Ted Cruz Thinks The CIA Could Use A Man Like Jason Bourne Again. Those Were The Days!
The CIA released a new recruitment ad recently that miraculously annoyed people from across the political spectrum. Maybe there's hope for unity, after all, especially when it involves attacking a woman of color.
Conservatives slammed the video as too "woke," and I gotta say: What the fuck does "woke" even mean anymore? Is "woke" just what conservatives call anything they hate now, such as the mere presence of people who aren't white?
Will Cain on Fox News's "Outnumbered" said the video was like a bad "Saturday Night Live" sketch, which is probably true because it's not at all funny. Although in fairness to the CIA, I don't think the video was actually trying. The one-term loser's first failed attempt at reproduction said ... something ... it's not worth repeating or even looking up.
Here's the full video. It controversially features a 36-year-old Latina CIA officer opening her mouth and making words.
When I was 17, I quoted Zora Neale Hurston's "How It Feels to Be Colored Me" in my college application essay. The line that spoke to me stated simply, “I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all." At 17, I had no idea what life would bring, but that sentiment articulated so beautifully how I felt as a daughter of immigrants then and now. Nothing about me is tragic. I am perfectly made. I can wax eloquent on complex legal issues in English while also belting "Guayaquil de Mis Amores" in Spanish. I can change a diaper with one hand and console a crying toddler with the other. I'm a woman of color. I'm a mom. I'm a cisgender millennial who's been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional but my existence is not a box-checking exercise. I am a walking declaration, a woman whose inflection does not rise at the end of her sentences suggesting that a question has been asked. I did not sneak into the CIA. My employment was not and is not the result of a fluke or slipped through the cracks. I earned my way in and I earned my way up the ranks of this organization.
Before President Klan Robe won the GOP nomination, this could've been a Republican National Convention speech with just a few tweaks, especially in 2000 when the RNC made a big play for diversity and acknowledged that brown people exist.
Zora Neale Hurston is also an American writer. She was born in Alabama and grew up in Florida. It's not “woke" to quote her. She's part of this country, damnit! Conservatives used to boast that America is a “nation of immigrants." Mitt Romney did so as recently as 2012 when he accepted the Republican nomination for president. It's also not obsessively PC to identify yourself as a “cisgender millennial who's been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder." This is a recruitment video and the CIA wants applicants from all backgrounds, not just bland white guys. However, this somehow offends conservatives, including head bland white guy Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who identifies himself on his Twitter bio as “father of two, @heidiscruz's husband, fighter for liberty." There's nothing in this CIA video that's sillier than Senator Frank Burns proclaiming himself a “fighter for liberty."
Cruz responded to a tweet from Aisha Ahmad, who boasts of her “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will." She seems awful but we would've have so much fun discussing Schopenhauer when I was a college sophomore. Ahmad considered these lines from the video especially objectionable: “I am a woman of color. I am a cisgender millennial. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I am intersectional." She then concludes that “it's safe to say the contemporary American left has failed." This is hardly conclusive proof that the CIA agent is a liberal, though Ahmad presumably is based on her timeline. But we'll get into that. First let's dunk on Senator Ferret Face.
Why are any of these people watching CIA recruitment videos? I guess it's not that surprising that this asshole would suggest America's enemies would stop fearing us if they knew we let girls work in the CIA.
We've come a long way from Jason Bourne.
Jason Bourne ain't real, motherfucker. But the CIA agent you ridiculed is.
Cruz later grumbled:
Lefties made "Jason Bourne" trend bc they think I don't know he's a fictional character. Next, these angry scolds are going to tell me Jack Ryan & James Bond aren't real either ....
There's reason for concern when a sitting senator's immediate frame of reference for the CIA is a make-believe film series. He could've mentioned agents Christopher Glenn Mueller or William "Chief" Carlson, who died tracking terrorists in Afghanistan, or James Olson, who served in the CIA for decades and now teaches at Texas A&M. There are several options that don't involve the guy from The Talented Mr. Ripley.
My point is that CIA agents should be bad-asses — not woke, fragile flowers needing safe spaces.
This agent can quote Zora Neale Hurston and still be a bad ass, certainly more so than some twerp who flees the country when it gets cold at his house.
The CIA is going to continue to exist (sorry), so, as cringey as it might be, it's probably good for the agency to… https://t.co/E4eAS1aZOG— Mangy Jay (@Mangy Jay)1620058873.0
Ted Cruz is hot garbage covered in cat pee, but he did find common ground with Aisha Ahmad, who's apparently a fan of both Bernie Sanders and Jacobin magazine. Cruz believes that the CIA is no place for the “woke" and Ahmad thinks the truly woke shouldn't work for the CIA, which has co-opted “woke" language to appeal to diverse applicants. Matt Taibbi and Michael Tracey knocked the ad for the same reasons as Ahmad. Glenn Greenwald also fucked the woke chicken on Fox News. He claims that "CIA and corporate giants are not just 'co-opting' woke ideology as though it's a threat to them, but ... they love it as something that strengthens them and entrenches their power."
Seriously, the CIA agent featured in the recruitment ad is just a normal woman who likes Zora Neale Hurston. She's an American, which too many people on both the Right and putative Left fail to recognize.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."