EVOKING the stable:
The punch line is at least as old as the eldest baby boomer: “I didn’t get a pony.”
Here’s Jerry Seinfeld: “I hated those kids [who had ponies]. In fact, I hate anyone that ever had a pony when they were growing up.”
Why is this funny? Because we all know that, for the most part, kids who had ponies were the rich kids.
There's something seriously wrong with Kathleen Parker, isn't there, something that relative fame, undeserved acclaim, and good tables at tonier DC eateries have done nothing to mitigate. Look at the whole range of female "conservative" public thinkers; there's something seriously wrong with all of 'em, no? Phyllis Schlafly, Mona Charen, Laura Ingraham, Ginny Thompson, Michelle Malkin (how much time do we have?), Lynne Cheney, Sippy Cupp, Tucker Carlson? TV's Kennedy? It's not that I think the menfolk are a particularly sharp and balanced lot. It's just that, well, sooner or later you think a smart gal would take a hard look at her roommates and decide to move out.
Why is this funny? Because it ain't, unless you don't know how to tell a joke and think everything Jerry Seinfeld ever says is funny, because he's a comedian. I mean a successful comedian.
See, what's funny about the pony bit, Kathleen, is that a kid, offered the opportunity to make a Christmas wish, wishes for the most extravagant, impractical thing imaginable, thinking it will appear by magic. At least this was how it went in Speedway, Indiana, back when, where we didn't hate the kids who had ponies because, like the overwhelming majority of mid-20th century Americans, we didn't fucking know any fucking kids with fucking ponies.
Perhaps Mr. Seinfeld did. Or perhaps, as a comedian, he's panning for nuggets in the rich stream of normal American experience, where the vast majority of people don't like conspicuous consumers, or conspicuous anythings that have to do with that Me First and Always attitude.
(By the way, I didn't know anyone who had a pony, but my Poor Wife did: her sister. And she hated her sister, not for her socioeconomic status, which roughly mirrored her own, but because she was the sort of child who asked for a pony.)
It is but a short canter from hating pony people to despising the horse crowd.
No it isn't. It's the same damned thng.
And this is because people who own fancy horses — thoroughbreds or, heaven forbid (you knew this was coming), Olympic horses — are very, very rich. We just call them the One Percenters these days.
Maybe we call 'em that, but the Horsey Set--like the Romneys--is generally more like the .05%
Thus, Ann Romney, wife of the presumptive Republican nominee, recently became a target of ridicule when it was revealed that she co-owns an Olympian horse that will compete in dressage, a sport she apparently enjoys. Dressage, sometimes called “horse ballet,” is the “highest expression of horse training,” according to the International Federation for Equestrian Sports.
Yeah, and Budweiser™ is "the highest expression of the brewmaster's art" according to Anheuser-Busch.
It may not be as stimulating as a horse race with bets and booze, but thus it has always been with art.
Translated into Plebeian that's "It doesn't have vulgar appeal of horse racing, but y'all don't understand Art anyway."
Dressage and horseback riding in general offer other rewards, including therapy for people who suffer maladies from physical disabilities to emotional imbalances. This should not be surprising, given the millennia-long relationship between humankind and horse that transcends mere transportation. Anyone who has ridden knows the deeply satisfying synchronicity between the movements and rhythms of human and horse. The emotional bond that also develops is not insignificant.
Thanks, Kathleen, but revealing too much wasn't really necessary.
And, look, I understand that when the yacht capsizes you'll grasp at the corpse of any cabin boy that floats by. But "dressage" is not exactly being prescribed for MS sufferers as a routine matter of allopathy, now, is it? "I'm afraid it is multiple sclerosis, Bob. I suggest we get you on a rigorous program of teaching horses to move unnaturally with precision." You rich bastards--what we call nowadays the One Percent--really should restrict your lying to your own Class.
For Ann Romney, riding has been helpful in dealing with her multiple sclerosis.
Oh, sorry, I didn't realize The Left has been making fun of Ann Romney's medical condition. I thought they were making fun of her frivolous rich-person involvement in a prohibitively expensive and profoundly silly Olympic display of overripe circus tricks and Victorian attire.
Sheesh, I ride bicycles for my knee problems, and general fitness. And I find that to be sufficient, without bankrolling a family of Bavarian unicycle aerialists.
Why, then, have some seen fit to ridicule Ann Romney’s choice of activities? Stephen Colbert can be forgiven his fun with the news, which focused on dressage as the not-so-common-man’s sport.
