October 4, 2008

Zmore Zucker:
It bothered me that I couldn’t quite describe why I thought American Carol, that which I whined about yesterday, was not quite satire. I would not reject something on politics alone: even the person I quoted on the MILF issue some time back can be coherent and clever when he feels like it. I figured out that it’s because the movie is unwilling to let farce speak for itself. For every comical exaggeration of leftist behavior there is a stern rightist reprimand or other immediate, embarrassing fate. Saying no no no, you fool, that is bad! It’s like Elmo yelling at Mr. Noodle because he wore unmatching socks. I can appreciate, and in a better mood laugh at the absurdity of the anti-democrat taxation video Dave Zucker developed, although the sinister voiceover in the style of an actual campaign attack ad suggests, once again, that Mr. Zuck can’t let supposed satire function on its own without explicitly stating what you’re supposed to take from it. Still, it’s more effective than simply depicting people you agree with smacking ones who you don’t. That’s my real problem with all this. Also country music and Bill O’Reilly.

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me yesterday, other than simply that I was determined to finish that within the day and may have kept on writing otherwise. If the movie was satirical, as it claimed, characters who I’m meant to think reasonable wouldn’t be constantly talking down to and hitting the apparent protagonist. They wouldn’t have to! When I saw that in Mad Magazine I called it the Desmond Devlin ending, because that particular writer was often of the opinion the shows he was writing about had done so wrong by previous ones he’d written about just as critically. I seem to recall the Roseanne article ending with Bill Cosby taking issue and then the Mad About You comic concluding with angry words from Roseanne. Cosby may earlier have received instruction from Lucille Ball and Archie Bunker. I was not always pleased with the use of this literary device, but that was at the end! It wasn’t the Wrecking Crew fireball constantly interfering with the important task of demolishing eight story locker-door towers. Guess what, fireball! They’re nonflammable! You’re not helping!

It’s as much satire as the drawings I used to make at the age of six years with my friend Nicky, (also known as “Micky” to people who could read) of our younger brothers, in the acclaimed series “Joey and Ian Gettin’ Dead.” Lots of spikes and impromptu lavafalls (thanks, Nintendo!). It’s like when kids used to mail pictures to EGM magazine of Sonic the Hedgehog beating up Mario, even though both have died a thousand deaths in pursuit of victories against more powerful foes and neither can ever truly be triumphed over. That’s not meant to be metaphoric at all, they’re just immortal. And then I suggested it may even be even similar to the Ouroboros-like tendency for internet artists who have fans to draw pictures of themselves yelling at their own fans, often depicted as screaming incoherent masses, and it occurred to me that too much of my life experience involves varyingly spoiled children with access to paper. To put that in perspective, I wasn’t at all worried about the ramifications of my Elmo reference. But verily, we are often incapable of depicting people who think differently from us without making it an ugly 1/2 dimensional stereotype for which the only remedy is pain. You probably knew that. Why am I here?

Stephen Colbert used to argue with Russ Lieber, a sniveling, persuasively impotent, organic farming liberal portrayed by David Cross, and Stephen always appeared to be the more respectable of the two when Russ would find himself in an endless series of back-tracks for his own attempts to please everybody. In essence, he slapped himself. If an alternate universe D.Zuck were in charge, Russ would assertively, non-ironically lecture Stephen on the glories of the Clinton administration and throw a bowling ball at him and it would make a “klang” sound. The agenda is too important to risk having be misunderstood. But we can still be zany!

I do wish the Colbert people would bring Lieber back to the program, though, even if it had to be under such circumstances, which it wouldn’t. He hasn’t been on the show in a year and most of another, if the website’s archive is as comprehensive as the tv ads state. Fictional ridiculous opponents are plenty more entertaining than actual boring, ridiculous in a non-funny way folk musicians that Stephen can’t risk offending by calling out on their miserable horrible songs which they then proceed to perform without incident.

