Friday, October 29, 2010
It's so weird you could almost think it is part of some sort of dialectic; not that I think it really is. Nothing is more clear to anybody who has been within a hundred miles of them that nothing and nobody are more cynical, mercenary, devoid of principle, vain, and narcissistic than show business and the people in it. Who knows why. Maybe something to do with it being about the manipulation of illusion by people who are really good at creating it, the amounts of money involved, the saturation with sex. Who knows. Thus perhaps it just figures that Stewart and Colbert would figure out a way to cash in on the widespread disgust with politics. This is like some televangelist figuring out he can really score by selling a revolt against how commercial Christianity has become. Put Christ Back In Christmas stickers, only $9.99!
And the people who go to these events? Presumably you would be somebody who was of course quite aware of the irony of it --this is Stewart and Colbert mocking among other things the cloyingly serious Glenn Beck -- but also presumably not so self aware as to realize that they are the rube extras in a spectacle that is about promoting the weird careers of two highly specialized clowns and their legions of promoters and hangers on. The man figures out there is money to be made in resentment of the man. In a way you have to admire it, the con within the con and I suppose we are entitled to enjoy the irony of those who managed to get conned because of their own irony. But you can hardly blame somebody who sees it all as a sad desecration of a serious place where serious men have done serious things.
Why is it that it is impossible to imagine a conservative Colbert and Stewart? Maybe because comedy or a certain kind of comedy is nihilistic or can affirm any values at best from an ironic distance. Conservatives see the city falling and just don't find it all that funny.