First up the news story.
Perhaps this is what the Funkmeister — that other Clinton — meant when he sang about painting the White House black: There’s Barack Obama, fresh from Wednesday’s debate dust-up, beleaguered but still standing, acknowledging that he’s taken some hits from his opponent, some mighty hits, but you know, it’s okay, because that’s politics. Ultimately, you’ve got to . . .
And then he — pay attention now — brushes the dirt off his shoulders. Repeatedly.
The crowd leaps to its feet, applauding and laughing.
Talk about a major Jay-Z move. People, we’re talking about a seminal moment in the campaign, the merging of politics and pop culture: in which a presidential candidate — a self-confessed hip-hop head and Jay-Z fan — references a rap hit and a dance move.
Go ahead and watch the video on that story first.
Personally, I found this reaction absolutely on target. I’ll put up some stuff later on the joke of a debate they had this week, but his reaction of brushing his shoulders off sums the whole thing up perfectly.
And then the ‘net culture took over with the re-mixing.
UPDATE: For the culturally unaware..
To brush one’s shoulders off, according to the Urban Dictionary, is to engage in the act of “shaking them haters off. In other words it means to brush off negative energy of statements made about you.”
This is the general idea that when one steps to you, it is not necessary to automatically go for the gat, but you can, in fact, dismiss it as the rantings of a fool, brush your shoulders off, and focus on the important part.
UPDATE: More for the NYT.
THE crowd is turning on me,” said Charles Gibson, the ABC anchor, when the audience jeered him in the final moments of Wednesday night’s face-off between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
I can’t remember a debate in which the only memorable moment was the audience’s heckling of a moderator. Then again, I can’t remember a debate that became such an instant national gag, earning reviews more appropriate to a slasher movie like “Prom Night” than a civic event held in Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center:
“Shoddy, despicable!” — The Washington Post
“A tawdry affair!” — The Boston Globe
“A televised train wreck!” — The Philadelphia Daily News
UPDATE: Going back to the original “shoulder shake”, I can only laugh at what the “expert analysts” had to say…
The move illustrated both a generational and a cultural gap: On MSNBC host Joe Scarborough‘s show yesterday, The Washington Post‘s Richard Cohen said the shoulder shaking was “contemptuous and aloof” and “not smart.” Scarborough on Obama’s move: “We looked at each other and said, ‘What’s he doing ?’ “
This level of ignorance is about the only way an “elitist” label is going to stick on someone who spent their formative years, and their Harvard education, doing community organizing. Having spent some time in communities similar to the south side of Chicago, I can guarantee you, these aren’t the jobs elitists take.
Obama, only 24, struck board members as “awesome” and “extremely impressive,” and they quickly hired him, at $13,000 a year, plus $2,000 for a car–a beat-up blue Honda Civic, which Obama drove for the next three years organizing more than twenty congregations to change their neighborhoods.
“I can’t say we didn’t make mistakes, that I knew what I was doing,” Obama recalled three years ago to a boisterous convention of the still-active DCP. “Sometimes I called a meeting, and nobody showed up. Sometimes preachers said, ‘Why should I listen to you?’ Sometimes we tried to hold politicians accountable, and they didn’t show up. I couldn’t tell whether I got more out of it than this neighborhood.”
But, he continued, “I grew up to be a man, right here, in this area. It’s as a consequence of working with this organization and this community that I found my calling. There was something more than making money and getting a fancy degree. The measure of my life would be public service.”
To reiterate, here was a whole bunch of strange crap being thrown around the last couple weeks as the Clinton supporters in the media get more desperate (btw, the motivation for the media’s love on Clinton goes back to the administration of Clinton (w/Penis) and how he provided for massive revenue gains for the media companies both through massive de-regulation, and allowing nearly anyone to advertise, drug companies being the biggest one).