Colbert at Congress

October 1, 2010

 

Now that Steven Colbert’s congressional “testimony” has had its fifteen minutes I think it’s time for someone to say his whole shtick has run its course. I don’t want to discuss if it was appropriate for a comedian to be at a congressional hearing. If it weren’t Al Franken could just have his check direct deposited and show up to vote once in awhile. Come to think of it that is just about what happens. Mr. Colbert is an acceptable sketch comedy actor who has taken a character he developed for John Stewart’s “Daily Show” and parlayed it into his own low-rated show. I don’t begrudge him his success, in fact I say well done!  I think it is a tribute to the greatness of our country that a guy with one joke with some help of his friends and a simpatico entertainment industry can become a multimillionaire. In the words of Max Bialystok, “Flaunt it, baby!”  

Calling his recent appearance before the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration “comedy” may leave Mr. Colbert open to legal action for lying to Congress. There were also several points in his testimony that were of questionable, as he would say, “truthiness.” Political comedy in sketch form is tricky but as stand-up it is a balancing act that requires great skill. To my mind there are two rules: first you must, as my friend Will Durst says, be an equal opportunity smart ass. Unless you are willing to slap at both sides of the aisle or only work highly partisan events you lose at least fifty percent of the audience from the first joke. The second is that no matter who or what you are attacking it must be funny. Mr. Colbert’s stand-up or sit down in the case of his Congressional gig, fails on both counts. Mr. Colbert’s one dimensional highly partisan act has run its course. We get it, Steve; any sincere conservative is a dim witted, xenophobic, racist, Christian numbskull who just doesn’t understand the issues.

It is difficult to take a sketch character and develop it into a more than a series three minute scenes. One only has to look at the number of horrible Saturday Night Live spin off character films that have been made to prove my point. It is even harder to take a character out of the sketch and build it into a stand up routine. Mr. Colbert has now proved this to be the case…twice.

His recent attempt to use humor to “…draw attention to this important, complicated issue…” was not the first time he has bombed in the capital. In 2006 at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Mr. Colbert tried his character driven stand up and died a horrible death when he bypassed funny and went to being personally insulting to Mr. Bush and others in attendance. In a rare bipartisan show of support his act was panned by Republicans and Democrats alike.

Mr. Colbert started his testimony with a nice piece of self-deprecation saying his appearance might get the hearing moved up to C-SPAN 1. Unfortunately it was downhill from there until the last line of the set. He followed this with a big stretch set up about obese American’s to get to a weak colonoscopy reference. The next joke was a reference comparing illegal immigration to the Israelites’ slavery in Egypt and a bad pun about “food pyramids.”  The problem with this “joke” is that the comparison isn’t accurate. I’m not saying political jokes can’t stretch the facts but there is a breaking point where the audience doesn’t buy the premise.

This was followed by a series of weak attempts to humorously say that farm work is hard, hot physical labor. I don’t think that anyone doubts that. His point is that these are jobs American’s won’t do. Again, the humor is rooted in a falsehood so great that we all know it to be invalid. As a teen I used to cut corn out of soybeans and bale hay. The pay was crap and the hours long. I didn’t do it because I liked it I did it because there was no other way to get money. My father didn’t believe in the welfare system known as an allowance. Illegal immigration suppresses wages and makes the welfare system the smart choice for unskilled labor. Perhaps Mr. Colbert and his progressive friends are too dim to get that.  Just as “progressives” don’t get that raising the minimum doesn’t lift people out of poverty it only raises the number we consider being poor. If raising the minimum wage was the answer to anything we could just make the minimum wage $300,000 a year and we would all be rich.

Mr. Colbert did do one thing right; he saved his best joke for the closer.  At the end of his “expert” opinion he said, “I trust that following my testimony – both sides will work together on this issue in the best interest of the American people – as you always do.” Since Mr. Colbert seems to be fond of bad puns I’ll finish with one; Mr. Colbert’s act has jumped the snark.

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If Conservative Media Reported Events Like The New York Times Does: The Recent Obama Oval Office Address.

September 2, 2010

Note: Before we get started today I just wanted to thanks President Obama, who in a recent interview with Brian Williams said those broad dark forces of The Vast Right Wig Conspiracy are still at work…D%*m right, Mr. President!

Now todays Article….

