Cold, Dead Hands: Gun-lovers, voters & alpha-male Chuck Norris
There is nothing cooler than coming across something you never expected to find in a place it shouldn’t have been. Like a twenty dollar bill stuffed in old jeans or a top-quality, free buffet at some skeevy timeshare launch, finding genuine treasure in unexpected places can make even the worst day worth getting up for. So color me tickled pink from my discovery of the other day. There I was, cruising the Huffington Post for my daily fix of utopian indoctrination (compliments of the hilariously insane Marty Kaplan and the grumpy yet snide Chris Kelly) when a video link that didn’t belong reached out and poked me right in the eye. Mr right-wing himself, Chuck Norris, featured on the Huff Post. I simply had to check it out. What followed was a piece of political art I’m still not entirely certain emanated from an actual conservative frontal lobe.
The commercial/video spot opens on a community hall advertising “Find your inner Norris – 8pm” The camera then takes us inside where we join a group session already in progress being led by a rather doughy and somewhat sleepy-eyed freakshow with a mullet to die for named Randy. Decked out in red and black cowboy boots (tucked in, natch) full denim, open shirt, bare chest and a red bandana tied around his head with a “Hello my name is” sticker affixed completed his image as the absolute epitome of white male redneck-dom.
Lecturing a group of similarly clad individuals, Randy’s coterie appeared to represent every viable interest group in America. Hell, he’s even got a rep from the banjo pickin’ Deliverance set. They’re listening close and Randy gives his all in a rousing speech about rights and why it’s wrong that his ex-girlfriend is bad-mouthing him for living in a van when he’s done put a down-payment on a pop up camper. As punctuation, Randy wheels, and then karate chops down on an ancient ghetto blaster to trigger what can only be considered his personal soundtrack. Awesome.
Randy challenges the group. “What’re you gonna do when these politicians come to take away YOUR rights and freedoms?” “Send ‘em an email” offers one. “WRONG!” Shouts Randy as he proceeds to offer up a demo of his killer moves, kicking over a chair and then channelling his inner cobra. “Louise!” He shouts at the intense white hair in the group, “What’re you gonna do when they come to take away your gun, huh?” I swear, if Betty White had the cojones this gal does she’d have been trading ham-fisted quips with Stallone in The Expendables. “Louise” cusses a blue streak only to finish on that most famous of lines “……from my cold, dead hands.”
Randy is impressed. Really impressed. In fact, he’s almost aroused, telling the others how much he loves what he’s getting out of his “blue cougar,” and for everyone to pay attention to the fire she displays. Then, musing out loud that she’s like a “blougar,” Randy realizes mid-stream that he’s coined a winner and warns the assembled slack jaws not to even think of putting it on “Youtubes.” Bottom-line? “Randy” is amazing and desperately needs his own show. Paging Mr. Hollywood. For the love of God (or at least filthy lucre) give this character a ten-episode series. What have you got to lose? Hell, networks keep wasting money on TV cancer Donnie Wahlberg (back in the fall, and yes I will watch Blue Bloods on CBS – It’s Magnum for pity’s sake - please don’t suck, please don’t suck…..). Surely they can throw together some coin for my man Randy.
Anyway, just as Randy gets himself totally wound up who goes and enters the room (in a blast of avenging white light no less) but Chuck Norris himself. Randy exclaims “I told you I knew Chuck Norris!” only to have The Man suggest Randy take a break and deliver a neck pinch that freezes him solid. Chuck, in his uniquely Norrisian (read: bad-actorly) way then delivers his lines: “Folks, there’s only one way to protect our rights…..register to vote.” Everyone assembled nods happily, imbibing the gospel as spoken by the one-time, Megatron ass kicker who then offers the by now standard political affirmation “I’m Chuck Norris and I approved this message.” Then, he punches out the screen as an NRA: Trigger the Vote graphic is revealed. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Seriously, even if you are totally sissy-britches terrified of guns (and their owners) you have got to appreciate an ad offering like this. When a group can so effortlessly embrace the over-the-top stereotype it’s identified with only to spin it so effectively is pure genius. And it’s pretty funny too. This spot is hilarious in the way SNL only manages to accomplish via their prime-time flashback specials.
Now while I’m fairly sure the Huffington Post only had the ad on-site by way of keeping tabs on the gun-lovin’ crazies they monitor it’s got me concerned. The more folks get to see right-wing, weapon-waving nuts laughing at themselves the better the chance those Tea Party troublemakers we’re always being warned about will start to see even better polling numbers. Doesn’t Huffington realize what she’s doing? That’s the problem with unexpected things turning up in places they don’t belong. It screws with hardened perceptions about who’s actually in favour of what. Or not. Maybe the Huffington Post is really some cunning conservative plant in sleeper mode. Arianna was a Republican once upon a time, wasn’t she?