Fat Cat Plankton

Nonsense in extensia

Saturday, October 16, 2004

And Now, Our Moment of Zen

Well, I had written a fairly lengthy post trying to recap the last month, beginning with the Falcons game I attended last Sunday, but I lost the fucker before I could finish it, and now I'm too tired/lazy to conjure it all again.

Quick recap: still not used to the idea of football indoors, seems like you're in a vaccum cut off from the real world and the game itself takes on a weird scripted effect, like you're in a movie theatre or a playhouse rather than a sports arena - sometimes I felt this way about basketball in college at UNC, but the atmosphere was so much more of a pressure cooker that it sucked you into the action. Also, I had forgotten how weird the whole "howl like banshees when you're on D but act like you're at a golf match when your team has the ball" aesthetic feels when you're in person - I wanted to yell the loudest when Vick was under center, but obviously he needs to call his audibles and whatnot and Lord Knows he already has his hands full with the West Coast offense anyway.

OK, that out of the way, I think I'll just stick to current events rather than just gloss over the last month of Bush scowls, bad Kerry jokes, and worse Braves baseball.

Just saw Jon Stewart on Crossfire, which could have been a watershed moment of news media soul-searching...except for the fact that these guys are complete idiots. Now granted, as much as I adore Jon (and it's a man-crush that clearly disturbs Lauren, who first noticed it), I do think he hides behind the supposed triviality of The Daily Show too often, clearly it inures him to most criticism, and I'm always skeptical when someone has a built-in mechanism for defense like that (ie. my suspicion of certain popists, though I am one myself to a degree, b/c if you argue against popism then you're *automatically* an elitist, out-of-touch snob).

Anyway, whether he likes it or not, Jon's show has become a highly-respected source of political discourse and information (which certainly says alot about the sorry state of news media, but also it's a credit to Jon's integrity and that of his staff) and obviously he recognizes that, no matter how much he tries to deflect his *responsibility* with jokes about Crank Yankers.

Yeah, I wish Jon woulda been a little more incisive with Kerry (he's NOT the same as Letterman or Leno after all, and I think deep down he'd be insulted or at least disappointed if people thought so).

At the same time, it's stupefyingly obvious that folks like CNN have much much more of a responsibility to their audience than Jon, which is why Carlson's attempt to equate the two is both disingenuous and reprehensible.

Now, since I haven't had cable in almost a year, and even when I did I didn't watch much CNN, I'm not intimately familiar with Crossfire, though from what I have seen I gather it's mostly just talking points and empty oneupsmanship ("partisan hackery" was Jon's choice phrase). I'm proud of Jon for saying he didn't give a shit about Kerry in Cambodia, as I'm guessing that's just the kind of topic that causes these Crossfire guys to froth at the mouth for weeks. And it truly was sad to see Jon trying to honestly engage these moronic talking heads about the dearth of real, fairly reasoned debate that starts from an accumulated knowledge base and a well-honed capacity for intellectual incision rather than a nakedly partisan jumping-off point. Jon came off as incredibly bitter, but justifyingly so, while Carlson just looked petty and cruel, which brings me to my next question:

WHY DO REPUBLICANS COMPLETELY LACK A SENSE OF HUMOR?

Seriously, name me one staunch conservative that's genuinely capable of being funny, like Chris Rock is funny, like Jon Stewart is funny, like Patton Oswalt is funny, like Trey Parker and Matt Stone are funny, hell, even like Michael Moore is funny. I think that's part of the reason I'm dying to see Team America, to see Trey and Matt take some swipes at the left in the spirit of fairness, 'cause lord knows we're ripe for it. Personally I think they're just taking the piss with all this "America rocks! I love being rich!" rhetoric, and I'm having a blast watching all these hand-wringing liberal movie critics pokes holes in Trey and Matt's satirization of their precious sacred cows. OK, so I haven't seen the movie yet and so maybe they're right, but I'm 100% a card-carrying member of the leftermost part of the party, and still I think a few genuinely funny spitballs lobbed in our direction would do some of our more pompous representatives some good.

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