Hi, my name is D and this is my writings on subjects. I'm no rapscallion or anything at all. If you want to you can read my writings on subjects if you have free time. If you want to argue with me or call me names then please comment. Negative feedback is very welcome...I love dat shit. Me? I'm not even a noun, I'm a fucking verb, dude.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Satire Wars: Refutation of Statements by One Chris Hedges in Defense of One Jon Stewart

I'm a regular dude just like you and everyone you know. I do the same stuff you do, you know...I get together with my friends over tea at times and discuss the heroes of the age. We talk about who's the Master Tacticians (i.e. Earl Weaver) of the age but we also discuss who are the Master Satirists (i.e. Sacha Baron Cohen) of our era.

When we discuss the Master Satirists of the Age, should names like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert be considered? I believe so, yes I most surely do. It doesn't seem one pulitzer prize winner named Chris Hedges would agree with that though:

http://acronymtv.wordpress.com/2013/10/28/stephen-colbert-and-john-stewart-have-destroyed-satire-chris-hedges/

In this video, while he and a colleague discuss (not over tea) the Master Satirists of the Age, Hedges absolutely blasts Stewart and Colbert:

"Satire becomes destroyed in essence in the hands of figures like Colbert, John Stewart and others,” Hedges asserts. “They will attack the excesses or the foibles of the system, but they are never going to expose the system itself because they are all millionaires, they are commercially supported. You have very few people (George Carlin was one) who will stand up and do it. If you do that, it is tough to make a living. Carlin maybe being the exception. But if you really use Satire the way Swift used Satire, to expose the English barbarity in Ireland because culture, like everything else in the society has been completely corporatized."

I disagree with this assertion. I really do.

Hedges

First off, who is this Hedges character? The first time I ever heard of this guy was when he had some sort of altercation on TV with a CBC analyst.





I agree with a lot of what Hedges says, but I don't respect his ability to handle trolls. The interviewer is a talking-head in Canada who makes a Tiger of Money formula show and who's shtick is the "bad mean judge" character (a la Simon Cowell). I don't respect how Hedges gets all offended and says he'll never ever come back.

Look, I've been fucking around on the internet since Usenet, man. I've been trolled, got trolled, done the troll, re-trolled, counter-trolled, de-trolled, un-trolled, front trolled, and even back trolled. I've employed the swift-kick ,the ego-stitch, and the body-snatch and have had all those things done to me. I'm a dymaxion troll, I can handle trollin' from all angles whilst trollin' and counter trollin' at the same time.

In this argument between O'Leary and Hedges, the obvious troll is obvious...yet O'Leary still manages to get Hedges' goat. It's actually kind of sad.

What about my homeboys Stewart and Colbert? How do they deal with these types of characters? Do they let the name calling and invective get under their skin or do they enter dymaxion-mode?

Here's Colbert's character exchanging blows with one Bill O'Reilly and his media character:




This is more in the style of the internet "debating" that I'm used to. In this match-up we have two characters, with two goats (one each)...yet only one man will leave with his goat. My man Colbert is as cool as a cucumber throughout the entire match and maintains his goat through the early stages. O'Reilly ups the invective by about 200% and begins literally yelling at Colbert...yet he keeps his goat. When it's all said and done Mr. O'Reilly seems flustered and jealous that Colbert is "more popular than him."

Even on O'Reilly's home turf Colbert managed to leave this veritable Thunderdome...with TWO goats. Why? Because he's a bad ass fucking man, that's why.

Yet way before Colbert was coming on this types of "spin" shows and doing battle, Mr. Jon Stewart had already conquered that circuit:




This video is up to 6.1 million views now and it deserves them. Is Jon Stewart responding to the heat by whining, crying, and gettin' flustered like that Chris Hedges? No, because Jon Stewart is a bad ass motherfucking guy.

This is a two-on-one situation and old Jon is the one shorthanded...YET...he is still guiding the tempo of the debate, keeping his shit and bein' cool.

Man, to keep your cool in that 2-on-1 and be witty is pretty bad ass. If I was being fucked with by some bitch in a bow-tie...I would have mauled that fucking dude.

Anyways, the issue I'm trying to raise here is that Chris Hedges is kind of a weiner.

Stewart

I like Jon Stewart, he can be pretty cool sometimes. The first time I ever saw him on TV, he was playing with toys. He had an action figure of Screech off of Saved by The Bell and he was fooling around talking in a high voice for the action figure (kind of like the act they do on Robot Chicken). I remember thinking to myself...this guy's goin' places.

