If you needed it, some evidence that Americans just spend too much of their time trying to keep idle minds occupied with mindless entertainment just hit the news stands today. A number of news sources reported on what most people saw as an amusing story about congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen hanging up on President-elect Barack Obama out of fear it was a prank call: what I saw as glaring evidence we in America spend a little too much time and effort on bullshit TV and radio shows.
According to the BBC, Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen received a phone call from someone claiming to be President-elect Barack Obama. After listening to the man talk for about a minute, she informed him that she wouldn’t be punked, and hung up on him, no doubt wondering how Ashton Kutcher manages such a dead-on impersonation of Obama.
It took two further phone calls – one from soon-to-be Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel – and the urging of one of her fellow congressmen before Ros-Lehtinen finally realized, oh shit, I just hung up on the most powerful man in the world.
Evidence We’re Obsessed With Bullshit?
Abso-fuckin’-lutely. What the hell kind of country do we live in when, on the heels of a national election, the first thing a congresswoman thinks when she gets a phone call from the White House is that it must be an elaborate prank by some asshole radio DJ in South Florida who manages to pull off both a Barack Obama and a spot-on Rahm Emmanuel impression, probably while smoking dope in the back of the studio?
The woman is the leading Republican on the House Foreign Relations Committee, for god’s sake. Is it a far stretch to think she might get a call from the guy who is about to face the difficult task of rebuilding the relationships old G-Dub destroyed around the world? But no, her mind immediately jumps to the entertainment industry and their wild antics because that’s what we’ve been conditioned to think about first and foremost.
Even our politicians think about Ashton Kutcher before Rahm Emmanuel. I mean, granted, if Barack Obama gave me a call, I’d probably think it was bullshit. But I’m not the leading Republican on a god damn congressional committee, either. Here’s my general rule of thumb: if people just call you by your name, you’re probably not getting calls from Barack Obama. If people call you, I dunno, senator, representative, or maybe pumbah, it might actually be the fucking president on the phone, and you shouldn’t hang up on him.
So let’s be fair to Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Apparently she’d heard about Sarah Palin’s mishap with a prankster from Montreal, who convinced possibly the dumbest person to ever run for the vice presidency that he was French president Nicholas Zarkozy. She didn’t want the same thing to happen to her, and hey, we can all understand that.
But seriously, we’re in a national recession, we’re spending billions of dollars rebuilding someone else’s country since we fucked it up worse than The Who in a five-star hotel, our education is a mess, most of the country can’t afford basic healthcare, people are losing their homes… you get the point. The country is rapidly turning into the United States of Koetze*, so how the fuck do our congressional leaders have time to cruise youTube doing searches for “palin gets pranked?” I suggest we take away their Internet priviledges. The only one who doesn’t give a rat’s ass if we do? You guessed it: John McCain.
*Writer’s Note: Koetze, based on the German for vomit, is used here since the English language has no stronger form of the word puke, to denote a metaphorical super-puke.