Thursday, January 10, 2008

PopMatters on Chuck & Huck

In trying to apprehend the appeal of the Huckabee candidacy, New York Times columnist David Brooks noted in a 04 January op-ed that the Arkansas governor was our first “ironic evangelical”: “funny, campy…and not at war with modern culture.” This may be true, but as the primary season wears on, it’s worth remembering that the Late Night With Conan O’Brien sketch that re-canonized Chuck Norris as an ironic god in the pop-culture pantheon consisted of the show mocking a clip of Walker, Texas Ranger in which a small boy casually announces to an elderly couple, “Walker told me I have AIDS.” The scene is both horrifying and hysterical—doubly so when you realize that Chuck Norris is so ridiculous that he makes children with AIDS seem momentarily hilarious.

Given that Huckabee’s own views on AIDS (and women and homosexuality) are so preposterous that he manages somehow to come across as ridiculous rather than horrifying, the governor should hope that our culture’s love affair with Family Guy-esque absurdity continues through the primary season. The rest of us can simply hope that now that the age of irony has been officially embraced by two of the least cool things on Earth—presidential politics and fundamentalist Christianity—its end is finally upon us. If Chuck Norris pulls that off, it’ll be a fact worth remembering.

PopMatters always amazes me, not because I always agree or because it always makes the best case or argument or something, but just by taking things to a new level (Family Guy? Chuck Norris? the death of irony? Huckabee? Whaaat?). (via)

No comments: