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“I use a straight razor and a garden rake.”
Rachel Anne "Madcow McRaché" Maddow (born April 1, 1973) is an American radio and television host, political commentator, and author who currently hosts Soft and Pretty Things on MSNBC and Love Line airing Saturdays at midnight on the Playboy Channel. Maddow believes rolling her eyes, snickering, and making ironic statements makes her an intellectual.
edit Early life
Rachel was born and raised in a compound for those faithful to the revolution in Castro Valley, Cuba to Ivan Maddow, an attack pilot in the Peoples' Defense Forces, and Oksana Maddow (neé Trotsky), a party informant and former lover of Raul Castro. It was rumored for a time that Rachel may have been fathered by Castro; this was later proven false. Rachel is, however, in fact the granddaughter of Leon Trotsky.
Rachel entered the Joseph Stalin School for Primary Indoctrination in 1978 where she learned the basics of living in an egalitarian, Utopian society. Teachers at the institute explained how people in the United states ate their own children to keep from starving, that no one in the States could read, and that only 20,000,000 people had any sort of healthcare while 310,000,000 Americans were dying of syphilis. Where in Cuba, at least everyone had government healthcare, a ration book that allowed for a pound of beans, a pound of rice and a quart of milk for every child as often as every single month. In addition, in Cuba at least one person in each and every neighborhood had access to a 1949 Buick, while in America, people didn't even have legs and no one dared travel to Cuba, but any Cuban was free to swim to Miami and see the squalor for themselves.
In 1987, Rachel entered the Brezhnev Preparatory Academy for Girls, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Cosmetology. Bearing a striking resemblance to the academy's namesake, Rachel was quickly chosen to be the Girls Field Hockey team mascot. Rachel, being a bright young lady, finished her four-year course of study at Brezhnev Academy in two years and so matriculated to the Fidel Sassoon Cosmetology Polytechnic in 1989, where she swapped her major and minor. Rachel quickly rose to the top of her class, was elected Master at Arms of the school's pantry, and had an hour-long call-in show on the campus radio station (Radio Free Cuba) where she took calls from faithful party members and encouraged Americans to swim to Havana for a better life.
In her junior year at Fidel Sassoon, Rachel was accused of misappropriating the school's electrolysis machine. To this day, Rachel swears she had nothing to do with the missing machine. Rachel's mother feared that the Communist Party in Cuba may have been setting her daughter up for a crime she didn't commit. Remembering the fate of her grandfather Leon Trotsky in Mexico City at the hands of the assassins, Oksana saved three months worth of ration books to trade for two used truck tire inter-tubes. One night, Oksana woke her daughter, hurried her down to the beach, and the mother and daughter set sail for Miami and a life free of threat from the party.
edit A Better Life?
By 1992, Rachel (now 19 years old) and her mother Oksana were living in the Little Havana neighborhood of Pascagoula, Mississippi. The Maddows had set to sea on their intertubes in the midst of a hurricane and were blown all the way to the Central Gulf Coast. Rachel and her mother lived in a state of limbo in America. With no family in the U.S., the Maddows rented a double-wide near the Navy shipyard. Oksana feared she may have to do menial work beneath her station but as a potential political refugee, she managed to scrape together $500 per month in state welfare, $295 per week in unemployment, $450 per month in social security for Rachel's benefit, and $200 per month in food stamps along with state Medicaid. Rachel took a job in a hair salon and with a grant from the federal government, enrolled at Nathan Bedford Forrest Community College.
Rachel once again switched her major back to Political Science. Ever the activist, she searched for an outlet, applying for internships with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP, and the ACLU, but ultimately finding all three organizations far too conservative. Living without direction, Rachel hoped that her PoliSci studies would stimulate her. But alas, the courses in the U.S. failed to fulfill; professors insisted on exploring all political cultures and never focused on the one true form of government that protected the proletariat from capitalism and theology. Though the professors seemed devoted to socialism, they always caved-in to senseless standards of a well-rounded curriculum.
The Maddow family found America confusing. Where in Cuba, the government removed the stress of choice, in America, people were forced to make choices. In Cuba, if you want coffee, you go stand in the coffee line on coffee day, but in America, you first have to decide where you want to buy your coffee. Then you have to compare prices, then quality, then flavor... "I'd rather be water boarded," exclaimed Rachel on her first trip to the Piggly Wiggly. Most frustrating for Maddow was that decent was tolerated in America; in Cuba, the Premier tells you what is right and good, and that's it. One never need worry who to vote for. It's been decided for you. In America, there is more than one party and they all run in one election against eachother... at the same time... for the same office. It was during her second year at Forrest Community College that she resigned herself to, one day, help lead her new country toward a perfect socialist society:
|“|| Dear Diary,|
I'm finding my course in America, and my cause. America is a beautiful country but it is flawed with Representative Democracy; too many choices and options and ambition. There is no system in America to deal with capitalists or people with goals who are not satisfied with what the State provides. I will strive to bring such a system to America. Until the day when we can send dissidents to reeducation, I will have to resign myself to treating people who don't see what I see like the ignorant fools they are. These soft Americans don't know what smug is... wait 'till they get a load of me.
