View Full Version : "Saul Alinsky taught two generations of American leftists ".

06-14-2009, 01:24 PM
Comedy, Bullies, and American Politics

Saul Alinsky taught two generations of American leftists to use ridicule as a potent political weapon. When the left infiltrated America's entertainment outlets, the practice achieved industrial scale.

As I read about the ongoing controversy about David Letterman's vicious attack on Sarah Palin's 14 year old daughter, my first thought was that I wasn't surprised. I have always found Letterman to be a bit of a misogynist. In recent years he has also been increasingly unfunny.

James Lileks said it best.
But no, it must be funny, because David is funny and hip. Right? Or maybe not; maybe he's actually a brackish, hermetically-souled guy who's spend the last twenty years going from table to table with a giant wooden grinder, asking anyone if they want some fresh-ground scorn with that. Say when. Or maybe he's about as edgy as a soccer ball, and exists only to remind people they were Edgy once, and hence must be ever-blessed with the gift of Wryness and Irony. With those shields we can never grow old, you know. We'll always be as sharp and perceptive as we were when we were sitting on a cast-off sofa in college, working through a midweek buzz, happily fellated by the preconceptions the TV so charitably provided

This posture was fresh in '80; it even had energy. But it paralyzes the heart after a while. You end up an SOB who shows up at the end of the night to reassure that nothing matters. I think he may have invented the posture of Nerd Cool, an aspect so familiar to anyone who reads message boards - the skill at deflating enthusiasm, puncturing passion with a hatpin lobbed from a safe distance. The instinctive unease with the wet messy energy of actual people.

I recall a comment years ago, I can't remember who it was, about how irony that lacks engagement can be very potent but ultimately turns sterile and destructive. That seems to describe what has happened to Letterman to a tee. In addition, like almost every other comedian today, Lileks notes the dictates of political correctness must be followed.

Yes, reading too much into it. Really, it's just a rote slam: If your mother is a loathed politician, and your older sister gets pregnant, famous old men can make jokes about you being knocked up by rich baseball players, and there's nothing you can do. That's the culture: a flat, dead-eyed, square-headed old man who'll go back to the writers and ask for more Palin-daughter knocked-up jokes, because that one went over well. Other children he won't touch, but not because he's decent. It's because he's a coward.

Lileks is also correct that in many ways it was a rote slam, what we have come to expect. Some people were surprised that such 'comedy' could be found on network late night shows that play to Middle American audiences. Many are upset that the minor child of a politician, a group usually considered off limits, was the target. But is it really so surprising?

For years now much of our comedy has gotten increasingly mean. It laughs less and less at the contradictions inherent in the human condition and increasingly picks out and personalizes targets to demean and humiliate. In the world of the comedian-cum-bully, wit has been replaced with name calling and the wry irony of the nerdish observer with the swagger of the schoolyard bully who decides who is among the in group and who are "them", the outcasts to be made the butt of every mean spirited politically correct joke. Name calling is the stock in trade of the bully. So is telling the target who protests, "What's a matter, can't you take a joke?"

The entertainment industry has been bullying Republicans for most of my adult life and I am 56. It started with stereotypes in movies and TV shows. The small town prude, the uncultured suburban hypocrite, the greedy capitalist, the perverted man of God, the southern white bigot. By the 1980s among the self described elite, the very name of Ronald Reagan was treated like the punch line to an inside joke, the way to get a laugh those rubes who supported him could never even begin to understand.

By the 1990s the assault began in earnest with the likes of a best seller attacking Republicans with the words "fat" and "idiot" in the title. While Republican men would routinely be portrayed as slowwitted slugs the worst vitriol was reserved for Republican women and minorities, those who refused to adopt the mantle of victim and the spoils of affirmative action.

By the first few years of this decade, things had deteriorated to the point where jokes were made about assassinating George W. Bush and well known cartoonists portrayed Condoleeza Rice in the vilest of racist, sexist stereotypes in major newspapers. It became a firestorm of rage with the nomination of Sarah Palin, an effective administrator who governed from the libertarian side of the party while following social conservative principles in her personal life, and thus would appeal to many voters. But attacking Palin wasn't good enough. The attack was carried to her children.

Truly good comedy can be a form of moral education. Jane Austen wrote very funny and enduring books during a period of great political and social turmoil in which her characters almost never discuss politics or even the wars raging across the English Channel. Yet her characters better illustrated the very real plight of women-only households under property laws dating from feudal times and outmoded notions of inheritance than any number of overtly reform social tracts.


Dan D. Doty
06-14-2009, 01:57 PM
It also shows a few other things as well.

The Moonbats are such loosers they can't when tell they won. They got the WH, Congress, MSM, Hollywood, and higher education; but still the attacks on Gov. Palin are still going on, even thou the election was months ago, why? This woman must scare the living sh*t out of them.

They also miss the good old days, when their's was the only voice to be heard on television ( both news and entertainment) in news papers and the majority of magazines. Now their rage is aimed at talk radio, Fox news and the internet ( this site included). They think if can shut the other guy up then they must be right; stupid is too mild a word to use.

They also seem to suffer a group form of Narcisstic Personality disorder. If they hated Bush, then we must hate Obama, and they have make up stories about themselves to impress other people. They neurotic, paranoid, and hateful toward anyone who disagrees with them. There isn't big enough waiting room to handle a couple million screwed up people; head shrinkers would have to work in shifts like coal miners to handle the overload.

Yes, the Moonbats are screwed up , angry , bitter bunch who have all the control and imagination of spoiled child; the scarey part is they are going to do a lot of damage, and hurt a lot of people before everything is said and done.

please pay close attention to the advice below; Thank you taking the time to read my post.