Ten of thousands of people tuned in to hear a broadcast organized by the handlers of President Obama, a liberal politician and former community organizer. The self aggrandizing speech took place from a site where Abraham Lincoln once worked some 150 years ago.

The address, which was stiffly read from a teleprompter, was advertised as an announcement of the end of combat operations in Iraq but actually a sales pitch for Mr. Obama’s failing economic and legislative agenda.

The broadcast, which was listened to by a mostly white middle class audience, failed to mention several facts, among them that Mr. Obama, former cocaine user, had not supported the so called “surge” in Iraq which military experts regard as the key to our success in that country. This is understandable since Mr. Obama, who once bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, has little experience in military matters. It is also well know that Mr. Obama, who still smokes, and many in his government had not supported the surge and predicted its failure. Mr. Obama, who has yet to produce a birth certificate, also failed to mention that this troop drawdown and the surge were instituted by his predecessor, George Bush.

Mr. Obama, who once attended an Islamic school, had promised in his presidential campaign to have all troops home within a year of his taking office, left behind 50,000 American “support” soldiers. Among them are a reported 2400 special forces who are allegedly tasked to kill random Iraqis who are suspected of being terrorists.

Sources inside the White House report that after the address sycophants gathered around the President and congratulated him on a job well done.


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Paul Waldman Needs a Clue!

August 25, 2010

I was surfing the internet yesterday and came across an article about the current state of political comedy by Paul Waldman. The article “The Joke is on Us” was posted on the far left website “The American Prospect.” The subtitle of the site is “liberal intelligence” which is, of course, an oxymoron. That aside, the premise of Mr. Waldman’s article is that there is a dearth of humor about Barrack Obama. It reminds me of when Nixon was elected New York Times film critic Pauline Kael being shocked because only one person she knew voted for him.

Mr. Waldman further postulates that this lack of Obama material is because he is so cool, so intelligent, and so unflappable that he is immune to being made the butt of any jokes! He actually says, “…our current political leadership isn’t all that funny.”  I assume he includes the Vice President in that statement so apparently he and I hear different Joe Biden sound bites. I strongly doubt he has ever listened to Rush or Glen who daily skewer Obama, Reid and Pelosi. Mr. Waldman, like Ms. Kael suffers from having a limited circle of exposure.

Before I get further into that, let me just say a big “thank you” to Mr. Waldman for reinforcing a concept that I have written about several times: Conservatives have a better sense of humor and are more willing to be self-deprecating than lefties. You see, my fellow right wing nut jobs, in Walden World, Bush, Rush, Palin and anyone else who isn’t hastening the “Marxization” of America is a moron who should be belittled for their obvious lack of intellect. Leftist never do anything foolish. All of thier causes are above mocking.  Let me illustrate: Q. What do you call four feminists at a protest march? A. That’s not funny you chauvinistic, racist right wing moron!

Anyway, Mr. Waldman claims two things that I find absolutely amazing. One is that the lack of “Obama” material the general public is exposed to isn’t the result of the ideology of the “mainstream” comics. He says,

“There was an assumption that since they’re a bunch of liberals, the comedians wouldn’t go after Obama. But if comedy has an Obama problem, it doesn’t have much to do with ideology. The guy is just difficult to mock.”

Can anyone name a major mainstream comic beside Dennis Miller who is conservative? How about a late night talk show host?  Letterman? Leno? Fallon? Kimmel? Mr. Waldman points to Jon Stewart for doing a credible job of taking on Obama.  When Stewart does take a jab at the President it is usually because Obama for not being “progressive” enough! In Waldman World the only thing about Obama that’s funny is that he is such a centrist!

The second is that he doesn’t see any way to mock the President.

“Politicians who make good targets for humor tend to have a personality feature or physical characteristic, like a particular accent or a distinctive set of gestures that are easily identifiable and thus can be exaggerated to make the politician look foolish, because exaggeration is what impressions and satire are built on.”

