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What's So Funny

Although a riveting "Rose Is Rose" storyline -- in which Pascuale's guardian angel follows the family on a road trip -- has kept What's So Funny's attention focused squarely on the funny pages lately, we did get wind of a recent Tom Tancredo slip-up. Piecing together overheard snippets of RTD conversation and a handful of CNN news crawls that we may have watched while black-out drunk, we pretty much figured out what happened. Old Tommy T, hopped up on rubber cement and wearing a tight, ass-less American-flag jumpsuit, apparently waved an AK-47 outside a packed mosque while screaming into a megaphone about how he was going to bomb the Hagia Sophia into the Stone Age and take out India altogether. Then he whipped out his li'l immigrant and proceeded to piss on a copy of the Koran. We think.

Regardless of the actual "facts," it's clear that Tancredo, congressman from Colorado's sixth district, has infuriated people once again, opening that great mouth of his wide enough to fit nineteen empanadas and further taint this state's image. His recent remarks sparked ire around the world, prompting organizers of Monday's Enough Is Enough Rallyto abandon the conventional wisdom of don't-encourage-him-by-reacting-angrily-because-that's-just-the-publicity-he's-seeking in favor of letting people know that Tancredo does not represent everyone in Colorado. Anyone else see the irony in that? Terrible Tom, a staunchly anti-illegal-immigrant pundit who would seal off the United States if he could find enough tub caulk, belches a comment that goes international, and his opponents decide to shut him up -- almost as if they wish there were a way to keep such comments within U.S. borders, eh, comrades? Sounds like both groups want closed borders. Take a moment to find a spoon and savor that delicious irony.

Every newspaper and television station in town was at the State Capitol, and what struck What's So Funny was not how newsworthy an event the rally was, but how easy it was for the media to manipulate it into one. A dozen cameras filmed a handful of people signing up to become members of stoptancredo.com, whose numbers will appear much larger when broadcast a gabillion times on everything from News 4 to Telemundo. A prayer circle was surrounded by the same flock of cameras, crashing in on the group like some eerie scene from The Birds. Eager reporters bounced from supporter to dissident, white person to Muslim, dutifully capturing that spectrum of diverse opinions that makes everyone feel good when they go to sleep at night.

Then the speakers took to the steps, and they were upset and boring and eloquent and incapable, lambasting the congressman with mixed levels of success. We can't let the Tancrenator determine our values, they all agreed, as several young children giggled about with signs placed in their hands by their parents that read "Tancredo is wrong for Colorado."

"Hey, buddy, what do you think of Tom Tancredo?" we asked one little boy.

"Bad," he said automatically, as if coached by an attorney. Then he continued rolling his water bottle down the steps and chasing after it. Good thing no one is forcing their values on that little fella, eh, comrades? Again, find your irony spoon. Delicious.

Things soon fizzled out with all the excitement of a tire deflating, and the rally drew to a close. Cameras turned on the zealots with their placards of questionable sanity, and the crazies hammed it up with glee. Downtown workers returned to their cubes, and tech guys dismantled the mikes. In D.C. Tancredo was still a pompous asshole, and in Denver there was a new website. What's So Funny headed back to the office. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you can catch the next day's "Rose Is Rose" online.

 
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