Rob's Soapbox Archives
October 5th, 2008
PULL THE STICK OUT
Everyone needs to lighten up, sit back, relax, take a break and chill out.
Yes, elections do matter in America and yes, the people do still have some say over policy in this nation.
There is a limit, however, to how much hands-on control we, the people, can have in a representative republic. It’s important to recognize and accept that in order to be elected to anything important in America a person has to sell at least a portion of their soul to the devil. That’s just how it is; all politicians are corrupt on some level and we can only influence them in so many ways and so often. The people of America stopped the immigration reform bill of the summer of 2007, by marching, calling and writing, although to this day we still have no new immigration policy. The people of America also forced congress to talk a little longer about the financial institution bailout plan last week, but in the end, essentially the exact bill President Bush proposed passed, despite 75% of America’s population being against it.
It is examples like the immigration act and financial institution bailout that you need to take to heart. Understanding, watching and occasionally engaging in American politics is admirable and occasionally necessary, but if you get too embroiled in it you will literally go insane; or at least become very unpleasant.
I cannot believe how many of you are so uncontrollably angry this year about your candidates!
- Democrats write me and tell me they change the station every time I refer to “President-Elect John McCain”
- Republicans send in three-page-long letters to refute Dawn’s pro-Obama positions.
- Democrats demand that I stop playing the “out of context and embarrassing” sound bites of Joe Biden telling a quadriplegic to “Stand up,” Barack Obama’s pastor saying “God Damn America,” and Obama himself spewing the nonsensical “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
- Republicans are incensed that Saturday Night Live continues to make Sarah Palin look like an abject idiot every time Tina Fey appears.
Lighten up. Short of knock-knock jokes and few rare exceptions, there is no such thing as victim-less comedy. Self-deprecation, racism, bigotry, rage, hate, condescension, ignorance and exaggeration are the foundations of the greatest comedy of our time. Those of you so attached to your own ideology that you have become unable to laugh at any form of fun poked at it should check yourselves into an institution or out of society; you choose.
One of my favorite comedians is the legendary and now very dead George Carlin. I remember more than a decade ago having one of his specials on in the background at a gathering at my house. One person in particular, a very liberal acquaintance of mine, was watching the special laughing her ass off during a rift Carlin was doing on how stupid and racist golf is. He then segued into one of his most famous contemporary rants on environmentalists and how abjectly moronic they are for thinking they can “save the planet,” when they don’t even understand how to take care of themselves. The liberal watching immediately became stone-faced and serious and began talking back to the TV saying things like “that’s not true,” and “who the hell does he think he is?”
Mind you, this is occurring at a social gathering meant for fun. Imagine how un-fun this woman must be. And a pretty dead lay, I would venture a guess.
Pull the stick out. This woman was so personally defined by her mission to save the planet that she not only wouldn’t listen to thoughtful arguments against her belief, she wouldn’t lighten up enough to laugh at a comedian attacking her cause. We’re far too serious in this nation if this woman has now become the norm.
Saturday Night Live’s on-going caricature of Sarah Palin is brutal. And funny. It’s funny because they are perfectly exaggerating things Palin has said or done and making a mockery of them. By the way, I love Sarah Palin! I predicted she would and should be the VP candidate because I think she has a real future in politics in America, even though I don’t agree with all of her positions. I laugh hysterically when Tina Fey perfectly mocks Palin’s clear lack of understanding on certain issues. I understand and accept that’s part of the package that comes with Palin; as is Joe Biden saying stupid things daily (like TV was invented in 1929!) and Barack Obama speaking in vacuous platitudes. Seriously, how can you Obama supporters ardently defend rat-gut statements like the “waters will rise,” when he is president? Please, that’s comical even to Michelle Obama. Lighten up when someone points it out and makes fun of it.
Some have suggested that the reason everyone gets so mad at comedy these days is they know the intentions of the people delivering the jabs. For example, there is no question that Saturday Night Live is a pro-Obama show and therefore, Sarah Palin supporters view the skits mocking her as hurtful, demeaning and meant to cause her political harm. So be it. When did intentions come to matter more than substance? The truth is that the skits are funny because there is an essence of reality to them; so what if the SNL crew’s goal is to embarrass her? If the American public is, in fact, so stupid that they will be deciding their vote based on who is mocked on late night TV the most then we have pretty much jumped the shark as a nation anyways.
I don’t buy the premise that the intention is what angers most of you. I have watched this nation’s culture wither away to nothing but imagery over the past few decades and this is one of the end results; a society defined by how offended they can be. Too many of you have joined causes, groups, organizations and/or married yourself to ideals and people that define you. It was once understood that to succeed on this Earth you believed in yourself; with today’s self-esteem deficit running rampant across America, we instead believe in the image we are trying to present to the world, because the real person inside so many of you is so hollow and pathetic (now that’s some good psycho-babble right there).
Alas, in the end, since you are so damn concerned that people agree with you and/or think well of you, it has become anathema to simply sit back and take yourselves less seriously. God forbid anyone points out how old John McCain is or how big Michelle Obama’s ass is; if it’s actually revealed to the public at large that you like or support someone who is, in fact, old or fat, people might think less of you!Pull the stick out. Laugh at yourself and your own silly beliefs for a change and recognize that not everything has to be taken so seriously. If you start with your ideals and move on from there you may just learn that almost nothing on this Earth is worth getting worked up over.