July 1, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court violent video games case + the Wisconsin Supreme Court "chokegate" story...

... melded into a brilliant segment on "The Daily Show":

The Daily Show - Moral Kombat
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The last thing Jon Stewart says here is incredibly cynical about courts. It's also very well set up by what has gone before and deserves both laughs and serious conversation.

93 comments:

Curious George said...

Brilliant? But Stewart said "Oh my God!" twice interlaced with the "f-bomb".

But maybe that was just yesterday's feigned outrage.

Chip S. said...

"Your politics shapes your reality."

This is an important first step for Stewart toward understanding how media bias can exist, even though the members of the media think it doesn't. Maybe someday he'll start questioning how his own preconceptions affect his perceptions.

Shouting Thomas said...

I don't know. Stewart's hipster wise ass thing never seems funny to me.

I can't ever recall being even slightly amused by one of his bits. I only see his stuff second hand, because I'm never moved to watch his show.

The smug hipster wise ass thing... hell, I've been listening to that for 45 years. It's predictable. The sex vs. violence thing is one of the favorite hipster wise ass dialogues. I've heard that one a couple of million times.

Nothing new here in terms of info. Re: the fighting judges... I still want to know what kind of fight to the death produces zero reports of scratches or injuries.

Mark O said...

Serious? He said he was a comedian. Take him at his word and stop giving him some sort of intellectual heft.

Shouting Thomas said...

Steward is a comedian like Jeneane Garofalo or Margaret Cho.

You know, those comedians who never say anything funny.

bagoh20 said...

Politics shapes reality, or at least the one you admit too.

Probably the rarest of virtues is to be able to resist this. Our system has no way of selecting for that virtue. It's a political system.

Does all the time and work spent on argument and building cases really change any judges minds far from where they would decide based on a one paragraph abstract of the case?

rcocean said...

How does Jon Stewart ensure his audience is made up entirely of braying jackasses?

WooHoo!!!

Pastafarian said...

4 minutes and 36 seconds; at least 1 full minute of which consisted of mute sneering at his own wit. This word "brilliant", I don't think it means what you think it means.

The faux-Scotsman Stewart (apparently so ashamed of his own ethnicity that he changed his last name to hide it) does make two great points, though:

I'd like any of you noble libertarians (ScottM) to watch that sequence where the woman is ripped in half crotch-first, while alive and conscious, and tell me how it's vital to our freedom that this content be made available to young children.

I'm not sure what sort of society it is you want to live in. Maybe you should consider moving to Saudi Arabia or Iran. I think more people would agree with you there, that this is perfectly appropriate entertainment for young boys; and you can live amongst men who grew up watching actual decapitations and stonings.

And Stewart's other point, one I've made many times: The courts are a sham. When you get 5-4 splits along party lines over the meaning of the phrase "...the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", a simple phrase consisting of clear English words, then you no longer have judges judging, you have representatives of a particular constituency spinning and twisting.

muddimo said...

(A) So why can a state not regulate distribution of violent video games to children? Serious question for the prof., I really want to know.

(B) I absolutely do believe that our politics shapes our reality now. Not sure this was always so much the case in the US. I think at one time our political views were determined primarily by our experiences, i.e. socioeconomic status, etc. We agreed on the facts (mostly) just not on the policy. Now, fact/truth/reality is no longer objective--truth is no longer a virtue to many, apparently. We are obligated to seek and adopt the most outrageous lies to demonstrate loyalty to our "team".

rcocean said...

I think Stewart is pretty funny - when his funny writers give him funny stuff to say and his staff puts up funny graphics.

But Stewart by himself? Not too funny.

5ac81c9e-a3ec-11e0-ad71-000bcdcb8a73 said...

Ann, I adore your blog but this Jon Stewart segment, like most of them, was low propaganda masquerading as supposedly witty commentary, wrapped in average humor.

I can't be the only one for whom Jon Stewart has worn out his comedic wlecome. The most engaging thing I've seen Jone Stewart in lately was his interview with Chris Wallace, where Wallace essentially outpaced him.

