Friday, October 12, 2012

Wonks, Winks, and Wonkettes

By Margaret Curtis, PhD

If Paul Ryan is a “wonk,” does anybody know what that word means? When internet research returns information on “wonk,” the first hit brings up “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Meanwhile, an article appears on the internet declaring chocolate God’s gift to creative thinkers. So, if somebody’s got a chocolate factory, a “wonk” should probably be running it.

Following that line of thought, if DC needs a new Sugar Daddy, because the chocolate factory’s broken, who could do better than Joe Biden? He likes to emphasize that he’s a blue collar factory man. He comes originally from Pennsylvania, where Hershey has its very own town. But nobody seems to accuse Biden of being a “wonk”—just Ryan. Not even the first VP Debate moderator risked telling Biden to “shut up” when he kept interrupting on stage like a heckler.

Was Biden’s performance consciously designed to appeal to the urban crowd, as in New York City, infamously branded recently as the rudest city in America? Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for Obama’s campaign, might possess the answer to that question, but nobody’s accused her of being a wonkette, either. Sugar syrup appears to be her specialty—drizzled adroitly over every nut and fruit in Willy Wonka’s factory. 

Voters curious about Willie Wonka’s history can review the plot-line from his famous cinematic story: “A poor boy wins the opportunity to tour the most eccentric and wonderful candy factory of all,” according to IMDb at Voila! A new description of DC appears in American politics. This summary of Biden’s biography simultaneously makes sense after all.

Time Healthland updates the Willie Wonka Factory story by announcing scientists’ recommendations to eat chocolate if a Nobel Prize is the goal. “Secret to Winning a Nobel Prize?” it asks. The answer: “Eat More Chocolate.” Of course, chocolate candy contains caffeine, which would explain a candidate’s behavior when he can’t keep his mouth shut long enough to let a wonk speak, whoever that might be. 

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