There's a concept in robotics and computer simulation known as the "uncanny valley," which asserts that when robots imperfectly mimic the look and behavior of humans, the response is one of repulsion rather than empathy.
Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, each attempt at portraying a human American has left him tumbling into an uncanny Grand Canyon. Such was the case in New Hampshire, where Mittbot tried to get past the awkwardness of a $10,000 bet he offered to Rick Perry during Saturday's Iowa debate, with a charming anecdote about his struggle to maintain basic robotic hygiene in the midst of smelly Frenchmen…
Rushing to fend off the sudden strength of Newt Gingrich — a candidate who usually avoids delving into his own personal story, and has vulnerabilities there due to his two divorces — Romney has engaged in a humanizing effort. He's casting himself as more personable, connecting with the economic struggles of the voters despite his own multi-million dollar fortune, and even taking a new route to talking about American exceptionalism.
"Most of the apartments I lived in had no refrigerators," Romney told a crowd of 300 at a VFW hall here Sunday afternoon, launching into a long anecdote about life as a Mormon missionary in France that touched on the difficulties of shopping before every meal and living in buildings without a shower.
"If we were lucky, we actually bought a hose and we stuck it on the sink and we’d hold there with the hose and the big bucket underneath us in the kitchen and wash ourselves that way," Romney said. "And so, I lived in a way that people of lower middle income in France lived and said to myself, "'Wow, I sure am lucky to have been born in the United States of America.'"
So far, so good, but then…
"A number of the apartments I lived in when I lived there didn’t have toilets," Romney said. "We had instead the little pads on the ground, okay? You know how that works, all right. There was a chain behind you with a bucket — it was a bucket affair. I had not experienced one of those in the United States."
Damnit Mitt, TMI! No one in the Republican primary electorate is interested in hearing your stories about pooping into a hole, unless you back it up with a policy of forcing working-class schoolkids to clean up after you.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: France, Mitt Romney, Money, New Hampshire, Primaries, Republicans
In Gross Old White Guys You Don't Want to Picture Having Sex news, Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been free from his ultra-luxe downtown Manhattan apartment prison for days — more than enough time for you to call him up and ask him for a date!
Now, ABC News Online has put together a marvelous little story about five DSK-related conspiracy theories floating around France. Let us read on and enjoy this non-newsy news piece thrown together at the last minute to fill a publishing quota…
1. Vengeance! Under Strauss-Kahn's sexxxy leadership, the International Monetary Fund predicted that China's economy would kick American ass. This gave Obama a sadz, so he magically conjured a Guinean immigrant maid with a credibility problem to accuse Strauss-Kahn of rape, or what the French call "a gentleman's privilege."
2. Sabotage! President Sarkozy saw that this political candidate was a comer (sorry) and took him out by colluding with the owners of the Manhattan Sofitel and… magically conjuring a Guinean immigrant maid with a credibility problem to accuse Strauss-Kahn of rape.
3. Roman Polanski! Somehow this is his fault? We can safely assume that ABC News Online needed five conspiracy theories to make a nice headline (four is so much less exciting) so they threw this one in without any further explanation. Some other European was once accused of rape! Wheeeee!
4. Judaism! Or as ABC News Online puts it, "A Rich Jew With a Fondness for Women." This is obviously self-explanatory, because the U.S. hates horny Jews.
5. Other countries also were pissed at Strauss-Kahn! Specifically, the Greeks and the Russians.
Are these conspiracy theories actually being tossed around France, or did ABC News Online simply need to craft a story to satisfy some editor's arbitrary decision about content? The world may never know.
Here's an Indecision conspiracy theory: Rapist or not, DSK is grossy-gross and unfit for human sexytime. The lamestream media is free to just reprint that sentence over and over again in place of its weirdsy space-filling puff pieces.
Photo by Marc Stamas/WireImage/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, France, Money, New York City, Nicolas Sarkozy, Roman Polanski, Sex
Congratulations, Humans of the World! According to a Wednesday press conference in some fancypants foreign country, the International Monetary Fund's presumptive Prom Queen is noted French lady Christine Lagarde. But not everybody is as psyched as she is about her future role as the high priestess of Teh Moniez (TM).
Because we are America's greatest journalists, we've already covered the rising clamor among developing nations dissatisfied with Europe's perpetual leadership of the IMF. Now let's hear Chrissy's response…
Declaring her candidacy at a news conference that was called only the night before, Ms. Lagarde said that being European should not disqualify her, and that it might be an advantage since Europe's sovereign debt crisis is the biggest problem facing the fund. She said she would travel over the next few weeks to listen to and seek support from other I.M.F. members.
"Being a European shouldn't necessarily be a plus, but it shouldn’t be a minus, either," she said. European leaders have also pointed to the Continent's debt problems as a reason to keep a European at the helm.
Of course, one might argue that problems other than Europe's sovereign debt crisis might qualify as a bigger deal, like all the malnourished, dying children with distended bellies in developing countries. But that would require the International Monetary Fund to care about poor people, which is never going to happen.
So, Christine will triumph, and those kids will die of starvation, and the status quo will remain the same. Better luck next life, soon-to-be dead kids! And enjoy your presumed assumption to the throne, Christine. Our #1 piece of advice for the new job: Don't rape any hotel maids.
Photo by Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: France, International Affairs, Money
The Obamas are in England right now where they're meeting with the country's most important figures: the Royal Family. What better way to show support for our economically floundering allies than to visit with a select group of people who live extravagantly off their state and have almost no influence over their country's policies?
Among the royal family members greeting the Obamas were Prince William and his new wife Kate Middleton…
Prince William and Kate Middleton have carried out their first royal duty as a married couple by meeting US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle today.
According to The Mirror, Wills and Kate met the Obamas at Buckingham Palace, with the occasion marking Middleton's first role as a member of the royal family, after marrying her prince last month.
I wonder what they talked about. My guess is, Barack and William started things off light, exchanging pleasantries about the newlyweds' honeymoon and complimenting each other's wives' dresses, then got down to business and discussed Fergie's royal wedding snub.
After the Obamas wrap things up in England, it's off to France, where they'll meet with the chick who played Amélie.
Photo by Charles Dharapak/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: Barack Obama, France, Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, Prince William, Queen Elizabeth, United Kingdom
God, international political leaders are so bitchy. Instead of mourning the tragic retirement of sophisticated, irresistible former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn, they’re all jockeying to fill his place!
It's as if capitalism's head cheerleader fell off the top of the pyramid, and all the other spirit queens are sniping and backbiting their way to what they hope is the rulership of the squad…
Now that Dominique Strauss-Kahn has resigned as the chief of the International Monetary Fund, the choice of his successor is quickly turning into a competition between Europeans determined to keep the job for one of their own and leaders of emerging economic powers like China, India and South Africa that hope to break Europe’s established grip on the post.
Who the hell do these second- and third-world jerks think they are? Tell 'em, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso!
"It should be a European," he said at a business conference in Brussels on Wednesday. Taken together, European members "are the biggest stakeholders in the I.M.F. Why now choose someone because he is not European? That makes no sense."
Yes, these less-pale nations should assume the position Europe has forced upon them in the past, which incidentally is not unlike the position Dominique Strauss-Kahn is alleged to have forced an African immigrant maid to assume at the Sofitel in New York City earlier this week.
Until these brown people learn to do as Europe tells them to do, there will be no peace and happiness in this world.
Tags: China, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Europe, France, India, Money, South Africa