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June 19, 2007

O-ring malfunction: Althouse on the Clinton/Sopranos ad

Dinner plate 1, originally uploaded by Fant.

Ann Althouse critiques that new Hillary Clinton campaign spot/Sopranos homage:

4. Bill says "No onion rings?" and Hillary responds "I'm looking out for ya." Now, the script says onion rings, because that's what the Sopranos were eating in that final scene, but I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the "O" of an onion ring is a vagina symbol. Hillary says no to that, driving the symbolism home. She's "looking out" all right, vigilant over her husband, denying him the sustenance he craves. What does she have for him? Carrot sticks! The one closest to the camera has a rather disgusting greasy sheen to it. Here, Bill, in retaliation for all of your excessive "O" consumption, you may have a large bowl of phallic symbols! When we hear him say "No onion rings?," the camera is on her, and Bill is off-screen, but at the bottom of the screen we see the carrot/phallus he's holding toward her. Oh, yes, I know that Hillary supplying carrots is supposed to remind that Hillary will provide us with health care, that she's "looking out for" us, but come on, they're carrots! Everyone knows carrots are phallic symbols. But they're cut up into little carrot sticks, you say? Just listen to yourself! I'm not going to point out everything.

Via Alicublog and Instaputz.

Granted, the ad is bizarre. I know everyone's talking about the Sopranos season finale, but why would Clinton want to play up the parallels between her own marriage and that of Tony and Carmela?  Tony is a psychopathic mob boss and Carmela is the outwardly dutiful wife who ignores his crimes so that she can continue to live in a nice white house. Worse, the original TV scene closes with an implied hit on Tony.

Maybe the ad is a dig at those crazies who think that Hillary killed Vince Foster with bathroom fixtures she stole from the White House. If so, the joke is way too subtle.


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I'm still trying to decide if an onion ring could be considered "orange" in the Catholic sense.

I'd really, really, really like to think that Althouse was just making a not very funny joke. (Not not funny because it's sort of gross, just not funny because it's not very funny.) That would be the only way to conclude that she's not 100% insane. Normally I'd be against thinking people are 100% insane and still able to hold a job like hers but she's given us quite a lot of reason to think that she's not joking. Still, one can hope.

I think your analysis is way overboard. She's not playing up any parallels between her marriage and the Sopranos. Althouse is being bizarre, as usual.

Given the buzz surrounding that final episode, it's not surprising the campaign chose to riff off it in some way. Someone was bound to.

I don't think the Clinton camp meant to play up the similarities between the Sopranos and the Clintons. That's why the ad sucks. That, and the Celine Dionne song.

McDonald's don't serve no onion rings.

Dear blogger,

Crawlspace (aka Jesse) couldn't or wouldn't be bothered to tag you for a Meme. I shall.

Gill Smoke

Can someone explain to Althouse that onion rings are a common greasy appetizer in diners, and Bill Clinton is a heart patient, and that is why they chose onion rings for the ad?

I think they chose onion rings because that's what the characters ate in the finale scene of the final episode of the Sopranos. I don't know why Clinton's consultants thought it would be cool to show Hillary slapping Bill's wrist like a nagging mom.

You lost me at "Ann Althouse...". She is a loser, plain and simple.

Lindsay Beyerstein -

They wanted to show that Hillary Clinton cares about Bill Clinton's health.

I thought the onion rings symbolized Jessica Valenti's breasts.
The carrot sticks? Cigars.

"but I doubt if any blogger will disagree with my assertion that, coming from Bill Clinton, the "O" of an onion ring is a vagina symbol."

I doubt if any blogger will disagree? I've heard better rhetoric from Dan Quayle.

We have a couple of nutty professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison speaking out these days. In addition to the Goofy Nonsequitur Machine with the Weird Freudian Fixations, there's this guy:

Reid Bryson is 87 and helped lay the groundwork for modern theories of global warming. Years ago, I had him as a professor, and he was known as a brilliant scientist and a wonderful teacher. He was a poet of climate, a lyricist of weather, a mesmerizing lecturer about climate's impact on humans and vice versa. Now he bad-mouths Al Gore and his skeptical statements are widely quoted by the know-nothing right. What happened? The University of Wisconsin emeritus prof outlived his expertise and found himself stranded on the far side of a paradigm shift.

We can probably cut Bryson a bit of slack on account of his past achievements, since he is, after all, 87 years old. Althouse isn't.

I don't think politicians realize how few people get HBO and also watch Sopranos. None of HC's lower class working women voters saw this episode, nor do they care.

That's why I favor John Edwards and his multi-hundred dollar haircuts. Nothing says "I eat carrot sticks" like a $400 haircut that leaves one looking like a 10-year old.

I think it was a stupid joke on Althouse's part, making fun of how over-analyzed the Sopranos finale was. On the other hand, the Clinton ad was a stupid joke too (Hillary Clinton has many talents- sketch comedy is not one of them. She mugs semi-desperately. Not that should determine whether or not she should be president.) Politicians are still trying to figure out what to do with the web, from blogging to funny web videos, and we're in the awkward phase right now, where they're trying to imitate what's popular, and there's little more popular right now than parodies of the Sopranos ending. Points for whoever guesses which candidate is the first to make LOLcats of their opponents.

The one thing I'll say is that it's not elitist of her. If you have a high-speed connection to the internet, then odds are in favor of you either having seen the final moments, or having heard of them. If you don't, you probably can't view the ad anyway.

AA might have just seen "Once More With Feeling," and been struck by Xander's immortal line: "Respect the cruller. And tame the donut!" [/Buffy geek reference].

The ad IS bizarre, but it's an Internet ad, so the target demographic isn't everyone - it's everyone who is on the internet who'll go download an ad by Hillary Clinton's campaign a year plus before the election. The idea that a lot of those folks might have seen the Sopranos finale probably isn't a stretch.

OTOH - Celine Dion? Really? Who thought THAT was a good idea? Seriously -- it's like she's just begging Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh to make fun of her. If you're going to pick a foreign singer, at least pick someone defensable -- Celine Dion? Jeebus.

To compare or equate yourselves with Sopranos' characters is stupid to the point of political suicide. Funny, or not.

What was funny was the clip that Clinton made when he was leaving office, where he had that talk with "Stuart" the computer whiz who, in previous commercials, invited his square boss to a rave.

I remember the character "Stuart" but not the manufacturer of the computer, or program. Mind you all, Stuart is not the same as the Dell Guy.

I believe the ending of the Soprano's was an explicit hit on the AUDIENCE. Now how that applies to Hillary ...

the "O" of an onion ring is a vagina symbol

That explains why I, as a heterosexual male, like onion rings so much? I always thought it had to do with being milk allergic and onion rings being a food item which often have milk, so when I can find onion rings I can have, it's treat ...

I think Ann Althouse must have one of the dirtiest minds on the Internet. Really, that woman could read sex into ANYTHING...

Celine Dion aside, I thought it was pretty good for a political ad (Which I realize sets the bar pretty low). Even my local Fox affiliate gave it positive coverage.

First, Bill is in it. People like Bill.

Personally, I took it as a swipe at all the right-wing noise machine that's insisted for all those years that Bill actually did run the White House like a mob boss. I don't think it's very subtle. But, she's got total deniability. When she made that remark years ago about the "vast right-wing conspiracy", the press called her shrill and whiny and basically told her to STFU. With this ad though, she makes them look foolish but if anyone criticizes her, she can just say, Who me? No, I was just goofing on a popular TV show - lighten up.

Sehr gute Seite. Ich habe es zu den Favoriten.

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