fidesquaerens: (Default)
The Daily Show is back on this week, and HOW. Stewart devotes a good bit of last night's monologue to the contraception issue. It is hilarious, but also very, VERY true: not getting everything just like you want doesn't mean there's a war against you; it means you're part of a society.

Do watch it - it's been at least a week since I've laughed this hard. It's also very thought-provoking and gets to the heart of the matter like only TDS can.

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(Originally posted at LJ; please comment there.)
fidesquaerens: (politics)
Current politics have me depressed. As odd as this seems, I miss Bush in a bizarre way (and I was not his biggest fan...). I think it's that I miss knowing who the bad guys were. The Republicans are frustratingly populist at the moment, but the Democrats really need to grow a spine, beginning with the man in charge. I have been bringing homemade brownies and new underwear and socks to the OWS crowd, but still I feel disillusioned and impotent.

Anyway, that has me watching old Daily Show clips. This is a good thing because most of the Bush years are a blur to me (first half I was too young and naive to be aware of much; second half RL went pear-shaped and just as I was getting political). So this lets me reconstruct some history I missed. Plus it's just good fun.

Case in point: this clip, from the aftermath of the 2000 election. Stephen Colbert lets his inner geek go on play. I never watched Superfriends, and this still had me laughing out loud.

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fidesquaerens: (religion)
The Daily Show is back, and they were rocking it on taking on GOP Mormon-phobia. Really hilarious toward the end!

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Transcript:

JON STEWART: OK, guys, calm down! What I'm trying to say is, should being Mormon disqualify you from the Presidency? I mean, you both believe in Jesus, right?

SAM BEE & WYATT CENAC: Yes.

JON STEWART: So as long as a Republican candidate believes in the basic tenets, you know, I am the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes through the Father except through me.

(Sam and Wyatt murmur approval)

JON STEWART: Let the one amongst you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone.

WYATT CENAC: You're right. You're so right.

SAM BEE: We are fighting about such silly stuff.

JON STEWART: Exactly. If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven.

SAM BEE: OK, slow down there, Chairman Mao.

JON STEWART: The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.

SAM BEE & WYATT CENAC: No.... no, no, no, no, no.

WYATT CENAC: What kind of Occupy Wall Street shit is that?

SAM BEE: Um, yeah, no. I'm pretty sure that Jesus was a free market guy.

JON STEWART: Well guys, I am just quoting scripture.

SAM BEE & WYATT CENAC: Cuuuuuuuuullllllltttttttt!!!!!
fidesquaerens: (politics)
Aasif Mandvi and John Olliver play out the Israeli/Palestinian dynamic, with the farce you usually expect from the Daily Show. It's been a long, long time since I've laughed this hard.

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fidesquaerens: (Default)
I just booked my plane ticket to London for next month. My first reaction was: good God, when did airline fees and taxes jump so high? I don't remember them being near this high when I last crossed the pond. There needs to be a way to get those down to a reasonable level, or at least make the ticket fees more representative of the real price.

My second reaction - probably the more interesting of the two! - was giddiness. Not at buying the ticket so much, though it's really good to have hit the "confirm" button. But really, it was the little thing. Words like "tube," "heathrow," "hostel" and "return" (as opposed to round trip) - they make me miss England so much. And I was only there once, several years ago! But I find myself yearning for it, intensely.

I think a part of my reaction is coming from The Help, which just opened this weekend. Fabulous movie IMO, and I won't go into spoilers for obvious reasons, but I will say that it looked not just at racial tensions but also the drive to conform you see in the white Southern community, especially among women. I suspect this is the case in other Southern subcultures as well but I have never had access to them. Setting aside the major cities, life is much less about what you do and more bout who you do it with. I remember the jokes about people sitting on their porch making sure the 11:05 train from Atlanta was on time. Or people just sitting on the porch, talking or reading a book or just watching a thunderstorm.

It's a slower-paced life, but not without its charms. Thing is, those charms usually involve social events with other people. Having friends call, or things like church functions and dinner clubs. All of which makes it very hard to live a full life if you don't fit into the mold. The Help presents us with stories of people who don't fit into their society for lots of different reasons. Watching the movie, I couldn't stop thinking about the pain of that distance, and the cost of it for those who can fit in. There are costs to every lifestyle of course but this is the lifestyle I know. So seeing so much of that played out on screen hit home.

For me, my experience with England is all about adventure and autonomy. Everything from the individual university rooms to the train system to the hostels - you don't have to have a lot of money or connections to go out and have good experiences. Or at least I didn't. That's available elsewhere, of course, including in the South if you drive (I don't). But for me, in my personal experience, England represents all of that. I love it for its own sake, too, but I love it for the association as well. And it's good to be reminded of all that sometimes.

Speaking of the South, Jon Stewart had a fascinating interview recently, with a historian who wrote a book on Davey Crockett. It has some really fascinating stories. Much recommended.

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