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handle
09-17-2010, 08:10 PM
In case anybody missed it, The Huge, big, epic, monumental and unprecedented announcement finally came last night.

Here is your hour of Zen. (http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-september-16-2010-bill-clinton)

I really really want to buy a plane ticket.

rfrobison
09-17-2010, 10:03 PM
Pretty funny. Wish I could go.

Don Zeko
09-18-2010, 12:45 AM
But there's a question here: are you going to the Million Moderate March, or the Restoring Fear rally? Which camp are you in?

AemJeff
09-18-2010, 12:50 AM
But there's a question here: are you going to the Million Moderate March, or the Restoring Fear rally? Which camp are you in?

I would definitely be going to the Million Moderate March, if I didn't have shit to do that day.

rfrobison
09-18-2010, 02:59 AM
But there's a question here: are you going to the Million Moderate March, or the Restoring Fear rally? Which camp are you in?

Hmm, maybe I'll split the difference and have a moderately fearful sit-in.

Ocean
09-18-2010, 10:28 PM
In case anybody missed it, The Huge, big, epic, monumental and unprecedented announcement finally came last night.

Here is your hour of Zen. (http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/thu-september-16-2010-bill-clinton)

I really really want to buy a plane ticket.

LOL! I loved that last red sign about being scared (not)!

handle
09-19-2010, 08:29 PM
Hmm, maybe I'll split the difference and have a moderately fearful sit-in.

Yea, I'll probably be marching to work, but I can "have a dream" can't I?

handle
09-19-2010, 09:09 PM
LOL! I loved that last red sign about being scared (not)!

Me too, and the arachnophobes I know could relate.

Ocean
09-19-2010, 09:23 PM
Me too, and the arachnophobes I know could relate.

Yeah, I'm not one, but the sign was really funny.

I was talking to my son during dinner, and he is thinking about going to DC for the rally. I'll think about it, perhaps I'll go too.

jummy
09-20-2010, 12:46 AM
many will want to buy a plane ticket, none will.

handle
09-20-2010, 03:38 PM
many will want to buy a plane ticket, none will.

How 'bout a little support for your point of view? Or at least a why? Is it your opinion that moderates are busy, non-committal, uninspired, unmotivated, none or all of the aforementioned?

I think you underestimate the power of the Stewart. That show is, IMHO, the one true oasis of reason in the mine field of partisan hyperbole that is the post-fairness-doctrine political landscape.

Just a suggestion, but you might want to temper the "none" with "few", unless you are just joking around, of course.

handle
09-20-2010, 03:43 PM
Yeah, I'm not one, but the sign was really funny.

I was talking to my son during dinner, and he is thinking about going to DC for the rally. I'll think about it, perhaps I'll go too.

See you there maybe... I'll be the guy carrying the "Hitler was Hitler!" sign, that has a picture of Hitler on it. Unless I don't go, of course.

Ocean
09-20-2010, 05:17 PM
See you there maybe... I'll be the guy carrying the "Hitler was Hitler!" sign, that has a picture of Hitler on it. Unless I don't go, of course.

I'll look for you when I get there. My sign will read: "The American people want politicians to stop reading the Founding Fathers' mind." It will have a picture of Lambchop on it.

handle
09-21-2010, 02:44 PM
I'll look for you when I get there. My sign will read: "The American people want politicians to stop reading the Founding Fathers' mind." It will have a picture of Lambchop on it.

Good one, lambchop is a nice touch, but could be a little controversial. :)

Ocean
09-21-2010, 02:49 PM
Good one, lambchop is a nice touch, but could be a little controversial. :)

I already changed my mind about the sign. At this rate who knows what the sign will end up saying. I'll tell you the day before.

chiwhisoxx
09-21-2010, 06:21 PM
This is a blessing in disguise for me and my troglodyte, knuckle dragging right wing brethren. Weigel mentioned this on his blog, but if this thing attracts a lot of people, it's going to be the sort of people who normally would canvas neighborhoods the weekend before an election. It's scheduled for what, October 30? Perfect. It seems trivial, but cutting the number of people canvassing neighborhoods in half can really make a difference, especially in some house races. Hate to be cliched, but all politics really is local.

osmium
09-21-2010, 10:46 PM
I'll look for you when I get there. My sign will read: "The American people want politicians to stop reading the Founding Fathers' mind." It will have a picture of Lambchop on it.