Out of those three vids above, Jon's has by far the most hits. He's popular, in fact he's so popular that countries with far more oppressive governments are using his Satire Model and character template.

Here's a video of Jon in Egypt:




Bassem Youssef's version of Stewart's show is not something that part of the world is used to.

I wrote a few months back about how making fun of your government or military in some countries is the ultimate crime. That Baba Jukwa in Zimbabwe that I wrote about, there's still a man hunt out for him and people have died under the suspicion of being Baba. Making a joke is not a joke in some places...it's serious business. Satire is even taking hold in Zimbabwe nowadays (anyone ever check out Nyoka and Kunyepa?).

In the case of Bassem Youssef, take this recent article:

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/29/egypt-authoritiestoinvestigatetopsatiristbassemyoussef.html

The Egyptian government is investigating Mr. Youssef just for making fun of "nationalist sentiments". That's pretty fucked up.

Jon Stewart also ran a bit on his show which caused major controversy in the Oldest Country in the Vorld...The Iran. The Daily Show visited Iran and interviewed everyday people to try and show they are actually very very similar to you and me. It's harder to want to go to war and bomb people when you see how human they are. This bit was pretty good.

See: "Behind the Veil"

One of the men interviewed in that segment was later accused by the Iranian government of being a spy for doing this interview. Don't fret though, everything has cooled down and the man, Maziar Bahari, and Jon are currently making a film together.

Conclusion

Look, when your satire template is being used by people in a Muslim country to make fun of their government...you know you're on to something with your shtick. Okay?

So, back to my main point. When me and my friends gather over tea and discuss the Master Satirists of the Age, the names Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do tend to come up, and we discuss their merits at length.

Do you know which name never ever comes up?

Chris Hedges.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Edge-Pushing Cartoons: Cartoons with No Bounds or Bars

Certain comedy cartoons which are not aimed at the little child target market have developed massive popularity over the last thirty years or so. These certain cases of cartoons achieving mass appeal has categorically been due to the program's satirical qualities and its ability to make fun of the real universe in its cartoon meta-universe.

The world of Omni-popular cartoons aimed at everyone except little babies is a small historical sample size to work with. We shall be looking into the four cartoons which have garnered mass appeal over the last few decades (shows which have generated huge audience, movie deals, etc.).

We shall give these shows a final tally and rating based on....um....I dunno.

You can rate stuff with numbers, obviously, but it's not an all encompassing variables rating system by any stretch. You can assign something a 5 or a 77 or even a 88.125 but what does that really tell anyone? It's just a dumb number.

You can use letters and assign something an A+ or a C- or a D, but again, they are just dumb old letters. Some people try and use "stars" like gold ones because they look cool, and some folks use "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" but that is only a two-variable system which leaves no room for any details. You either have a gold star or a upward thumb or you don't...pretty shoddy system.

I believe I shall use a geometric rating system. Yes, the shows shall be rated using standard geometric shapes. Each component of the cartoon show which improves it will be shown with a face/vertex/frequency/side. Whilst each bad component of the show shall materialize itself within the shape as well.

So, yeah. Our rating system for this review shall be geometric in nature. The final grade shall indeed be a shape.

The Simpsons

Everyone is familiar with this show, it does not matter whether you live in Kathmandu, Podunk or North Haverbrook. This is the first show which exploded into an all encompassing target market behemoth which rained down comedy on the masses. An instant success.

I was in the first grade (age 6.5) when the Simpsons came on the scene and its culture bomb invaded my elementary school in a decisive wave of popularity. Every kid had Bart Simpson shit...t-shirts, lunch boxes, stickers. Yo, one time I was standing in line in like grade 3 and this girl wanted to look at my Bart Simpson t-shirt where Bart is dressed as a Ninja Turtle (combined marketing appeal) and I couldn't turn to show her. I felt really sick that day and she was getting mad at me for not turning to show it to her....and then I puked. Everywhere. It was the only time I ever puked at school. I puked a lot though and the teacher gave me a blue rectangular container to puke in. It sucked and was embarrassing but when I think about it now...I laugh. I remember it pretty good for something that happened like 22 years ago.

