Posts Tagged ‘Jon Stewart’

Lost and found

September 29, 2021

Blue skies have returned, but it’s still autumnal out there.

If any of yis should find the “deep thought” dispensed here as shallow as a hoofprint on concrete and infrequent as a desert blizzard, well, take heart, Grasshopper. There are alternatives.

For starters, Jon Stewart is returning to television with a new talk show, “The Problem With Jon Stewart.”

And James Fallows, who has been hard to find lately at The Atlantic, is posting regularly to “Breaking the News” over at Substack.

Fallows is the main reason I subscribed to The Atlantic, a decision I am now reconsidering, since he seems to have been downsized from staffer to contributing writer. But I might keep the sub’, since science writer Katherine J. Wu is doing good work there, too.

The other fella you may recall from his 16-year run as host of “The Daily Show.” I’ve missed both Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s previous incarnation at “The Colbert Report.”

Speaking of TV, here’s another recommendation: “Reservation Dogs,” on FX/Hulu. Shot in the Muscogee Nation and run entirely by people of Indigenous descent, it’s a real gem; sweet without getting sappy, sad without descending into cliché, and funny without telegraphing every comic punch.

I think Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis) may be my favorite character, but Dallas Goldtooth crushes it as a bumbling spirit (William Knife-Man) who occasionally visits Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-a-tai) to provide some rambling, less-than-useful advice.

Sucking the mop

June 15, 2020

Richard Pryor didn’t much like Chevy Chase, and he probably wasn’t fond of the rest of us honky-honkies either.

Anyone besides me find it ironic that black Americans have taken on yet another shit job — cleaning up the mess that white folks have made of this country?

The place is definitely a fixer-upper. Not exactly that “shining city upon a hill” that ol’ Death Valley Dutch babbled about as he rode off into the sunset. Even the neighborhood slumlords are giving it the side-eye, grumbling about property values.

Plus the people who wrecked it are still living in it. Hell, they still own it. Stripping the dump like a chop shop parting out a hot car, too. Selling everything, furniture to appliances, bathroom fixtures to copper wire. You want to watch your step when they start pulling up the hardwood floors. Take a header into the basement en route to mopping the crapper and they’ll sic the dogs on you for trespassing.

I was a janitor a couple times. Once after breaking a window in my junior high school, and again after dropping out of college. Spend a little time cleaning up after entitled white folks and you will get good and tired of them and their bullshit, even if you’re entitled white folks yourself.

Thing is, entitled white folks who are pretend hippies playing janitor can always go back to college. Get a haircut and a career. Drop back in, start being part of the problem again.

It’s harder to quit being black, though. Or so I’ve heard.

For quite a while now I’ve been trying to write something thoughtful about the ongoing upheaval, but as entitled white folks I don’t feel qualified. Plus, as regulars here know, I was not, am not, and never will be smart.

As a sprout I was so dumb that I bought the whole “E pluribus unum” bit, all that melting-pot hogwash. Never noticed the asterisk referring to the fine print (*Whites only). It took a good long while for me to realize that a lot of the folks stoking the fire, washing the pot, and mopping the deck had to come and go by the back door while I was digging their music up front.

I didn’t even figure out that my old man was a racist until I was in high school. This is either a testament to his efforts to conceal his bias for fear of passing it on to us kids or more evidence that I was a self-absorbed little prick who didn’t notice much outside the confines of his own skull.

Eventually I caught on, though. And I suppose this means that anybody can, given enough time and patience.

But corporate America’s mad dash to “woke” marketing notwithstanding, it seems to me that white Americans are running out of the former, while black Americans have long since exhausted their supply of the latter. They haven’t given up on the place, the way so many of us have, but this time they’re not just cleaning it up for the white folks.

Just ask Charles M. Blow at The New York Times:

It is exhausting and infuriating and maddening to be forced to fight, always, for what for others is free. It enrages, when you realize that you’re still fighting the same fight that your parents fought, and that their parents fought.

It is an everyday struggle to neither fall into despair nor explode in anger.

So, these people are in the streets, having their moment and having their say. And America would do well to listen and not try to silence them or soothe them.

In fact, America listening and responding to these protests, respecting them, is one of the healthiest things the country can do, because as protester Kimberly Latrice Jones said at the end of her viral video, “They are lucky that what black people are looking for is equality and not revenge.”

• Extra-Credit Bonus Reading: Jon Stewart has popped back up to say a few smart things, and just in time, too. He’s written and directed a film, “Irresistible,” which debuts on June 26. But in his chat with David Marchese at The New York Times Magazine, he talks about much more than that.

Your moment of Zen

February 11, 2015

Ah, Jonny, we hardly knew ye. Even after 16 years.

I saw this coming a while back. His was a fine line to walk with an impossible burden to bear — being both a comedian and a newsman at the same time. He knew it was wrong, but he did it anyway.

And Jon Stewart was very good at it, for a very long time.

But it had become clear that he’d lost his enthusiasm for professional multiple-personality disorder — Am I a comedian? A newsman? Something else entirely? — and the nightly performance anxiety must have been withering, with acolytes and assholes alike hanging on his every word.

The targets of his barbs will be cackling with glee and flinging a few feeble darts of their own in his direction as he departs. That will be irksome, but not as irksome as wondering who — if anyone — can follow Jon Stewart’s act.

What, now we have to start paying attention to the real news? That shit don’t be funny, yo.

• Editor’s note: The video up top may be Jon Stewart’s first interview. It’s a clip from the special “George Carlin: 40 Years of Comedy,” which first aired in February 1997. If you’ve never seen it, check Kindly Old Doc Google. You probably won’t find the entire thing in one place, but there are bits here and here and here.