Is the October Surprise the Seismic Wallop of Two Monosyllables?

This is the "How Do You Like Me Now,
Moose!?" face.
Photo: ThatOne08

We are completely, semiotically mesmerized by the fact that the 2008 election is coalescing around John McCain’s sneeringly off-the-cuff pairing of two words so unremarkable that, even when they stand together, they usually only signify what someone is pointing to. Like you point to the Crispy Buttermilk Shrimp on the Applebee’s menu and go, “You want that one?” and your friend points to the Fiesta Lime Chicken and goes, “No, that one.” While you’re in Missouri or something. So banal, right? But now, in a brilliant, 24-hour inversion, it’s a rallying cry: Didn’t every one of your friends write some defiant status update on Facebook the minute the debate ended Tuesday night? “Clover is counting the days till that one is our new president!” And now there’s an eponymous blog that beatifies That One and lets you buy That One T-shirts. And a That One ‘08 Facebook fan club. And even an awesomely stupid electro song sung and rapped by a likable moron: “I’m not into dudes, but That One is kind of cool … if I would be into dudes, it might be, like, That One.” If a certain Some One earns a victory speech, you so know what the crowd is going to be chanting while they wait.
Earlier: McCain Calls Obama ‘That One’: Why?