Anyway, the Simpsons was very well written when it first came out. The creator Matt Groening was the mind behind Life in Hell and ran the Simpsons as a short on the Tracy Ullman show before hitting it big. The early shows were heart felt and down-to-earth and very likeable. They were the most loveable dysfunctional unit of humans on T.V. and they weren't even real people. Shows about how they got their dog or how Lisa coped with her obtuse opinions were very well received with audiences.

As tame as the 90s Simpsons is by today's standards....it was hated by parents/teachers/church/etc back in the day. Early Simpsons did indeed push the edge, it made fun of our society by exaggeratingly mirroring it in their yellow tinted universe. The good part about old Simpsons episodes can be summed up with one word...subtlety. The satire and rebellious nature wasn't as in your face as the shows that came after it but it was always there.

Take a look at the authority figures in the Simpsons for example. None of them are presented as being competent or regarded as upright citizens. The Mayor is a crook, the chief of police is a pig-faced moron, the owner of the nuclear power plant (the richest man in town) is down right evil and sadistic. There's nothing wholesome or heroic about these people....these aren't your Leave it to Beaver friendly people in your neighborhood types. Yet they are more realistic that's for sure. It was not common in programs watched by young people in this era to find authority figures being presented in this realistic fashion.

The Simpsons was the original Edge-Pusher and it broke ground subtly, left a huge mark, and was the trail blazer for future Edge-Pusher cartoons. Sadly, the Simpsons got really horrible at some point and never regained composure.

I've been trying to pinpoint where it officially jumped the shark, and I think I have the answer.



NO FONZE DON'T DO IT! THERE'S NO WAY BACK!

Where exacty did the Simpsons jump on water-skies and attempt to publish a show to the airwaves so unforgivably retarded that they crossed shark infested waters and had no way of ever getting back to where they once were?

For me personally, I remember when it happened, and I remember well. In Season 9 they ran a show so pointless and convoluted for no apparent reason other than that they had literally NO ideas left. The show in question is where Seymour Skinner reveals that he is not Seymour Skinner but is actually...Armin Tanzarian.

Never has a story line been so pointless, never has a cliff hanger been so stupid, never has an idea been so convoluted and inherently pointless as the Armin Tanzarian episode. I remember sitting there after the show was over and having an inner dialogue with my stupid ol' self that was like...

"Wait, that was really bad..."

"But, the Simpsons is cool...how can something cool be bad? It's a fallacy"

"No, but this was shit. This episode was total shit. Why did they go with this idea?"

"You're crazy. The Simpsons rules and it always will!"

"You're wrong self. The Simpsons sucks. It's terrible. It's the WORST EPISODE EVER"

"...but, if the Simpsons sucks, what else is cool that actually sucks?"

"I dunno bro...probably EVERYTHING EVER"

(Me, inner monologue, circa 1997)
The idea that "The Simpsons Sucks" smashed my rosy-colored view of the world and left me feeling very cynical. Next thing I know...everything sucked. Like, I watched an episode of Saturday Night Live (which the previous week was ok)...but after Armin Tanzarian water-skied over a sea of venomous sharks...SNL started to look like total shit too. I couldn't even watch it, I wanted to jump into the screen and tell Kris Kattan to stop making a mockery of comedy and find something better to do. I haven't watched either of these shows in 15 years.

So to whoever wrote that episode of the Simpsons back in 1997 (Ken Keeler), way to go man. Thanks for ruining the Simpsons dude.

Rating: Thanks to nine good seasons (1989-1997) The Simpsons has some good depth to its shape. Nine sturdy lines, nine healthy and witty vertexes. Yet thanks to 16 horrible seasons to its name the shape is represented differently. It's nine-sided nonogonic nucleus of sturdy good qualities is overshadowed by an entwining 16-sided uncomfortably cumbersome hexakaidecagon. The final tally of the result of its rating is:

Nonogonal Nucleiic Hexakaidecagon

As you can see the nine-sided nucleus is well connected and sturdy...yet the additional 16 sides of the polygon are cumbersome and unnecessary. The only logical geometric rating to give The Simpsons is the Nonogonal Nucleiic Hexakaidecagon, obviously and undoubtedly

If making some cartoons is like building a house...then who would want to build a house shaped like a Nonogonal Nucleiic Hexakaidecagon? Probably Ken Keeler.


Beavis and Butthead
 
Okey-doke, so naturally moving along chronologically in our compendium of cartoons we arrive at the hit 1993 cartoon show...Beavis and Butthead.

