Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My profoundly shallow take on Ukrainian politics.

Say what we might about the nastiness of American politics lately, Congress is relatively civil. Sure, calling opponents baby killers and liars is pretty indecorous, but it doesn't hold a candle to the rowdy shit-talking that constitutes a British Parliamentary proceeding.

 Maybe we were just scared straight by our own deadly potential. After all, Aaron Burr capped Alexander Hamilton over an unflattering newspaper article. I like to imagine the aftermath of that incident being a truce in American politics similar to what took place among rappers following the murders of Tupac and Biggie. One of these days some ambitious grad student will unearth sheet music and lyrics to the 1804 version of "I'll Be Missing You," featuring Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

Of course, by the Jackson era, youngsters would have come to regard any peace negotiated by their powder-wigged elders as pussified dithering, and after a couple decades of macho posturing something was bound to happen.

Sure enough, in 1856 Charles Sumner went and opened his damn mouth, and for his trouble was nearly caned to death in the Senate chamber by Preston Brooks while Laurence M. Keitt (aka Ice-T of the Confederacy) stood by wielding a pistol to discourage any would-be interventionists.

The point is that clowns like Joe Wilson and Randy Neugebauer might be annoying, but they're no gangsters. Just dumb guys whose brain-mouth filters need to be replaced.

Or maybe that's not actually the point. I was supposed to say something shallow about Ukraine, right?

Oh, yes. Ukrainian politics--these dudes are wild. When was the last time you saw American politicians respond to a vote they disagreed with by hurling eggs, smoke bombs, and fists at the opposition? Never, you say? Well then, feast your eyes on this debacle.
But the best part of this whole thing is the consistency of news coverage anytime the Ukrainian political situation gets hairy. I noticed this a few years back and always look for it when I hear that the Ukrainians are mad about something. What I mean is this: no matter what the issue, no matter what her involvement, it seems that no report on Ukrainian politics is complete without a photo of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko doing something. Seriously, anything, as long as she's on camera.

And, well, I appreciate that.

2 comments:

ali said...

i wish american politics were this awesome. i'd definitely have gone into politics if someday i thought i'd have the chance to take a swing a dick cheney while voting for something in congress.

BJG. said...

The funny thing is that I think Yulia Tymoshenko is something like their Cheney. Nobody's gonna punch that face.