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May 05 2005

The Greatest Americans on Cable

Gertrude_steinOnce a week I cast a grateful eye over Wonkette, not because I get the jokes, but  because it provides a measure of relief; professional, wholly-owned subsidiaries of the porn-blog industry generally adhere to higher standards of grammatical and typographical decency than do scrappy unpaid non-tool-of-the-patriarchy bloggers who are so poor they cannot afford spell-checkers. Thus did I observe, appended to a Wonkette post containing the phrase “I think it would be hot if you came on my face while I was wearing the Hillary Clinton mask,” an ad. The ad was for a show on the Discovery Channel that no one in their right mind, not me and not you, will watch. It’s called "Greatest American." Apparently it’s a sort of popular history version of the E! Channel’s "101 Most Starlicious Makeovers."  “Greatest American” drives around the country in an obtrusive bus and asks plebeians who their idols are. A hundred “nominees” are on the website. They’ll count down to the lucky winner amid generous commercial breaks.

Of the 100 potential Greatest Americans, one is a German (Einstein) and one is a moron (Dr. Phil). The remainder encompasses the usual male supremacist assortment: actors, sports figures, pornographers (boo-yah!), war heroes, and presidents. A tedious exercise, since the trophy is bound to go to Donald Trump. No, wait, Tom Hanks! No wait, Hugh Hefner! Christ, how do you choose from all that greatness?

Oh, wait, there are some women. A whopping nineteen chicks made the “Greatest American” list. Five are First Ladies (including Hillary Clinton, aforementioned sex-toy inspiration) and seven are entertainers.

That leaves seven, count’em, women who potentially did not have to fuck their way into the American collective consciousness: Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Susan B Anthony, Condi (!), Helen Keller, and Angela Davis.

Kidding! I meant everyone’s favorite old non-threatening black lady, Maya Angelou!

I’m thinking that if they only have room for 19 women in “Greatest American”–and let’s face it, anything beyond that would mean having to air the show on Lifetime during the afternoon– maybe they could give professional doormat-turned-pottymouth Laura Bush the heave-ho and sneak in someone a little more erudite. It wouldn’t have to upset the male supremacist status quo, it could totally fly under the radar. What about Margaret Sanger? Sanger did more for women’s liberation than anyone ever has, which of course hurts her case as a Great American, but she was also a big fan of eugenics, which could neatly complement the teeming throng’s xenophobic racism. Or Gloria Steinem? She is both a senior citizen and a prominent feminist–two black marks against her–but let’s not forget her stint as a playboy bunny! Hot! Hot! Or Gertrude Stein! Sure, she was an unfeminine intellectual who lived in Paris, she was also a lesbian. Super-hot!

UPDATE: Off The Kuff thinks this sounds like fun. Chacun à son goût.

6 comments

1 ping

  1. Ray

    I can’t believe you had no comment on Martha Stewart’s nomination. Apparently making doilies in prison is on the same level of greatness as crashing a plane into the Pacific without leaving an oil slick.

  2. Sunni

    And what about Shirley Jackson??

  3. Gregor

    Courtney Love! You can’t have Madonna and Marilyn without her!

  4. Michael

    Dear Patriarchy Blamer,
    In the throwsof unemployment and on the behest of my roommate, i am a religious pilgram of your site: I love it. you leave not one stone unturned/not one shitpile undisturbed. Keep up the good work. I promise that when i am gainfully employed, I will still make haste to your B-log…one of the best. Thank you!

  5. Twisty

    Dear Michael,

    Thank you for participating in the experiment. In another week or two, you should barely be able to feel the cranial implants.

  6. Twisty

    Ray,

    Ha, good one! These 100 Greatest lists are always good for a laugh. They’re horrible, yet I can’t look away!

    And Sunni,

    I agree with you about Shirley Jackson. That creepy lottery story is as much a part of the American childhood as, uh, TV and marijuana.

    And Gregor,

    You are, I feel, missing the point ever so slightly.

  1. News from Around the World

    The Greatest Americans on Cable

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