Friday, December 25, 2009
Recycling Stale Scandals
I don't know if Breitbart thinks he invented this nonsense or if he's just run out of ideas:
On Tuesday, Andrew Breitbart's Big Government blog got its knickers in a twist over one of the Obama White House's myriad Christmas trees. (Big Government is a sibling to Breitbart's Big Hollywood blog, which cranked up a paranoid fantasy about the National Endowment for the Arts a few months back.) The blaring "EXCLUSIVE" led with a blurry photo of a decoupage Christmas ornament adorned with the face of Chinese Communist dictator, Mao Zedong.
"Of course, Mao has his place in the White House," Big Government wailed about the GCOS, taking the Obama-as-socialist meme out for a yuletide spin.
Except, it wasn't exactly Mao. It was Andy Warhol's "Mao."
Boy that takes me back to this entirely discredited piece of garbage:
Excerpt from UNLIMITED ACCESS:
"Gary, you and your team will work on the Blue Room tree."
What? I had been "fired" two years before from the Blue Room tree, the first lady's tree, for complete decorative incompetence.
"They must have forgotten," I thought.
I went out to unload a truckful of ornament boxes. They had been received at another location and then X-rayed and examined to make sure nobody sent the White House a ticking bomb. We brought the boxes into the hallway just north of the Green, Red, and Blue Rooms, between the State Dining Room and the East Room.
The GSA, the Park Service, and the Residence maintenance staff had erected all the trees. Some staff were on high ladders, hanging evergreen garlands. We gathered around folding tables to unpack the ornament boxes.
It took about ten seconds to get the first reaction. "What in the world?"
Then another: "What the hell?"
Then another. "Look at this things! What is it?"
"Hillary's ornaments is what!"
From one end of the hall to the other, about forty people were picking up these "things," staring at them, turning them around, trying to figure them out or stifle their embarrassed laughter. I turned to one of my team members. "What are these things?"
"I heard the theme is The Twelve Days of Christmas, as interpreted by art students from around the country. Hillary sent a letter out just two months ago, really late actually, asking budding artists to send in an interpretation of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and this is what they came up with."
I couldn't believe what I was looking at. "This stuff is just childish garbage! We can't hang this stuff on any White House Christmas tree! This is a bad joke."
"Gary, the orders from the First Lady's Office are to hang these. It's what she wants, so we have to hang them. Anyway, many of them are from 'blue ribbon' art schools, as designated by the Secretary of Education. The whole administration has a stake in this."
"Well, if this is blue ribbon, then we're in serious trouble, educationally." I pulled out one ornament that was five real onion rings (five golden rings) glued to a white styrofoam tray, with a hook attached to the back so it could be hung. But where? Maybe in Bill Clinton's bedroom so he could rip off a midnight snack?
I was disgusted but some of it was actually pretty funny.
"Gary, come here, look at this!" It was a mobile of twelve lords a-leaping. They were leaping al right. The ornament consisted of tiny clay male figurines. Each was naked and had a large erection. My friend said, "Whoops!" and he dropped it on the floor. Then, "Oh, no," as he stomped on it. He joked, "Man, I hope I don't get in trouble with Hillary for that!"
Some of the ornaments were silly and some were dangerous, like the crack pipes hung on a string. We couldn't figure out what crack pipes had to do with Christmas no matter how hard we tried, so we threw them back in the box. Some ornaments were constructed out of various drug paraphernalia, like syringes, heroin spoons, or roach clips, which are colorful devices sometimes adorned with bird feathers and used to hold marijuana joints.
Two turtle doves became two figurines that had the shells of turtles but the heads of birds; there were many of these. Four calling birds were--you guessed it--birds with a telephone, and there were at least two miniature phone booths with four birds inside using the telephone. There was a partridge in a pear, without the tree--a clay pear with a partridge head sticking out of it. Three French hens were French-kissing in a ménage à trois. So many of the ornaments didn't celebrate Christmas as much as they celebrated sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Several of the birds had dark glasses and were blowing saxophones.
