Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ukraine-o-Mania: Eye Candy Crush Edition

The only thing more absurd than Barack Obama cheaply bribing a multi-billionaire Ukrainian candy magnate with bushels of bulletproof vests and night goggles is the notion that a grainy "leaked" video of Obama exercising in a public Polish gym constitutes a security breach.

If Obama and his Secret Service detail didn't want amateur cell phone footage of himself pumping iron and grinding on an elliptical trainer in order to spread his everyman manliness throughout the world, we never would have been able to feast our starving eyes upon it. The president, so beleaguered at home from the latest pseudo-scandal (the release of a POW who turns out not to be a plastic GI Joe Patriot) and the quickly fading real scandal of VA hospital malfeasance, found himself in dire need of some distracting publicity. Something that shows him to be both adorably vulnerable and ripped. You see, when he is not candy-crushing the world with his sweet weaponized aid, Obama is eye candy. He is also a human being. (Just like you, only smarter and more physically fit).

Shadowy Action Figure I

(The above photo is not a playable video. If you're that desperate to watch Barack playing you, then you can find the real deal here at TMZ, the go-to celebrity gossip rag where celebrities go to plant candid side-boob shots of themselves.)

For more staid and sober coverage with an undertone of hot steamy sex appeal, I personally prefer the New York Daily News. Their story is unsparing in providing us with the sights and sounds that TMZ so snarkily avoided. You can almost smell the locker room testosterone:
Footage shows POTUS, in a black tracksuit with headphones in his ears, doing a series of weight lifting exercises — including lunges, side raises, step-ups and shoulder presses.
The 52-year-old didn’t let jet lag get in the way of his fitness, finishing up his workout on an elliptical machine.
The short clip of the presidential fitness session was first leaked to Fakt, a Polish tabloid, and then quickly made the rounds online.
Onlookers told the tabloid Obama didn't hold back during his 45 minute workout, as he "heavily sighed and groaned" doing the exercises that were listed on a piece of paper he carried around during his routine.
On the gym wall, behind the President, was a Nike ad, emblazoned with an American flag and the phrase “Give it all you’ve got” written in Polish.
That just about sums up Obama's whole foreign policy: lunges, sidesteps, and pressers, dependent upon talking points from a crib sheet, his earplugs well jammed in to avoid distractions and heavy sighs abounding. It is all unfailingly performed as an advertising brand draped in the American flag. Kind of like fascism.

And what's neoliberal diplomacy and touting hard human sacrifice without also plugging a fun violent fantasy role-playing video game? Gushed Obama to the prime minister of Poland:
I’ve said a lot today already about why we think Poland is so important, why the alliance between the United States and Poland is so important, but perhaps during my remarks here I can say a little bit about why the economic progress that we’ve seen in Poland is so important.  Economic growth wasn’t inevitable just because Poland achieved its political freedom.  It wasn’t easy.  Reforms here in Poland have been hard and have not been without sacrifice.  But as you drive through Warsaw, you see that Poland is a country on the move, one with one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in Europe, a manufacturing powerhouse, and a hub of high-tech innovation. 

In fact, the last time I was here, Donald (Prime Minister Tusk) gave me a gift -- the video game developed here in Poland that’s won fans the world over, “The Witcher.”  I confess, I’m not very good at video games, but I’ve been told that it is a great example of Poland’s place in the new global economy and it’s a tribute to the talents and the work ethic of the Polish people, as well as the wise stewardship of Polish leaders, like Prime Minister Tusk.

Shadowy Action Figure II

In fairness, Obama did not admit to actually playing the game. He's got enough virtual reality to keep himself (and other countries) occupied.

Also, there is no word whether Obama gifted Petro Poroshenko, the candy oligarch-turned-president, with an actual copy of the popular Candy Crush game to accompany the expensive high tech toys being used to crush the Eastern Ukraine "separatists" and further enrich the American military-industrial complex.

And thus, for our distracted pleasure, comes the prurient grainy Obama exercise video, deflecting the American corporate media and gossip-mongers from the atrocities being exercised upon Eastern Ukrainian civilians. It's cheaper to cover a cheap contrived workout session than it is to cover the latest episode of state-sponsored terror wrapped in the American humanitarian flag.  It helps Obama get away with calling the wholesale slaughter of hundreds of people by a right wing coup "bringing peace and order to the east."

And his proclamation that he is "deeply impressed with Poroshenko's vision as a businessman" is all too eerily reminiscent of his praise of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as a "savvy businessman."

But, whatever. The un-American beard of Bowe Bergdahl's father is what is morally repellant to the media mavens who are keeping you pseudo-informed and pseudo-enraged. After all, most Americans can't even locate Ukraine on a map.


Pearl said...

It is interesting to follow the strange goings on regarding the release of Bowe Bergdahl and the questions about his status as a possible deserter that the press has latched onto. Also the hints that his father is a strange person with his long beard (grown as a reminder of his son's incarceration) and resembling a member of the Taliban.
I have mentioned a few times in recent comments that I felt that odd happenings in the administration will be showing up to downgrade Obama but why he got this release of Bergdahl and without consulting Congress makes one wonder whether he had a real humanitarian moment or was afraid the exchange would not go through if the information about this man's background would be revealed.

I wonder if the ex prisoner and his parent's remarks will be muffled now as I feel they may have an interesting story to tell. At any rate like Snowden it creates conflict in the press and all throwing more mud on Obama's reputation which he may or may not deserve in this instance. And the endless ugly story of Guantanamo is mostly ignored. Stay tuned to this ongoing soap opera and keep us informed, Karen.

William Neil said...

When do you think "TMZ" will start following Thomas Piketty around?

I have to watch that show in the workplace lunchroom, and have to say I've never seen junior high level gossip traffic elevated to such national prominence. Instead of the old individual Hollywood gossip column, we now have a real time panel - of what - 10-20 commentators, who still defer to the "big dog" who barks them down when they get too far out of line. I guess you could say this is an evolution of the gossip column form away from "individualism" and towards a more pluralistic format.

Participatory "democracy" anyone?

James F Traynor said...

Embarrassing, and damn poor form on those side lifts; he's just begging for shoulder problems. I'm embarrassed at myself for even watching.

Zee said...

Not surprising that President Beefcake is working out in Poland with his "tunes" plugged in. I'm sure he's trying very hard to not hear what's going on at home. As usual.