July 29, 2015

Quote of the Day

Gut-wrenching to pick one - The Read Thing Whole!

I think [Jon] Stewart's show demonstrated the decline and vacuity of contemporary comedy. I cannot stand that smug, snarky, superior tone. I hated the fact that young people were getting their news through that filter of sophomoric snark. Comedy, to me, is one of the major modern genres, and the big influences on my generation were Lenny Bruce and Mort Sahl. Then Joan Rivers had an enormous impact on me--she's one of my major role models. It's the old caustic, confrontational style of Jewish comedy. It was Jewish comedians who turned stand-up from the old gag-meister shtick of vaudeville into a biting analysis of current social issues, and they really pushed the envelope. Lenny Bruce used stand-up to produce gasps and silence from the audience. And that's my standard--a comedy of personal risk. And by that standard, I'm sorry, but Jon Stewart is not a major figure. He's certainly a highly successful T.V. personality, but I think he has debased political discourse. I find nothing incisive in his work. As for his influence, if he helped produce the hackneyed polarization of moral liberals versus evil conservatives, then he's partly at fault for the political stalemate in the United States. -- Camille Paglia

Media and Blogging Quote of the Day Theology Posted by John Kranz at July 29, 2015 6:58 PM

Ms. Paglia is one of those atheists for whom Christians should thank the Lord.

Calling Hitch's writing juvenile; outstanding!

The best reply to the anti-God (but for God's sake, never anti-Muhmmed!) Sneering-snark ("a disease that started with David Letterman and jumped to Jon Stewart"):

Exactly what are these people offering in place of religion? In my system, I offer art–and the whole history of spiritual commentary on the universe. There’s a tremendous body of nondenominational insight into human life that used to be called cosmic consciousness.

Liberals think of themselves as very open-minded, but that’s simply not true! Liberalism has sadly become a knee-jerk ideology, with people barricaded in their comfortable little cells.
Posted by: nanobrewer at July 30, 2015 12:25 AM

There's a political stalemate in the United States? Oddly enough, Leviathan government seems to keep lumbering along regardless.

I hold Stewart at fault for something far worse than "political stalemate." He contributes to something one might call 'political eugenics.'

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 2:37 PM

I wonder if my blog brother reads "stalemate" and equates it with "gridlock" (blessed, blessed, gridlock!)

I do not know whether stalemate is the right word. But Stewart is all about the "We're smart, but those stupid bumpkins that watch FOX News are evil and stupid and have bad hygiene practices." I'm rather tired of that and I cannot think of many who have contributed more to that (well, there is that POTUS fellow...)

She even dares to defend the Eeevil FOX News right after.

I must also leave a nice word for a deeply flawed hero of mine. Christopher Hitchens practiced that evangelistic atheism which I find off-putting, and I suspect Paglia is correct that his too-cool-for-God books were under-researched.

But one must bifurcate between those and a corpus which includes his deeply courageous and lively journalism and thoughtful historical commentary. I never read a word of his atheism books (and I am an atheist), but he wrote several great books and was honest enough to take on his left against President Clinton and militant Islamism.

A few pouty, adolescent indulgences can be forgiven.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 2:55 PM

If "I don't demonize Fox News" counts as defending it, then yes she did. But it was only in response to the interviewer's statement:

And that he [Jon Stewart] did the work of critiquing and fact-checking Fox and others on the right who helped create this debased media culture?

Esqueeze me?! Myopic much?

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 3:18 PM

Game. Set. Match: jk.

Again, your quote is from the Salondotcom question. Allow me to provide a little more context on Professor Paglia's answer:

I don't demonize Fox News. At what point will liberals wake up to realize the stranglehold that they had on the media for so long? They controlled the major newspapers and weekly newsmagazines and T.V. networks. It's no coincidence that all of the great liberal forums have been slowly fading. They once had such incredible power.

Where I come from, that's purdy good for a gay, atheist, art professor.

Posted by: jk at July 30, 2015 4:11 PM

Grading on that curve, you are correct. I just thought it was a long way from, "You know, the stuff they report is factually correct, even if you don't like to hear it."

Posted by: johngalt at July 30, 2015 5:15 PM

I took that as the subtext. Had she said it aloud, all of Stewart's fans' heads would have exploded --I abhor violence.

Posted by: jk at July 31, 2015 9:52 AM | What do you think? [7]