All that Stewart did here was to repeat some low-leevl talking points: The SCOTUS ruling on video game violence was inexplicable (it wasn't, and it substantially promoted the First Amendment) mostly because the opinion was written by Scalia (note photo, as if it was his decision alone).

And also, without quallification, a "report" that Prosser choked Bradley (no other circumstances mentioned) and that all of the witnessing Wisconsin Justices are dividing their impressions of the incident based along party lines. (We really and truly do not know that.)

This was not funny. Although Bill Leuders probably had a good laugh.

traditionalguy said...

In Obama's case his political views shape his reality 100%. He hellbent on remaking the USA into Castro's Cuba so that bad people do not away with capitalism on his watch.

Sixty Grit said...

Nice spam, Mr. Lonely. Hope you remain so.

X said...

while alive and conscious

pasta, I love you man, but no actual humans were in that image.

Browndog said...

Hmmm..

I was just over at Huffpo, and it seemed like the homepage was loaded with "What John Stewart said.." clips.

I guess if you're the one charged with replacing Walter Cronkite, it's important to get as much exposure as possible, for the good of the country--for the children--for America--for all of humanity.

muddimo said...

To all those who claim to find no humor in John Stewart's comedy: take a chill pill, have a Bloody Mary or something (it's not early), or do whatever else helps loosen your sphincter.

Even if you don't like his politics (I don't either) he is a very effective comedian--i.e. maybe it's you not him. (Don't let politics determine your reality.)

Scott M said...

Steward is a comedian like Jeneane Garofalo or Margaret Cho.

You know, those comedians who never say anything funny.


I don't ever recall seeing Stewart doing stand-up, although I'm sure he has. I would vehemently disagree with piling him in with Garofalo and Cho. Stewart has the ability to be funny with nothing more than facial expressions. Garogalo and Cho are dark periods in the history of comedy.

gerry said...

This is an important first step for Stewart toward understanding how media bias can exist, even though the members of the media think it doesn't.

Liberal bias reflects the real world.

Conservative bias is evil.

That's pretty much the whole argument, isn't it? The former must do everything possible to win ("It isn't over until we win") since the alternative is EVIL. Hell, a state supreme court justice may have tried to use a compliantly duplicitous press to defame a colleague.

Until that attitude is gone, serious conversation is not possible.

Regarding the violence in video, I seem to recall that in the 1950s there were congressional hearings about violence in fanatasy and sci-fi commics. What's the difference here? The graphical abilites of the technology?

More "we-know-what's-best-for-everyone-else" bushwa. In forty years, people will laugh at these concerns just as we laugh at 1950 congresscritter handwringing over comic books.

traditionalguy said...

If the GOP in Wisconsin has to stand behind Mighty Justice Prosser for 10 more years, then they had better get him into some counseling on how to appear less combative. Using a smile and a gentle tone of voice would cost him nothing, and would make him less vulnerable to the Queen Abrahamson's skillful manipulations. Winning Prosser's fights that need not have even been fights makes him like a bad tooth.

Pastafarian said...

X, I don't think it needs to be an actual human; it's fairly realistic and quite horrific.

Life is cheap in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, partly because young people are desensitized to death and violence. I don't want us to raise a generation of young men for whom life is cheap.

And I don't want to rely solely upon the judgment of their parents, many of which are drugged-up losers who don't give a damn what their children do all day. This impacts society at large, not just individuals.

And what exactly do we gain from this decision? It was only a ban on selling to minors, not a ban on the game itself.

Palladian said...

I've always been curious why the hip, cynical pose is so often coupled with a leftist political viewpoint. Invariably, hipster cynics vote for Democrats (or other leftists like Nader) and yet it seems to me that the general philosophy and public image of left-of-center political parties, such as the Democrat party, is embarrassingly naive and ripe for cynical derision. Read some of Obama's campaign orations; how could cynical hipsters have listened to such bland, faceless, cringe-inducing treacle and yet voted for the man in droves?

