Culture

In Case You Missed It: Putin/Biden 2012

arnett-poehler

Hey everyone. This has been a weird week. How weird? Let me show you.

We’re starting here, with Vladimir Putin, queller of Pussy Riot and possible bird in a man suit, dropped by a Siberian ornithological research center to teach Siberian cranes their migration route. You know how sometimes you’re passing through a town and wonder “is there an ornithological research center here?,” as a way to satiate humanity’s innate hunger for training birds? The Russian president knows that feeling, and tried to relate to the common folk by piloting a motorized handglider in a puffy white suit in an attempt to have birds trail him. He had some success in aiding birds, but some cranes gave up five minutes into the 15-minute flight, and some never left the ground. Because Russian law dictates Putin can do no wrong, the leader spun his Fly Away Home homage into propaganda.

Like a Russian version of the “Mission Accomplished” banner, Putin got out of his motorized hangglider and told local news outlets “It’s true that not all [Siberian cranes I wanted to save because I’m Vladimir Putin and I’m secretly a bird] flew right away, but the ones that didn’t fly were the weak cranes.” The witty rejoinder against anti-Kremlin protesters earns Putin a short-term victory, but the anti-Kremlin protesters ultimately win for getting Putin to look like a 1960s sci-fi B-movie time-traveler. Perhaps the most frightening facet of Putin’s bird escapades is that it’s meant to help him in the polls. His numbers have been slipping, and politics in Russia are the same as politics here. Photo ops. Stump speeches. Silly staged events. Earnest actions are incredibly rare, largely because an earnest politician is creepy.

Here is Joe Biden. He is the funniest man alive. You can say Joe Biden did anything, and the impenetrable thick cloud of mystery surrounding his inner workings forces you to appraise its possibilities. (CAT scans reveal a rudimentary pulley system that controls his body, and a steam engine that powers speech centers.) The only concrete thing we know about Joe Biden is that he rambles like a daydreaming student called out by a teacher, and instead of being honest, covers up his shining rainbow seahorse fantasy by maundering until he offends someone or is told to stop, usually when about to offend someone.

So the above picture, the succulent fruits of a photo op in Seaman, Ohio, isn’t shocking. It’s not expected. It is extraordinary, but not juicy, newswise. It doesn’t reveal Biden’s dark side, despite being a politician. With any other politician, there would be a fervor. Instead, we only have the story that happens in the photo: the Vice President of the United States has game, while two displeased male bikers look on in displeasure, a production still from an alternative universe where Sons of Anarchy is a sitcom. Still, it’s obvious he enjoys being VP, regardless of the weird things it makes me feel.

Regular readers will know that I do not care for celebrity relationship news. Outside of a “good for them” or “oh no, them,” there’s nothing else I feel fit to say. However, the Arnett/Poehler split makes me sad. The only solace I can muster is from imagining their relationship was broken up through an elaborate ruse planned by Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman in a quest to be unrivaled in comedy coupledom. From the several degrees I am removed from their relationship, Arnett/Poehler seemed like a winning combination! Maybe the lack of trashy entertainment blogs following them helped me have a heart for ut. They’re cool people, and people like to see cool people get married and continue their reign of being cool people. And both attained coolness without the aid of bird suits or attempting to pork a biker from Seaman, Ohio. They could pull it off.