Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Dusty Awards, Part II

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We're back, my friends, with Part 2 of the nominations for the Dusty Awards.

As you may remember from last week, I hope to establish the "Dusties" as a sort of anti-Pulitzer Prize, a celebration of the truly ridiculous, absurd, and just plain wrong in media.

This week, we have the nominations for a category I've named the Princess and the Pea Award.

This one is named after the fairy tale of the princess who was so sensitive that she couldn't sleep on a stack of mattresses and bedding because a tiny pea underneath the whole pile felt like a boulder to her royal tushie. "They saw at once," the story goes, "that she must be a real princess when she had felt the pea through 20 mattresses and 20 feather beds. Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate skin."

This award goes to journalists or commentators whose thin skin and delicate constitution leads them to try to create the most mortal insult to truth, justice and the American Way from the smallest incident.

The first nominee is, once again, our old friend Glenn Beck of CNN. Ol' Glenn managed to work himself into a lather over, of all things, the upcoming G.I. Joe movie, because Joe, says Glenn, "has now been discharged from the American military, and Hollywood now has him answering to some bullcrap international force like the U.N. We all know that the U.N. is a toothless bunch of pansies. They don't deserve somebody like Joe, even the little plastic version."

Glenn, Princess, there's something called a "life" you might look into getting. It's G.I. Joe, Glenn. It's a stupid movie based on a stupid cartoon based on a stupid -- OK, well the toys weren't stupid. In fact, they were pretty awesome. But still, lighten up. Joe's made of plastic. You can't insult plastic people. Well, maybe Paris Hilton.

The second nominee is the right-wing "news" Web site WND founder Joseph Farah, among others, got his knickers in a wad over a Google Doodle.

What's a Google Doodle, you may ask? Well, the online search site Google occasionally puts up little lighthearted pictures -- "doodles" -- into its logo: a pumpkin for Halloween replacing the "o" in "Google," a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day, etc.

When the 50th anniversary of the launching of the Soviet satellite Sputnik rolled around, the folks at Google put a little picture of the cosmic traveler in the logo. Shouldn't be a big deal, right? The launching of Sputnik was a historical event of major significance. It jolted the U.S. out of complacency and kick-started the space race that led us to eventually put men on the moon. So why not commemorate it, however whimsically?

Enter the Princess Farah, his tender sensibilities bruised beyond his ability to bear. Why, he sputtered, should we "honor" the accomplishment of those dirty Reds, especially since Google didn't put up a doodle for Veterans Day or Memorial Day?

"When they ignore Veterans Day and Memorial Day," Farah writes, "I think they're telling us something about the way they view America."

This ignores the fact that Google always puts up patriotic Doodles for the Fourth of July. Not to mention the fact there are no real cutesy pictures to put up for somber holidays like those, at least not without sending the Princesses into another fit of high dudgeon.

Nominations for this award, by the way, will stay open until the end of the year. After all, November and December are the prime months for conservative pundits to lash themselves into a teeth-gnashing frenzy over some store putting up "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" in its window.

Seriously, what is wrong with these people? Why the obsessive need to take minutiae and try to inflate them into national crises?

Well, I have two theories. The first is that the 24-hour demand for news, and the proliferation of commentators, means that people like Beck and Farah are desperate for something, anything, that will provide them with material to fill those long and empty hours. The other theory is that they're all just a bunch of weenies. You make the call.

Meanwhile, the Senate just approved a nominee for attorney general who says he can't decide if waterboarding is torture, even though we called it a war crime when the Japanese did it.

Oh, and said nominee for the nation's top law-enforcement official also thinks the president can simply ignore laws that Congress passes, so long as he can claim it's for our own good. Haven't heard Messrs. Beck or Farah issue a peep over this real outrage.

But hoo-boy, let Barack Obama fail to wear a flag pin in his lapel, and listen to the Princesses squeal.


Anonymous said...

veterans day doodle currently on google front page

Randy Johnson said...

I'll vote for the weenies. If you had a cruder designation for people like that, it would be get my vote even more enthusiastically.

Unknown said...

Great awards, Dusty, but I'm sorry you felt you had to take a swipe at Paris Hilton. Will the persecution never end?

Tasha Alexander said...

I'm loving these awards.

Someday, when you've swept the nation and the ceremony is being televised can I please, please, please be a presenter????

Anonymous said...

Google has shown the Princess Farah to be ... reality-challenged. Today's logo has "tin hat" helmets on the vowels.

JD Rhoades said...


Tasha: I was thinking you could host.

David: and how long do you think it will be before someone criticizes it as "frivolous" and "disrespectful" ?

I mean, look what happened to Hillary Clinton. First the wingnuts were all up in arms becuase she didn't leave a tip at a diner in Iowa, then it turns out that her campaign actually left a hundred dollar tip on a 157 dollar order, so now Fox is talking about how she's a "rich limousine liberal."

Tasha Alexander said...

I can't think of anything I'd like better than hosting. Will start looking for an appropriate dress at once.

And don't worry -- no swans....

Anonymous said...

How long do I think it'll take before some wingnut characterizes that doodle as "frivolous" and "disrespectful"? About as long as it takes to say "frivolus and disrespectful".

Sean Chercover said...

Dusty said: "Why the obsessive need to take minutiae and try to inflate them into national crises? Well, I have two theories..."

Here's another theory: Constantly inflating minutiae into national crisis is a pretty effective way of distracting Americans from the actual national crisis going on. When we get tired of celebrity gossip, we can wallow in the shallowest kind of political discourse, while still telling ourselves that we're "staying current" on the "serious" issues.

The government is using the constitution for toilet paper, while we argue about Obama's lapel pin.

Happy Veterans' Day.