It's never made sense to me. Maybe it's similar to the hipster fondness for self-consciously hideous retro fashion, like the current fondness for those big, smoke-colored, rounded-framed 80's glasses- so absolutely, manifestly awful and stupid that it's crossed the nether frontier of eye-rollingly-uncool and become cool again.

gerry said...

Life is cheap in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, partly because young people are desensitized to death and violence.

Because of video games?

Pastafarian said...

gerry: "In forty years, people will laugh at these concerns..."

Yes, you're probably right. The coarsening of society will continue unabated. In forty years, children will probably cut up small puppies for amusement. Yay.

What do they call that guy that stands athwart history shouting "stop"? Pearl-clutching ninny, was it? Or nanny-state authoritarian?

No, wait; I think he's called a "conservative". You're not the only lonely one, Mr Lonely.

Pastafarian said...

gerry -- no, because of actual violence. But let's roll the dice and see if incredibly life-like digital violence, in which the viewer actively participates and disembowels his foes and then dances over their corpse, has the same effect.

Because otherwise we might have to show our ID when we purchase "Gut-ripper IV", and that's a real inconvenience.

Ann Althouse said...

"Brilliant? But Stewart said "Oh my God!" twice interlaced with the "f-bomb". But maybe that was just yesterday's feigned outrage."

Go back and reread the post you are referring to and see if you can find your mistake.

Hint: I never used the word outrage. I said:

"Am I the only one who takes more offense at the blurted phrase "Oh my God" (by Joe Scarborough) than the use of the word "dick" to explain the President's behavior? I think insulting the President is rough political discourse, but saying "Oh my God" is taking the Lord's name in vain."

See? It's comparative. If I said a light pinprick hurts me more than the touch of a feather, I'm not saying the pinprick is excruciating.

Reading "Althouse" is a challenge, but I am dedicated to raising you to a higher level.

Ann Althouse said...

"Take him at his word..."

Take a comedian at his word? Why would that make sense?

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't know. Stewart's hipster wise ass thing never seems funny to me. I can't ever recall being even slightly amused by one of his bits. I only see his stuff second hand, because I'm never moved to watch his show. "

Which is why your opinion here isn't very useful. How about watching the clip now and being honest about how good it is?

Chase said...

The most engaging thing I've seen Jone Stewart in lately was his interview with Chris Wallace, where Wallace essentially outpaced him.

You mean here

Actually, Stewart was so flustered by Wallace, he was essentially "spanked".

Stewart's Practice is called "Irony" which is essentially what every left wing comedian AND pundit thinks they are doing oh so well at today:
Olbermann, Maddow, Garafalo, Colbert, Stewart, the basic Gen X, "Friends" snark, "I am so much smarter than you, can you even these idiots" thing.


My college attending generation children tell me "Irony" is dead. Frankly, Stewart, et al is already too unhip for the current. My kids just watched Stewart with me the other night and continually rolled their eyes. I think they just felt they were spending time with their old man and enduring something their generation doesn't really find funny.

Shouting Thomas said...

Which is why your opinion here isn't very useful. How about watching the clip now and being honest about how good it is?

I watched the clip before I commented. In full.

gerry said...

Yes, you're probably right. The coarsening of society will continue unabated. In forty years, children will probably cut up small puppies for amusement. Yay.

You need to release your straw men. You'll sleep better.

Look, when our culture finds it unacceptable to suction out the viable human contents of uteruses as a means to achieve sexual and economic liberty, I may see some use in banning violent images. Until then, the coarsening can't get much worse than it already is.

traditionalguy said...

It is a shock to a lawyer's system to see fantasy violence spreading like a plague. As a lawyer we seek compensation for personal injuries that NEVER heal. Permanent loss results from seemingly minor injuries, while we see violence from Hollywood since the 1920s (think of the Dirty Harry series by Clint Eastwood.) The motto at insurance companies has been that death cases are cheap compared to surviving permanent disability cases that must pay for 50 years of loss. The fear of to the violence today is of a replaying of violent acts in a video game hundreds of times until a child's subconscious sees it as normal in a world where we have recently thrown off the restraints of Christian as fast as the Government can pretends that religion is unconstitutional...I guess under the Commerce Clause, because the First Amendment says the exavt opposite, and they know it.