And because criticizing him might make it sound like you are slightly deficient in the sense of humor department, heaven forfend.
You think Colbert's point is any different than Lawrence O'Donnell's? Really?
But others have been less funny. Leading the charge on the political side has been MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who, while insisting that he wasn’t commenting on Romney’s MS, pointed out that the Romneys treat the horse as a business rather than a health expense.
Y'know, far be it from me to offering writing advice to a Pulitzer-winning opinionator, but, generally speaking, a dependent clause should be dependent on something. "While insisting he wasn't commenting on Romney's MS" is not, in fact, contradicted by the fact that the man then criticized the brand of tax write-off favored in this instance by the Romneys horse accountants.
Horses that compete and breed at the Olympic level typically are business investments, as O’Donnell surely knows. But the talking point must be made — and made and made — that the Romneys aren’t like the rest of us working stiffs. They have big ol’ fancy cars and horses and stuff. And they make lots of money, too. (Oh, and by the way, television anchors do rather well. What’s with the guilt?)
First, drastically overpay 'em. Then accuse 'em of being Class Traitors. Circle of Life.
And, Kathleen, "What am I, in business for my health?" is even older than "Where's my pony?" So surely you know the distinction. You can't say, in one paragraph, "Brave Ann Romney fights debilitating disease with the help of deeply satisfying equine synchronicity", and, in the next, "Why of course she took accelerated amortization on that Brazilian saddle factory. Oats aren't cheap!" and imagine that, somehow, you've double-annihilated an argument neither line even addresses.
And why this war on success? People who are struggling through rough economic times didn’t suddenly become stupid, and surely most see through this absurd, sustained attack on the Romneys, whose only apparent sin is having been successful.
Well, if they didn't, they do now that their official spokeswoman has spoken for them.
Romney’s opponents seem to be aghast that he has made money for investors (aren’t we all investors?), though they studiously ignore other greed-less facts: He never took a dime in salary for heading the Olympics in Salt Lake City nor as governor of Massachusetts, to mention a couple.
Christ among the Kiowa, if you get to bring this shit up, then other people do, too.
May I say that, personally, I'm up to the eyeballs in Mitt Romney, hero of the Salt Lake City Games shit? Of course he didn't take any salary. The goddam Games were mired in a Shit Scandal and he was called in to clean up the mess. He didn't get called in to resolve the Tricky Moral Dilemma of what to do about a Games the capital of Mormonville had obtained by ugly payoffs (like, probably, every Olympics since Avery Brundage was a thinly) guaranteed by ramrodded taxpayers; Mitt Romney wasn't going to conclude that the 2002 Winter Games were hopelessly tainted, and should move elsewhere. There wasn't time, even if that sort of thing was in his nature, which it ain't. He was there to preserve untold millions of television and advertiser dollars, and their intended profits, that hung in the balance. Mitt Romney was the designated untainted guy brought in to clean up the mess. He was the face of the clean-up. If you ever want a cush job, be the face of something that has billions of dollars behind it after the scandal has broken. Nobody blames the guy who took over for Tony Hayward for the BP oil spill. And you'll note that BP's still in business. Elect him President.
If he'd have demanded five Big Ones up front and a share of the gate his job would have been over before it started. Care to bet that Mitt Romney didn't, somehow, turn a bigger profit on his unpaid Olympics gig that most Americans will manage in a lifetime?
The issue of Ann Romney’s horse is yet more ideological nonsense from the left, intended to portray Republicans generally and the Romneys specifically as enemies of The People. Riding horses is framed as just one more example of how out of touch the Romneys are with everyday Americans, though Democrats didn’t seem to mind that Jackie Kennedy was an avid horsewoman.
And Republicans didn't seem to mind that the Kennedys paid an 85% tax rate on their income over $500,000.
Should Ann Romney become first lady, perhaps she can promote the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding and encourage a culture that funnels the countless unwanted or retired horses to riding farms where emotionally or physically distressed people can enjoy the special communion between human and horse.
And maybe she can give her once-worn wardrobe to the visually impaired.
It would be a better use of these noble animals than as circus or zoo meat, which is how so many wind up. Maybe she could even arrange to get O’Donnell his own pony.
Sure. While her husband, and the rest of your party, is busy arranging for a surplus of poor people as a suitable replacement for that lost protein source.