Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Scurlock is a Sharknado candidate

There are bad movies and there are bad political candidates.  There are big bloated terrible blockbuster movies that everyone has to suffer whether they want to or not. Like Avatar or whatever the new comic book movie is this week. And there are big bloated avatars of institutional political awfulness that everyone has to suffer like Bobby Jindal or Mitch Landrieu.

Then there are bad movies which, yeah, maybe they fail and they make you feel bad but they're also kind of funny and pathetic because of how shitty they are. There's a whole pop culture industry in finding the humor in their failure. Ray Nagin and probably George W Bush fit here. There's a pop culture industry and finding the humor in them too.

And then there are movies which are intentionally bad. There are films now designed to be mocked. They're ironically bad but they aren't satire. There's no good or bad artistic vision to them that fails or succeeds. They're just there as cynically devised fodder for the internet's attention.  We're talking here, of course, about the Sharknado phenomenon.
But for those of us with a genuine love for bad movies, who seek out treasures of terribleness, the Sharknado social media storm was kind of like when everybody discovered rap music via Vanilla Ice. That’s not the genuine article — it’s a plastic, artificial, manufactured substitute.

Because truly great bad movies can’t be made that way, with this kind of snickering, ironic snark-viewing in mind. A genuinely bad movie — a Manos, a Miami Connection, a Hobgoblins, a Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a Troll 2 — is a found object, and intention is everything. The people who made those movies didn’t think they were making bad movies; they were striving for greatness.
There's no there there to Sharknado. Its only purpose is to claim it made you look. Turns out we're starting to get political candidates like that too
While floodwaters were still rising around New Orleans on Saturday, mayoral candidate Frank Scurlock entered a social-media debate about the city’s removal of Confederate monuments and suggested that the flooding was result of God’s displeasure with the city.

“God has washed and flooded the City twice in 2 weeks. Maybe he is not happy,” Scurlock wrote around 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5. He added about 15 minutes later, “God gave man Freewill and instructions on how to Live. Perhaps erasing history and not honoring the past is not in liking to him and his ways….”
Does he mean any of that?  Could anybody really? Okay well don't answer that second question. Just know that Scurlock doesn't mean this or probably most of what he says. He's a joke candidate. We've had joke candidates in the past. Actually, I think Manny Chevrolet is on the ballot again this year, in fact. But usually a joke candidate runs as an actual parody of the process, or as a self-deprecating lark, or, well some of them are just nuts. But Scurlock is different. He's a premeditated and manufactured joke. And it's not an especially funny one.

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