RonF said...

Jon Stewart is a funny guy. Sometimes. I have no problem with Jon Stewart. He has a particular point of view, he makes no bones about it and he's quite effective in presenting it.

What I have a problem with is people watching him and thinking they're watching the news. But that's not his fault, that's theirs (and their parents, given the age of his audience).

Shouting Thomas said...

As to the actual merits of depictions of porn vs. violence.

The cat is completely out of the bag. Neither depictions of porn or violence can be effectively censored.

Everything is there on the internet. All a five year old kid needs to do to watch XXX porn is to click the button that says he/she is 18 years old.

And, if his/her parents block the porn in his/her house, he/she can go to a friend's house.

gerry said...

But let's roll the dice and see if incredibly life-like digital violence, in which the viewer actively participates and disembowels his foes and then dances over their corpse, has the same effect.

This sentiment is precisely what motivated congressional hearings in the 1950s about comic books. The only difference is the technology.

In fact, because videos are so much more graphical, they dumb-down imagination: comic books probably caused the reader to dwell more intently upon the violence depicted because they encouraged thought, rather than mere reaction. In that way, comic books may have been a greater threat than videos.

Pastafarian said...

gerry: "...when our culture finds it unacceptable to suction out the viable human contents of uteruses as a means to achieve sexual and economic liberty, I may see some use in banning violent images."

But until Roe V. Wade is overturned, we'll continue to allow children to practice virtual murder and mayhem in graphic detail that requires active participation, as a punishment for society, or something.

That'll learn'em.

I think you have Descartes before the horse. If you allow a generation of children to grow up with a life-is-cheap attitude, you have a much, much slimmer chance of ever overturning Roe.

Lincolntf said...

I wonder if concerned Ancient Romans were afraid that performing mass slaughters in front of massive audiences would lead to violent video games?

dreams said...

I don't care for Stewart or Letterman, I guess you have to be a liberal. They see themselves as being cool.

Pastafarian said...

gerry, if you don't see an obvious difference, not just of degree but of kind, between a pixelly hand-drawn Batmant punching Joker with a "BOFF!" written sound-effect in a balloon over the action; and the ripped-apart-at-the-crotch shot in the Stewart video, particularly when the player probably has to move buttons on a control pad to cause that ripping...then we're just talking past each other at this point.

When they not only include ribs and vertebra and a spleen, but they have physics in the game realistic enough that the spleen gives a little "bounce" when it hits the floor, that's not really the same thing as Spiderman cocooning someone with web. You know?

Curious George said...

AA: I know you didn't use the word outrage. I was being sarcastic.

But your logic doesn't hold up. A person saying "Oh my god" in response to another's using rude language towards the POTUS is deemed worse and "offends" you because it is taking the "Lord's name in vain". But Stewart's use of "oh my God"...multiple times...and interlaced with obscenities, for the purpose of comedy is simply deemed brilliant. See, that is also "comparative."

Add the fact that in Scarborough's case it was a reactionary response to a rude and unexpected comment...in Stewart's case a scripted use of words to get a reaction.

Reading Althouse is not much a challenge...well other than Carol Hermann's posts ;-)...but your logic certainly can be. But I am dedicated to commenting so that you can raise to a higher level.

rmblam said...

I got a kick out of the feminist double standard being employed in the Bradley attack on Prosser story. It appears Bradley rushed Prosser and he fended her off. Feminists/leftists are outraged because they want to believe that Prosser "choked" a woman. You see, because women are soft, delicate, and angelic. And for purposes of the left here, unequal. Had this been an altercation between two male justices, and one rushed the other with one fending off or even restraining the attacker. No story.

Stewart point at the end was interesting. Perception is reality to some. The left know how to use perception shaping to create reality. Especially when reality does not suit their purposes.

edutcher said...

What dreams said.

Ann may be a fan of Stewart, but, seeing the clip, now I know why I don't watch him.

The line, "Your politics define reality", is something he thinks applies to everybody else but him.

As Chris Wallace proved.

gerry said...