Alright, you knuckle dragging, mouth breathing right wingers; here is a quick comedy quiz. I know that none of you are as smart as Mr. Waldman, after all he works over at Soros funded Media Matters but let’s see if you can you name a physical trait of Mr. Obama’s we could mock. Anyone say “ears?” Those Dumbo sized, suicide door lookin’ Prince Charles mud flaps. Oh my! I said “mud” in a sentence referring to the President, that’s not funny! I must be a racist! Now let’s turn our attention to personality features. “Arrogance” ring a bell Mr. Waldman? How about stammering when off prompter?  How about being oblivious to the economy while your wife spends millions on a vacation in Spain? How about trying to convince the American public that the cost of two first class tickets covers the cost of that vacation? In comedy this type of humor is known as “true story,”  just the fact as they happened are funny.

Finally, Mr. Waldman asks,

“But what’s the joke about Obama?”

With the help of a few comic friends I will give Mr. Waldman some samples which I am sure he won’t find funny.  Feel free to add your own in the comments!  

“What is the difference between Osama Bin Laden and Barack Hussein Obama?  One is an anti-capitalist who hates America and wants to destroy Israel, and the other is hiding in Afghanistan.” Mark Klein

“All during his campaign, Obama’s claim to fame was that he was a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. I was just on the South Side of Chicago – it ain’t too organized.”  Drew Hastings

“The new Obama economy game show: “American Idle”.   Sam Griesbaum

He is called “Vice President Biden” because the phrase “hot air balloon” was already taken. Mark Klein

“If we could harness the wind generated by Obama’s ears and mouth we would have energy independence!  Jeff Jena

“People were once comparing him (Obama) to Jesus Christ. On the economy he seems more like Moses; wandering around aimlessly, blaming everything on the Bush.” Tim Slagle

“If you cast a ballot for Barack Obama are you voting Democrat or Demigod?” Gregory Peterson

“Obama inspired class envy: The original green job.”  Sam Griesbaum

Q. Why is Barack Obama running for office as a Democrat?
A. The Communist Party didn’t have enough voters.  Author Unknown.

“In reaction to Iran launching a new missile and starting a nuclear reactor President Obama is going to ratchet up the pressure. This time he is sending them a very strongly worded letter!”  Jeff Jena

Obama puts the “dip” in Diplomacy.  Sam Griesbaum

“Obama would have had an opinion on the gulf oil spill earlier but his prompter was in the shop.” Jeff Jena

 “Pres. Obama announced $118 million in stimulus monies to increase high-speed Internet in Ohio. Presumably, so he can get all the bad news to us faster.”  Drew Hastings


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Rethinking Afghaninam

July 19, 2010

 

As we approach the nine year anniversary of our involvement in Afghanistan it may be time to reassess our commitment to nation building there. Immediately after 9/11 I believe almost all Americans were in agreement that we needed to be in Afghanistan. As late as the 2008 presidential campaign even the far left led by then Candidate Obama was saying things like, “Only a comprehensive strategy that prioritizes Afghanistan and the fight against al Qaeda will succeed, and that’s the change I’ll bring to the White House.”

 Any person who is at all informed about this conflict is aware of the history of other conflicts here. The British and the Russians could not accomplish what we are attempting: to unite a tribal and corrupt land into a cohesive and functional government. The British tried to rule by colonial imperialism and the Russian by installing a puppet regime. Both failed. Since the time of the Spice Routes and Gengus Khan the Afghan people have had some seemingly inbred resistance to anything more organized than tribal anarchy.

Now we are nine years, many hundred billions of dollars and most importantly several thousand American lives into trying to establish a new democracy in a region that hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the 19th let alone the 21st century. As much as I hate to admit anyone on the left is correct about anything, liberals may be right when they call the War in Afghanistan the new Viet Nam, but not for the reasons they give.

Since sometime in the middle of President Bush’s second term the war in Afghanistan started to resemble Viet Nam a political farce and an exercise in futility. I date it to the day when four Americans bodies were hung on a bridge and our response was to do nothing. When The State Department becomes more important in the running of an armed conflict than The Pentagon the effort has gone seriously awry. Handcuffed by rules of engagement that are more at home on a school playground than in a war against terrorist and a dithering new administration which takes six months to decide to send General McChrystal half a surge our brave men and women are now rising their lives for  political correctness. On top of that put the arbitrary withdrawal date President Obama has announced and we have the cherry on top of a sundae of stupidity we have concocted. Is it any wonder that the general washed his hands of the entire mess?