"Hey, Gary. Come over here." I walked over. It was another leaping lords ornament. Each "lord" had a wooden body with a photograph of Rush Limbaugh for a head. A dozen ditto-heads, suitable for hanging, but nobody had the guts to hang Rush Limbaugh on Hillary's tree, so back in the box it went.
First, though, I held the Limbaugh ornament up, while someone took a picture of me. It was like holding twelve sticks of dynamite in my hand, because with my bad luck, I expected one of the Clinton folks or maybe the Clintons themselves to walk around the corner just as the camera flash went off. But I was lucky this time.
I went over to one of the tables I hadn't looked at yet. What's this? Of course. Two turtle doves, but they didn't have shells this time--they were joined together in an act of bird fornication.
I picked up another ornament that was supposed to illustrate five golden rings. One of the male florist volunteers grabbed my arm and laughed and laughed.
"What's so funny? What are you laughing at?"
"Don't you know what you're holding?"
No, I didn't, but he was happy to explain it to me: the golden rings I was holding were sex toys known as "c*ck rings"--and they had nothing to do with chickens.
Another mystery ornament was the gingerbread man. How did he fit into The Twelve Days of Christmas? Then I got it. There were five small, gold rings I hadn't seen at first: one in his ear, one in his nose, one through his nipple, one through his belly button, and, of course, the ever-popular c*ck ring.
I couldn't believe the disrespect that these ornaments represented. Many of the artists invited to make and send something to hang on the tree must have had nothing but disgust, hatred, and disrespect for the White House and the citizens of the country, a disgust obviously encouraged by the first lady in the name of artistic freedom.
I thought of all the children, grandmothers, and grandfathers waling past the White House's Blue Room, looking at the first lady's Christmas tree and wondering what in the hell had possessed the White House.
Here was another five golden rings ornament--five gold-wrapped condoms. I threw it in the trash. There were other condom ornaments, some still in the wrapper, some not. Two sets had been "blown" into balloons and tied to small trees. I wasn't sure what the connection was to The Twelve Days of Christmas. Condoms in a pear tree?
When we were through, the first lady's tree had all the beauty and majesty of a landfill.
Hillary's social secretary, Ann Stock, came down, carefully looked at the tree and its decorations and pronounced it "perfect" and "delightful." My shoulders sagged. Stock had been our last, best hope to clean up this "mistake" But instead, she thought it was "neat." At least we had turned the gingerbread man around so that his golden rings didn't face the tour line. I came back later and took some pictures of the tree and "Mr. Gingerbread Man" with rings side out. I knew nobody would believe this without photographic proof.
While I was working on the tree, Craig Livingstone happened to stop by. He was surprised to see me placing ornaments on Hillary's tree, but I told him I was an old hand at this decorating business. Livingstone was leading Oliver Stone and Michael Douglas in a tour around the White House. Stone was making Nixon, and Douglas was making An American President. Stone looked stoned to me, as he gazed around, obviously thinking of this "shot" or that. I wasn't impressed. Still, this must have been a great moment for Livingstone, our White House security director, whose goal in life was to become a Hollywood producer.
But the cameras, surprisingly enough, soon fell not on Michael Douglas or on the dazed Oliver Stone or the photogenically challenged Craig Livingstone; they fell on me. I was interviewed by Martha Stewart, who was doing a Christmas special to be aired later on a major network morning show. She promised she would not blow my cover when she learned I was an FBI agent.
As she looked around the tree she made "hmmmm" sounds. If she didn't like the tree, she was very diplomatic about it. I wondered what she really thought. It seemed to me most people could have only one thought: "Throw a tarp over it!"
Aside from displaying sex toys and self-mutilation devices on the nation's Christmas tree, there was another "change" in the way the White House celebrated Christmas. Hillary decided to delete spouses from the invitation-only staff Christmas party. This caused a bit of a stir, not only because it broke with tradition, but because it raised a question I had heard several permanent staffers ask: "Why is Hillary so hostile to families?"
I think it's because they represent a sphere of loyalty outside her control. And Hillary likes to be in charge.
Different ornaments, same old crap. Wingnuts will believe anything.
digby 12/25/2009 06:00:00 PM