Lambchop! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbNVx9Y28rk)

SkepticDoc
09-22-2010, 07:26 AM
Links of interest:

http://www.keepfearalive.com/

http://www.rallytorestoresanity.com/

http://twitter.com/rally4sanity

Of course, anyone that clicks will be on the FBI, NSA, CIA, API, etc... lists :)

Ocean
10-30-2010, 03:23 PM
My plans for the rally were ruined by other obligations, but nonetheless, I look forward to the replay of the events.

Here's a picture.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/10/31/us/31rally3-span/31rally3-span-blogSpan.jpg

bjkeefe
10-30-2010, 04:04 PM
My plans for the rally were ruined by other obligations, but nonetheless, I look forward to the replay of the events.

Here's a picture.


http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/10/31/us/31rally3-span/31rally3-span-blogSpan.jpg

Gateway Pundit has analyzed this photo and concluded that it proves that only 14 people showed up today.

Ocean
10-30-2010, 04:16 PM
Gateway Pundit has analyzed this photo and concluded that it proves that only 14 people showed up today.

Yes, they probably used all those tricky filters in their cameras and superimposed images and such. Heh. ;)

chiwhisoxx
10-30-2010, 05:52 PM
I didn't go, but I caught a pretty decent chunk of it on T.V. Obviously, it's really different being there than watching it on T.V., but for someone like myself who generally likes Stewart and Colbert (Stewart considerably moreso) the whole thing just seemed kind of...bland and boring.

Ocean
10-30-2010, 07:26 PM
There's an estimate that 250,000 people attended the rally today. Nice.

handle
10-30-2010, 09:08 PM
There's an estimate that 250,000 people attended the rally today. Nice.

Thanks for posting the info and the pic.
I attended through the miracle of HDTV.
It was ridiculously perfect.


Don't forget to tell everyone you know, or don't know, to vote.

Ocean
10-30-2010, 09:17 PM
Thanks for posting the info and the pic.
I attended through the miracle of HDTV.
It was ridiculously perfect.


Don't forget to tell everyone you know, or don't know, to vote.

Yes, there has to be a good turn out for this election cycle.

Lots of young people out there today. They are the future. I'm so proud that they are engaged in this process with a sense of humor.

nikkibong
10-30-2010, 09:19 PM
Thanks for posting the info and the pic.
I attended through the miracle of HDTV.
It was ridiculously perfect.


Don't forget to tell everyone you know, or don't know, to vote.

yes, the dudley wave is cresting!

(sorry, handle) ;)

handle
10-30-2010, 09:31 PM
yes, the dudley wave is cresting!

(sorry, handle) ;)

And sorry you will be. Especially in a few years if he wins. :) :) :)


I always hire gardeners to rewire my house or fix the plumbing. They bring a "fresh perspective" and are not hampered by a lot of experience, education and pesky safety regulations.

nikkibong
10-30-2010, 09:35 PM
And sorry you will be. Especially in a few years if he wins. :) :) :)


I always hire gardeners to rewire my house or fix the plumbing. They bring a "fresh perspective" and are not hampered by a lot of experience, education and pesky safety regulations.

(note to 97% of forum dwellers: the following joke will only make sense to oregonians.)

c'mon, man: don't even bother repairing the house. let the fire department burn it down and take the tax deduction!

i voted for wyden, so can we still be friends?

handle
10-30-2010, 09:46 PM
(note to 97% of forum dwellers: the following joke will only make sense to oregonians.)

c'mon, man: don't even bother repairing the house. let the fire department burn it down and take the tax deduction!

i voted for wyden, so can we still be friends?

We are friends, bong. And as your friend I'm sorry to say your metaphor kinda works against you. And I'm sure you won't mind if I don't invite you to my house.