In 1994, Rachel received a Associate of Science degree in Political Science with a minor in Cosmetology with an enfaces in eyebrows. She remained in the Gulf Coast area while waiting for the INS to conclude the status of her family. In addition to working at the salon, Rachel would do odd jobs for extra money to donate to the Socialist Party USA and the Black Panthers. A friend from school took Rachel to a movie set in Louisiana where they would be paid as extras and stand-ins. While she had worked in radio in Cuba, this was the first time Rachel was in front of the camera. She realized the power of the medium and noted some conversations from the movie set in her journal:
|“|| Dear Diary,|
This past weekend I went with Bobby on her Harley to Louisiana where we worked on a movie. It was so exciting. We were told the working title was No One's Fault, but I heard someone else say they were going to release it as Dead Man Walking. I met some fascinating people there. I met Susan Sarandon... you know, from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and that baseball movie where she sleeps with all the players. She is a political genius. Sean Penn was there too. He's the guy who was married to Madonna for a week and played the stoned surfer in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Brilliant!!! I'm hitching my wagon to there star. They'll both be running this country someday.
In 1995, the Maddows were granted permanent political asylum in the United States. As such, Oksana was issued a work permit and released from her entitlements. Oksana went to work at a casino as a cocktail waitress; at first, she was excited about having joined a labor union complete with health care and paid vacation, but soon realized that all she was doing was helping to run the "Robber Barons" machine while he raped the proletariat and grew fat on the sweat of the masses (not realizing that public corporations like the casino are owned by the people). Oksana decided she had enough and after nine days of employment, and threw herself down a flight of stairs causing her to have permanent headaches. So, she applied for permanent disability and Medicaid; she remains addicted to entitlements to this day. She is the editor of the Mississippi Peoples' Voice, a semi-annual socialist newspaper that focuses on the issues of socialists in the state of Mississippi; Oksana's paper has a circulation of 249 readers per publication.
Inspired by her mothers work with the Peoples' Voice (and having been dropped by Social Security), Rachel decided to strike out on her own. To make her way in life and help spread the doctrine, in 1996, she applied for a position as a production assistant at WJFK, a left-of-center talk radio station in Boston. Rachel loaded her belongings in her Yugo and headed to Massachusetts; Boston mesmerized the young woman from Castro Valley Cuba, with its high-rise buildings, public-assisted housing, and a single-party political system. "Why didn't the hurricane blow is here?" Boston had its Plutocrats to be sure. But the Kennedys were of the people, and they possessed something vital: the ability to afford being liberal.
Rachel stayed in a motel for several weeks while looking for a roommate and working at WJFK. Her days were filled with running errands for on-air personalities, picking up guests hosts from Logan Airport like Al Gore, Al Frankin, Angela Davis, and Bobby Seale, or driving out to pick up local hero Penn Kemble. The biggest names in socialism would come to the KJFK Studios every Friday and the station would do a live broadcast from the parking lot; this was Rachel's favorite day of the week. It was her job to hand out programs, signs, and buttons; towards the end of the broadcast, it was also her jon to hand out the Kool-Aid for a toast (Boston has very strong blue laws so they substituted Kool-Aid for wine).
The motel was so expensive and Rachel hadn't had an opportunity to start a personal life in Boston. She answered an ad for a roommate on Mass Ave in Cambridge. A man answered the phone... Rachel hadn't considered sharing an apartment with a man, but she agreed to to come meet with him. Saturday morning, she walks up two flights to the apartment located above the Paradise Gay Club, knocks, and enters. The man seemed friendly, benign; a few years older than her, but he put her at ease. She got a good vibe from him and the neighborhood. The following weekend, Glenn Beck added Rachel to the lease and she moved in:
|“|| Dear Diary,|
Well, I found a place to land. My new roommate (Glenn) seems like a decent guy. Maybe a little more conservative than I'm used to. He cries all the time. I think he's paranoid or maybe schizophrenic. He spends a lot of time in the gay bar downstairs but always puts on a wig first and insists everyone call him "Philippe." We don't seem to have much in common but we stay out of eachother's way. I'm sure we'll be the best of friends one day!
edit Moving Forward
By 1997, Rachel had started filling in for on-air personalities on KJFK. This garnered the attention of local liberal television station WAH-UHF-45 in South Boston. Maddow was hired to do a weekly news segment called Maddow About Town, where she would stop Bostonians on the street and ask their opinion about current political events.
A selection of quotes from Maddow About Town from questions asked of typical Southies:
Rachel had found her highbrow, intellectual audience at WAH-TV. Soon, she took the tradition of handing out Kool-Aid at WJFK to her Maddow About Town audience at WAH-TV. People would come from all over New England to drink the Kool-Aid with Rachel. In addition to the Maddow About Town segment, she now had a weekly program on WAH-TV called Southies Have Your Say. The new show was based on the BBC radio program World Have Your Say, and focused on American self-loathing and guilt. The Kool-Aid flowed at Southies as well until Kraft Foods (owner of Kool-Aid) issued a cease-and-desist order. The segment continued but Dave Chapelle's "Purple" was served instead.
