Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Brief Political Notes

A few political items I'm thinking about:

:: When regular surveys show that shockingly-low percentages of Americans know things like when the Civil War was fought and who the Presidents enshrined on Mount Rushmore are, why should we care about a poll in which Americans rank the Presidents?

:: Richard Mellon Scaife is pining for the Clinton days? Really? Wow.

:: I didn't watch the right-wing version of The Daily Show, and nor do I intend to, but I'm hearing pretty universally that it isn't funny (unless you're the type of person who found Rush Limbaugh's godawful TV show back in the day funny). A professional comedy writer explains why it's not funny:

I hate to keep explaining this, but if it seems like the Republicans have been suffering the comedic brunt for the last six years, this is because they have been in power, and comedy's job is to kick power in the junk.

More revealing is the idea of using "talking points" in a comedy show. This is obviously someone who's never worked a real comedy writer's room. For topical runs, you start with "okay, what happened today," and you look at everything. Everything. This is because comedy has maybe a 10% success rate on the pitch, and that's just for joke-like objects, never mind actual functioning funny jokes. To fill a show with a couple dozen funny jokes, you don't have the time or luxury to stick to talking points. You need to find the funny. Unless you're not worrying about funny -- in which case, you get the 1/2 Hour News Hour.

:: By pure chance, I saw that one ugly term being bandied about in reference to Islamic persons is "Muzzie". Jee-bus, there are some messed-up people in this country.


Anonymous said...

Out of context "Muzzie" sounds like something cute and harmless, sort of like a Muppet.

Jayne said...

Nice catching up on your blog - Superman v. KKK, Jimmy Crack Corn . . . Muzzie. Wow. Hope all is well. I'm still feigning it at the other blog for now.