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Bush or Chimp closes shop.
September 24, 2001 9:36 AM   Subscribe

Bush or Chimp closes shop. Another stalwart anti-Bush site has folded in light of recent events. The irreverent bushorchimp.com, dedicated to visual comparisons of the President and various look-alike primates has closed down. I understand that we're in the midst of a crisis, but is Bush now beyond criticism? Ok, maybe pictures that compare Bush to monkeys aren't exactly thoughtful criticism... Still, NOW where am I going to get novelty t-shirts for friends and family this Xmas?
posted by mattpusateri (48 comments total)

 
Yet another reasoned critique of our President has been squashed under the heel of the US Gestapo! How long before they get to Metafilter? Egads, bar the door now!
posted by justkurt at 9:46 AM on September 24, 2001


> I understand that we're in the midst of a crisis, but is
> Bush now beyond criticism?

Monkeys throw their own shit at objects they disapprove of. Neither Bush nor America is above criticism, but in the present atmosphere it had better be thoughtful and serious. I'd say monkey-criticism is out of style for the foreseeable future. I won't miss it greatly...
posted by jfuller at 10:44 AM on September 24, 2001


I'm shocked that there is not more outrage at this loss! Bushorchimp.com played a crucial role in sparking an intelligent ongoing national conversation on what direction the office of the President should move in.

The silencing of the important dialogue that this independent voice provided is surely a harbinger of the dark days to come. Perhaps a fund can be established to host the site overseas where it can be free from the grip of the vast right wing conspiracy that has stolen both our government and our freedom.
posted by justkurt at 11:06 AM on September 24, 2001


Bush is not beyond criticism, but he is beyond ridicule.
posted by username at 11:07 AM on September 24, 2001


NOW where am I going to get novelty t-shirts for friends and family this Xmas?

Here.
posted by quirked at 11:24 AM on September 24, 2001


being the creator of a site that has a noticeable anti Bush flavor as well, we've felt this. Hard to be again Bush now.

Bush Duster has come up with a pretty good solution: switch from anti-Bush to anti-Bin
posted by brucec at 11:24 AM on September 24, 2001


Make them an offer for the domain. No need to lament if you have basic HTML skills.
posted by skallas at 11:25 AM on September 24, 2001


why is he beyond ridicule?
posted by tolkhan at 11:28 AM on September 24, 2001


tolkhan: excellent point!

I also believe that comparing those we disagree with to lower species of animals is an excellent way to ignite mature. useful and tolerant discussions of the issues that impact us all.

fight the power! bring back bushorchimp.com!
posted by justkurt at 11:38 AM on September 24, 2001


i wasn't asking why in the context of Bush or Chimp. i'm asking, in general, why is he beyond ridicule now?
posted by tolkhan at 11:42 AM on September 24, 2001


by the way, i'd also compare those i agree with to another species of animal if they resembled it. i'm an equal opportunity asshole.
posted by tolkhan at 11:44 AM on September 24, 2001


OK, clearly sarcasm doesn't always come across well in text. I didn't post this because Bush or Chimp is particularly important, and I'm not really in the market for anti-Bush sportswear. There are plenty of site that do thoughtful criticism of Bush, and that site wasn't one of them (although it was pretty funny). Still, I was intrigued to see that that site had essentially shut down in light of recent events...

But since so many people have responded so quickly, I'm curious exactly when these new "not beyond criticism, but beyond ridicule" rules went into effect? They certainly weren't in place in the previous eight years, which right-wing critics of Clinton felt free to wage partisan war against him and make jokes about his penis, his wife, and his eating habits, even when we had troops overseas and in the air, fighting for many of the same principles we are fighting for now... Two years ago, it was Trent Lott who said "We can support the troops without supporting the President" as we had our men in Kosovo, fighting to stop genocide.
posted by mattpusateri at 11:54 AM on September 24, 2001


No one is beyond ridicule or criticism, least of all the President! Picking on celebrities or sports stars is purely juvenile; amusing sometimes, but juvenile because they don't really impact our lives that much. Criticizing and even ridiculing the President is necessary so that we never forget they are a public servant and not a Sun-King; it's necessary so we and they never forget that they are beholden to us, the people, first and foremost. Being president means checking your sensitivity at the door; why Bush should be above what Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy- do I need to go on here?- had to deal with is beyond me. There's no "national tragedy" too great to not take swipes at the Prez; I'd argue that it's precisely in times like this that criticism is most important, when other institutions are [foolishly] giving the man a virtual blank check. Or as Matt suggested with his Lott quote, we can hope that Bush does a decent job without giving him any more legitimacy vis a vis Election 2000 or his poor qualifications and haplessness in any public speaking role.
posted by hincandenza at 11:57 AM on September 24, 2001


tolkhan: Gosh, I don’t know. I'm not the one who's arguing against ridiculing the President now!