If you allow a generation of children to grow up with a life-is-cheap attitude, you have a much, much slimmer chance of ever overturning Roe.

Roe is the horse. We already have more than a generation of people who think life is cheap, although the Roe Effect - which is the killing of the unborn offspring of pro-abortion women before they are born - may affect that in the years to come.

AprilApple said...

No mention of Justice Bradley coming after Prosser with her fists.

AprilApple said...

Of course liberal liars will lie for their cause. Even liberal judges are in on the lie-to-win game.

Carol_Herman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

The obvious critique: he assumes the Wisconsin Supreme Courts justice's who witnessed "the event" are divided "along party lines" as to their impressions.

Its funny, I had a different impression. But who knows?

(PS I don't get the connection between the video games and the Wisc Supremes)

Anders said...

I like it when John goes philosophical on us.

I think that you could make the case that, regardless of where it originated, the disdain for the "reality-based community" really has become the new normal condition of the political class in America.

Cedarford said...

The side debate about video violence is nice, but Althouse is right that Stewart concludes with a deeply cynical and sadly accurate conclusion about the credibility of lawyers dressed in robes. So tainted by personal politics that they are unable to deliver objective findings of fact and law, even when it is a "choke or no-choke" call right in front of their eyes.

America has deteriorated as a nation. Part of that rot as a nation is from ossification and loss of nimbleness in supplicating most major decisions of war and peace to "the courts" and lawyers dressed in robes. Many who we are 99% sure on how they will vote in any court decisions based on their underlying ideology (Thomas, Souter,Ginsburg, Sotomayor, many lower Court justices purely on who appointed them or their true ideology surfacing that was hidden to their appointers - ).

When we get someone "in the middle" we sometimes find a vapid thinker that is in the middle purely because they enjoy being the person both political sides of judges involved wine and dine..they relish the media and the Europeans on their two-month summer vacations lobbying them. The vapid, poor reasoning Sandra Day O'Connor, the diffident and loving it Anthony Kennedy.

We are now in a period where we deep down know that one of the most important reasons to elect a President..even one that is more likely to fail in office that the other sides candidate...is to get that permanent Democratic lawyer or Republican lawyer in Fed Courts.

Martha said...

Curious George:
Reading Althouse is not much a challenge...well other than Carol Hermann's posts ;-)...but your logic certainly can be. But I am dedicated to commenting so that you can raise to a higher level.

Oh SNAP! that hurts........

LarsPorsena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

gerry said...

If you allow a generation of children to grow up with a life-is-cheap attitude, you have a much, much slimmer chance of ever overturning Roe.

Roe is the horse. We already have more than a generation of people who think life is cheap, although the Roe Effect - which is the killing of the unborn offspring of pro-abortion women before they are born - may affect that in the years to come.


Supposedly, abortion isn't as fashionable and abortions themselves are way down.

This may be the effect of ultrasound, but the Roe Effect will intensify it. The specter of ZeroCare and its death panels make the idea that "this could be you" a lot more concrete than what the feminazis fantasize as a blob of protoplasm.

But I don't doubt Dr Berwick is counting on that view of life being cheap.

The Crack Emcee said...

That's probably the first Daily Show segment that's had me freely laughing in years. It captured all the absurdity within our system, and did so in the hoped-for, goofily intelligent, manner I used to expect.

I almost hate to say it, but "Bravo."

Scott M said...

Supposedly, abortion isn't as fashionable and abortions themselves are way down.

This may be the effect of ultrasound


Just wait until all the OB's start carrying 3D printers in their offices and can hand you a little plastic representation of the human growing inside you.

LarsPorsena said...

Blogger LarsPorsena said...

"...Which is why your opinion here isn't very useful. How about watching the clip now and being honest about how good it is?.."

I just watched it and in all honesty, can't see the difference between it and all the rest of the 'not so good' stuff Stewart does. His bug-eyed mugging for the camera is always the same.

7/1/11 10:47 AM

Browndog said...

What educator said...

Further, the question is not whether or not Stewart is funny.

He is.

