July 12, 2017

"Humor is now: the news."

Says comedy expert Scott Adams, explaining how humor changes every generation, how the humor of today is not any movie or comedian, but the news itself, and using the Don Jr. thing as a great example of his thesis.

84 comments:

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Did he say that with a colon, or is that fake humor news?

Ann Althouse said...

It's my punctuation, done in an effort to capture the way it was said.

rhhardin said...

Comedy expert without a working video, on my computer.

Achilles said...

The news stopped being reported generations ago. Pop culture started taking over as progressives took over Hollywood. They insert government and politics into every aspect of life they can.

When your life revolves around government so does humor and entertainment.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

So what he's really saying is that the president is a joke.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Pop culture started taking over as progressives took over Hollywood.

I get it! Now I get it! I understand conservative resentment toward the culture!

Basically they realized that they couldn't compete in entertainment. (Naturally. Is someone who's always uptight about preserving the past ever entertaining? Of course not! Does being closed off to new ideas make someone entertaining? Ha ha.)

So, having thrown in the towel on "controlling" the culture, conservatives decided that they couldn't even know when to take themselves seriously, and nominated a game show host to lead their party!

Trolling, to them, is an intellectual imperative. They couldn't understand when and when not to take the larger culture seriously, let alone progressives or liberals or moderates, and so decided to make a joke of everything they do and stand for.

Balanced budgets matter! (Except when we're in office). Staying out of foreign entanglements matters! (Except when we're in office). Cutting off the billionaires matters! (Except when we're in office).

I now understand the secret to conservative incoherence, and why they don't even believe what they say. They are unable to take themselves or even their own purported issues seriously, and have made a joke out of everything they ever said they stood for.

Eureka moment here!

Michael K said...

Tucker Carlson is really good at making the guests he has look amusing.

His expressions when listening to some outrageous comments by a guest are comedy gold.

mccullough said...

Trump is funny. The news can't compete with him

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

His expressions when listening to some outrageous comments by a guest are comedy gold.

No, he just looks befuddled.

Which is usually is. After all, he doesn't even understand why the Jon Stewart/ Crossfire kerfuffle went down the way it did. More than 10 years later.

He just gets off on explaining his inability to understand things, and then laughs about it.

Ha ha.

mccullough said...

Jon Stewart isn't funny. He's too earnest

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Like a confused dog, Tucker (which rather sends like a dog's name, ironically), raises an eyebrow, perks up an ear, and hunches his shoulders.

He then bursts out in laughter at his shortcoming, smiles, wags his tail, runs over to his owner (prying eye of network producer) and knows everything will be all right!

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Jon Stewart isn't funny. He's too earnest.

You think comedy requires a lie? This is to fundamentally misunderstand comedy.

An exaggeration, yes. A lie - absolutely not.

There has never been a successful comedian who didn't value honesty. To not get this is an interesting confession for why conservatives generally fail at comedy - as well as entertainment and media generally.

buwaya said...

But Ritmo, you aren't very funny, earnest as you are.
Are you sure you aren't a conservative?
Laslo is funny, but on the whole not terribly earnest - whether he is a conservative or not I can't say.
Stewart isn't very funny.
The Three Stooges and the Marx Brothers were funny, and not a bit earnest.
Well, I suppose they were earnest about something, but not a bit of it in their acts.

Lucien said...

Left Bank: Is "Did he say that with a colon?" a polite way of asking: "Was he just talking out of his ass?"?

Ann Althouse said...

The video at the link s just Adams. There's another post today about the Tucker Carlson interview. Please discuss the new video here.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buwaya said...

Mark Twain was funny, and often earnest, but its not always clear that he was earnest when he was being funny, or what it was he was being earnest about.
He wasn't all that funny when he was being earnest.
That's one reason I think my wife doesn't like Twain - she doesn't get that earnest-or-not thing.

For example,

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3189/3189-h/3189-h.htm#journalism

I always thought this was wildly funny, and so do the boys, and none of us has a bit of a clue what was earnest about it, if anything. One of the things my wife doesn't get. She doesn't like the Three Stooges either, so that's a clue.

Michael K said...

Reading material for Ritmo.

He won't read it , of course.

People who’d spent the past 12 hours frothing at the mouth gradually come to realize that their initial furor was probably overblown, and that a more sober look at the actual facts at hand reveal that the anti-Trump chorus probably got ahead of itself…again.