By 1999, Rachel had left WJFK to focus on her on camerawork at WAH-TV. She was also becoming popular on the socialist talk circuit; Rachel spoke at colleges and union meetings, and Tina Fey would hire her to speak at her parties in New York. At this point in time, Air America was a concept for a far-left, neo-Marxist radio network. "My life changed that night at Tina's apartment," says Maddow. "I had done two excellent sets in Tina's living room. The audience was ideal. All believers who have disproved the claims of the right. No one in that room was netting over $1,500,000 a year and no one had more then three homes. Yet we all manage to survive and thrive. What happened next started the next phase of my life. I had gone to the restroom at Tina's when there was a knock on the door. The next five words changed everything: 'Rachel? It's ME, Al Franken.'"
|“|| Dear Diary,|
Was in NYC this weekend with the beautiful people. I had a conversation with Al Franken... he was that guy on Saturday Night Live who did the Stewart Smally thing... anyway... brilliant. I have no doubt a guy like that will be a Senator from his great state of New York one day. I suppose he could carpetbag it like Mrs. Clinton but he's so NYC. Where else could he go to run??? Anyway, Al and another political Giant (Janeane Garofalo) are starting a new Marxist radio network and they want me to come with them. I ran home and told my roommate Glenn that I was going to NY to change the world. Glenn just cried and said our lives were in peril then he stormed out. That was three days ago. I hope I see him before I leave... is it just me or does Tina Fey look rather masculine?
edit New York and Air America Radio
In December 1999, Rachel moved to Greenwich Village, NYC to start her career in national broadcast radio. Air America Radio still had the better part of a year to get up and running, so Rachel worked with Al and Janeane every day until 2PM, working on format and affiliate recruiting and lining up hosts. Then she would take a commuter flight to Boston, do her Southies show, then head back to New York in the evening. On one such flight on a Friday evening, Rachel sat next to a production assistant from NBC Sports. Keith Olbermann was on his way to Boston to cover a Jets Patriots game... well, ge was on his way to Boston to serve the sportscaster who would cover the game. "Obi was like a blank sheet of paper back then," Maddow noted. "He was ripe for the picking and for training. I got his number and I would call him from time to time. He seemed interested in whatever I said I was interested in. In a way, Obi was a little clueless. Best of all, he was so introverted at the time, I was sure he didn't have it in him to hit on me."
In 2000, Maddow, Franken, and Garofalo went on the air at Air America. Early programming consisted mostly of rebroadcasts from NPR affiliates in Berkeley, California and Madison, Wisconsin while they produced newer, more liberal programming. The first original, live show was called Smug and Smarter Than YOU!; it was simulcast on the Internet (invented by Al Gore) with video. The program consisted mostly of the three hosts telling moderates, conservatives, independents, and Blue Dog Democrats how stupid they all were. This show was the first to break stories like "George W. Bush was certified retarded by a fellow Scull and Bones member who had come forward but then was kidnapped, stuffed in a duffel bag and buried under the Reagan Library." They also broke the story that President Bush doesn't like black people, brown people, Asian people, or people of any kind who couldn't trace themselves back to the Mayflower (unless they cleaned his house, pool, or car). All the hosts noted how they regretted the bile and hate they had to show for people who were not on their intellectual level, but it was important to make their point of just how stupid the right is. A signature of the show was every time either of the hosts made their point, they would face the webcam simulcast, paste on an incredibly smug look, and pause for five seconds; Maddow has continued this practice throughout her career, including on her current shows Soft and Pretty Things on MSNBC and Love Line on the Playboy Network.
Air America was a quirky operation unlike any of the other national networks. For instance, no one was prepared for the simplest things like obligatory monthly Emergency Broadcast System tests. A call to the corporate offices from the FCC alerted the network that if they didn't broadcast a test in the next hour, their license would be revoked. They didn't even have the tone generator with which to make the alert sound for the test. But this was a bright team. From that hour until the day the station went off the air, the buzzing sound listeners heard was actually the sound of Garoflao's homemade tattoo gun inking her rhino-like hide.
|“||Dear Diary, OMG, I love my job. The people are so fascinating and quick witted. Today, we got a call from the front office while we were on the air spreading the truth about George Bush, The Roswell Landing and how Skull and Bones killed our friends from outer space who were trying to warn us all about the Conservative agenda and the rise of the Bush Family. Any way, the front office said "FCC called and said to do an emergency broadcast test or we'll get our license pulled." Janeane started ranting "They're here to kill us!!!" OMG, Then she grabbed her purse and a tape recorder and locked herself in the bathroom. 30 minutes later she returned with a tape of a buzzing noise and a brand new tattoo on her stomach. She has "Fascist Communication Cops" written upside down on her stomach. Crazy. She's my new BFF.||”|