I may not understand the military and war since I never served but I always thought that you should go in and pound your enemy into the dirt until it wasn’t possible to hit them anymore and then smack them just once or twice more for good measure. Since Jimmy Carter dithered during the Iran Hostage Crisis radicals in the Middle East have viewed us as weak. Unfortunately Ronald Reagan didn’t give them enough reason to change their minds. President Bush Sr.’s liberation of Kuwait and refusal to entirely crush Saddam Hussein then were further signals that we were hesitant to be serious. Clinton’s occasional bombing of an aspirin factory or deserted training camp also did little to show terrorist that we had the stomach for serious battle. It is reported that Saddam did so much serious saber rattling because he didn’t believe Bush the Younger would do much more than Clinton had.

This is the point that the Left misses about both Afghanistan and Viet Nam. It’s not that these were unjust wars or unwinnable quagmires but that our politically led, half hearted effort doomed our military. With the new Obama withdrawal announced the Taliban and Al-Qaeda can now simply wait until next July and then get back to the business of plotting their attacks against America just as the Nixon announced withdrawal from Viet Nam let Uncle Ho know exactly which day to start celebrating.

My question is why are we waiting until July? What is it that President Obama thinks is going to happen between now and then that might change the history of over 1000 years of conflicts in Afghanistan. To waste one more American life in this dance of political posturing is a far greater war crime than any the Left ever imagined were committed by the hated Bush/Cheney/Halliburton troika. Remember Obama’s pledge during the campaign to continue and win the war in Afghanistan and to go into Pakistan and hunt down and kill Bin Laden? How’s that working out for us?


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: “The Bedwetter” by Sarah Silverman

June 23, 2010

Several weeks ago, when “The Bedwetter” by comedian Sarah Silverman was released, I said I would review it for Big Hollywood. I went to the local bookstore and found it and the cost was $25. TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS!  The thought of giving Miss “Go to Florida and get your grandparents to vote for Obama” twenty-five of my hard earned dollars put knots in my stomach. I stood there in the bookstore and read the cover and the end flaps. I was thinking if I was at all impressed I might spend the money. Though we are worlds apart politically I love comedy and if it seemed a good read I would plunk down my AMEX. I figure that if it sucked I could return it and get a refund.

 I have to admit to a few things before going any further. One, I am very cheap, two, I am not a big Sarah Silverman fan and three, I figured there might be some way to get a pirate e-copy for free.  I read a few pages and went home.

I went to Amazon.com and read the forward, afterword and figured if I selected the “surprise me” tab often enough and opened and closed the browser several time I might get to see the whole book for free. After an hour of being cheap and trying to scam a free read I saw a used copy for $14 and rationalized that this money was going to the reseller and not to Ms. Silverman so I ordered the book.

As a conservative I can’t afford to limit myself to entertainment choices that agree with me politically. I read Ms. Silverman’s book hoping to get some insight into why so many people seem to think she is the modern Lenny Bruce. My thinking was even if she isn’t my particular cup of Earl Grey at least I could see what all the buzz is about.

 I have a number of comedy pet peeves and one of them is the “fake funny quote” on a comic’s resume or promo material. The problem is that has been done to death, and most of the time it isn’t really funny. Yet, there on the cover a book by a comedian who is reported to be on the leading edge of comedy are the quotes from her childhood “friends.”(I think that is what the joke is supposed to be.)  Then I opened and read the self penned forward. Been done. 

The problem with Ms. Silverman’s book isn’t that is bad. If it really sucked I would be gleefully slamming it. The problem is that most of the book is extremely ordinary. The first seventy or eighty pages are a non-chronological recounting of her childhood and early career. From her bedwetting to her teen depression she recounts her ups and downs in somewhat surprisingly limited detail. One detail that Ms. Silverman does share is that when she was a teen she was taking up to 16 Xanax a day! I felt sorry that no one in her life had the common sense to say, “Man, that’s a lot of psychotropic drugs for a teenager! Maybe we should question that.”  There is a short section on her dad, who she says hates rich folks, so maybe she is now that list. The later part of the book deals with insider information about her show on Comedy Central. Since I wasn’t a fan of the show the section held my interest a little less time than the current World Cup hoopla.

