The points we liberals may miss: David Sims didn't like last weekend's Saturday Night Live.
He especially hated its opening sketch. The headlines on his piece at The Atlantic say this:
The Toothlessness of Saturday Night Live's Political HumorSims thought that opening sketch just totally stunk. Here's the way he described it:
A sketch involving Robert Mueller appearing on The Bachelor was the latest indication of the show’s wavering topical relevance.
SIMS (3/12/18): Last weekend, [Kate] McKinnon’s Mueller impression made a less than triumphant return to SNL in the opening sketch, which is always reserved for the hot political news of the week. This time, he was mixed into a re-creation of the shocking finale of ABC’s reality show The Bachelor, spoofing Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s widely condemned, on-camera jilting of his fiancée Becca Kufrin. Here, Mueller was sharing the news with a woman played by Cecily Strong that he couldn’t prove collusion between Trump and Russia; she reacted like a scorned lover as he said things like, “I’m just trying to be honest with you and tell you that I can’t commit to collusion right now.” It was an excruciating six minutes.To watch those six minutes, click here.
Sims hated the opening sketch; as he continued, he used it to say that SNL has badly lost its mojo. Here's a later remark about the sketch, a remark which brought us up short:
SIMS: Beyond being an easy way to cram in a Bachelor reference, the sketch wasn’t even funny, mercilessly driving its one joke (Mueller’s reticence to commit) into the ground.According to Sims, the skit's one joke was "Mueller's reticence to commit" to a finding of collusion. We think he missed the point of the sketch, in a way which may be instructive.
By happenstance, we'd already watched that opening sketch when we read Sims' critique. We almost never watch SNL—we think it lost its mojo a long way back—but something we read about the sketch had led us to give it a look.
We'll have to admit it! We were surprised by the relevance, and by the sting, of that opening sketch. But that's because we got its apparent point, which seems to have bypassed Sims.
Alas! In our view, the actual point of the sketch is the (liberal) woman's frantic devotion to the idea that Mueller is going to save us by getting Trump booted from office. As such, it seemed to us that the sketch was a parody of modern feckless liberalism, which doesn't know how to win elections, then hopes and prays that it can get its opponents thrown into jail and/or removed from office.
It seemed clear to us that this was the actual point of the sketch. The woman becomes increasingly distraught as Mueller tells her he can't commit to bringing Trump down, and that he may never be able to do so.
We thought the sketch packed a highly relevant point; to our amazement, we also thought it was actually funny. The humor in the (liberal) woman's increasing sense of hopelessness seems to have bypassed Sims.
Last week, we made an award-winning statement about the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. When we liberals fall in love with the practice of stereotyping the dimwitted Others out in the boondocks, we may be unable to see such stereotyping when it occurs.
Others will see the stereotyping—and they will dislike us for it. Only we liberals will be unable to see what lies at the heart of a stereotype-laden film, or perhaps at the heart of an unlikeable political movement.
Sims' reaction to the SNL sketch made us think of that. It didn't seem to enter his head that the frantic liberal woman was the actual target of the joke in SNL's opening sketch.
The liberal world is hoping and praying that Mueller can get Trump kicked out of office. This pitiful posture is forced upon us by our overwhelming political/journalistic incompetence.
Our corporate liberal cable channel sells us this dream all night every night, letting us feed on a nightly succession of silly nothingburgers of alleged BREAKING NEWS. It's a sad political culture, one we think SNL successfully spoofed in that sketch.
For the record:
Mueller may well end up getting, and presenting, the goods on Trump. The nightmare will really start then.
Past streetfights with The Power: SNL has long contained internal elements which aren't conventionally liberal.
To review our award-winning 2003 streetfight with the program's good-natured strongman, Jim Downey, you can just click here.
We don't know if Downey's with the show this year. If he wrote the Mueller sketch, we'd have to say he got it right, tedious though a Bachelor parody may inevitably seem.
House ends Russia probe, says no Trump-Kremlin collusionReplyDelete
Impressive, David. Not only can you—in the manner of Warren Schmidt—accurately calculate when somebody is going to die, you also possess the ability to gobble up mountains of right-wing bullshit.Delete
Confirmation-bias troll extoles bogus GOP-dominated subcommittee with the sole purpose of avoiding an authentic investigation and then claiming no collusion.Delete
Stand firm, David.Delete
i, for one, look forward to you playing the victim when the shit hits the fan.
