Sense of Wonder: Eyeing Joe the Plumber

Joe the Plumber became a national celebrity this week thanks to John McCain’s referencing him in the final presidential debate. Unfortunately, it turns out that Joe is not named Joe, and he is not really a plumber, so he could not legally purchase the plumbing business that he told Obama would raise him into a higher tax bracket, and even if he did purchase the business, the $250,000 price tag applied to the cost, not the profits, so he still would not be bumped up into a higher tax bracket, so he would still fare better under Obama’s tax plan than McCain’s. In other words, the idea that Joe the Plumber was a significant symbol of how a small businessman would suffer under an Obama presidency was a big joke.
It’s seems weirdly appropriate, then, that some jokester posted a video on YouTube tha purports to depict how Joe would really fare under McCain’s tax plan. The clip is actually from Lucio Fulci’s cult horror film THE BEYOND – which, strangely enough, features a plumber named Joe. At least one right-wing blog has blown a blood corpuscle in the brain about this, pretending that it represents an actual death threat, but I find the argument too absurd to take seriously. The YouTube posting is actually a piece of satire, pointing out that “Joe the Plumber” (as conjured by McCain and his cohorts in the media) is no more a real person than the unfortunate character in the film.

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