In fact, I think anytime our nation experiences four simultaneous and unprovoked attacks that kill 1000s is a great time to engage in discourse comparing our only national leader to an animal that eats bananas and scratches his nuts all day.

'Tween you and me, I'd just ignore those other folks -- they're probably a buncha right wing cranky-pants!
posted by justkurt at 11:58 AM on September 24, 2001


why is he beyond ridicule?

Because a couple MeFi'ers decided that humor isn't very important and will post endlessly about how some trivial site isn't providing deep discourse on recent issues.

Sarcasm is truly the new sincerity.
posted by skallas at 12:00 PM on September 24, 2001


Here's another good novelty shirt.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:02 PM on September 24, 2001


justkurt, are you saying then that i saw sarcasm where there was none? sheesh. i thought you were one of the uptight, i'm-more-patriotic-than-you types who'd misunderstood my question. fool, tolkhan.
posted by tolkhan at 12:10 PM on September 24, 2001


Bushorchimp.com refugees should check out www.smirkingchimp.com.
posted by Allen Varney at 12:12 PM on September 24, 2001


why is he beyond ridicule?

For the time being, I think President Bush is beyond ridicule for the normal partisan reasons that he would be ridiculed (that's why I pulled my Bush Countdown Clock offline [self-link]). I also think it's a terrible time to be taking cheap shots.

The country needs to see the Democrats and Republicans playing kissyface on Capitol Hill, and I think there's benefit in it for the rest of us.

There's also a strategic reason for Bush's detractors to stop the normal partisan sniping -- it alienates most people, which helps Bush and the GOP in the long run.
posted by rcade at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2001


Sarcasm aside, my point was that the type of discourse seen on bushchimp (and countless other sites, emails, t-shirts etc) is pretty juvenile and doesn't really lend itself to the healthy discussion of anything.

While there were certainly many jokes made about Clinton, there was nothing on the level of the pure nastiness that the left has launched against Bush since long before last November. There has been a concerted effort to discredit his presidency via lies, half-truths, and the asinine 'satire" of sites like bushchimp.

Keep in mind that most jokes about Clinton focused on his behavior, not his looks. No matter what you think of his politics, how can you argue that Bush's admittedly semi-simian appearance matters one whit to how he governs? Should we go back to the days when some people believed that you could scientifically measure a person's potential for criminality by the shape of their skull?

Should the govt. forbid ridicule at this time? Of course not, silly rabbit. People's common decency should.
posted by justkurt at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2001


While there were certainly many jokes made about Clinton, there was nothing on the level of the pure nastiness that the left has launched against Bush since long before last November. There has been a concerted effort to discredit his presidency via lies, half-truths, and the asinine 'satire" of sites like bushchimp.
You've gotta be kidding... Aside from the bent-penis, hillbilly Arkansaw bumpkin, and cigar jokes, we spent eight years and lord knows how much money investigating every allegation againts the man, most of which (Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate) proved to be essentially groundless. After that, they hounded him with endless investigations that trumped up a sham impeachment because he cheated on his wife. If that's not a "concerted effort" to attack and discredit the President, I'm scared to imagine what one would look like.

And if dragging a man's personal life into the public realm for ridicule and political damage (as well as financially ruining many of his staff) isn't "nastiness", I can't comprehend what that word might mean
posted by mattpusateri at 12:53 PM on September 24, 2001


While there were certainly many jokes made about Clinton, there was nothing on the level of the pure nastiness that the left has launched against Bush since long before last November.


Bollocks. And I assume that "Hitlery" references aren't nasty either.
posted by holgate at 12:55 PM on September 24, 2001


is pretty juvenile and doesn't really lend itself to the healthy discussion of anything.

is ridicule supposed to do that? i thought it was just juvenile humor. if you want "healthy" discourse, i wouldn't think that "Bush or Chimp" would be the place to look for it. wasn't the point of the site, was it?

how can you argue that Bush's admittedly semi-simian appearance matters one whit to how he governs?

i wouldn't argue a site titled "George Burns or Chimp" (another fellow with a definite chimp-like appearance) would be indicative of his performance as an actor (or whatever else he did). again, it was only something to laugh at, if you found that kind of thing funny. anyone who believes a comparative photo grouping of a chimp and the President is the best place to go to determine Bush's suitability for office is probably someone we wouldn't want to vote anyway.

as for the Dems and Reps playing kissyface, i'd rather see them bickering like always, if only to keep them from hastily passing laws like the ones under discussion now. that's kind of why we have a Congress that supposed to be enlightened enough to resist the pressures of fadish public sentiment. instead of looking out for the country, their looking out for their own asses in the next election cycle.