Just like my dog used to do. Never caught a bird but was never discouraged.

Michael K said...

" its not always clear that he was earnest when he was being funny, "

No man's life, liberty or property is safe while Congress is in session.

Feste said...

Delightful. Thanks for this link.

Adams: “... not a good comedy movie in awhile (year), for adults ... movies fail hard.”

Without Googling to search and find, and going by recall only on my recent views, is this true?

William said...

Nothingate is a good term for this scandal. I find it boring and intermittently irritating rather than funny. De gustibus, but I suppose the creator of Dilbert is a better judge of humor than I am.......Carl Bernstein is definitely an eyesore, but Carl can take some comfort in the fact that he was played in the movies by Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson. The screen version of Carl is definitely the better one to watch......Woodward never topped Watergate, but he had some best selling books and broke some stories. Carl was a one hit wonder, but he knew how to milk that one hit. In a way, he kept his record pure by not engaging in other, lesser feats of journalism. He's definitely got legend status on the left. Legends don't need no haircuts.

William said...

If I were Chelsea, I'd be extremely cautious if a couple named Boris and Natasha try to peddle some lurid info on Trump. It's probably a Project Veritas sting.

William said...

But she'll fall for it anyway.

glenn said...

"Just like my dog used to do. Never caught a bird but was never discouraged."

Now you have it.

David said...

Adams is an "expert" now?

Beginning of the end.

rhhardin said...

It's on youtube here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D-82v2nNew

Feste said...

Apply the lesson.

To - "The prayer for Donald Trump."

The group laying hands on Trump are receiving a divine revelation from the Voice, “the Lord showed us beware, because the Empire [of Pussy Galore] is about to Strike Back, and grab you with Satanic Pussy-Teeth, since your whole life is modeled after Goldfinger.” Oh wait, was that the Lord? - or some imposter tweeting through RealJesus@?

Or, “His Holiness showed us that you are President, and we are not.”

Or, “praise God, praise God, praise God, Jesus really loved that CNN-takedown video, church attendance is up, offerings are overflowing in gratitude, our political influence is erecting, and His Holy Butt will be chaffed if you do not make another takedown video for all the churches, because our sermons are so fucking boring. Our lord! Our savior!”

Okay. Weak and pathetic efforts, I know.

News is just not by bag, baby. It’s just more funny to ignore it and be alone with all my interior voices of inner speech.

tim maguire said...

The best political commentary during the Obama years came from Jon Stewart and SNL. A low bar, for sure, but still...

Sample Commenter said...

I don't know Toothless. This is hysterical. It's a picture of the "Russian Mob Lawyer" siting next to Obama's former ambassador to Russia at a Congressional Hearing.

Let's reprise Sunsong's quote from Washington Monthly first:

To put a kind of broader perspective on this, try to imagine a United States president who would be unconcerned about a $230 million tax fraud and who would shrug when members of the FBI beat a whistleblower to death in prison. Then imagine that this president would have the deceased posthumously (and wrongfully) convicted in court. Then this president would hire a lawyer for the criminals and make her his point person for lobbying against the resulting sanctions. And, finally, that he would send this mob lawyer to Trump Tower where she would be accepted with eager and open arms."

Now for the punch line:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/07/11/curiousor-and-curiousor-natalia-veselnitskaya-pictured-with-obama-officals-in-dc-on-june-14th-2016/

She's sitting with Democrat campaign mouthpiece and MSNBC talking head 5 days after the meeting.

Admit it Ritmo, if the shoe were on the other foot, you would think that this was hilarious. Same as I do now.

Lem said...

It's happened to me. I was shadow banned when I was more active on twitter. The reason I could tell I was was a feature of twitter itself told me so. Every tweet has a "tweet activity" log. It keeps tabs on people who are seeing the tweet, how many are clicking on it and commenting on it and so forth. And from time to time I would see my stats just dramatically drop down to nothing for periods of up to 12 hours. This was when I was in Florida and I was literally on line almost all day.

Sample Commenter said...

The best political commentary during the Obama years came from Jon Stewart and SNL. A low bar, for sure, but still...

By "best" you mean the stuff you agreed with the most, I'm sure you meant to say.

Sample Commenter said...

was shadow banned when I was more active on twitter.

