These Are Also The End

« December 2014 »

Memo to Paramount, Anti-Cuba Types, and Stephen Colbert: TWO OF YOU ARE DUMB.

A lot of things coming to an end this week. Let's take a look at some of them. SPASTIC TOPIC MONKEY FRIDAY!

Apparently, the current mood in Hollywood is that you can't premiere movies about North Korea (The Interview), you can't make movies about North Korea (Steve Carell's "Pyongyang", and if that wasn't enough, you can't even watch old movies that have bits of them taking place in North Korea.

You see, when the Alamo Drafthouse chain of theater-slash-bar-slash-restaurants learned they couldn't play The Interview, they decided to offer up free showings of Team America: World Police, which, as we all know, features a puppet Kim Jong Il singing show tunes. And then Paramount told the Alamo Drafthouse they couldn't show the movie. No reason was given by the time I'm writing this, but I think we all know why. America. Fuck no.

I fully support Obama's new Cuba policy. I don't support it because it's a good idea, even though it is. I support it because in addition to being good policy, it's the greatest right-wing trolling of all time.

The modern right's primary stimulus-response reaction in recent years has been that if Obama does it, it's bad. But there's a much older pattern on the right, one that stretches all the way back to the 60s. It's that Cuba is the worst nation on the planet. It's so bad it didn't even make it into the Axis of Evil. Ever since the Kennedy administration, Cuba has been the last bastion of dick-fluffery for three generations of Republicans who can only get hard by hating Communism.

So, needless to say, watching the right react to Obama opening up ties to Cuba has been almost good enough to get me to like popcorn. And there's really no downside to their bluster, because the worst they can do is keep the parts of our Cuba policy they control from getting better, because it's impossible to make it worse.

By the time you read this, The Colbert Report will have endeed after nine years. It had a lot of high points, a handful of low points (cough cough Rally to Restore Sanity cough cough) but on the balance, it did as much good as anything in the entertainment/political satire arena can, which as I know all too well is almost no real good at all. But it was funny.

It's a shame I don't give a shit about traditional late night talk shows. I'm sure Colbert will be fine, and it'll be a well-deserved payday and rest. As he said about Bill O'Reilly, "no one's going to pay me to watch him anymore, so fuck that noise." Fuck that noise indeed.

Luckily for those of us with HBO (or YouTube for like 90% of it), the work John Oliver's doing on Last Week Tonight is fucking astonishing. I didn't watch it at first, because I didn't have HBO. I liked the clips I saw online, but they didn't shake my initial suspicion that it'd be another half hour of The Daily Show each week, except I'd have to pay extra for it.

But without having to break for commercials or an interview with a guest, Oliver's been able to create long-form discussions of topics that are as revelatory as they are hilarious. So I don't feel bad about Colbert ending. There's plenty of hands to grab that baton.