Should the govt. forbid ridicule at this time? Of course not,

of course not. no need to do that when you've got the whole peer pressure thing doing it for you.
posted by tolkhan at 1:09 PM on September 24, 2001


Did Comedy Central pulled That's My Bush! (and seemingly, everything else with "Bush" on their website) off the air or what? Jesus.
posted by betobeto at 1:28 PM on September 24, 2001


mattpusateri: Again, all of your examples are behavior- and intelligence-related, NOT apperance-related.

and for the record, no one "dragged his personal life into public" until there was a legitiamete investigation of sexual harassment charges filed against him. Why does everyone on the left insist on implying that Monicagate was a result of a fishing expedition?

Is a woman's right to have sexual harassment charges investigated voided when the subject is a white liberal politician? By your statement, I'm not sure where you stand on a woman's right be free of sexual harassment.
posted by justkurt at 1:37 PM on September 24, 2001


Also:

Filegate groundless? The Clinton's make unsubstantiated charges against innocent office workers so they can cut their rich Hollywood buddies in on a peice of Whitehouse travel commissions? Gimme a break.

And as for Whitewater, if you believe Hillary's explanation, there is someone in Brooklyn who would really love to sell you a bridge…
posted by justkurt at 1:48 PM on September 24, 2001


Sheesh, Kurt. Do we not have enough to talk about in this country today without reliving 1998?
posted by rcade at 1:58 PM on September 24, 2001


Oh, yes. Let's argue about Monica and Whitewater now.

It's in poor taste to make a joke about Bush's appearance, but feel free to beat that dead horse. Be sure to boast and take pride in how you supported one of the biggest embarrassments US Congress ever brought about.

Would it be OK for me to talk about how Bush's Supreme buddies stole the election? Or how he's a former cokehead and a drunk? Those are all about actions too, not appearance.

Get over yourself.
posted by jpoulos at 2:02 PM on September 24, 2001


rcade: if someone brings up Clinton's escapades (in this case, mattpusateri), I'm gonna respond to counter the BS.

jpoulos: While I'm sure I wouldn't agree with your perspective, yes, the issues you brought up are fair ground.

Why is it so hard to understand the idea that mocking the shape of a man's head is not a very mature form of political critique?
posted by justkurt at 2:14 PM on September 24, 2001


who was trying to mature about it? it's been reiterated that it's juvenile, and that it's not a critique, it's ridicule.
posted by tolkhan at 2:17 PM on September 24, 2001


Why is it so hard to understand the idea that mocking the shape of a man's head is not a very mature form of political critique?

Who ever claimed Bush or Chimp is mature? You've done nothing but build a field of strawman and your arguments are pointed at those strawmen. I'm not going to reiterate what others have said on juvenile humor, but your endless 'mature' debate is with yourself. You've hijacked this thread pretty damn well, congratulations.
posted by skallas at 2:25 PM on September 24, 2001


skallas: if I've "hijacked" the thread, what was it "supposed" to be about?
posted by justkurt at 2:30 PM on September 24, 2001


While I'm not going to get caught up in a pointless argument, I will say this: It seems to me that, given the state of the nation right now, mocking the president because of his appearance is a much better alternative than questioning the circumstances under which he "won" the election, or whether or not he's truly fit to oversee the government.
posted by jpoulos at 2:40 PM on September 24, 2001


jpoulos: I've eaten enough flamebait ths afternoon. thanks though.
posted by justkurt at 3:00 PM on September 24, 2001


i just wanted to laugh at funny chimp photos.
posted by tolkhan at 3:05 PM on September 24, 2001


My guess is that a lot of people who were running these types of sites may have had a change of heart about the President. I believe in most situations, it's not as if people are trying to squash criticism. It doesn't even mean that they like the President. However, it may mean that their attitudes have changed sufficiently enough to avoid being so antipathetic.

When the driving force behind a project fades, so often does the project...
posted by fooljay at 3:45 PM on September 24, 2001


Bush is a.....well, I don't have to point it out.

Full scale Bush-ridicule will return soon enough, probably worse than ever considering his grand statements about "ridding the world of evil-doers" and stuff like that.

Obviously, his only skills are reading prepared text (slowly), posing for pictures, and working a room very well via handshakes and backslaps.

There's just too much there to make fun of, not to mention how he got the job in the first place and his various "failings".

But hey, he's our prez for the time being.

No one knows what is going to happen with the military, so right now he gets a break.


This 90% stuff won't last forever, though.