Bill Maher used to be. Hell, Olberman had a sense of humor when he first started Countdown.

The question is, does The Stewart Perspective rise to the level of having value beyond just watching his show?

Must we promote it as so valuable any blog worth their salt must analyze and discuss?

From comedian to newsman to quintessential philosopher...

John Stewart has a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell...

dbp said...

The obvious thing Stewart is not taking into account is that one or more of these judges could be lying.

Their judgment of what happened might not be clouded by their political outlooks at all.

Fen said...

Can't watch the late night comedians. All the laughs sound fake. Its like the same laugh track being played over and over again.

If they took away the laugh tracks, you would be prompted to find him funny. And you wouldn't. Its a con.

Fen said...

No mention of Justice Bradley coming after Prosser with her fists.

Of course not. Even Garage has to pretend he never heard of it.

Instead, they equate incidental contact in self-defense to Matt Hughes applying a triangle choke-hold.

Fuckin lying weasels.

Freeman Hunt said...

That was great. And I generally don't even like that show.

Chip Ahoy said...

No.

Too bad for me then. I'm having epistemological closure over here. Due to too much Jon Stewart's style of combing and picking, misrepresenting, mocking and mugging, "this damaging fraction we culled does not compute when presented as representing the whole," bemused mug, canned laughter, seal-like wet flapper applause. There's only so much a boy can take and I've had my fill long ago. I keep checking and it keeps being the same thing, so I put down my hoofie on this one. No Rally for Sanity, no O'Reilly interview, no Wallace interview, no purported moment of brilliance. Jon Stewart, you are dead to me. But thank you for offering.

Christy said...

I found the clip amusing, but couldn't he have made it even funnier by including a bit about an enraged Bradley coming at Prosser with fists flailing? This is why Stewart is ultimately a fail for me. I like even handed snark. Obvious bias is predictable and I like humor to surprise me.

Browndog said...

I'd like to see Stewart tackle this (or Althouse):

"A federal appeals court today struck down Proposal 2, the Michigan referendum that banned affirmative action in college admissions, employment and contracting, setting up another U.S. Supreme Court showdown on the issue."

“It’s a tremendous victory,” Detroit attorney George Washington said today, shortly after the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that Proposal 2 was unconstitutional.

“Affirmative action is now legal in college admissions in Michigan and that means thousands of black, Latin and native American students who would have been excluded from our best undergraduate and graduate programs will now be admitted,” Washington said."
-Detroit Free Press

Scott M said...

“Affirmative action is now legal in college admissions in Michigan and that means thousands of black, Latin and native American students who would have been excluded from our best undergraduate and graduate programs will now be admitted,” Washington said."

I notice he didn't mention white women. I wonder what his agenda is.

Moose said...

Sorry - low hanging fruit. He went for a comedic delivery of unfunny material. Stewart is a boob.

Moose said...

So, Ann's trolling for people to agree with her on the how brilliant Stewart is. Not contrary opinions.

Not good, Ann.

Deborah said...

I've always been curious why the hip, cynical pose is so often coupled with a leftist political viewpoint. This is something I frequently wonder since I am subjected on a daily basis to the crumbs of wisdom dispensed by such a person. They just assume that either everyone agrees with their point of view, or that we will be in awe of anything they say because of their intelligence. When what they are is merely glib and tiresome.

wv: trail.

Kansas City said...

"You're politics shape your reality" is exactly right for far too many policians, judges and pundits (and even Stewart sometimes).

It shows up repeatedly, but most recently and most glaringly in how democrats opposed Bush on war related efforts and now support Obama on essentially the same efforts.


Pundits also are bad. Dionne is a great example. The poeple on TV are typicaly bad, altough last night on O'Reilly, Joe Trippi was honest, as was the blonde who was formerly Bush's press secretary. George Will and O'Reilly are two honest men. Not many others.

Kansas City said...

Politicians on abortion are another example. Virtually every democrat sees it one way and virtually every republican sees it the other way. There is no possibility those could be honest assessment of actual viewpoints. It is all political, with parties taking a position to secure support from interest groups. Shameful on such important social and moral issues as abortion and national defense.

rcocean said...