The fact that Colbert was invited to deliver and write his own speech at the White House correspondent dinner, and nobody at any point heard of this plan and said “no, that will not do,” just shows how well the pro-Bush mind grasps satire: it doesn’t. Somehow people believed he was really the pig-biting mad conservative forklogan he portrays on television.

I don’t believe conservatives, as a gross unfair generalization, are scared to show someone recite extreme left dogma nobody really believes without getting punished immediately, they just don’t want to, and I suppose I can’t change that. How can you reason with a group that makes pronunciation of “nuclear” a partisan political issue?

Oh no, I’m going to mention the vice president debate after awful.
It did worry me a bit, right at the end (I think I was watched CBS, thus depriving myself of magical real time line graphs), that Bob Schieffer, who is going to be moderating at the last debate, didn’t think mannequin on the move Sarah Palin had made any “blunders.” No, because everything was deliberate and premeditated. You can’t be that confident in your own willful negligence by accident. Is refusing to engage in debate at a debate really a “gaffe” if you do it on purpose and don’t regret it because the people you’re pandering to would prefer for you to shout until no one else could be heard anyway? How does anybody come to describe that behavior as “likable?”

It also bothered me that both candidates kept stressing the same inaccuracies as the previous debate, regarding oil from people who hate us and votes against clean energy and things like that. I didn’t even have to click that link to know. I actually remembered. Why didn’t the candidates? The Iraq money surplus actually increased from 79 to 80 billion dollars in just a week. And then both fobs tried to prove the other’s buddy lasciviously enjoys Voting Against The Troops. So either everybody hates The Troops or everybody likes them, and it makes no difference at this point because no one else is allowed to win the President Cube.

People can talk gravel all they want about Ralph Nader, I wish he was at these debates. Regardless of the dubious influence he has come under, he would, ideally, force the “real” candidates to talk about things they couldn’t easily segue into sermons they had already and recently given. Perhaps “the American people” wouldn’t be interested in his issues, and they are free to address that in their own wishes.

There, now I don’t have to post anything for at least three more days. I still might but hopefully I won’t.


Oh, scrod. Mad tb is airing a compilation episode of old (within the past four years of recent cast members) issue dodging “political” sketches and presenting it as a new show. They really will never learn, will they? I actually turned it off, and before eleven-thirty, so there is hope in the universe.


4 Responses
  1. 1
    6:42 am, October 5, 2008

    An okra gangster sez:

    Is the above picture meant to represent a dope who was given a brain transplant, thereby tragically realising that it is, in fact, a dope, a revelation which subsequently drove the poor imp to despair and in turn alcoholism?

    Also, since we’re on the topic name meaning, it should be noted that “Lieber” means “prefable” or “dear” in German (and in turn Yiddish, which I suspect is more representative of implied heritage). I’d imagine we could read all sorts of unintended multi-layer symbolism into this name’s being assigned to the “opponent” character (especially an “opponent” whose views are rather more in line with those of the person behind the “protagonist” than the very character he is both himself representing and giving the upper hand in the argument) if we so desired.

    Finally, I should state that the comic you mention in the third sub-barrier paragraph sounds a thing of great potential, and would be well worth reviving for use as end-chapter bonus material for your primary work.

  2. 2
    2:22 pm, October 6, 2008

    Eesklipisk sez:

    Wueh, I failed to notice it looked like a dope. Far from a sight of misery, the image is from a time which predates the mass infestation of dopes all about my various visual outlets. It is just a human[oid] baby getting drunk.

    While I suspect that a hidden meaning had nothing to do with the character being called what it was, as always, you provide fascinating insight to word and name origins I never would have figured out or likely thought to look for.

    Both Joey and Ian are now in their early twenty-year ages, and would probably be slightly harder to entice to their demises more than a few times.

  3. 3
    4:39 pm, December 1, 2008

    Anonymous sez:

    arme zucker, schiebe di ganz schuld uf ihn.. aba han ke anderi erchlärig XDD warharhar.. höre eze gschieder uf XD suscht.. artets us O.

  4. 4
    6:48 pm, December 1, 2008

    Beanbiebklar sez:

    Oh. Really?

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