Friday, October 10, 2008

"Yes, they do Otto. They just don't understand it."

I just read the stupidest article that I've seen posing as legitimate, mainstream journalism in quite a while. It's called "An Antichrist Obama in McCain Ad?", and it was written by someone named Amy Sullivan, who appears to be working for the Obama campaign, but publishing under a byline that suggests that she's an actual reporter for TIME (in partnership with CNN).

It's all about this web commercial that the McCain campaign put out:

I though it was pretty funny. But apparently you can't poke fun at Obama's Olympian ego without committing some sort of unpardonable sin like racism, or calling him the Antichrist, or denying Global Warming, or some such.

The first "evidence" of McCain's nefarious intent is the ad's reference to Obama as "The One," which the author seems to think is a reference to the Antichrist character in the Left Behind books:

As the ad begins, the words "It should be known that in 2008 the world shall be blessed. They will call him The One" flash across the screen. The Antichrist of the Left Behind books is a charismatic young political leader named Nicolae Carpathia who founds the One World religion (slogan: "We Are God") and promises to heal the world after a time of deep division. One of several Obama clips in the ad features the Senator saying, "A nation healed, a world repaired. We are the ones that we've been waiting for."

The funny thing is that you won't see Nicolae Carpathia referred to as "The One" in the Left Behind books. As anyone with half a brain knows, "The One" is Neo on The Matrix. And, of course, it's what Oprah called Obama:

But enough of "The One." Let's move on:

The visual images in the ad, which Davis says has been viewed even more than McCain's "Celeb" ad linking Obama to the likes of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, also seem to evoke the cover art of several Left Behind books. But they're not the cartoonish images of clouds parting and shining light upon Obama that might be expected in an ad spoofing him as a messiah. Instead, the screen displays a sinister orange light surrounded by darkness and later the faint image of a staircase leading up to heaven.

Hmmm.... The light shining through the clouds in the ad "seems to evoke the cover art of several of the Left Behind books." I guess that could be true, if depicting sunlight piercing through the darkness in a yellow-orange color were an original creation of Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. In reality, only the first book of Left Behind series bears even a passing resemblance, and they still got the colors wrong:

I still haven't figured out why yellow-orange light poking through dark clouds is "sinister," but if the folks at TIME (in partnership with CNN) say it is, who am I to argue? In fact, I think I'll use it from here on out. (Way too much on the orange side, but it'll have to do.)

And a less critical viewer might might mistake the "staircase leading up to heaven" referenced in the article to the stairs in the aisle of the theater where Obama was appearing. At least that's what it looked like to me when I went back and watched the video again. (And just what is Ms. Sullivan implying about Led Zeppelin?)

And I suppose they could have used the "cartoonish images of clouds parting and shining light upon Obama" that the author thinks would be more appropriate, but somehow, I think something like this would have spoiled the mock-serious tone that they seemed to be going for:

But enough of that. This next paragraph is the real howler:

Perhaps the most puzzling scene in the ad is an altered segment from The 10 Commandments that appears near the end. A Moses-playing Charlton Heston parts the animated waters of the Red Sea, out of which rises the quasi-presidential seal the Obama campaign used for a brief time earlier this summer before being mocked into retiring it. The seal, which features an eagle with wings spread, is not recognizable like the campaign's red-white-and-blue "O" logo. That confused Democratic consultant Eric Sapp until he went to his Bible and remembered that in the apocalyptic Book of Daniel, the Antichrist is described as rising from the sea as a creature with wings like an eagle.

I'm having a really hard time figuring out what was "puzzling" about this imagery. What better to follow Obama's announcement that his ascension has stemmed the rising tide of Global Warming than Moses demonstrating his mastery over the waters?

And what's all this about the seal? So what if it doesn't resemble the Obama campaign "O" logo that Ms. Sullivan finds more familiar? Since they're poking fun at Obama's Titanic ego, why wouldn't they use the extremely presumptuous faux presidential seal that he used earlier in the campaign? The one that looked like this:

Perhaps if Ms Sullivan and the rest of the Obamatons at TIME (in partnership with CNN) learned how to use Google, or better yet Google Images, she, or a fact checker or editor (if they still have such things) might have noted the absurdity of the claim that the eagle is a reference to the Book of Daniel.

Here's the part (Daniel 7:2-4) to which the Mr. Sapp Ms. Sullivan interviewed was referring:

Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it."

If it were a reference to Daniel, the wings would be on a lion, not an eagle. An eagle, on the other hand, can be found on the Great Seal of the United States, which makes perfect sense as a reference to Obama's use of a faux Presidential seal on his podium earlier in the campaign.

And besides, any Fundi worth his salt could tell you that the beast with a body like a lion and wings like an eagle was the Assyrian and Chaldean empire under Nebuchadnezzar (after whom the ship in The Matrix was named), not the Antichrist. The Antichrist is the little horn on the fourth beast (you remember the fourth beast--it was different from the others and had ten horns but no mention of any wings).

And I'll conclude with a clip from A Fish Called Wanda that's totally irrelevant, except tho the extent that "confused Democratic consultant Eric Sapp" might be compared to Otto:

But what about Ms. Sullivan? Did she even read it, or did she just take some Sapp's word for it?