I have always been a big admirer of anyone who has mastered the art of acerbic wit. The convergence of intelligence, sophistication, humour, critical insight, self-awareness, language skills and a precise comedic timing is damn impressive. People who wield this skill can expose bullshit, enlighten and make you laugh out loud all at the same time…. often with a single, impeccably well-observed and penetrating sentence.
The more famous maestros of the artform immediately spring to mind. Think of Christopher Hitchens, Gore Vidal, Winston Churchill or William F. Buckley in the world of politics and commentary. Of course there is Johnny Carson and Woody Allen from mainstream and late-night entertainment. John Lennon was famous for it. There is the genius of the Monty Python crew with their deliciously merciless skewering of the absurdity of the human condition itself.
One of the wonderful things about this talent is that some of its most gifted exponents are completely unknown, otherwise average people from every walk of life and background you can imagine. I’ve met several of them in my time… my own dear ol’ dad was one of the all-time greats.
So when I see bland purveyors of contemporary ‘infotainment’ lionised by the public as comedic geniuses for smugly purging themselves of whatever adolescent, puerile inanities happen to emerge from the black hole of narcissism that is the wellspring of their particular brand of creativity…. it bugs me.
Which leads me to my “Rebuttal of the Week” . It is inspired by the recent brouhaha ( or was it a fracas?) over hi-larious conformist, politically Leftist shill Stephen Colbert’s homo-erotic fantasy about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
My exchange with commentator Jane C (below), came from her response to Washington Post columnist Craig Konnoth’s weird, social justice warrior-esque, politically correct admonishment of Colbert. Like a lot of people, Konnoth found Colbert’s joke contemptible…. but not because it was infantile, vulgar, self-consciously mean spirited and unfunny.
(Read: Craig Konnoth: Sorry, progressives. Gay jokes are never OK, even when you’re bashing Trump)
No, for Konnoth, Colbert’s crime was that he transgressed a sacrosanct edict of the religion of ‘progressive’-Leftism: Thou shalt not make a “gay joke”. For it has been ordained that gay jokes are “never okay”. This makes Colbert guilty of the sin of “homophobia”. And, as Konnoth reminds us, homophobia is just another form of misogyny.
Yes folks, I kid you not. Konnoth actually makes that argument in his column. Let’s take a moment to fully absorb what is happening here: We have a major American mainstream news outlet, The Washington Post (and also Canada’s National Post by reprinting the piece) promoting the notion that a particularly boorish joke about falatio is proof of an irrational ‘fear‘ of homosexuals… which is really just an expression of hatred of women.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we should be mad at Stephen Colbert.
And they wonder why intelligent, reasonable adults are abandoning their lousy publications in droves.
The fact that morally superior ‘progressives’ like commentator Jane C. are fighting with morally superior ‘progressives’ like writer Craig Konnoth over who is most against homophobia and therefore the most morally superior is not only hilarious (ironically, unlike Colbert)…. it is yet another example of how the anti-rational, cognitively self-annihilating ideological foundation of the ‘progressive’-Left is causing the whole thing to collapse in upon itself ( see Progressive Left is Eating Itself Alive! ).
Here is Jane’s comment and my ‘Rebuttal of the Week!’:
Jane C: It’s a BRILLIANT monologue – super funny and it did exactly what he intended to – piss off the conservatives and those who are actually homophobic and thought that gay jokes are not ok, so here’s looking at you, writer of this article.
Going to Getugly: Unfortunately Jane, we live in an era in which people’s context for what constitutes the zenith of wit and sophisticated late night TV humour stretches all the way back to the early days of Jimmy Kimmel.
That’s the only plausible explanation for how anyone could possibly mistake Colbert’s spewing of adolescent cheap shots designed to pander to the mundane, predictable prejudices of his comfortable, liberal, middle class audience as somehow worthy of the evaluation of “BRILLIANT”.
If you want to consider yourself some kind of aficionado of comedy… you may want to extend your exposure to the genre beyond the immediate era. If you do, you will notice that until very recently, comedy that was recognized as ‘BRILLIANT’ actually challenged and unsettled the assumptions of the comfortable, status-quo class. Now, it panders to it.
And even the most mainstream late night television hosts and their audiences could once distinguish between acerbic wit and infantile, crude vindictiveness.
Based on your comments, you clearly represent a distinct changing of the guard in this respect.