Note, after the commercial skip to about the 2:50 - that's where the funny stuff on Bradley starts.

And its a waste of time to debate who's funny. I know people who think 'Ishtar' was hilarious.

FloridaSteve said...

Ummm "politics shapes reality" is supposed to be a controversial idea? Since when? How can it not? If it didn't we wouldn't have the fractures that we have.

There is only one reality. Everything else is just perspective.

traditionalguy said...

Baby Boomers like Stewart because his show is a TV version Mad Magazine. He is Alfred E. Neuman giving us the news and analysis. The magic is that Stewart's style begs for viewers to see far more truth on current topics than NPR or the Alphabet Networks style allows.

andinista said...

Pastafarian advocates government content control: "I'd like any of you noble libertarians to watch that sequence [of human torture], and tell me how it's vital to our freedom that this content be made available to young children."

First, answer the basic question: should our unresponsive, corrupt, Federal government censor information for the good of the people? If you answer "Yes", we're done. But before you answer, remember this: the Feds are a blunt hammer: they can do nothing well, nothing with precision, they can only apply massive force. They will simply prohibit all controversial content. And you know, controversial content will include criticism direct or implied of the ruling class.

The much more interesting discussion is over on the "No" side. Now the 50 States have to decide. But the 50 States are no better at this than the Feds are. So it devolves to the cities. And the cities regulate the snot out of the adult entertainment business.

So the rest devolves to The People. And what you're afraid of is that your fellow citizens are barbarians who will raise their wretched spawn to be more barbarians. They must be stopped!

Or, you can control your child's access to the Internet and TV. Ignore their pleas and whines. You are a parent. Be one! Go to Church with your squalling brats and make them behave. Say prayers with them at night and read them the timeless stories from the Bible. As your children get older, read them the timeless stories of right vs. wrong, of Beowulf and King Arthur and the Odyssey and the Brothers Grimm. There's gore aplenty there, and moral lessons to be learnt. When they join Soccer and Football and baseball, be a coach, tough but fair. When they join Scouts, go camping and backpacking. Take them hunting. First rabbits, teach them to gut and clean them. Then, wild pigs. Let them hear the horrible death squeals from a .308 slug, and get their arms bloody as you clean and butcher the boar or sow to put food on the family table. Finally, make them backpack a 60-lb hindquarter of a 300-lb elk back to the car. They won't want to watch gory content, they'll have already had a bellyful.

In other words, be an example to your community, and show your community how your kids can be tough, civilized, and fair. You know what? The barbarians will want to be like you!

Sisyphus said...

I only wish Stewart had taken the next step and done an animated "reproduction" of what might have occurred in "Chokegate" using the initial Mortal Kombat footage.

andinista said...

To summarize, Pastafarian complains that the Judges rule (and it's true, of course) based on their politics, and not on bearing true faith and allegiance to the Constitution.

It's not just Judges. They get this crap sandwich from the Legislature, signed by the Executive. In spite of the absolute language in the Constitution ("make no law", "shall not be infringed"), here's a law that does. Two branches of the Govmt have already abandoned the Constitution for factional expediency. Men are not perfect. Judges are weak. If they over-rule, they'll get the Andrew Jackson treatment, and their power will be at an end. To preserve the Union, they must find a way to reconcile and balance this crap sandwich law with all the other Constitutional clauses.

They say something like: "Our Jurisprudence does not recognize the existence of absolute rights". So as long as the Congress has a "good enough" reason, and the Judges can still be convinced that the government's powers are not yet unlimited, the law is OK. The Constitution has become an inferential guide, not a prescription.

The Fourth American Republic will be born when we elect a Congress and an Executive that once again bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution as it is written, rescind these contrary laws, and return Liberty to the People.

From Inwood said...

Prof A

"laughs & serious consideration"

Newsflash: It has been getting such for years on thought-periodicals, Blogs, Talk Radio, & on sites Like Media Research Center.

Please don't confuse Stewart's repeating something axiomatic with a new & clever insight.

