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The Righties List

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The beauty of a computer is it can take you anywhere you like, transforming a rainy afternoon into a fantastical realm of information over-load swirling around the user's head -- a cyclone of facts, figures, numbers, names circling, overwhelming...

And that's how I found the "Righties List."

Initially complied by editors (per reader's recommendations as currently monitored by site administrator "Ryan") at the noisy, super-ultra excessively right-wing website FreeRepublic, the list is comprised of known "conservative celebrities" to whom right-wingers, presumably, owe some vague allegiance (i.e. attending events of, watching shows/movies starring and buying merchandise pertaining to) due to a taste for the same poison. That, no doubt, would be the corporate view.

But its appearance on a site like FreeRepublic implies a more emotional, more visceral connection with the indicted celebrities themselves. It's the same fun-to-have-a-beer-withism that got George Bush installed in the White House now employed to make wingers feel all warm and snuggily inside -- a kind of metaphorical "See, I'm not the only one who lives in the trailer park," and can probably make you feel damn good inside as your daughter dyes her hair purple and your oldest announces he's gay.

Actually, there are three "Righties" lists. The original dates back to 2003 at the aforementioned FreeRepublic while an annotated and updated version circa 2010 can be viewed at celiberal.com. Another list, "Celebs Who Lean (italics mine) To The Right," featuring many of the same names as the 2003 "Righties" list as well as the 2010 upgraded edition, can also be obtained at the same site. Some celebrities (entertainment, sports, etcetera) have been added to the 2010 roster while a few originals from 2003 have been dropped, or "nullified" (Ryan's term) for breech of some arcane conservative dictate. The same criterion also applies to "Leans To The Right" with minor additions and/or nullifications.

In noting the population of these line-ups I've decided to use the updated 2010 list as a base for both enumerating 2003 nullifications as well as additions and/or removals -- both pertaining to 2010 and "Celebs Who Lean To The Right."

Admittedly, as a "Lefty," the temptation to be catty about this whole exercise is almost impossible to resist. Therefore I'll keep my more "critical" observations to a minimum...if I can.

The 2010 version of the "Righties List" begins, in no discernible order, with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Unfortunately, the politician/actor/personality has now been unceremoniously nullified, a condition really not all that difficult to understand. Still, I doubt he's all that thrilled with the banning -- no el presidente for you, sucker.

Bo Derek (remember her?) is next up, followed by Bob Hope (RIP) and Bruce McKnight (?) before the symmetry is again impaired by another nullification -- that of multi-talented actor/director Bruce Boxleitner. What, exactly, Mr Boxleitner did to merit his removal intrigued me. I imagined the "Babylon 5" star as having some sort of right/left epiphany ala Paul Craig Roberts or David Stockman. Alas, I was unable to discover the reason for Boxleitner's banishment (his wife, Little House On The Prairie's Melissa Gilbert, never even made the list). A quick search took me instead across the site "UncleSammys.com," which highlighted another compilation of tories, including such previously neglected luminaries as Thomas Sowell, the occasionally lamented Go-Go's front gal Belinda Carlisle (?!?!) and that plucky, oft-flustered survivalist Elizabeth Hasselbeck. Yet another site, "MightyRighty.com," offered a fifth list. Confronted with this dearth of data I decided to content myself with my original selections.

Bruce Willis is our next suspect on the new, improved "Righties List," hardly a shock. What was a shock was the following nullification of right-wing icon Charlton Heston. Sheesh, what could he have done wrong? I mean, he's dead. What, they find a diary detailing gay liaisons with Rock Hudson or something? Somehow, I doubt it.

Things go more smoothly from there: Cheryl Ladd, Chuck Norris (duh), Clint Eastwood, Shirley Temple Black, the late Dennis Hopper, "comedian" Dennis Miller, Drew Carey (crying myself to sleep at night over that one), Emma Caulfield and Fred Thompson (yet another resounding "duh") are but the first of a clean run before nullification of former star quarterback Kurt Warner for reasons unclear. Others retained prior to this interruption include actor James Woods, Heather Locklear, James Earl Jones (I'll save black Republicans for another day), John Malkovich, the intolerable Kid Rock (Obama not withstanding) and, sadly, Kim Alexis.

Depression threatened via the inclusion of Martina McBride. No fan of contemporary country music I've nevertheless carried a torch for the singer since her debut album's (1974) front cover -- soft focus, eyes sparkling with both innocence and invitation, her neck...God, her neck! Almost needed to slug a couple of drinks after that revelation. Oh well, I doubt she'd go out with me anyway, even if I asked nicely, so I don't know what I'm so concerned about. Alabama's (the state) Sela Ward, another improbable crush (and Righties List denizen), has been subsequently nullified by Ryan, again for reasons unknown. While heartening, I doubt she'd go out with me, either.

The next name on the board is wearing a "Kick Me" sign these days -- that walking, talking all-purpose pariah, Mel Gibson. Seriously though, what can you say about Mel that he hasn't said before, if only inadvertently? As a result, I can hardly see him as a spokesperson for much of anything save House of Bondage or something equally questionable. I have a feeling the only movies conservative Mel's going to be involved in come the future will be the ones he watches on NetFlicks.

The list moves on apace -- Sayjack, Heaton, Schroeder, Astin, Doherty, Selleck and Cruise and Dennis Quaid (what's with all these "Dennis" names?) and even Yo-Yo Ma. Significant here is the mention of the departed actor Ron Silver. Many claim Silver's conservatism went as far as Israel was concerned and that was about it. Others, like Chris Issak and Sheryl Crowe, find themselves targeted for merely entertaining troops in Iraq/Afghanistan. Sorry, but I just don't see Sheryl Crowe at any tea parties with a "niggar" sign and a pistol-grip shotgun. Maybe I'm wrong...but it seems unlikely.

Oddly enough self-styled cowboys Charlie Daniels and Toby Keith have both been nullified. One would think these two stalwarts of Mom, the flag and apple pie would be up at the top of the list, in bold. For the life of me I can't figure this one. The decision seems misguided...at best. Country singer Tim McGraw's eradication is also puzzling. Such actions seem counter-productive, in fact downright alienating. What, Ryan got Robert Gibbs helping with the compilations in his spare time?

Regardless, "constitutionalist" celebrities keep pouring off the page -- Van Damme, McCoo, McRaney (huge surprise there), Duvall, Barkley, Greenwood, Clancy, Stallone. Kirk Cameron is a member in good standing (something he no doubt owes to those crummy religious-themed straight-to-Lifetime movies he captains). Sarah Michelle Gellar's name is plastered there as well. One can only hope some kind soul sits her down and explains that the rich are the real vampires to her spoiled little self one sunny day come soon. We can only hope she listens.

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Tom Aiken is a writer based in Austin, Texas. He has written for numerous publications including The Village Voice, Heavy Metal amd M'Zine (RIP). Mr. Aiken also has a spanking new blog -- AikenLand -- for publication of his more unpublishable work. (more...)
 

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Hilarious!... by Tom Aiken on Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010 at 5:41:18 PM