PS your home slice is on the tube back peddling on waitressgate. Ya gotta make your free throws! :)

Ocean
10-31-2010, 11:09 AM
Jon Stewart said in his final speech (way too serious and melodramatic for my taste, but, no one asked me):

“We know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together,” he said.“And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.”

Oh, brrrrrother!

handle
10-31-2010, 12:19 PM
CNN completely missed the message last night, (purposefully?) but CBS Sunday Morning got it right.

The country’s 24 hour political pundit perpetual panic conflictinator did not cause our problems but its existence makes solving them that much harder. The press can hold its magnifying up to our problems bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected dangerous flaming ant epidemic.

If we amplify everything we hear nothing. There are terrorists and racists and Stalinists and theocrats but those are titles that must be earned. You must have the resume. Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Partiers or real bigots and Juan Williams and Rick Sanchez is an insult, not only to those people but to the racists themselves who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate--just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe not more. The press is our immune system. If we overreact to everything we actually get sicker--and perhaps eczema.

And yet, with that being said, I feel good—strangely, ....

full text (http://www.examiner.com/celebrity-in-national/rally-to-restore-sanity-jon-stewart-s-closing-speech-full-text)

Ocean
10-31-2010, 10:10 PM
Yesterday was a day of trains, peace train, crazy train, love train (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYxMCALVXZs). But here's the missing train! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=051VhDUyras)

Wonderment
11-01-2010, 06:12 PM
Complete article here. (http://www.truth-out.org/the-phantom-left64702)

Politics in America has become spectacle. It is another form of show business. The crowd in Washington, well trained by television, was conditioned to play its role before the cameras. The signs —“The Rant is Too Damn High,” “Real Patriots Can Handle a Difference of Opinion” or “I Masturbate and I Vote”—reflected the hollowness of current political discourse and television’s perverse epistemology. The rally spoke exclusively in the impoverished iconography and language of television. It was filled with meaningless political pieties, music and jokes. It was like any television variety program. Personalities were being sold, not political platforms. And this is what the society of spectacle is about.

The modern spectacle, as the theorist Guy Debord pointed out, is a potent tool for pacification and depoliticization. It is a “permanent opium war” which stupefies its viewers and disconnects them from the forces that control their lives. The spectacle diverts anger toward phantoms and away from the perpetrators of exploitation and injustice. It manufactures feelings of euphoria. It allows participants to confuse the spectacle itself with political action.

The celebrities from Comedy Central and the trash talk show hosts on Fox are in the same business. They are entertainers. They provide the empty, emotionally laden material that propels endless chatter back and forth on supposed left- and right-wing television programs. It is a national Punch and Judy show. But don’t be fooled. It is not politics. It is entertainment. It is spectacle. All national debate on the airwaves is driven by the same empty gossip, the same absurd trivia, the same celebrity meltdowns and the same ridiculous posturing. It is presented with a different spin. But none of it is about ideas or truth. None of it is about being informed. It caters to emotions. It makes us confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge. And in the end, for those who serve up this drivel, the game is about money in the form of ratings and advertising. Beck, Colbert and Stewart all serve the same masters. And it is not us.

TwinSwords
11-01-2010, 06:30 PM
Under normal circumstances, I would laugh this off as silly false equivalence. But I have to admit, there's something poetic in the suggestion that Stewart is just like Beck, after Stewart made the equally idiotic suggestion that Olbermann, Matthews, et al., are just like Beck (et al.) at his rally on Saturday.

BTW: The rally was on the television where I was on Saturday, and my friends and I occasionally turned our attention to it. I enjoyed what I saw. But the "everybody is to blame" bit at the end was classic High Broderism. I honestly don't think Colbert or Stewart even believe it, given the substance of their regular programs.

Ocean
11-01-2010, 06:44 PM
Once again the "left" goes awry when there isn't enough purity for their tastes.