Don't be suprised if they hold off on escalating as long as possible with the hope that the 90% stuff and the hands-off attitude will carry over to election day next year.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 4:13 PM on September 24, 2001


Did Comedy Central pulled That's My Bush! (and seemingly, everything else with "Bush" on their website) off the air or what? Jesus.

Don't know about the reruns, but they had cancelled it prior to the attacks, citing the expensive production costs (riiiiight). I miss it.
posted by rushmc at 4:33 PM on September 24, 2001


We've had more than one discussion on MeFi about That's My Bush; they consisted almost entirely of negative reviews. It simply sucked. It was also by far the most expensive show Comedy Central had ever commissioned (something like $1 per episode), and the ratings were something like half what they were hoping for. Thus it was cancelled, months ago.

And there was nothing partisan about the show or our discussion of it. Matt Parker and Trey Stone are both rather conservative guys and openly admit it, in case you haven't already figured that out from the last four years of South Park plots. So TMB was not at all politically-oriented. Bush was portrayed as a stereotypical sitcom lead: lovable yet clueless. I suppose the clueless part could have been offensive if a) everyone else on the show wasn't as equally screwy in one way or another, or b) his cluelessness had anything to do with contemporary political issues. Instead, he was portrayed as clueless about things such as stealing cable and trying to impress his old frat buddies.

The show was harmless. It was also stupid. Nobody watched, and it was cancelled. The end.

On another topic above: I must admit I would be very interested to see the results of any study that attempted to quantify just how much anti-Bush sentiment has been spread around compared to how much anti-Clinton sentiment was spread around before. But I sure wouldn't be the one wasting my time to try to figure it out.
posted by aaron at 5:51 PM on September 24, 2001


The show was harmless. It was also stupid. Nobody watched, and it was cancelled.

Actually, the ratings weren't that bad. Many shows, like Cheers, didn't do all that well their first season. But it was expensive to make and the network was always nervous about the premise.

The real question is, how will the current situation affect the planned movie spinoff that Parker and Stone have been working on?
posted by rushmc at 6:52 PM on September 24, 2001


aaron: I think one of the interesting distinctions between the phenomena of "Clinton-hating" and "Bush-bashing" is that the most virulent Clinton-haters believe that Bill and Hillary are, themselves, duplicitous and manipulative, on a permanent search for self-aggrandisement; while the Bush-bashers regard George W. as a cipher, culpable for having none of those personal characteristics, since he's already "been given everything on a platter" and "is just the front for a the military-industrial-petroleum complex". The paradox of Republicans hating Democrats for self-interest, and Democrats hating a Republican for self-effacement, is quite something to behold. They're two very different viruses. And I'll leave the cultural theorists to waste ink on them.
posted by holgate at 7:20 PM on September 24, 2001


Bin Laden or Catfish?

Anyway, even though we are standing behind Bush during our national crisis, he looks like a chimp. Bushorchimp.com made it clear from the beginning that they didn't have anything against the man, he just resembles a chimp.
posted by eperker at 8:33 PM on September 24, 2001


"Well, hundreds of emails later, it's apparent you guys would like to see bushorchimp.com back up. The problem is, we need to find a new host because we got kicked off our old one because we used too much bandwidth. So once we find a new host we will put the site back up. Thanks for your letters."
http://www.bushorchimp.com/

Someone, please give bushorchimp.com a home. Matt? Maybe there's room for a metabushorchimp.com?
posted by pracowity at 12:21 AM on September 25, 2001


"Monkeys throw their own shit at objects they disapprove of"

Dead last in the New MeFi Tagline Competition.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:49 AM on September 25, 2001


It was also by far the most expensive show Comedy Central had ever commissioned (something like $1 per episode)
Truly a low-budget network.

That's My Bush, in a better world, would have offered the same satirical insight into American politics that Yes, Minister gave for the Brits. Ah well.

Reminder: www.smirkingchimp.com
posted by Allen Varney at 7:52 AM on September 25, 2001


if they were only spending $1 per episode, then it was probably cancelled because the actors starved to death.
posted by tolkhan at 10:33 AM on September 25, 2001


"Laura Bush" was very hot.
posted by rushmc at 7:31 PM on September 25, 2001


Some of you people should direct your energy to something useful and a little more constructive go give some blood or donate something. Our president if you voted for him or not is in there for us and seems to me, however stupid some people see him, to be the man for the job. Just think honestly to yourself could Gore handle this situation? I am a pacifist and I think we should wipe them ( whomever they turn out to be) off the planet. Clinton/Gore strategy of diplomacy are out dated as of September 11. I found a humorous game it is a little vulgare and stereotypical if you can take it in stride go to ">http://policehumor.com/killosama/
posted by beejuca at 9:40 AM on October 1, 2001


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