchengPosted: May 4, 2012
I had this post almost finished up, and poof, it went with the wind…well not the wind, but the damn computer crash. So the post will be thin, much thinner than I had previously written.
Well, tonight we have some lite links for you, but they are discussing some serious points. First I want to bring this article from the Guardian to your attention. It is currently the top trending emailed link on the site:
Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute along the inbound Eisenhower Expressway in Maywood, Illinois. Photograph: The Heartland Institute
It really is hard to know where to begin with this one. But let’s start with: “What on earth were they thinking?”
The Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based rightwing thinktank notorious for promoting climate scepticism, has launched quite possibly one of the most ill-judged poster campaigns in the history of ill-judged poster campaigns.
I’ll let its own press release for its upcoming conference explain, as there’s simply no need to finesse it further:
Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world’s most notorious criminals say they “still believe in global warming” – and ask viewers if they do, too…The billboard series features Ted Kaczynski, the infamous Unabomber; Charles Manson, a mass murderer; and Fidel Castro, a tyrant. Other global warming alarmists who may appear on future billboards include Osama bin Laden and James J. Lee (who took hostages inside the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in 2010).
These rogues and villains were chosen because they made public statements about how man-made global warming is a crisis and how mankind must take immediate and drastic actions to stop it.
Why did Heartland choose to feature these people on its billboards? Because what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the “mainstream” media, and liberal politicians say about global warming. The point is that believing in global warming is not “mainstream,” smart, or sophisticated. In fact, it is just the opposite of those things. Still believing in man-made global warming – after all the scientific discoveries and revelations that point against this theory – is more than a little nutty. In fact, some really crazy people use it to justify immoral and frightening behavior.
But then comes the best bit:
Of course, not all global warming alarmists are murderers or tyrants.
It tries to morally justify its posters – the first of which appeared over the Eisenhower Expressway yesterday – by saying that, due to ““Climategate” and the recent incident in which a US scientist called Peter Gleick admitted to obtaining and releasing internal documents (one of which Heartland claims was faked) detailing Heartland’s funding and policy strategies, that “the leaders of the global warming movement are willing to break the law and the rules of ethics to shut down scientific debate and implement their left-wing agendas”.
The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.
The bigger question, beyond trying to analyse the collective mentality of an organisation that would sign off a poster campaign like this, is whether it will now lead any of the speakers, attendees and sponsors to pull out of the conference and dissociate themselves from this think tank.
You know, it is right-wing ad campaigns like this that make the US look like idiots! Take a look at the rest of the article at the link, and while you are there, check out the comment section.
Earlier today, one of the right leaning pundits (cough) had this to say about Romney sticking his nose into things he shouldn’t. Kristol: Romney’s Attacks On Obama For Handling Of Chinese Dissident Are ‘Foolish’
Last night on Fox News, Bill Kristol advised Romney to stand down on the Chen case, calling his attacks on Obama “foolish”:
KRISTOL: I’m happy to be critical of the Obama administration as anyone is, but I think this is fast moving story. And if I were advising Governor Romney, I’d say you don’t need to get in the middle of this story. If this turns out badly, and it would be a terrible thing, it will turn out badly. People will know. … To inject yourself into the middle of this way with a fast moving target I think is foolish. […]
There is no need to butt into a fast moving story when the secretary of state is in Beijing with delicate negotiations and say it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton is waking up right now. Let’s see if she can pull this off in the next 12 hours or so.
No shit, Sherlock!
With that I will move on to a few cartoons for you to ponder:
That cartoon is so understated but powerful…
This next one is about Edwards and Edvard:
And one more, this one is from my personal favorite editorial cartoonist:
My last link for you tonight is about the world’s most famous puppet… – Mr Punch celebrates 350 years of puppet anarchy
Mr Punch from the Happy Birthday Mr Punch! exhibition at V&A Museum of Childhood from 14 July – 9 December
He has survived political correctness and the PlayStation generation. Now Mr Punch is about to celebrate his 350th birthday. What’s the reason for his longevity?
With his familiar cry of “That’s the way to do it!”, Mr Punch has come a long way since his first mention in the diary of Samuel Pepys.
Next week, the squawking red-nosed prince of slapstick turns 350, with a big party in London’s Covent Garden piazza.
It was here that Pepys recorded, on 9 May 1662, that he enjoyed “an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw…”
In Pepys’ day, Mr Punch was a stringed marionette called Pulcinella, but he has evolved over the decades into the stick-wielding hand puppet now so familiar at summer fayres and seaside resorts.
The Punch and Judy shows are still popular in England, they are now called “Professor” and have more modern themes:
So how has Mr Punch managed to make it into the 21st Century?
“Mr Punch has been seen by every monarch since Charles II,” says Mr Edwards. “He’s had to keep in tune with the social climate.”
Comedy routines that would have been enjoyed by the Victorians – such as one involving a hangman getting hanged – have disappeared as public tastes have changed.
“It’s a classic piece of gallows humour,” says Mr Edwards, “but we don’t do it any more because people don’t understand it as a topical joke.”That’s the way to do it! Glyn Edwards in action with Mr Punch, crocodile and a string of sausages
These days Mr Punch is more likely to have youth crime and the financial crisis on his agenda.
“When Judy refers to the baby as little Asbo it gets a laugh,” says Mr Edwards, who has also introduced a new character called Mr Bonus the Banker.
He also has a health and safety officer – complete with a clipboard and hi-viz jacket – who ends up in Mr Punch’s sausage machine.
While Punch and Judy have faced criticism that they are too violent for children – in 2004 a council in Cornwall banned a show following complaints that it promoted domestic violence – Mr Punch and friends look set to thrive in the new millennium.
“He’s an English icon,” says Mr Edwards. “I know from personal experience that there isn’t a Punch and Judy act that’s not booked over the Jubilee period. At times of national holidays, Mr Punch is regarded as someone who ought to be there.”
More at the link, I had to look up the meaning to Asbo myself, yup…that is about right.
This is an open thread…