Archive - Aug 21, 2009


Playing The Percentages

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Memo to Jay Leno, the entire American media complex from 2001 onward, and 39% of the American people: YOU ARE DUMB.

It's been a long haul this week, from Self magazine's inhuman treatment of cover photos to Victoria Jackson's inhuman treatment of cancer patients. Time to lighten things up a bit with the anti-comedy equation, post-9-11 madness, and further proof that we are, collectively, a nation of morons. SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

With our short-lived vacation from Jay Leno on the TV ending in a few weeks, the man America loves to stare at without laughing keeps getting interviewed about his new awful show. And in one of those interviews, just the other day, he said he's looking to make new comedy stars. Great. That's what the world needs. For people Jay Leno thinks are really funny to get really famous.

Comedians will be getting pre-taped segments on the show, because as we all know, the only thing more funny than a live segment on a Jay Leno talk show is a pre-taped segment. Jay is also promising a lineup that "looks like America", which apparently means women and D.L. Hughley. They listed three names of these upcoming comedians - Liz Feldman, Mikey Day, and Rachael Harris. Off to YouTube! Hey, look! Bland lesbian stand-up, irritating short film, boring appearance on Tom Green's web show. Also, Tom Green is going bald. Thank you, Jay Leno, for nurturing the next generation of mediocre comedians.

Hey, remember Tom Ridge? Ran Homeland Security under the Bush administration? Was the guy in charge of setting the terror alert level? Which, in the entire life of the color-coded threat level, only oscillated between yellow and orange, leaving the other three colors lonely and sad? Well guess what? Motherfucker's got a book. And in the motherfucker's book, he reveals that he considered resigning over pressure to up the alert level to give Dubya a political boost before the 2004 election. Since he didn't actually resign, and the terror alert level rose right before the 2004 election, guess what? That's one more thing we were right about, assholes.

Glenn Greenwald reminds me of something I'd forgotten - that back in 2004, Howard Dean said that the Bush administration was bumping the terror level for political purposes. And it caused one of those fake-outrage media shitstorms that we all know and love. And John Kerry, in order to maintain his ultimately bullshit futile presidential aspirations, went on the campaign trail and repudiated Dean's comments. Except Dean was right. And Kerry either knew Dean was right, or was an idiot.

Five years ago, a former presidential candidate saying something critical of Dubya, something that was obvious to anyone with a pair of eyes and a calendar, was run out of town on a rail even though he was right. Today, a fucktard like Glenn Beck can go on TV, call Barack Obama a racist, and it takes a coordinated campaign by an advocacy group to get advertisers to temporarily pull programming off of his show. I'm not suggesting there's a double-standard based on which end of the political spectrum you occupy, because I don't have to imply it. Just like with the terror alert level, all the evidence is plainly evident, and it requires a concerted, coordinated reality-denying effort to maintain otherwise. Which, luckily, we have by the truckload.

And speaking of reality-denying, one of those depressingly entertaining polls just came out. Public Policy Polling asked 909 people a bunch of questions. One of those questions was "Do you think the government should stay out of Medicare?" Thirty nine percent said yes, and fifteen percent were unsure. The government, of course, can't stay out of Medicare, because the government runs Medicare.

This means that either 39% of Americans don't know that Medicare is a government program, or 39% of Americans don't understand what "stay" means. Add in the other 15% who seem to not have understood the question at all, and it's a good thing America doesn't wear shoes, because odds are we wouldn't know how to fucking tie them.

This is also the poll, by the way, that got six percent of respondents saying they didn't consider Hawaii part of the United States, and another four percent saying they weren't sure. This was one of a series of "Birther" questions, and kudos to Triple P for tailoring their questions in such a way as to adequately assess the raw, unmitigated ignorance of their target pool. But looking through the actual poll results, I notice one corroborating statistic in the demographic polling that should give us all pause. Only four percent of the respondents say they didn't graduate from high school. We are so fucked.