I don't think anyone gets confused between politics and entertainment. Stewart and Colbert have been making entertainment out of politics for a very long time, and this wasn't any different. The right question to ask is why this particular form of entertainment drew over 200K people to DC. There is a lesson to be learned, but, nothing will be learned or gained if this kind of expression is tossed aside for lack of political depth. The narrative that Chris brings is very old and may apply to some degree, but the important part is exactly the part that Chris doesn't talk about. Some liberals need to get off their tall horses and start looking at what's really motivating people.

bjkeefe
11-01-2010, 06:45 PM
Complete article here. (http://www.truth-out.org/the-phantom-left64702)

Eh, FSM save us from well-meaning humorless liberal scolds.

Hedges has got some points in your excerpt, not to mention in the whole article (I liked the part about the death of the radical left, and the phantom that has been invented to replace it), but he's been beating this spectacle drum (http://www.amazon.com/Empire-Illusion-Literacy-Triumph-Spectacle/dp/1568584377) for a while now, and I am unable to rid myself of the thought that he had to write a column and so hammered the latest news hook into the mold of his dogma until he could call it a nail.

To compare Stewart and Colbert to Beck and Fox News is more than a little lame. Yeah, S&C are more than "just comedians" -- a little bit -- but they are hardly driven by the same sort of agenda. S&C poke fun at politics and have some small vague hope, when they get tired of doing nothing but ridiculing the ridiculous, of getting people to realize that the very things they are mocking is precisely what a spectacle it all has become.

Fox, Beck, etc., by contrast, are serious about wrecking what a good number of us think means America. As erstwhile B'head Michael Tomasky (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/oct/21/us-politics-fox-news-juan-williams) put it: "Fox News wants liberalism to perish from the face of the earth."

Hedges, like Tim Noah on this site before him, and doubtless scores of other lefty commentators, magnified the significance of S&C rally just so they could have something to fume about -- people being Unserious. And worse, they wrote from the same damn rut that the MSM is stuck in: everything must always have a matching item on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

I'm sick and tired of these guys insisting that everything Means Something In The Larger Scheme, that whatever they have a hair across their ass about is of Vast Importance, and being unable to recognize that a couple of satire shows are nothing more than something most of us turn to for comic relief. From the suckiness of the world that Fox, etc., have wrought, in no small part.

Wonderment
11-01-2010, 07:06 PM
Hedges, like Tim Noah on this site before him, and doubtless scores of other lefty commentators, magnified the significance of S&C rally just so they could have something to fume about -- people being Unserious.

There's a lot I disagree with in Hedges' article, so don't take my posting it as a line-by-line endorsement, but what I thought he was getting at is not that people are "unserious" but rather that they can become ineffective and complacent, i.e., that they are pacified by a kind of hip, liberal, college-educated satire that tends to depoliticize more than it mobilizes.

If you buy that, then the rally -- the grand mobilization -- was particularly offensive and demoralizing.

I am sympathetic to Hedges' argument to a degree. As an activist I have come across scores of people who are regular consumers of Stewart and Colbert because Comedy Central culture reinforces their passive liberalism and keeps them laughing about the extreme stupidities of Fox News and Glenn Beck. The question is, does the laughter inspire them to participate in changing society or does it anesthetize them?

bjkeefe
11-01-2010, 07:06 PM
To compare Stewart and Colbert to Beck and Fox News is more than a little lame. [...]

If you want an accurate comparison, compare S&C instead to The Half Hour News Hour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_1/2_Hour_News_Hour). And recognize the reality that S&C are just better at political/media satire than anything conservatives have been able to come up with. The reason they're big, to the extent that they're big, is not because they are the liberal version of Fox chat shows. It is because they are good at what they do, and there is a lot of resonance in what they say.

And realize, too, that the only reason Colbert has a show of his own, playing the character he does, is because there is so much material out there to work with. If there were any comparison on the left to O'Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, etc., where is the successful show parodying them? Once you say KEITH OLBERMANN YELLS TOO MUCH, you're out of material, aren't you?

TwinSwords
11-01-2010, 07:22 PM
And worse, they wrote from the same damn rut that the MSM is stuck in: everything must always have a matching item on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

Disappointingly, Stewart and Colbert did this, too, with a montage of the "insane" rhetoric that featured one liberal for every conservative (or close; I didn't count).

