Monday, April 25, 2016

The Desolation of Smug, Ctd.

One more point to be made about this portion of Mr. Emmett Rensin's ponderous exegesis on Smugness of the Left:
Financial incentive compounded this tendency — there is money, after all, in reassuring the bitter. Over 20 years, an industry arose to cater to the smug style. It began in humor, and culminated for a time in The Daily Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that liberal orthodoxy was a kind of educated savvy and that its opponents were, before anything else, stupid. The smug liberal found relief in ridiculing them...
The reason why we on the Left cherished a couple of half-hour-long, basic cable comedy shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report was not merely that were smart and snarky and well-informed, but because that they were so much smarter and better informed than the claptrap that was passing for "serious news" on America's professional news and public affairs programs.

At their peak, the core of both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report was really not a lot more complicated than pointing a camera at whatever jaw-droppingly awful acts of madness or sedition the Party of Lincoln was perpetrating that day and finding some new way of saying "What the absolute fuck is wrong with these people?"  Or showing a clip of one of the stars of Fox News staring soulfully into the camera and declaring with deep and patriotic conviction the exact opposite of what they had sworn on the lives of their children they believed just a few months or days or hours before.

And since the Party of Lincoln has run up such an impressive record of shitting the bed massively and publicly pretty much every single god damn day for the last 20 years, putting such stories together four days a week was like dynamiting fish in a barrel. 

And here's the thing: pretty much any "story" about the unchecked madness and unprecedented recklessness of the GOP could have and should have been reported as important news about the perilous state of our democracy by any or all of America's Very Serious news and public affairs programs.  But for reasons which they never deign to explain to us mere peons, the very wealthy corporate employees who were supposed to bring the public important news about the state of our democracy have chosen not to do so. Instead, our national conversation has been hijacked by the Conservative propagandists of Fox News and their Both Siderist enablers who are deeply embedded in every other network and cable news outfit.

You see, all we on the Left every really wanted was for the highly-paid Very Serious People of American poliitcal journalist to do their fucking jobs.  But since they chose to sell us out rather than defend and inform us, we finally turned to the only people who dared to speak the obvious truth about the country that was coming apart around us.

The court jesters:


banker puppy said...

That block quote is like a page out of 'Mad Libs.' Replace a few key words, and it reads thusly--

Financial incentive compounded this tendency — there is money, after all, in loudly justifying the victimhood of the angry. Over 30 years, an industry arose to cater to the rage style. It began in talk radio, and culminated for a time in The Rush Limbaugh Show, a program that more than any other thing advanced the idea that conservative orthodoxy was a kind of patriotic necessity and that its opponents were, before anything else, a danger to the country. The angry conservative found relief in condemning them...

bowtiejack said...

I wonder if back in the day (that would be about 40,000 years ago) the real Neanderthals, steadily losing out to change (or what our political Neanderthals would call 'only a theory' like 'global warming' and 'evolution') similarly complained about the unfairness of it all and the smug attitude of Homo sapiens? How'd that turn out anyway?

Neo Tuxedo said...

"Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped out, when Lady the brach may stand by the fire and stink. [...] Prithee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach thy fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie."
"An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped."
"I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are: they'll have me whipped for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipped for lying, and sometimes I am whipped for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind of thing than a fool, and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides, and left nothing i' the middle."

RUKidding said...

Rensin sounds envious of Stewart who is actually rather high born & well connected. And yes functioned as a court jester. Sounds like Rensin wishes he could be as successful, write as well & have similar "approval" from a mostly more sophisticated & well educated audience. And yes Stewart is witty funny, has a great delivery & mostly is deadly accurate.

Once again, it's hip to be smug.

Rensin just doesn't have what it takes. People in glass houses yadda yadda.

Lit3Bolt said...

Emmett Rensin is the son of David Rensin, a prolific Hollywood celebrity interviewer and ghostwriter for the rich and famous.

I'm sure little Emmett, as he was growing up, was traumatized by Tom Hanks or Billy Crystal or Jessica Rabbit or some other Hollywood liberal, and decided right then and there to be PURE in a way that was completely different from these scummy Hollywood coastal elite liberals, as they described their all night coke jags in their cheap trailers to his father in lurid detail.

But what to do? How could he be pure enough? Little Emmett knew he wasn't conservative; he had soaked up enough of Southern Californian culture and privilege to know he wouldn't be accepted in those circles. Besides, he wanted to avoid the culture war entirely, and shed his privileged white male 1% lifestyle and emerge as a beautiful...Communist!

Hey, that's it! Communism would be a really cool way to be "edge-y" and "hip" and hang with the "cool cats" down at the beatnik club at the University of Chicago. He could wear a beret, smoke thin black cigarettes, grow a goatee and shaggy hair, and reject the dirty liberals and conservatives in American politics forever! How was this so easy, besides his father's celebrity and media connections? Because Emmett had internalized a very important Truth at a young age: Both Sides Do It, But Liberals Are Worse.

This great Truth has been explained by luminaries Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who once pithily explained, "I hate conservatives, but I fucking despise liberals."

Because to Matt Stone, Trey Parker, and Emmett Rensin, Liberals equal Hollywood Producers. Liberals equal the MPAA. Liberals equal Comedy Central management. Liberals equal movie and theater critics. Liberals equal your parents, because you grew up on the California coast, so the only way to rebel is become either a Born-Again Christian or a full fledged Maoist. Liberals are the powerful media gatekeepers who keep people like Emmett Rensin from being published or criticize his plays. Liberals are the Enemy, while conservatives are powerless, guileless bystanders in the Great Game of Academy Awards.

Unfortunately for young Emmett, as evidenced by his writing skills, he has either absorbed or is aping the worst tendencies among the academic Far Left; the sing-song cant of jargon, the endless name-dropping of leftist thinkers, the fawning quotes of ahistorical gibberish, thought-wishing away all racial, class, and cultural animus, an eternal preoccupation with one's own ideological purity, and the astonishing and completely unexpected legacy of a negligible political impact on this Earth.

Because rather than get his hands dirty by meeting a worker (ew! Icky.), or talking to a voter (Ugh! Iffy.), or defying police at a political protest (Eek! Scary!), young Emmett knows the true left-politk culture wars need to be waged against Other Liberals, especially on Twitter and Facebook. This is justified because something something Liberals Elites in America are All-Smug and All-Powerful and control all the media on this planet because they didn't like my book or give a good review of my play! *pout* And lead to Trump. Yeah, liberals caused Trump too. Name dropping, SoCal style!

So let us celebrate's Emmett Rensin's essay as he would want us to: as a Dadaist monument, a hypocritical bourgeois farce, as a Mighty Rod of Self-Absorbed Unawareness +5. After all, Charles Koch and Rupert Murdoch may be totally evil, but at least they're honest about it! Liberalism just LIES! ...Hey, why are Hot Air, TownHall, the NY Post, and Instapundit linking to me in approval? Quelle surprise!

Frank McCormick said...

- "You think you're smarter than me!"

-- "Well, that's because I am..."

- "But, you're not allowed to say that!"

It's not just TONE policing.

Smut Clyde said...

"Smug" looks well-placed to be the new "elitist".

Garima said...