BTW Hillary Clinton pretty much doubled down on her "basket of deplorables" comment. At a recent meeting in India,ReplyDelete
Clinton reduced huge populations that voted for and against her to caricatures, by describing them as: “optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign ‘Make America Great Again’ was looking backwards. You know, you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, you know, getting jobs, you don’t want it, you know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than you are.
How foolish was this comment. It harms all Democratic candidates. Since she was speaking in India, she focused on alleged Republican bigotry against Indian-Americans. Of course, Nikki Haley is now a Republican star and Bobby Jindal was a very popular and effective Governor of Louisiana and was a Presidential candidate in the primaries,
This is the complete version of what she said:Delete
"And his whole campaign — 'Make America Great Again' — was looking backward. You know, you didn't like black people getting rights; you don't like women, you know, getting jobs; you don't want to, you know, see that Indian American succeeding more than you are — you know, whatever your problem is, I'm gonna solve it.”"
Note the "I'm gonna solve it" at the end. She is saying this in Trump's voice: he did after all say "I alone can fix it." She is describing Trump's approach during the campaign as an appeal to sexism, racism, or "whatever your problem is." And it clearly was that. She isn't mimicking the voice of a Trump voter here, but of Trump himself. Aside from that, she says "whatever your problem is, I can fix it." She is mocking the grandiose empty promises of the conman Trump.
Very interesting thought, 3:42. The Washington Post didn't interpret Hillary as you did. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/12/hillary-clinton-takes-her-deplorables-argument-for-another-spin/?utm_term=.a4fdc99d1ca4Delete
You can listen to and watch Hillary's comment at that link. Up until the last sentence, I thought she was describing Trump supporters, in contrast to her supporters who live in "the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward."
But, as you point out, her last sentence seems to mean that she's paraphrasing Trump as claiming the he can fix various types of bigotry. I think it more likely that her last sentence paraphrased Trump as claiming the he can fix jobs, taxes, immigration, etc. After all, these were the things Trump did promise to fix. He didn't promise to fix bigotry.
You keep fucking that chicken, beancounter.Delete
Clinton doesn't work for the corporate media, so she doesn't get paid to pretend Trump voters weren't totally turned on by his bigotry.Delete
Why would anyone still watch that shit? Amazing.ReplyDelete
"As such, it seemed to us that the sketch was a parody of modern feckless liberalism..."
It's not feckless, it's dead. An insignificant zombie cult desperately clinging to power.
"SNL has long contained internal elements which aren't conventionally liberal."ReplyDelete
What, pray tell, does this mean? What is a "conventional" liberal vs an "unconventional" one? Somerby probably ought to define this. It's an important distinction.
I know! I know! An unconventional liberal says the following:Delete
We liberals are lazy and we aren’t very smart. We exude a moral squalor.
We’re lazy and dumb and our morals are bad. There’s little reason for people to like us. Presumably, nobody does.
It means he didn't like an SNL parody of Al Gore in 2000 and hasn't been able to get over it.Delete
One "unconventionally liberal" sketch, and Somerby rushes to his blog to post about it. This skit comes in the midst of the ongoing weekly mockery of Trump in the Alec (or is it Alex?) Baldwin sketches.ReplyDelete
It was a mistake what the DNC did to Sanders. They bury themselves on that one. Now, there bankrupt. There depending on Trump to fuk up. They have nothing to offer people except to be an alternative to a Madman. They don't really care about people. They're totally over.Delete
And you're totally obvious, Dimitri.Delete
شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة و عمال مروبون وحاصلون على شهادة صحية فقط اتصل بنا لتحصل على افضل خدمة غسيل خزانات
Here's one for all those who hang-out here and call themselves liberals but are actually Clintonista militarists/corporatists who oh so cleverly keep insisting they don't know what on earth is meant by the term neo-liberalism LINK:ReplyDelete
Chris Hedges: [Clara Zetkin, b. 1857 d. 1933, German socialist, Spartacist League co-founder, and later a Communist] understood, and I think this is paralleled in American society, that danger of dispossessing the working class, the danger of economic stagnation, and how fascism would become attractive. And she at one point writes in her book: don't think these people are all ex-veterans and racists. Many of them are idealists.
Talk a little bit about her understanding of the forces that make fascism seductive.
Anthony Arnove: Yeah. Well first of all she put it in the context of economic crisis and of the aftermath of World War I. So she saw it as a phenomenon very much linked to a collapse of a form of capitalism that was exposed to have all these inter-imperialist rivalries and that promised all these glories in World War I that in fact produced mass misery, people being driven out of employment, having employment conditions utterly degraded, and masses of people displaced by war and poverty.
