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"Code Gouda"
January 24, 2014 8:06 PM   Subscribe

Fans of "The West Wing" will recall the season one episode where Leo McGarry forces his staff to participate in "Big Block of Cheese Day" by listening to the complaints of everyday people who visit the White House. Well, it looks like that fiction is becoming a reality.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI (30 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Official White House site for Virtual Big Block of Cheese Day
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:08 PM on January 24


And now I'm sad there are no new episodes featuring the WW characters, particularly Josh Lyman. THANKS OBAMA
posted by axiom at 8:09 PM on January 24 [9 favorites]


The cheese is a lie.
posted by procrastination at 8:18 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


Is this going to be like asking questions of my parents, teachers, and bosses where the answer is always a sympathetic nod and a "I'll see what I can do/there's nothing I can do".
posted by bleep at 8:21 PM on January 24 [12 favorites]


We should all chip in and contribute a huge plate of beans to go along with the cheese.
posted by sammyo at 8:21 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Yes bleep, started to try to think of an appropriate question to ask a generic white house flunky, er, functionary, and I really can't think of any question that google would not have vastly better answers.
posted by sammyo at 8:24 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


This would have been a great thing to do several years ago when Congress was less of a clusterfuck. As it is now, the best thing to do would be to send the block of cheese down to the Capitol building and let people throw handfuls of it at legislators.

sammyo: " flunky, er, functionary"

I think they prefer "flunktionary."
posted by tonycpsu at 8:30 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


flunktionary, n. Where you go when all else has failed, to look up the essential nature of your failure, just before getting in your fail-boat and failing away home.

Come fail away, come fail away, come fail away with me.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:37 PM on January 24 [7 favorites]


That promo was so… cheesy.
posted by grouse at 8:38 PM on January 24 [1 favorite]


If you live in Illinois and write to one of your senators, you get a reply inviting you to come have coffee and donuts with them in Washington on, I don't know, the first Friday of the month. (In fact, if you write to a representative, they invite you to have coffee with the senators, which seems like a failure of self-promotion.) Needless to say, Obama's 2008 stump speech was riddled with coffee-and-donut-morning anecdotes, sometimes redressed to sound a bit more like fortuitous meetings with constituents, rather than the result of free coffee and donuts.
posted by hoyland at 8:47 PM on January 24


free coffee and donuts

I am suddenly interested in meeting with my glazed elected representatives.
posted by zippy at 8:53 PM on January 24 [12 favorites]


If you live in Illinois and write to one of your senators, you get a reply inviting you to come have coffee and donuts with them in Washington on, I don't know, the first Friday of the month.

Huh. I must be doing something wrong.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 9:28 PM on January 24


This whole thing tickles me almost as much as seeing those actors lo these many years later. I loved that show; thought it was as near perfection as any I've ever seen. I can't help but think Barack Obama watched it and liked it, as well.
posted by Anitanola at 9:33 PM on January 24


I am in the middle of rewatching The West Wing for the severalth time, so I am particularly delighted by this. I always thought Big Block of Cheese Day should have happened once every season.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:40 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


As a side note, in Canada, we have a New Years Day tradition called a Levée which is a time when our politicians and figureheads of state are expected to throw open their doors and meet the public. I don't know how much question answering and wing-nuttery goes on at those things but it does seem like a fine idea. Especially in PEI, where people are traditionally completely sloshed on Rum and Eggnog through the whole event.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:43 PM on January 24 [4 favorites]


The other classic levee drink is "moose milk", whiskey and or rum with eggnog, ice cream and spices. What were we talking about again?
posted by Space Coyote at 10:31 PM on January 24 [5 favorites]


VIRTUAL CHEESE = VIRTUAL DEMOCRACY
posted by Teakettle at 10:33 PM on January 24


Huh, that explains why the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy tweeted about Space Cheese today. The space cheese is real!
posted by moonmilk at 10:38 PM on January 24


In Britain, the MPs have office hours they call a "surgery", which is really confusing to Americans who would not trust their elected representatives with anything sharper than a rubber spatula.

(There is a really amusing surgery sequence in In the Loop, and a few in the Yes, [Prime] Minister series, as I recall.)

Anyway, my local Congressman -- perhaps you've heard of him; Paul Ryan -- has a mobile constituent services office even though his district isn't all that geographically large by US standards (maybe average), and my local State Assembly representative just held office hours on a city bus. This being Wisconsin, though, I'm sure that whole cheese thing deserves some consideration.
posted by dhartung at 10:40 PM on January 24


Will they be listening to everyone's Whine and Cheese Day Ron Swanson style, I.e while they have on giant headphones and are listening to their excellent rectangles?
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:03 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


If they stay faithful to the show, then at least you'll get a free pen out of your visit.
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:08 PM on January 24 [2 favorites]


Will the Department of the Interior be providing the Wheat Thin the size of Lake Tahoe?
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 11:51 PM on January 24 [3 favorites]


(There is a really amusing surgery sequence in In the Loop

So that's what that was all about!
Mystery solved.
posted by Mezentian at 11:54 PM on January 24


The bit with the Cartographers for Social Equality not only remains my favourite West Wing scene but made me a fan of the show way back when.

And to this day, when I see a map of the world, I check to see if it shows Greenland and Africa at the same size.

While no tangible results may come out of the Big Block of Cheese Day initiative from the actual White House, that was never the point of the event on the show. It was to remind people who are running the world of the things that to on behind the scenes that shape the world but can be perfectly invisible unless you stop and think about them.
posted by dry white toast at 6:32 AM on January 25 [7 favorites]


I remember seeing somewhere, and I'd guess it was on Metafilter somewhere, an article discussing the impact of The West Wing on the democratic party, and how it was such a hit among the young staffers of its day who have now succeeded to positions of chief of staff, communications director, etc. -- now they're the decision makers within the party. Seems like this might be another sign of that kind of impact, especially when the promo explicitly ties in with TWW.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:18 AM on January 25 [1 favorite]


B.Y.O.C.
posted by djseafood at 9:14 AM on January 25


Will they be listening to everyone's Whine and Cheese Day Ron Swanson style, I.e while they have on giant headphones and are listening to their excellent rectangles?

Ron Swanson is too busy advocating for a highway for wolves.
posted by dogwalker at 9:37 AM on January 25 [4 favorites]


"Reality and fiction are combining to create a potent new reality!" (Hat tip to Josh Kornbluth)
posted by Pocahontas at 6:38 PM on January 25


Is this going to be like asking questions of my parents, teachers, and bosses where the answer is always a sympathetic nod and a "I'll see what I can do/there's nothing I can do".

Now, I understand many Americans have difficulty tolerating patronizing and dismissive non-responses from their parents, teachers, bosses, and political leaders. It is clear we are in the midst of a national debate on this topic. I welcome this debate, though I wholeheartedly condemn the actions which bought this issue to light. We must find a balance between not letting such petitions ever change anything and letting participants feel as if they have accomplished something, which is why I have appointed an independent commission to propose the necessary reforms. While my position is evolving, however, I cannot at this time endorse a policy of considering meaningful change in response to voter petitions.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:28 PM on January 25


Highway for wolves? I guess that beats the toad tunnel in my town, then.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:06 PM on January 25


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