That's because liberals are so confident of their ideas.

FullMoon said...

Big trouble, Tom Arnold releases video of Trump using N word


Trump uses N word repeatedly

Sample Commenter said...

Oh shit.

rhhardin said...

So Dilbert is saying that news is an entertainment choice, for him, as a guy, who would watch soap opera to laugh at it.

Once it's established that news is an entertainment choice and nothing to do with public debate, the guys will stop watching it for laughs and ignore it, as will everybody except their original core, soap opera women.

But now it's not part of the public debates any longer.

That is the endpoint sought with Trump.

You can't change the news. They need the audience, and it's a soap opera audience. It's that or nothing.

There's no market for hard news to pay daily bills. It can't change.

rhhardin said...

I used the N-word repeatedly as a kid. It's part of eenie meenie miney moe.

Michael K said...

"Trump uses N word repeatedly"

That video is Maddow on election night. Is this a joke ?

rhhardin said...

What's his face car guy got fired for saying just eenie meenie miney moe, over some arbitrary choice he had to demonstrate as arbitrary on the air.

How they knew he wasn't thinking of the tiger version I don't know.

rhhardin said...

You stop using eenie meenie miney moe for choices among two things pretty quickly because it always comes out the same way.

Be said...

I don't think I could ever be in a relationship with someone who has the TV on all the time. Or the radio, for that matter.

Radio: Sound, as I have a background in that sensory area, is always going to take precedent over other senses, which is going to cause me to be inattentive during coupling.

TV: Really? You want to eat me out while I'm on my back, facing a wall of screens broadcasting Rachel Maddow? Seriously?

Sample Commenter said...

That video is Maddow on election night. Is this a joke ?

Yes, and the best one of the bunch is the Canadian Broadcast Corp realizing that Hillary is going to lose. "Does he even read?" LOL

rhhardin said...

The trouble with "negro" would be that it puts a spondee in the iambic ditty and slows it down.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

I thought Alexander Pope criticized a spondee as halting a poem but it turns out that was an alexandrine

A needless Alexandrine ends the song, / That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.

rhhardin said...

I'm sitting in rural Ohio with next to the screen door and some neighbor, who would have to be at least 300 feet away, is drying laundry with a dryer sheet.

rhhardin said...

Ohio has no lapse rate, is the problem. Perfume hugs the ground.

MikeR said...

There are a bunch of videos at the link, many quite long. Which one is it?

Guildofcannonballs said...

"cookiegetter Posts: 2
September 2010
Thanks, I'll pass that info to my mechanic. I'm not about to climb under and work on it, I would rather set fire to it! But, I felt pleased when the mechanic rode w/me so that I could show him HOW it ran, bucked, jumped, died...he said I could drive anything if I could drive that for over a year with it doing the way it is doing! I know when to get off the gas to let it shift, and I can have it cranked back up in under 5 seconds when it decides to die. I've got 189K miles on it, I don't want to get rid of it, but dang it's rough on the wallet!"

I can't figure out on this Apple product where I copied this sentiment from, but be assured I pasted it.

Laslo Spatula said...

I have explained on this very site why humor is invalid in an inclusive society....

Being that the progressive cannot be predicted by concepts that have yet to be conceptualized, Humor Neutrality becomes essential to the preparation of an inclusive society...

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

buwaya said...
"...Laslo is funny, but on the whole not terribly earnest - whether he is a conservative or not I can't say."

I like to poke holes in balloons of all colors.

I am Laslo.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"cookiegetter Posts: 2
September 2010
Thanks, I'll pass that info to my mechanic. I'm not about to climb under and work on it, I would rather set fire to it! But, I felt pleased when the mechanic rode w/me so that I could show him HOW it ran, bucked, jumped, died...he said I could drive anything if I could drive that for over a year with it doing the way it is doing! I know when to get off the gas to let it shift, and I can have it cranked back up in under 5 seconds when it decides to die. I've got 189K miles on it, I don't want to get rid of it, but dang it's rough on the wallet!"