Anyway, I can't get through Stewart's mugging. Reminds me of Uncle Miltie or Frank Fontaine. Or Clarabelle. Showing my age.

tfmaguire42 said...

Stewart's entire court schtick here presumes that the divided court is divided along party lines--which may be true, but he offers no evidence.

Typically, he just assumes what is needed for the punchline and the barking seals who make up his audience laugh and clap thinking happy thoughts of how much smarter they are than everybody else.

Drew said...

Stewart's just a Democratic Party whore. He's just the court jester for the Obama Monarchy. Ignore him.

FloridaSteve said...

Too bad he wasn't this clever with his "good friend" Anthony Wiener.

Chris Althouse Cohen said...

Finish him!

jamboree said...

Seriously, why is that incredibly cynical? I'd say it's obvious and I don't mean that in an "incredibly cynical" way.

cokaygne said...

AMEN!

The Crack Emcee said...

Leaving the comedy aside for a moment:

For those of us who have been following events in Wisconsin closely, with Ann and Meade, take note of what Stewart says and what he leaves out. This is the level of "coverage" The Daily Show offers.

Pass it around.

Hank said...

Doesn't anybody else find it troubling that the justices who witnessed the alleged choking have split along party lines? I'm cynical enough to believe that one side is lying for political reasons. (Also, I have clerked at a state supreme court--not Wisconsin).

SukieTawdry said...

So why don't they set up a rating system for video games like we have for movies? Games rated "R" can only be sold to a minor if a parent or guardian is present. Games rated "NC-17" can't be sold to minors at all. Why is it okay to prohibit the sale of a movie ticket, but not a video game?

Patrick said...

When does a comedian crossover into being a political commentator and when does a political commentator cross over into being a comedian? Probably if they affect voting patterns. I abhore the gore. won't watch it. I don't want it associated in my mind with humor.

I did chuckle just a little at the end where Stewart makes funs of trusted adults who feel the need to be partisan.

I think part is what damns the leadership in the court. no one wants to be a person involved in that type of court. It would affect all their decisions whether they realize it or not. The type of t-shirt you wear could get you a jail sentence or set you free.

In terms of America. FAIL...

Youngblood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Youngblood said...

Sukie,

There is a rating system for video games; it's called the ESRB and it's just like the MPAA rating system in that it's voluntary and not backed by the force of law.

Youngblood said...

"Life is cheap in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, partly because young people are desensitized to death and violence. I don't want us to raise a generation of young men for whom life is cheap."

I'll reiterate what I said in the other thread on the same topic a few days ago:

About a decade ago, David Grossman, a retired Army Major and psychologist, said exactly what you are saying here.

Unfortunately for him (and your argument), the violent crime rate for youth and adults was declining at the time and was on the verge of a nose dive.

Oh, and by the way...

Game stores do actually check IDs and will not sell games with certain ratings to children without a parent present.

SukieTawdry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SukieTawdry said...

Thanks for the answer, Youngblood. In view of it and even though I consider many of these games deplorable, I'm satisfied with the system and the ruling. Individual responsibility is a necessary function of freedom, a messy business at best.

Youngblood said...

Sukie,

On the off chance that you check this thread again, I'd like to say one more thing:

In their proper context, Mortal Kombat fatalities are intended as "gallows absurdity", and I found the clip Stewart used to be hilarious -- even without his commentary on it. (I have actually employed similar hyper-violent imagery in my own work.)

At the same time, there are sequences in the film Titanic that make me turn away, and I have a very difficult time watching films about the Holocaust.

Not only that, but when I served in Iraq and was issued a 240B (a machine-gun) and set loose on the streets of Baghdad, I was perfectly capable of making moral decisions about the proper use of actual violence.

Fantasy violence and actual violence are different, and they have vastly different effects on people.

james said...

yo guys, your comments are making Stewart's case: politics DO shape reality. i doubt that was your intent. so is Stewart correct? that's a cavity-fill.

james said...

yo AprilApple -- if you look in your rearview mirror you'll find that "lying" is a core bipartisan trait. think about it,