Saturday, March 29, 2014

Colbert will irritate your gums

In the Seventies , Carroll O'Connor created the character Archie Bunker for the situation comedy All in the Family, a role that was a caricature of working class conservatism; pro-war, pro-gun, anti-civil rights, conspicuously  bigoted, the point of the show each week was to have this cartoon Neanderthal  confront an issue that raised his hackles and provoked him to say some offensive, outlandish things. The point of all this was to make what the producers thought was their mostly liberal audience to laugh. Someone where in this mess real blue collar conservatives, rock ribbed Republicans, took on Archie Bunker as a hero. O'Connor played role a bit too convincingly. Likewise, Stephen Colbert, who has made a brilliant career portraying a conservative pundit  modeled after the amazingly thick-skulled Bill  O'Reilly, has , it seems, convinced a few folks that he , Colbert, in fact, an insensitive, self-seeking conservative mouth piece. Christ.This whole issue is so inane that the only I can think of is that the woman behind #cancelcolbert was looking to be offended by Colbert's satiric (though admittedly lame) stab at racism. Is Mick Jagger the only one who can get away with saying "fuck 'em if they can't take a joke"? This begs the question though: could Jagger get away with saying that in our current climate, which is as irritated as an allergic rash?  Not likely, as the Internets propensity for Twitterizing the language into something that sputters , stammers and grinds with the sparking impatience of a dying Disney android ,  and which seems to be seducing  people to speak and  think in incomplete sentences, makes the formally expected comprehension of context , irony and nuance too much for one fretting mind to handle. It's a problem that's been with us since we've had something we could call "media", mass or social; more of us are in too much of hurry to know it all to take the time to understand something.Colbert misses the mark a good amount of the time, but really, lets do as he suggests and get rid of the torches and pitchforks. There are real things to debate and act on.