we are young and stupid and raised by wolves

(this is not real life. these are not pictures of me. I am 20-something years old and a woman and passionate about politics and fanfiction and, as far as you are concerned, I only exist online.)

 

Jon Stewart SLAYED last night.

it’s crazy how much my anticipation of Jon Stewart’s return from a hiatus builds, especially when so much shit is going down. And of course Jon’s last show was right before American airstrikes resumed in Iraq, Michael Brown was killed, and Robin Williams died — then everything that happened after that

and Jon’s off for two freaking weeks, and I start writing his first opening monologue in my head and wait to see how much it’ll actually match

so I was certain he’d jump from all the horror stories to the ice bucket challenge, maybe with a comedic misunderstanding that the purpose is to numb people’s brains from the horror of the world

AND THEN he ends up pre-empting even the spinning globe intro with a little video of a “Ferguson protest challenge” that was so, so apt

the rest of his show, all the way until the interview, was devastatingly on point as well. I most admire him when he uses a gag to pack in numerous stories (especially ones that aren’t getting as much attention) and make a larger point — in this case, how NOWHERE in America is it safe right now to just be a black man standing around. And also the infuriating compilation of clips from Fox News, stuff I’d managed to avoid and that make me SO ANGRY — he had some very cutting rejoinders for those, too. also Michael Che is doing well.

John Oliver won’t be your therapist: How he torpedoed the reassuring tropes of fake news

So I saw this with a different summary elsewhere, more aggressively phrased about how John Oliver was “schooling” Stewart and Colbert, which set my teeth on edge, as do headlines/summaries that are so blatantly attention-seeking.

The article itself doesn’t overshoot quite so much, but there is this reaction to John’s segment last Sunday about the payday loan racket:

This was precisely the kind of story that would never appear on a fake news show. First, because it’s not part of the idiotic news cycle that most of those shows wind up aping (i.e., there’s no “hook”). And second, because it happens to be about the segment of our population most underrepresented in the media: poor people.

Um, no. To point to just one example from this year, Jon Stewart did this powerful segment (be sure to watch the second half that automatically follows) about Fox News’ outrage that poor people use food stamps to eat seafood. “What’s with the fucking fish?”

I’m glad that John’s format on HBO lets him tackle larger issues in such an in-depth way, and yes it does let him do things that Jon and Stephen can’t do as easily, but it’s not exactly a refutation of “fake news.” I disagree with the author that Jon and Stephen are more of “court jesters” looking to ease our pain with laughter. I regularly leave their shows with plenty of outrage over what’s going on, glad to be informed. 

Besides, the whole premise is a little ludicrous since John hasn’t done fifteen episodes yet, while Jon’s been at his show for sixteen years and Stephen for nine.

Robin Williams on The Daily Show

I don’t know why the Daily Show doesn’t have these listed on their homepage right now, like they did after Heath Ledger’s death… anyway, here are Robin Williams’ appearances:

  • 2002: part 1, part 2 - talking about Rumsfeld and the drive toward the Iraq War; one of his latest movies; and the Tour de France (back when people cheered on Lance Armstrong)
  • 2006 - promoting RV, then more Bush-bashing, Schwarzenegger, and living in California
  • 2010 - onto Sarah Palin; his recent heart surgery; and the site’s description is “Robin Williams suggests doing a little research before putting bottles of vodka and tequila in his gift basket.”
  • 2013 - bike riding in NYC; more about his struggle with addictions, and relapse, and his new sobriety; and he complimented Jon’s yet-unreleased film

Jon was on point last night, and his opening segment with his correspondents screaming at him every time he mentioned Israel, was a really great model of the insane commentary going on right now

(I particularly liked Jordan screaming, “SELF-HATING JEW!”)

The Daily Show last night was devastatingly well done, though I didn’t laugh much. The blatant xenophobia and disgustingly eager politicization and distortion on display in the media (particularly Fox News, of course) is just so goddamn ugly, it makes me sick to be in the same world as these people. But Jon got in some devastating hits:

"If you’re looking for a bearded guy who’s killed a lot of Americans —" *points at Lincoln Memorial*

Steve Doocy: “[Bergdahl’s] father told him, right before he went missing, to ‘Obey your conscience’ — which sounds, to some, like whatever you want to do, go ahead.”
Jon: “Yeah, sure, it sounds that way to some…specifically to those who don’t know what a conscience is.”

Part two is here, this is actually a continuous segment. Part two covers the horrible reaction to Bergdahl’s father speaking Pashto. I just. Why can’t anyone point out that Muslims have died for this country, too.

But thankfully Jon concluded with the contrast of the latest shooting (by white folks, natch, claiming alliance with Clive Bundy), in Las Vegas:

"Oh, well, don’t worry about that. Because we just need to protect this country from terrorists…with beards."

And part three tears apart the astounding hubris of “I would have done this better.”

June 2, 2014 - Robert De Niro

Jon’s back!  And he returned with two excellent segments addressing two issues I feel particularly strongly about: gun control and those anti-vaccine fuckers.

"So let’s pretend this current VA crisis is a current anomaly created by one unusually callous and ineffective president, but that would be just pretend. Or, on this Memorial Day weekend eve, we can finally admit that America has had for over 200 years a great bipartisan tradition of honoring those who have fought for our freedom by fucking them over once they give their guns back." 

Fifty years from now, when historians are explaining why Jon Stewart had the influence and respect he had in the first part of the 21st century, this segment with its compacted history lesson will be included among their examples.

Seriously, this Memorial’s Day, consider sharing this video with any veterans you know.

This is why I like O’Reilly. He’s like Fox News’ Incredible Hulk. Sure — usually just a mindlessly aggressive force of destruction, but pointed in the right direction…he becomes a hero.

Jon Stewart