I can't figure out on this Apple product where I copied this sentiment from, but be assured I pasted it.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"cookiegetter Posts: 2
September 2010
Thanks, I'll pass that info to my mechanic. I'm not about to climb under and work on it, I would rather set fire to it! But, I felt pleased when the mechanic rode w/me so that I could show him HOW it ran, bucked, jumped, died...he said I could drive anything if I could drive that for over a year with it doing the way it is doing! I know when to get off the gas to let it shift, and I can have it cranked back up in under 5 seconds when it decides to die. I've got 189K miles on it, I don't want to get rid of it, but dang it's rough on the wallet!"

I can't figure out on this Apple product where I copied this sentiment from, but be assured I pasted it.

Guildofcannonballs said...

The only art I know is too too to spam a thousand times that which I've just spammed thrice.

Ain't enough.

Laslo Spatula said...

From "Humor Neutral: Post-Modernism, the Prisoner and the Construct of Culture":

Humor by necessity comes from societal friction: even the seemingly harmless 'Knock Knock' jokes of children are those of a society teaching that on the other side of the door -- on the Outside -- is indeed The Other. As such, many of these jokes are racist at heart: we do not need to be specifically told that the person unexpectedly knocking on the door is a person of color; the fear of The Other invading our perceived personal space -- our property -- makes that intuition clear...

As such, much humor is essentially the psychological reworking of the Fear of Losing Property While that property may be tangible goods, it is often a form of societal property: the perceived ground we stand on, and fear will be taken out from under us. Thus, humor is used to prevent a society from truly understanding its injustices...

I am Laslo.

Birkel said...

I want to know what the girl on the treadmill with a ponytail is doing these days.

Tell her I said hello.

traditionalguy said...

Scott has the CNN Panels on Anderson Cooper pegged. They are confused people playing at Word Games to make all Trump acts sound like crimes...because Russia.

And the hoot was Anderson trying so hard to appear serious while the others breathlessly rattled on inanely.

buwaya said...

Laslo, you have the makings of your doctoral dissertation for Evergreen College. Just need to make it much longer and less readable.

Or I may be judging you wrong. You dont actually have a Phd from Evergreen, do you?

buwaya said...

Its just that there no longer is a way to tell reality from humor.

Laslo Spatula said...

"Just need to make it much longer and less readable."

Oh, but there are already MANY passages of turgid earnestness...

I am Laslo.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"I know when to get off the gas to let it shift, and I can have it cranked back up in under 5 seconds when it decides to die."

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Night Owl said...

The news became a joke quite literally with the advent of the Daily Show. It's been said that for millennials, the Daily Show is how they get their news--(how true that is I don't really know.)

I think rhhardin may be right when he says there is no market for hard news. The so-called legitimate, credentialed mainstream media-- NYT, wapo, cnn-- are becoming a joke to many people by continuing to peddle the "Russia! Russia! Russia!" story. But they can't/won't stop because they need the ratings. Of course they also truly hate Trump-- and Republicans in general-- but I think the high-ratings is the bigger incentive for them to keep the story going, despite the fact that they are destroying what little credibility they have with the internet generation in their ongoing battles with Trump.

The old adage says, "Never interfere with an enemy while he's in the process of destroying himself". Therefore Trump and his team probably want this "Russia!" story to stay alive more than the media does. I suspect the saner Dem Party members wish the story would just go away.

Laslo Spatula said...

From "Humor Neutral: Post-Modernism, the Prisoner and the Construct of Culture":

One of the aspects of humor that a prevailing culture willfully ignores is that the injustice of humor manifests itself in the humor of injustice. Humor cannot be found in equals: there is always a hierarchy to even the most innocent-seeming joke -- and when there is hierarchy there is oppression...

Even a joke that -- on the surface -- makes fun of the rich is, in actuality, merely codifying the position, and privileges, of wealth. When we talk of a thousand lawyers at the bottom of the sea it is obvious that, due to their societal position, they will never in fact be found there: a truly progressive humor would require them to actually be there, placed by their oppressors, but such an action would no longer be humor, but rather a question of social justice...

I am Laslo.

n.n said...

No. Nope. Nyet. There is a definitely a progressive slope.

n.n said...

Roses are red. Violets are blue. If the foot does not fit the shoe...

grackle said...

There's no market for hard news to pay daily bills. It can't change.

Interesting idea.

Trump uses N word repeatedly

Baiting NeverTrumpers. It never gets old. Very Trumpish, too.

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Every time I hear your name I wanna die, and now I'm still feelin' blue."

Gram Parsons, unless some fucks wanna bitch about how he didn't really fuckin' write that either.

eric said...

