Tag Archives: Jon Stewart

Todd Rokita–Embarrassing Sentient Hoosiers Even More Than Mike Pence

Well, I see that Governor Pence just couldn’t help himself–despite the fact that he didn’t have to step into the controversy over the shutdown, despite the fact that anything he said about it was guaranteed to piss off one side or the other, he simply had to express his approval of an irresponsible and a-constitutional action that is damaging the American economy and hurting millions of innocent people.

Way to go, Mike.

For first class stupidity, though, you really have to turn to Representative Todd Rokita. And leave it to the Daily Show to expose how utterly clueless and embarrassing  Tea Party Todd can be.

That’s Funny…

I don’t know whether these things run in cycles, but over the past few days I’ve seen at least three articles/blog posts speculating why there aren’t any conservative comedians–at least, none with the audience of a Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Andy Borowitz, Bill Maher or several other liberal comics who come readily to mind.

I don’t think the dearth of conservative comics is an attribute of political philosophy. After all, in the days of the Soviet Union, there weren’t very many hilarious Communists. I think the problem is fanaticism. A sense of humor requires more than the ability to tell a joke. As my mother used to say, it’s easy to laugh when the other guy slips on a banana peel. People with a sense of humor can laugh when they are the ones who slip on it. The ability to laugh at one’s own foibles is one sign of emotional maturity. If you look at the popular political satirists, they all share the ability to poke fun at posturing and stupidity whether it comes from the right or the left. These days, it just happens to be coming mostly from the right.

Zealots provide a great target for comedians, but they themselves are almost never funny.

A Night with Jon Stewart

Last night, Bob and I drove to Bloomington to see Jon Stewart at the IU Auditorium. This was no simple trip, since apparently every single mile of street, road and highway in Indiana is undergoing reconstruction requiring huge, slow-moving machines; we didn’t make it in time for our dinner reservations, but we did get to the show. And it was worth it!

Why don’t we have a high-speed train between Indianapolis and Bloomington? We own the right-of-way and it would seem to be a no-brainer. But I digress.

Jon Stewart is not only whip-smart and a close observer of the human condition, he has a great sense of timing, and the audience was constantly in stitches. (Bob began to worry about the woman sitting in front of us, who was laughing so hard he thought she might hurt something.)

At one point, Stewart explained that since he is Jewish and his wife is Catholic, they’ve decided to raise the children to be sad. During a riff on technology, he recounted his trip to the computer store where the 17-year old clerk yammered on about gigabytes and RAM; Stewart translated: “your current computer has 4 magic gerbils inside, but this new one has 8.”

The IU Auditorium is huge, and it was packed for the first of the two sold-out shows. Given that this is Indiana–albeit Bloomington, Indiana, which is slightly ‘bluer’ than, say, Greenwood–I was really surprised by the crowd’s reaction when, during his introductory remarks, Stewart said he’d met Indiana’s Governor. The Auditorium simply erupted in boos.

I have been under the impression that Mitch’s approval numbers remained fairly high; certainly, his press has been somewhere between favorable and fawning. Political nerds (like yours truly) have  serious concerns about some of his policies, but our numbers are small. So I don’t know what to make of this unexpected crowd reaction, and from his demeanor, I don’t think Stewart expected it either.

All together, an interesting and enjoyable evening, except for the drive. Can we talk about the virtues of high-speed rail?