And as I said above, I don't think they even believe it; it's just that a certain kind of liberal is compelled to obfuscate with this kind of brainless false equivalence.

bjkeefe
11-01-2010, 07:24 PM
There's a lot I disagree with in Hedges' article, so don't take my posting it as a line-by-line endorsement, ...

Okay.

... but what I thought he was getting at is not that people are "unserious" but rather that they can become ineffective and complacent, i.e., that they are pacified by a kind of hip, liberal, college-educated satire that tends to depoliticize more than it mobilizes.

If you buy that, then the rally -- the grand mobilization -- was particularly offensive and demoralizing.

I don't buy it. The absence of worthwhile things for young people to rally behind on the left is not S&C's fault. It is the fault of people like Hedges and a bunch more like him, not to mention the Democratic Party (to the extent that the DP cares about rallying young liberals), that they're not doing it right. It is the fault of the media writ large that there are precious few other places to turn where bullshit is called, where Balance™ is not all that is sold or told.

S&C started as entertainers, found something that worked as far as getting them shows and keeping those shows on the air, and to the degree that they offer more than that, it should be seen both as icing on the cake and a sad commentary on how few other people who could be doing things are doing them.

I am sympathetic to Hedges' argument to a degree. As an activist I have come across scores of people who are regular consumers of Stewart and Colbert because Comedy Central culture reinforces their passive liberalism and keeps them laughing about the extreme stupidities of Fox News and Glenn Beck. The question is, does the laughter inspire them to participate in changing society or does it anesthetize them?

I'd call a quarter-million people showing up an indication that there's at least some inspiration there. But it is not up to S&C to build on that.

And no, what they do in their regular gigs does not anesthetize their audience. Farthest thing from it. If anything, it is making some of them more aware. And I'd also say that a lot of the ones who aren't just looking for something light and clever to watch on the teevee are ready to pitch in, absolutely dying to -- and the 2008 campaign showed this even more -- but there have got to be things more concrete and specific for them to get behind than "participate in changing society."

bjkeefe
11-01-2010, 07:29 PM
Disappointingly, Stewart and Colbert did this, too, with a montage of the "insane" rhetoric that featured one liberal for every conservative (or close; I didn't count).

And as I said above, I don't think they even believe it; it's just that a certain kind of liberal is compelled to obfuscate with this kind of brainless false equivalence.

I was going to say something to Wonderment when I saw you say something about this earlier, and that was this: try to imagine anyone on Fox bemoaning the excesses and the shallowness of "both sides" of the media. That's another illustration of how it's a mistake to compare S&C to Fox, et al.

To your point directly, of course I agree that this is largely false equivalence. But I would say two things. First, it often helps to drive your larger point home if you make some concessions up front, even if the concessions are exaggerated.

And second, it is not as though the left is completely free of people who are guilty of spouting "insane rhetoric." It's not anywhere near comparable, but it is not non-existent. There is a reason everyone knew immediately what was meant the first time he or she heard "firebagger."

TwinSwords
11-01-2010, 07:48 PM
I was going to say something to Wonderment when I saw you say something about this earlier, and that was this: try to imagine anyone on Fox bemoaning the excesses and the shallowness of "both sides" of the media. That's another illustration of how it's a mistake to compare S&C to Fox, et al.
Good point.

To your point directly, of course I agree that this is largely false equivalence. But I would say two things. First, it often helps to drive your larger point home if you make some concessions up front, even if the concessions are exaggerated.
Absolutely.

And second, it is not as though the left is completely free of people who are guilty of spouting "insane rhetoric." It's not anywhere near comparable, but it is not non-existent. There is a reason everyone knew immediately what was meant the first time he or she heard "firebagger."
Oh, sure. But no one on MSNBC, no well known liberal, is anything like the voices on Fox, talk radio, in the Republican Party, etc. I think the left's "insane rhetoric" is pretty well confined to people no one has ever heard of.

