Monday, April 30, 2018

Hate Kills Comedy

There was so much flap and furor over the White House Correspondents' Association dinner that, having missed the whole spectacle, I decided to watch the entire "keynote" speaker on YouTube.

What a sad experience. I'm not going to mention her name or post any links or photos, because she was terrible. I watched, and in almost twenty minutes of her "address," I didn't even smile. Her remarks were crude, unintelligent, and completely unfunny. There was no thoughtfulness or structure to her jokes--if they even qualify as jokes. A joke has some surprise in the punchline. There were no surprises here, just an unrelenting drumbeat of hatred, vulgarity, and contempt.

True comedy has a light spirit to it. It amuses, entertains, startles one into laughter by illuminating a new, unexplored aspect of the subject in a smart, imaginative way. There's plenty of comedic material in the Trump presidency. Why not put a few minutes of thought and work into creating some clever and relevant jokes? Look at what's occurring in our current events--North Korea, Iran, the French president's visit to the White House, the Central American caravan, the tax cut, the stock market--not enough to work with?

Apparently, it's just so much easier (and sloppier, and lazier) to tell an abortion "joke" that has "get that baby out of there" as the "punchline." Wow. Hilarious.

It wasn't a total waste of my twenty minutes, watching this depressing exhibition of how far down into the dirt hatred will drive a person. It proved once again that you can't be mean-spirited and funny at the same time. You can't be hateful and comical. One trait is lightness, and one is darkness. This keynote speaker was definitely from the dark side.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

An Unexpected Outcome?

Michael Barone's article "Collusion, Anyone?" explores the provocative possibility of former President Obama's administration, not President Trump's, emerging the worse for wear from the ongoing FBI investigation of the 2016 election.

The FBI leaks pertaining to the Hillary Clinton campaign and its bitter aftermath are scheduled to be released quite soon. Let the games--and the surprises--begin.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Stealing from the Best

And if Moses having a temper never led him to leave some gal at the bottom of the Red Sea, well, let's face it, he doesn't have Ted's tremendous legislative legacy, does he?
 ~ Mark Steyn, August 28, 2009

"Moses didn't leave a girl at the bottom of the Red Sea."
 ~ from the movie Chappaquiddick, April 2018

If you're going to lift a line from another writer to energize your movie script, you can't find a better source than Mark Steyn.

I've been planning to see the movie Chappaquiddick, but now I look forward to the experience with renewed interest. Critical reviews are largely positive, and at last the protective patina has largely worn off the Kennedy saga. It's about time.

When Chappaquiddick happened, I was a teenager. I remember watching Ted Kennedy give his televised version of what happened, several days after the accident. (By then, everyone in the Kennedy ranks had the party line memorized, and all were on the same page.) Ted Kennedy was wearing a spanking new neck brace and reading a script. As young as I was, I recognized a coward when I saw one and a lie when I heard one. Finally, a movie is presenting an unvarnished account of the horrendous event.

And if the writers felt the need to retrofit a quote from Mark Steyn in order to craft a more effective story, so much the better.

 Senator Edward M. Kennedy leaves the Dukes County Courthouse in Edgartown, Massachusetts on July 25, 1969, after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal auto accident. Ted Dully / Boston Globe via Getty Images

Monday, April 02, 2018

Gunning for Change

If today's high school students were required to take Civics classes--which teach how our constitutional government functions--such as prior generations of school kids had to, they would be better prepared to pursue their quest for "gun control." The very term presents a stumbling block, as the definition of such a regulation is open to widely varying interpretations.

I marched against the Vietnam War until Amendment 26 was passed.
At the present moment we are mired in the understandable emotion following the horror and trauma of February's Parkland school massacre. The Florida teenagers have made great strides in keeping national attention focused on the issue of gun violence and the demand for changing the Second Amendment. Even a retired Supreme Court justice has weighed in on the need to repeal the Second Amendment.

I hate to be a wet blanket (because I was once a teenager with a cause, too), but repeal of the Second Amendment is a non-starter. According to the U.S. Constitution, that action would require passage in three-quarters of the 50 states. Can anyone come up with a viable list of 38 states willing to go along with that idea? States like Wyoming, Montana, Oklahoma, Texas--really? Not in this lifetime. So what are these impassioned, energized, highly motivated high schoolers to do?

Focus on state regulations, kids. States have the power to limit and/or amend gun laws. You've already had great success in your home state of Florida. Good for you! Do what works. That's where this argument belongs, in the individual states. That's where your cause has the greatest chance to make a real difference.

That's what any smart Civics class teacher would tell you.