On days like this, when the sun is shining and Paul Ryan’s said something stupid on television (which is EVERY day!), I have to ask myself why I remain so attracted to the shirtless political wonder.
Well I’ll tell you. It’s something I like to call Reeves Effect. Named after Matrix franchise actor Keanu Reeves, the term was coined (by me) in 1999 after a discussion with a friend concerning how we liked looking at Keanu Reeves’ face, but thought it kind of ruined it when he opened his mouth to recite–quite literally recite, without even the vaguest pretense of acting out–his lines. With Paul Ryan it’s roughly the same thing. Because when Ryan says stupid shit, it doesn’t make me mad. It only makes me soft. Or at least, slightly less hard than I was before, when I was just his weirdly pretty face before it opened its mouth and started talking. It doesn’t make me want to throw things or hit people, as when Todd Akin or someone of equal degeneracy starts talking. It makes me want to stop reaching for tissues and start writing a volume of lyrical short stories called What We Think About When We Think About Paul Ryan and send an autographed copy to Nathan Englander‘s door, with an inscription of “PUNK’D!” inside.
The latest Paul Ryan-soft-making moment has come about in an interview the Wisconsin congressman concerning Todd Akin’s infamous remarks, in which, as a Huffington Post reporter has already pointed out, Ryan refers to rape as just another ‘method of conception’, wording that makes it sound like merely an alternative, albeit frowned-upon, route to pregnancy, a bit like an alternative lifestyle–although wait no, those are bad. But possibly even worse than this are two other details of Ryan’s performance: his pronunciation of Missouri as Missour-uh (“oh I love that Paul Ryan, he’s just so…authentic!”) and his multiple use of the phrase “more harder”. As in, “harder”, for those of us that speak English. It’s an example of Reeves effect at its purest, as Ryan blinks his bright blue eyes and tries to talk in bastardized English about the future of America being in “coal country” because as everyone knows it’s 1880, and the salvation of the American worker is to be found in the mines. That is, at least until that transcontinental railroad gets built. Apparently, Obama is making it “more harder” for us to live up to coal’s great promise. It’s too bad nothing could do the same thing for the state of my penis after watching this clip.