Friday, March 13, 2009

Comedians matter

Jon Stewart had already established his credentials as a bulwark against media stupidity when he publicly called Tucker Carlson a dick on national TV, but he may just be immortalized after last night's "gloves off" interview with - nay, utter takedown of - CNBC's Jim Cramer. But, in fairness to Cramer, as Glenn Greenwald so deftly describes, at least he had the temerity to face criticism in person, unlike just about any other so-called journalist. Glenn makes an excellent case that there is nothing unique about Cramer - or CNBC - though, when compared to the rest of our press corps and Establishment Media. Very much worth a read!

I, and many others, have marveled repeatedly over the fact that it is our comedians who are the only ones we can trust to tell us the truth. Jon Stewart uses mockery and juvenile humor to ease the shame and disgust of the nude Emperor rubbing his genitals all over our faces by pointing out that the Emperor is hung like a hamster. Stephen Colbert dons a persona amalgamated of the worst traits of many a pundit to mock just how ridiculous the level of political discourse is in our society. The late George Carlin used biting wit and vulgar profanity to feign anger at our political leaders and talking heads, thus serving as more or less a relief-valve for the rest of us by making us laugh out loud when we might otherwise cry. And the great Bill Maher employs his vaunted wit with biting sarcasm to speak truth to the cadre of cowardly liars who we entrust to lead us.

As put by a particularly smart fellow from a discussion group I'm following:

Comedians play a crucial role in our free society. I'm sure you recall seeing Cabaret -- where the floor show catered to the prevailing power instead of attacked it. It mocked Nazi's at the beginning, and ended by mocking the Jews, playing to the audience. There can be no cows too sacred, no myth too precious to spared from attack or we, too, risk being trapped in a society where all of our expressions must be (literally) politically correct with force of violent sanction applied to those who moon the cow. Comics like Maher (I'll add Stewart, Colbert, Carlin, et al. -ed.) are the bellwether of a free society. - RGB

With apologies to all comedians - women and men - who deserve mention here but are not included (for lack of time), all of those mentioned share in common intelligence, wit, and the courage to stand for truth against powerful forces who are more than willing to lie to and deceive and potentially put in harms way the very people they should be looking out for, but also depend upon for their very existence.

Here is but one segment of several worth watching (and I only wish Jon Stewart was this tough on Bill O'Reilly):

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