Furthermore, more than "insane rhetoric," it's about honesty. You can fill books full of the lies Republicans tell day in and day out. There is nothing like this on the left, except maybe in dark, out of the way shadows that no one pays attention to.

chiwhisoxx
11-01-2010, 09:27 PM
Just because nutpicking from conservative rallies is incredibly annoying, a nice video showing that people at the rally to restore hipster irony don't know the difference between keynesian and kenyan:

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/11/01/question-for-stewart-ralliers-is-obama-a-keynesian-or-was-he-born-in-america/

handle
11-01-2010, 10:30 PM
This is fantastic, an unexpected consequence of the rally:
The Left and Right can share their irritation with the anti-extremists. Glad we could provide some common ground. :)

Those of us too busy or reasonable or both to succumb to the slippery slope noise machines, could already hear the banal, predictable, and repetitious critiques long before the rally, looping like a shitty pop song you just can't get out of your head.
Which was kinda the whole point all along.

handle
11-01-2010, 10:41 PM
I was going to say something to Wonderment when I saw you say something about this earlier, and that was this: try to imagine anyone on Fox bemoaning the excesses and the shallowness of "both sides" of the media. That's another illustration of how it's a mistake to compare S&C to Fox, et al.

To your point directly, of course I agree that this is largely false equivalence. But I would say two things. First, it often helps to drive your larger point home if you make some concessions up front, even if the concessions are exaggerated.

And second, it is not as though the left is completely free of people who are guilty of spouting "insane rhetoric." It's not anywhere near comparable, but it is not non-existent. There is a reason everyone knew immediately what was meant the first time he or she heard "firebagger."
Zackly!

handle
11-01-2010, 10:42 PM
Once again the "left" goes awry when there isn't enough purity for their tastes.

I don't think anyone gets confused between politics and entertainment. Stewart and Colbert have been making entertainment out of politics for a very long time, and this wasn't any different. The right question to ask is why this particular form of entertainment drew over 200K people to DC. There is a lesson to be learned, but, nothing will be learned or gained if this kind of expression is tossed aside for lack of political depth. The narrative that Chris brings is very old and may apply to some degree, but the important part is exactly the part that Chris doesn't talk about. Some liberals need to get off their tall horses and start looking at what's really motivating people.

Amen Ocean!

bjkeefe
11-02-2010, 01:57 AM
"Rightbloggers Denounce Stewart/Colbert Rally to Restore Sanity Cat Stevens"

Roy Edroso's latest round-up is now available. Intro here (http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2010_10_31_archive.html#1365485742171996031), full column here (http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2010/11/on_saturday_in.php).

I'm torn in trying to choose the best part: Jonah Goldberg giving advice to Stewart and Colbert on how to be funny (hey, he's got cred (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/08/right-wing-comedy.html)!) and the endless accusations from a cast of lesser lights, of smugness.

handle
11-16-2010, 05:26 PM
If you still don't get it, you probably won't.
But this is a link. (http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/2010/11/12/jon-stewart-on-the-rachel-maddow-show/)

bjkeefe
11-16-2010, 08:53 PM
If you still don't get it, you probably won't.
But this is a link. (http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/2010/11/12/jon-stewart-on-the-rachel-maddow-show/)

That was a great conversation. As it happens, I just finished watching it elsewhere.

I encourage everyone to budget the fifty minutes it asks. And for the non-fans of the two, be advised that this is not a liberal lovefest. It's a pretty good argument, albeit polite.

chiwhisoxx
11-16-2010, 09:12 PM
If you still don't get it, you probably won't.
But this is a link. (http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/2010/11/12/jon-stewart-on-the-rachel-maddow-show/)

I saw a 9 minute clip somewhere and assumed that was whole thing. Definitely will invest the full 50 minutes, thanks for the clip.

Ocean
11-16-2010, 10:33 PM
That was a great conversation. As it happens, I just finished watching it elsewhere.

I encourage everyone to budget the fifty minutes it asks. And for the non-fans of the two, be advised that this is not a liberal lovefest. It's a pretty good argument, albeit polite.

So there was a time when in order to understand the world, who is who, and who is right and who is wrong and who do we ally with, we needed to think in black and white. It plainly makes life easier. They're bad and wrong. We are good and right.