I'm convinced Laslo is conservative because he makes fun of everyone. At least, he can't be a progressive, because a progressive sees no humor in making fun of progressives.

I also think Laslo used to be Betamax. Or whatever his name was.

He is one of the reasons I love this website. Can't get enough.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drago said...

buwaya: "Laslo, you have the makings of your doctoral dissertation for Evergreen College. Just need to make it much longer and less readable."

Recommended Title for Laslo's doctoral dissertation: "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Humor In An Inclusive Society"

Guildofcannonballs said...

"She"

"She came from the land of the cotton."

Gram Parsons, "She."

It is what it ain't though compression lacks.

Gram Parson's "She" spells something though, he'll do all the tellin'.

https://youtu.be/kYyCAHrtAW8

Guildofcannonballs said...

Comprehension.

Yes, sure sure 'twere everyone to think as we (only) now do, then compression/comprehension distinctions ar self-evidently mute.

Guildofcannonballs said...

When the very very great Dwight Yoakum sings of his "hillbilly music" as a great thing, to the extent when all else fails it "keeps him hanging on" I celebrate.

I hope you all don't, unless you earned it.

Fact is, maybe you ought do your part and condemn it, and those whom don't enthusiastically condemn it soon enough for your taste(s).

Guildofcannonballs said...

"Things Change" by Dwight is more than you need to know or can comprehend, yet there it remains for those who not only contemplate but do.

"So I quit tryin' to figure out your heart's lyin" Dwight sings.

Gram sang that "Jesus built a ship to sing songs to" and sails the rivers and sails the tides.

Some of his friends, he hopes know a lot more than what their believing, hope the sun don't hurt them, when they cry.

Hope they aren't "Dixie" as me.

rcommal said...

I disagree with the premise that Scott Adams is a comedy expert.

eddie willers said...

I disagree with the premise that Scott Adams is a comedy expert.

That's not funny.

Unknown said...

> It's my punctuation, done in an effort to capture the way it was said.

I haven't viewed the video, but now I can't help but hear your title in the mode of "Number 1: The Larch"

exhelodrvr1 said...

"I haven't viewed the video, but now I can't help but hear your title in the mode of "Number 1: The Larch""

Time for Dennis Moore to make an entry!

Quaestor said...

It's my punctuation, done in an effort to capture the way it was said.

Althouse would have garnered an F at my alma mater. Humor is now the news is a complete sentence. The proper punctuation added to express how that sentence was said is the em dash.

Quaestor said...

Time for Dennis Moore to make an entry!

Dennis Moore, Dennis Moore is not in this bit.

Roy Lofquist said...

Blogger rhhardin said...

"So Dilbert is saying that news is an entertainment choice, for him, as a guy, who would watch soap opera to laugh at it."

News is definitely just an entertainment choice. There are 200 million registered voters in the US. The total TV audience is close to 300 million. So, how many watch cable news? Maybe 10 million? Max 5%. Network news gets more but that doesn't really count. It's traditional, it's the only thing on, and it's on early - before the family settles in for entertainment.

Couple this with

"It has become increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to participate. The percentage of households in a sample that are successfully interviewed – the response rate – has fallen dramatically. At Pew Research, the response rate of a typical telephone survey was 36% in 1997 and is just 9% today."

http://www.people-press.org/2012/05/15/assessing-the-representativeness-of-public-opinion-surveys/

Betcha the 10% who answer the phone are mostly people who watch cable news.

n.n said...

Laslo is conservative because he makes fun of everyone

Fighting the good fight from the center aisle.

He made an incredibly empathetic plea for universal human rights. An opposition to people who deny science. An opposition to people who deny lives deemed unworthy. Never again!

n.n said...

This reminds me of a scene from Austin Powers.

I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs.

The very model of a modern liberal comedy.

pauld said...

I think Scott Adams absolutely nails it. Someone writes Donald Trump, Jr. an email saying that a Russian national has dirt on Hillary Clinton so he expresses an interest and sets up a meeting to check it out.

From this, a number of politicians have suggested that Donald Trump, Jr. has committed the capital offense of "Treason". Moreover, a law professors who specializes in election law, a former government ethics expert from the Bush administration , and even a former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission suggest that Donald Trump, Jr. has committed a felony.

That is funny.