Anyway, I wrote the following as a followup comment on my otherwise silly, fun post on Tina Fey, and it occurred to me I should elevate it to a separate post and see if we can get a good dialogue going on the subject here. Rather than rewrite it, I repeat myself:
going way back before them, Dennis Miller — in their Weekend Update
As y'all know, I like to have fun and kid around, but I do
take the news and the issues of the day seriously, and at some point I
get turned off by people who day in and day out sneer and make jokes of
serious issues. I mean, let's have fun and kid around, but when one's
entire diet of commentary consists of such junk food, and it's all
about mocking and never taking anything seriously, I think it has a
corrosive effect on society. Taken at it's extreme, I think it has
helped raise a generation that has trouble respecting anyone and
anything in politics. The constant drip, drip of smarmy satire adds to
all the partisan attack politics and tactics of personal destruction to
prevent us from coming together to solve the problems we have in common
— which is what representative democracy can be all about.
to say, I have NO appreciation for Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. And
while I enjoyed meeting and kidding around with Stephen Colbert (see video), I can't get into his shtick, either.
even though the Palin gag was pretty hard-hitting satire, it was so
enjoyable that it caused me to have a soft spot for Tina I didn't have
I should also mention that I revised my opinion of Dennis Miller just from the couple of brief spots I've done on his radio show.
I had always thought of him as just too much of a wise guy, too
impressed with his own snarky cleverness, to be borne. But he's
actually deeper than that, and pleasant to talk to.
course, this is just a corollary to something I've found about life —
almost anyone is a more likable, admirable person once you get past the
shorthand, bumper-sticker version of that person. To know a person is
to appreciate him or her more. Maybe this sounds trite, but in our 24/7
headline news/blog world, we increasingly go by the bumper sticker, and
don't get into people deeply enough to appreciate them.
to get WAY philosophical on you…. One of my great disappointments
with this blog is that I had hoped, by having this forum for going way
beyond what I'm able to say and explore in the paper, I could forge
some avenues where I could have more meaningful exchanges with my
readers and fellow citizens about the important issues of the day —
and the people who are important players in those issues.
the resistance to that is just tremendous. So much of what passes for
dialogue here remains on the superficial, partisan, shorthand,
bumper-sticker simplistic level. I try to say something to provoke
thought, and somebody gives some standard, boilerplate ideological
response, and someone else shouts the established bumper-sticker
counter to THAT, and off we go on the kind of pointless partisan
merry-go-round that you can read or hear anywhere in the blogosphere or
on 24/7 talking head "news." And what is the point in that?
draw hope from the fact that occasionally, we get to the point where
some actual, mutually respectful dialogue occurs between people who
HAVE gotten to know each other beyond the surface here. I see this
particularly with Phillip and Herb and Karen and a handful of others —
and in the past (although, unfortunately, not so much lately) from you,
Randy. I even get an encouraging word now and then from bud or Doug.
I just wish I knew how to build on that. I'm open to suggestions.
Maybe I need to make this a separate post…
… which I just did.
How about it? Do you see any way we can start having conversations here that matter?