And then we grew up a little bit more, and realized that it quite doesn't work that way. It isn't always so easy to decide who is right or whether one can be good and still be wrong, or that there are some bad apples on both sides. So we start to look for balance and symmetries and we indeed, find many of them. And that seems to be the argument that Jon Stewart was emphasizing. Don't demonize, let's look at our side too, look for corruption in both sides.

But then, as we look closely, and after looking for balance, we do realize that the symmetries are sometimes only qualitative. Yes, both sides stole, but one side stole a crumb while the other stole the loaf. So now we have to keep the balance, widen our perspective, avoid demonizing but still be able to objectively measure each side as much as it's humanly possible. Once the extreme polarization ends, the fantasy of purity evaporates and outrage subsides. A calmer perspective of a quantitative imbalance to one side or the other remains.

But the process of understanding doesn't end there, it seems that there are at least a couple more of realizations to get through the maze. One is about blurring the boundaries between the sides and trying to find other commonalities. This is another piece that Jon argued. He said that we are stuck with the division between right and left. He tries to be blind to that labeling and only look at corruption or bad intentions. It is indeed, I think, a good strategy for someone whose role is to call the corruption and to uncover wrongdoings or simply draw attention to the nonsensical.

However, for the political strategist, the practical challenge of party coalition remains. In order to get access to positions of political power, the party has to prevail above its opposite. Boundaries have to be put back in place. At best, corruption could be addressed by some timely clean up behind the scenes, if at all, but it can't be uncovered. Parties have to stress their differences and demonize the opposition to make the choice clearer to the electorate. The reality of political maneuvering trumps the more elevated perspectives that Stewart proposes.

I felt somewhat confused and frustrated at the end of the interview between Maddow and Stewart. Although I could see their respective perspectives, each had a piece of the truth, but not the whole picture. Each of them contributes to their respective audiences who are receptive to their vision. One uncovers the symmetries, the other shows the proportions, each one from a slightly different angle, distorts even if subtly, what we consider the truth. As long as they're honest and aren't intentionally misrepresenting facts, we can thank them for their contributions and understand their frustration. For the rest of us still have to think in blank and white, because come election day, there's only a button to the right and a button to the left. Not much of a balance to play with.

TwinSwords
11-16-2010, 10:55 PM
If you still don't get it, you probably won't.
But this is a link. (http://ccinsider.comedycentral.com/2010/11/12/jon-stewart-on-the-rachel-maddow-show/)

Hmm... For whatever reason, the Stewart/Maddow conversation isn't coming up at that URL.

Here's an alternative (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2010/11/rachel-maddow-and-jon-stewart.html) for anyone who wants to watch.

Update: Fixed the link.


.

bjkeefe
11-20-2010, 04:56 AM
Complete article here. (http://www.truth-out.org/the-phantom-left64702)

Probably related: NPR segment: "Hedges Laments The 'Death Of The Liberal Class' (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131166027)." There's also a book excerpt on the same page.

I haven't listened to it or read the excerpt, and I don't know if I will, but DougJ (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/11/19/ill-show-you-the-lite-of-the-mind/) said the radio segment "is worth your time," so I thought I'd pass it along.

Ocean
11-20-2010, 10:03 AM
Probably related: NPR segment: "Hedges Laments The 'Death Of The Liberal Class' (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=131166027)." There's also a book excerpt on the same page.

I haven't listened to it or read the excerpt, and I don't know if I will, but DougJ (http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/11/19/ill-show-you-the-lite-of-the-mind/) said the radio segment "is worth your time," so I thought I'd pass it along.

I read the excerpt. Another self bashing liberal. It's well written and has many good points. It calls on liberals' complacency and steady move towards greater tolerance and collusion with corporations and money. It fails in differentiating mistakes from misfortunes.

In my opinion Dems have been, like everybody else, influenced by the cult of capitalism and free markets. We still have to recover from the 90's rejection of liberalism. Corruption has been inching at all levels. Capital is the new boss. But we need more people pointing in the right direction instead of ending the argument with harsh criticism and pessimism.