And so she saw these were the breeding grounds for fascism. She also understood there was a link between the left failing to provide an alternative, a political alternative, an ideological alternative...
Hedges: Let me just interject there because most people don't know. She, like Luxemburg, was a member of the Socialist party and when World War I was begun almost all of the Socialists, with the exception of her, and Luxemburg and Liebknecht, and a few others backed the war. And after the war, after Germany's defeat they took power, but when there was radical uprisings they built the Freikorp of ex-veterans who morphed, eventually, into the Brownshirts, the Nazi party.
And that was a fundamental point that Luxemburg, Zetkin, and others understood, that at the moment of distress the liberal establishment would turn to the most retrograde forces within the society to crush socialism.
And so this bankruptcy of, let's call it the liberal class, was evidenced at the beginning of the war, after the war, and then with the Great Depression in 1929, when from '29, when they also held power until the Nazi's took power in 1933, imposed austerity, very much as we are imposing today. So there was a betrayal of the working class, very similar to what the Democratic party and liberal establishments have done to the American working class. And she saw that as extremely dangerous.
Arnove: Yeah. She was very clear on that. She courageously stood up against World War I when all of her former comrades...
Hedges: Well she went to jail, she was in prison for a while.
Arnove: ...were defending it and voting for war credits. She was in prison, Rosa Luxemburg was in prison and murdered [shortly after the war] and they understood very clearly that the Left, by failing to organize earlier, more effectively and failing to build a united front unifying all the forces of the left to confront the [e]merging fascist threat would, ultimately, create the conditions that allowed the rise of Nazism in Germany.
She sounded the warning that this could happen if there wasn't the broadest confrontation of the threat and uniting Social Democrats and Communists, and Trade Unionists, and liberals, to confront the threat.
So, she was very clear on that, she saw the ideological vacuum created by the failure of the left to mobilize the masses around a progressive program, a program of fighting for their actual interests and needs and she saw how that opened up the opportunity for demagoguery and false solutions and for scapegoating.
She was very clear and I think this has important relevance for us today, but how in a moment of economic crisis the wrong target can be identified. Rather than the capitalistic system, rather than the people who created the economic crisis it can be diverted to Jews, it can be diverted to Gypsies, to foreigners, to...
Hedges: That's precisely what's happening....
Hedges: ...Instead of massive social inequality leading to insurgencies in both of the two main corporate driven political parties, it's Russian bots on Facebook. And I find it quite frightening, the utter denial of reality which we also saw in Germany itself.
"She sounded the warning that this could happen if there wasn't the broadest confrontation of the threat and uniting Social Democrats and Communists, and Trade Unionists, and liberals, to confront the threat."Delete
Huh, this is an interesting narrative your liberal sage Arnove has constructed here, given the fact that Karl and Rosa were murdered by SDP, the self-declared 'socialists'/'social democrats', an equivalent of modern US liberals. The same party that just formed the ruling coalition with Merkel's liberals.
So much for "uniting Social Democrats and Communists"...
Wow. A Conservative who understands "Social Democrats" and "Communists" are two different things.Delete
For that, you're fired, Mao. Turn in your badge downstairs, and don't ever darken the door of this troll farm again.
You're right, Trotsky wasn't a liberal. But he wasn't a great strategist either, while Stalin certainly was.Delete
In any case, while an occasional alliance may indeed be possible, liberals constantly imagining (or pretending) that somehow they are lefties is quite annoying.
If you think Stalin's blunder in his direction of the Communist Party of Germany in '33 was the right call, you're some sort of cultist. By 1934 there no longer was a Communist Party of Germany- the Communists there had been reduced that quickly to an inconsequential underground organization in Nazi Germany, the only role they would have in that society until after World War II.
What does this have to do with anything I said?Delete
As far as Stalin's calculations at the time, what was the alternative? We'll never know, but conceivably it could be Germany ruled by SPD attacking the USSR together with the rest of the West. Arguably, splitting the West was his objective. The point is: he won. Trotsky lost.
You had said all of one comment ago that Stalin was a great strategist. He wasn't, he never understood the Nazi threat right up until Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa. Stalin had spent the previous couple of years inexplicably fearing and focused on the possibility of a Japanese invasion, sure he had nothing to fear regarding the Germans. (Surely you know this Mao, what are you trying to pull here?)Delete
What Stalin was, was the greatest of bureaucrats, that's how he outmaneuvered Trotsky.
Why are we suddenly talking about Stalin here? All I said was that liberals positioning themselves as lefties is annoying.Delete
And no, I never heard about Stalin being focused on Japanese invasion and not worrying about Germany. I don't think it's true.
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