There was a grey malaise on top of the usual dense, smog-filled morning I have learned to enjoy since moving to Los Angeles. Some call it ‘June Gloom,’ but since it is neither June nor do I reside in the vicinity of a marine layer, I had to grind my wheels towards a different conclusion. Could it be the unemployment? The depression-filled days squandered by lack of interesting things upon which to report? Is it because I ran out of coffee yesterday?
No. This undulating, everlasting nothing was the warning shots for what I would discover with my morning cup of PG Tips: the Right Network.
Now, owning a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science adorns you with a certain amount of sensitivity, humor, and stomach for the more absurd things that come out of the political spectrum. After all, mine is a generation that grew up with Dan Quayle and hocked Bill Clinton as its patron saint.
Nevertheless, when viewing the following advertisement for this independently-owned media company, launching this summer, I found I had a visceral reaction to the news:
Maybe it was my liberal upbringing. Maybe it was the way in which Fraiser Kelsey Grammer adopted Tim Gunn’s snarky attitude and used it against a leftist agenda. Or maybe because amongst the things Grammer listed as ‘wrong with the world,’ baby carrots and bailouts for billionaires were fundamentally equated, while cotton-ribbed thermals paired with a suit and tennis shoes were entirely forgotten.
Liberal cheap shots aside, I still found this move towards the clever, flavored, and cool discomforting. While I appreciate the sense of humor and down-to-earth mission behind the video, I can’t help but feel a little distrustful. Is this the right-wing’s way of hipping Sarah Palin into our ballots come 2012? Or is this a way of wooing back the younger, middle-class breed of would-be conservatives by rebranding the right-wing image as one chic, stylish, and hip (enlisting a growing number of bohemians who have a little more money to spend or what California calls ‘fiscal conservatives’).
Take a quintessential right-wing Hollywood ‘smart guy’ (in this case Dennis Miller must have been busy), leave out the typical icons of Americana (Chevy trucks, Budweiser Clydesdales, tractors), add a dash of charisma and suddenly you have the new Republican Party.
Sinking into the self-deprecating abyss that is my faithlessness in humanity and its inability to wade through bullshit, I sought out more information on this Right Network and found this advertisement, geared to, I assume, the ‘less cynical, slightly-more-right-of-center’ Right-wing class:
I wheezed a belabored sigh of relief (yes, another joke about Central LA). The topsy-turvy of the morning had settled and clouds parted to reveal the same musty sunlight.
All is Right with the world.