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Ned Flanders, the Haircut, and Kim K.

January 6, 2012
By Wes Burns , Times-Republican

Congratulations, Iowans. Another election cycle, another caucus survived.

According to our friends in the national news media this caucus was the most important decision making event ever, just like every other caucus.

Admittedly, it isn't every caucus you see settled by a margin normally reserved for class officer elections. But I still wouldn't call it a defining cultural moment.

Usually the countenance of a decade can be determined by the defining cultural event, something that happens that sets the tone for at least the next ten years.

The 1960s? The Kennedy assassination. Created the environment of fear that permeated the country.

The 1970s? Watergate. Disillusion with the government, the fall of a president, that "All The President's Men" movie.

The 1880s? President Chester A. Arthur's bold pro-mutton chops stance leads to a rise in ridiculous facial hair which would set the tone for generations of hipsters.

What was not the defining cultural moment of this decade was watching the parade of well coiffed GOP hopefuls trounce about the state pontificating about just how much they love Iowa by going everywhere in a chambray shirt.

We have dress shirts in Iowa. Ties, too. Just saying.

So we had an effectively split decision between Mitt "The Haircut" Romney and Rick "Wow That Sweater Vest Makes You Look Like Ned Flanders" Santorum. Whatever you think of either candidate both shared one central tenant: taxes should be lower.

Apparently some comrades in the People's Republic of California disagree, thinking that taxes on the wealthy should be increased, and have chosen to use a relic of the defining cultural moment of the 90s to get their point across.

Did I not mention the defining moment of the 1990s? Its the OJ Simpson trial.

Don't pretend like its not.

It gave us the rise of Court TV, the promulgation of endless speculation by the punditry, and every single person whose name was even tangentially associated with the case remains with us today as an object of speculation and interest.

Case in point: Kim Kardashian.

Robert Kardashian, Kim's father, was part of OJ's defense team, alongside with Johnny Cochran and Robert Shapiro. Kim Kardashian, an often abused and always deserving vapid waste of time serving only as a favorite object of scorn, is someone that never should have entered the popular conscience. She's worthless. Yet, by simple virtue of her name, she's got a TV show, endless lines of celebrity endorsed garbage, and a nation of people thinking the first step to stardom is to release a sex tape.

Is this what you call a 'job creator?' Apparently some angry Californians don't think so, as they have started a campaign to endorse their 'higher taxes on the wealthy' plan with a Kardashian boycott.

No Kardashian 'products,' no watching that scripted reality show, no Kardashian anything.

So, Haircut and Flanders, worried about making it in the general election? Lower taxes are fine, just make sure to throw in a Worthless Celebrity tax. Famous just for being famous? That'll be 70 percent of annual income, please. Besides, the only jobs these people create are more paparazzi, and nobody ever lost an election speaking poorly about those guys.


Copy Editor Wes Burns is a Friday columnist. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Wes Burns at 641-753-6611 or



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