Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Benefits Of The Tonight Show With David Letterman

Letterman was recently added to my extravagant cable TV package. It’s on everyday, Monday to Friday at ten o’clock and weekends at six p.m., repeats from the weekday shows. Many of the shows are brand new, showed within a few days of their original airing. Sometimes they drop in one from six months ago, or repeat a show within a couple of days. Maybe Asia just demands more Byonce, I don’t know.

I think the show is generally pretty funny and that Letterman has become more likeable in his old age. Way out of proportion to the intrinsic merit of the show, I am enjoying it as a connection to American culture. One can begin to feel remote over here, and CNN Asia and reruns of old TV sitcoms only go so far. There’s something reassuring for the expat about Matt Damon boosting his new movie, or Billy Crystal displaying the profound lack of humor that makes him so mysterious.

I love the jokes about philandering politicians, the economy, Sara Palin, the Swine Flu, country folk, and the awful New York weather, but more interesting to me are the jokes about torture, Dick Cheney, Tea Partiers and Birthers, and the shenanigans of hyper-cons like Joe “You Lie!” Wilson. Most Americans do not agree in any way, shape or form with these racist, anti-American, crypto-nazi corporate stooges.

It’s nice that people laugh at those things at the expense of some people who are really, really bad individuals. The jokes are funny, after all. I laugh too, even though I’m pretty sure that water boarding is not actually funny.

I’m afraid, though, that while we are laughing at the Glenn Becks and Joe Wilsons of the world, they are actually winning the war that was started in the late Seventies by them and the dream boyfriend of their latent homosexuality, Ronald Reagan.

In this post-modern, post-ironic, post-give-a-shit world, the Reactionaries have a real advantage over us. Their old-fashioned ideas include a lot of old-fashioned dirty tactics that still work.

9 comments:

nanute said...

It's all about fear, Fred. Scare people shitless, especially people that can't use reason and logic, and you've got the perfect recipe for a major shit storm. Trust me, it's on the horizon. I think Thomas Paine said something along the line of: Trying to argue with a person that has given up on reason, is like administering medicine to the dead. Paraphrasing here, but I think it is close enough. Put it in quotations if needed.

fred c said...

I'm afraid that I agree with you, T. It's amazing to consider the world that we grew up in, with its implied covenants between business and labor, and the restraint and professionalism of lawyers, accountants and doctors. It was a decent, post-New-Deal, middle-class society. Now it's a zoo with the snakes in charge.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me how the Right peddles the notion that all the country's problems stem from brown people coming from Mexico and a Black guy being in the White House.
Keep it simple for the masses. Gays, guns, and God.

-E

fred c said...

Keep it really simple, please, because Americans today famously don't know anything. (77% of Omaha public high school students can't name the first president of the USA, etc)

Anonymous said...

There's a huge black gang war erupting in LA right now. Black on Black like a meat grinder. I feel like reminding them to turn on their TV's and watch white racists cannibalize themselves. I also wonder what would happen if Obama came and sat down with gang leaders. Without pretext.

fred c said...

Blame it on the economy and increased competition. High unemployment in California has driven down the customers' ability to pay for gang services, like contraband, and the proliferation of foreign gangs provides the competition. My heart goes out to the OG, home-grown gangs.

Anonymous said...

True. These guys were just taking a short break from violent evolutionary culling. There's a great new tv show based on the drug trade in SF that has the murder rate in Oakland skyrocketing. Fear Fear Fear that's for sure.

nanute said...

I think the percentage of students that couldn't name the first president were from the great state of Oklahoma. Not the city of Omaha. Otherwise, you are correct, sir.

In other news: Dick Armey is trying desperately to reject his eligibility for Medicare in order to keep his Cadillac health insurance provided by his previous employer. (That would be us.)

fred c said...

Oh, the news, the news. Why do we bother? See today's francophone post for the answer.