There were several parts of the book I did find enjoyable and made me move Ms. Silverman up a few notches on my great comic rankings. First, was that at one point she stabbed Al Franken in the head with a sharp pencil! That’s funny and cool at the same time. Secondly was that after being criticized for telling a great satirical joke that included the word “chink” she got a lot of guff from a guy at an Asian anti-defamation group. After trying to explain the joke and apologizing to the guy he would not be placated. So, on national television she called him a douchebag! That makes me think there may be hope for Ms. Silverman. Now that that’s over would anyone like to buy a copy of “The Bedwetter?”


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Are You Kidding Me? Senate Cheers Calderon

May 21, 2010

It’s one thing for the First Marxist in the White House to stand up next to the President of Mexico and denigrate our country. After his bowing to kings and dictators around the world and apologizing for anything our country has done we have come to expect his “America Sucks” attitude. However, he is our moron who won his seat behind the big desk and the right to read off the First Teleprompter fair and square and has the right to say what he wants.

It is another thing for the President of a third world dump which is run by drug cartels to come here and lecture us on our laws. Perhaps Jefe Calderon would like it if we adopted the same laws they have in Mexico to deal with illegal aliens. Here is what they do: They require them to carry papers, actively search for illegals, it is against the law for anyone without a permit to even apply for a job and if they are caught they are sent home. Of course the Hypocrite of the South doesn’t want us to have or enforce similar laws. Why? Billions of dollars are sent to Mexico each year from the U.S. which props up their shaky narco-economy.

If any American who watched the Democrats and a few RINO’s stand up and applaud this corrupt third world tinhorn wanna-be Chavez ever votes for a Democrat again then you deserve the country they are trying to lead us towards.

Then of course there is LA. Los Angeles is “boycotting” Arizona, except not really. Mayor Villaraigosa is just doing some grandstanding for those who don’t read or think too much. Has Los Angeles or any other place in California said they no longer would like folks from Arizona to come there on vacation? No! I heard a report recently that 25% of LA’s power is generated and purchased from Arizona. Will LA stop buying energy from Arizona? Don’t think so. I could go on but here is the real hypocrisy; there pompous elitists want to protect all the Arizona illegals from racism and harassment? Invite them to come to LA! Send a bunch of city buses over there to pick them up and bring them to the sanctuary of LA.


The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: Hollywood Ignores Nashville Tragedy

May 9, 2010

A few years ago one of the most culturally significant cities in the United States ended up under water and millions of Americans rushed to her aid. A lot of conservatives and liberals joined church and civic groups and headed to The Big Easy to help rebuild the city. The Hollywood elites got in front of the cameras and opened their checkbooks, which was great. They also opened their mouths and unloaded on President Bush about his lack of action which I found a bit pompous and hypocritical. Now their hypocrisy has resurfaced. As a friend of mine in Nashville might say, “they have showed their ass.”

Nashville is drowning and Hollywood is nowhere to be found.  Country singer Julie Roberts has lost her home and yet Julia Roberts has yet to send help. Where are Brad Pitt and the rest of the Hollywood liberal elite who rightfully rushed into New Orleans now that culturally significant sites like The Grand Ole Opry and The Country Music Hall of Fame are under water? When will Bono write a song?

The President has yet to tour Nashville and given comfort to the American families hit by this disaster. So where is that rude fellow Kanye West? Why isn’t he on television proclaiming that the current President hates country folks since he has taken no real action to help Nashville? Why doesn’t he step up to take the mic from Taylor Swift again and match her $500,000 donation to the relief efforts?

To anyone who dares look at the ugly underbelly of the situation the answer is obvious: racism! You see the majority of the folks who have been affected by the flooding in Nashville and the surrounding areas are white. I am sure they are also perceived to be redneck hicks who might be conservatives by the Hollywood elites.

There are some relief efforts underway.  On Thursday evening, May 6, a group of country stars had a telethon on a local channel featuring Vince Gill, who was directly affected by the flooding, Keith Urban, Alison Krauss, Naomi Judd, Darius Rucker, Phil Vassar, Steve Wariner, Buddy Jewell, Lonestar, Bo Bice and Lee Roy Parnell. None of the major networks carried it live of course. I guess white folks drowning in rivers and being ignored by Obama isn’t as newsworthy as that evil George Bush. Perhaps the Obama Administration is still researching some way to blame this on Bush before making a statement.

Het where is Ashley Judd? I thought she was a country kind of girl?

Here is a link to Nashville station WKRN and a list of organizations helping with relief. http://www.wkrn.com/global/Story.asp?s=12425089