17 January 2011

How to Fix Comedy

You know what's a problem with Americans? They like humor and comedy and laughing. And they're self-conscious about their weight. That's another problem with Americans. But seriously, humor almost always consists of making fun of someone. If I wanted to feel bad about myself, I'd just go to church.

Self-reflection is a real drag. Who wants to honestly assess their own flaws? Not me! That's why I don't do any of that Daily Show, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Colbert Report, South Park crap. I only watch Chuck Lorre comedies.

You see, the reason Chuck Lorre comedies are the right kind of humor for America is because they allow us to laugh about how much of a fake douchebag Charlie Sheen is, or how fake fat the guy from the one show that's on before Hawaii Five-0 is. They're not true to life, seeing as one uses a re-tooled version of the Frasier set, and the other a re-tooled version of the Drew Carey Show set, so I know neither location actually exists.

Furthermore, since neither of the actors is on a reality TV show like Celebrity Rehab or Biggest Loser, I know that Charlie Sheen isn't actually douchebag and the other guy isn't actually fat. Those are just the completely relatable sitcom characters they play. And that means I can trust the humor in a Chuck Lorre comedy to be based wholly in a fictional universe without even a tenuous connection to reality. It's pure entertainment, and isn't that what the Brooklyn art crowd is pretty much all about, and isn't the Brooklyn art crowd the ultimate authority on authenticity?

What's that? You think humor ought to offer some form of critique on the current social situation or the human condition? I think you need to stop hating America so much. The laugh tracks in Chuck Lorre shows tells us when to laugh together, united. It's in the pledge of allegiance. Read it, you probable terrorist.

Comedy and humor that require thinking are too difficult. Entertainment's not meant to be hard. I'm trying to escape reality, here. I don't want any kind of subversion that causes me to examine my own life and attitudes. I don't want to have read enough books and experienced the broad range of popular culture and general knowledge necessary to enjoy an episode of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Just let me laugh at a punchline I can readily anticipate.

I don't want to celebrate an unexpectedly good outcome to an absurd situation; just let me ignore the absurdity. I don't want to face my problems; I want to laugh at impossible fictional scenarios that resolve themselves in half an hour or in a full hour if it's the season finale and the show's already been picked up for another season. I don't want to think to laugh; I want to drink Coors Light, have a McRib (for a limited time), and laugh once I know everyone who was paid to record the laugh track mistakenly thinks something that isn't a joke actually is.

ANYWAY, I recommend shows on all networks and television stations, as well as all films, if they claim to be comedic, be produced by Chuck Lorre. Or Judd Apatow, if I'm feeling like something R-rated. Those guys know what Americans really want and really need: an opportunity to distract ourselves from thinking too long or too critically about our own lives, and the chance avoid laughing at our world and our selves with any semblance of honesty and authenticity.

10 January 2011

How to Fix Journalism

The media is the real problem in America. Consider how they handled the recent shooting in Tucson, AZ: rather than verify reports, they worried about who was going to be first to break the story. Which reminds me, if you had money on NPR, congratulations. I did not see that coming.

Not only did multiple network news sources incorrectly report Representative Giffords death when she was in fact, only gravely injured, but even Twitter and blogging communities— which you can always trust for accurate breaking news— got the story wrong. What's more, all coverage from all sources has been biased in one way or another. Simply despicable.

I know about this all too prevalent bias because, luckily, Glenn Beck has exposed the intent of the liberal media to blame this tragedy on Sarah Palin. Fortunately, the Huffington Post posted an infographic showing how this tragedy is really the fault of inflammatory rhetoric by Republicans. A Fox News report details the inflammatory rhetoric used by the New York Times in reporting the story about the Huffington Post infographic. Jon Stewart called out Fox News for their part in disseminating violent rhetoric in their report on the New York Times report on the Huffington Post infographic about Glenn Beck's coverage of the way various news sources reported the tragedy. Stephen Colbert called out Jon Stewart for his abusive words against Fox New and also for being short. At this point, my grasp on the series of events gets a little murky.

The point is that media is the problem. According to trusted sources, all trusted sources are biased in their reporting. I think we can all agree that that alone is enough to make a normal citizen with a normal mental disorder want to go on a normal shooting spree. The really bizarre thing is, why Safeway?

So, what do we do with the media? Clearly all this bias and causing national tragedies has got to stop. If they'd just objectively leak hundreds of state secrets like Wikileaks, we wouldn't have to have this discussion. But I think we all know that's not going to happen. How can we stop all this negative media influence?

We can't tell the media what to report or what not to say; that'd be a violation of the freedom of the press. Fortunately, there's nothing to stop us from declaring media organizations and personalities enemy combatants and pretending to give them secret trials so we can get on with hooking up a car battery to their genitals.

The media is responsible for just about every aspect of the most recent tragedy. It's almost like they pulled the trigger themselves. After all, there's no way a single individual could think up that kind of twisted plan; they'd need the resources of Rupert Murdoch and the dramatic sensibility of, say, a Snooki to pull off that kind of rampage.

The media caused not only our most recent national tragedy, but others before this as well. Think about it: where were you when the media reported that Kennedy had been shot? What about when you heard about 9/11? The War Between the States? That Bristol Palin lost Dancing With the Stars?

All of these stories were brought to us by media organizations, the reports filled with bias and violent language. But after recent events, how can we trust them? How do I know that they didn't just stage the moon landing to justify continued funding for NASA so they could eventual cause the Challenger disaster, all to silence a maverick schoolteacher?

That, my friends, is why we need to round up all purveyors of so-called "news" and ship them off to a detention center somewhere so they can be treated harshly and without regard for human rights. They haven't been honest with us. They've caused tragedies and brought us painful news. They need to pay for that.

It's time to make the media responsible for the crimes they may have caused others to commit. Let's get them in our crosshairs, take aim, and take them down. While we're at it, I've heard that Jesus guy is hanging out with some pretty unsavory sorts, so we'd better get him, too.