Monday, May 01, 2006


I was going to blog something on Stephen Colbert's absolutely fearless hosting at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, but Skylarkd beat me to it. You can read the transcript of his talk here. There's also no shortage of places online to see the media, although most people seem to prefer the transcript to truly appreciate what he said.

And you have to realize that he said this with the President of the United States sitting mere feet away. It's one thing to makes these jokes when on a sound stage surrounded by a friendly audience. Saying these things with the subject of his scorn that close is sadly remarkably courageous in these times.

Skylarkd has some of her favourite quotes in her piece, but this is mine:

"And reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Oh, and the bit...

"So, Mr. President, please, pay no attention to the people that say the glass is half full. 32% means the glass -- it's important to set up your jokes properly, sir. Sir, pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass is my point, but I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash. Okay, look, folks, my point is that I don't believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull before a comeback."

And what the hell, this bit also...

"So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!"

My God....

So in lieu of not writing about that ahem, how about this...the Ms. Downhome pageant.

Oh yes, you read that right. In Toronto each year, one of the Newfoundland clubs hosts a "Ms. Downhome Pageant". And who exactly qualifies for the Ms. Downhome Pageant? Well, any woman from Atlantic Canada. And what do you have to do to be dubbed Ms. Downhome? Glad you asked.

According to the Toronto Sun (who else) and the pageant's website, these are the categories:

First Event - Bikini Competition - The girls have their one and only opportunity to show the judging panel why East Coast women are considered the sexiest in Canada! After this event, it is all downhill…

Second Event - Glamour Competition - The girls try to look their most elegant strutting on the stage carrying a fishing rod and wearing nothing but chest waders.

Third Event - Hooking Competition - The girls try to bait as many worms as they can on a hook in a minute.

Fourth Event - Skill-Testing Question - The girls are asked questions so obscure that only a true East Coaster would know the answer.

Fifth Event - Bikini Jig - The girls dance to a live fiddler while holding an open, full bottle of beer in each hand.

And what do you win?

Round trip to the East Coast birth place of the winner.
A generous clothing allowance
A full day at one of Toronto's finest spas
Being the The Toronto Sun's "Sunshine Girl" dressed in the glamour component
(see clipping of last year's "Miss DownHome" Sunshine Girl, April)
Many other media interviews, and much more positive media exposure
Being the main subject of all future television, print, radio, and web advertising
Being the centre of a star-studded kick-off party for next year's show
Being the centre of a star-studded press conference for next year's show
Being the centre of all media attention leading up to next year's show

So I'll let you be the judge. Is it:

A. A celebration of Newfoundland and Maritime Culture.
B. Harmless fun by a bunch of Atlantic Canadians lonely and desperate at being stuck in Toronto
C. Setting back women's rights about 40 years.
D. Setting back attempts at making Newfoundlander not seem like a joke to the rest of Canada 50 years
E. A and B
F. C and D

Currently Playing
Demolition - Ryan Adams


SkylarKD said...

C and D! C and D!!
The mind reels...

Thanks for the link, by the way! I wonder if Colbert had bodyguards escort him to his car afterwards?..

dups said...

One thing about this. Everyone seems to think that the AP weren't aware that Colbert was going to roast them as well as the President. The President of AP introduces Colbert and is actually only included in a few of the videos posted around the web.

He says by way of introduction (and warning): "Nobody is going to be safe from this speech".

I agree though. Probably the smartest, well-written speech I have read or seen in a long time. The videos show whole sections grimacing and not laughing...

It's also funny how the mainstream media reported on the dual Bush stunt but very few reported on Colbert's speech. Perhaps Colbert hit a sore spot? Colbert and Jon Stewart: The two funniest and, ironically, honest TV anchormen in the United States right now.

mumblingmonkey said...

C and D. I feel sick just reading that.

colette said...

Watching classic TH22M and Air Farce (and our Press Gallery Dinner), you realize that quite a few Canadian politicians actually do have a sense of humour about themselves. And sadly, it would be the political death of them were they south of the border where the party officials and electorate even feel free to weigh in on the President's choice of spouse for christ's sake. I don't particularly like John McCain's politics but he's the only current American politician I can recall off the top of my head who can handle Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert with good humour (and even send a few zingers their way in return).

colette said...

Check out some other reactions to Stephen Colbert's speech at The man touched a nerve.

And to add to the "American politicians with a sense of humour" list--Senator Huckabee last night with Colbert wasn't too bad.