I've written before about my enjoyment derived from watching this program so the rating may be a tad biased but it's just a stupid blog about my opinions so that's all you're gonna get. You're gonna get heavily biased views. Thank you very much.

This show had a million times more controversy than the Simpsons ever generated. From Senators denouncing it on the house floor, to Carl Sagan denouncing it in Demon Haunted World. This show got up everybody's trouser legs and just like the Simpsons it took a great deal of subtle (well not so subtle) satire up there with it.


 Now who is dis here Beevo and Buffcoats what-have-ya?

Previous entries on Beavis and Butthead: 


Rating: Beavis and Butthead had 1+6+1 seasons. Yet the first season was of notoriously poor quality and offered no subtly (straight out shock 'til you drop style). So in essence it is 6 core seasons + 1 notoriously bad one (1993) + 1 late-addition REALLY GOOD add-on (2011). It is in essence a hexagonal base structure yet it's core has so much depth that the lines are not flat. In fact it is a six faced structure...a cube to be more precise. 

The first season acts as a rough nucleus of non-concentric circle wavelengths radiating at the core of the six-faced core-cube. The first season acting as the most offensive season thus a radio-wave catalyst and driving force...yet still very unrefined. The 8th and final season in 2011 acts as a second wavelength of concentric circles which merges with the non-concentric circle wavelengths to create Pi (π)  and smooth out the core into a smooth sphere. Yes, Beavis and Butthead's most accurate rating variable in regards to this review is the Sphere-Nucleus Cube.

 Sphere-Nucleus Cube

South Park 
Our next sequential entry is the take-no-prisoners tour-de-force known as "South Park." Its first episode aired in 1997 and I remember it well. 

A station in my region bought the original 6 shows in 1997 and aired one...then waited for the complaints and ensuing damage-control needed before airing any others. Meanwhilst, in 1997 the internet was going strong and I had already figured out how to stream videos and watch whatever the fuck I wanted.

So, lo and behold...all the kids at my high school were talking about how funny that ONE episode of South Park was and I dropped a bombshell when I stated that I had already seen six shows. Naturally no one believed me so I took the time to storyboard out the shows at lunch period and said to the naysayers...

"Ye who doubt that I have seen 6 episodes of South Park lest only watch when the other 5 finally air and ye shall see that all my divine prophecies ring true. For in the next installment, Kathie Lee Gifford is parodied and Cartman gets very very fat!" 

Obviously when the station in question did finally air the second episode my prediction rang true and all the two or maybe three people I told it to thought I was pretty friggin' cool and everything.

As far as controversy goes...honestly it didn't get as much as Beavis and Butthead because Mike Judge had kinda plowed a good deal of chillness (in regards to cartoons) into society by this juncture. 

Though South Park had to always do more and more and more to push the bar so low that not even fucking James Cameron could fish it out of the abyss. Yet through all the bar lowering the show stills has an acerbic deadly wit behind it. It's shock and awe, all the time, but when you burrow underneath the surface there's a lot of really intelligent stuff going on with this show.

Even after SEVENTEEN FUCKING YEARS the new season is looking strong. The tour-de-force has never lost its drive and there's even still potential in this show. Unlike the Simpsons which jumped the shark and died soon after...South Park has managed to find a way to be shark proof.



  As Shark Proof as The Batman

Maybe it was in Season 2 where they depicted Fonzie jumping over a shark...and then the shark caught and devoured Fonzie that broke the curse for them. Maybe they've been shark proof and free and at ease since 1998. Either way, alls I knows is, South Park is still good after 17 years.

Rating: It's a clean 17-sided Heptadecagon, no doubt about it. Each point of the Heptadecagon intersects geodesically with each other point at roughly 60 degree angles. Yes, South Park is undoubtedly a 60-degree intersecting well-made Heptadecagon. 

 60-Degree Intersecting Heptadecagon

Yes, yes it is. Oh and, since South Park has had 17 good seasons and The Simpsons has only had 9...

17 - 9 = 8

South Park is 8 units better than The Simpson mathematically. South Park is thus quantifiably Octahedronically better than The Simpsons.

Family Guy

It's becoming hip to rag on poor old Family Guy, but I want the record to show that I've never really been huge on this show and I'm not one of these band-wagonning anti-Family Guy genres of people. I believe Family Guy jumped the shark and began being pretty crappy at this juncture...





Yeah, Okay, he hurt his knee. What a cute joke. Okay, okay...good for fucking him. These types of jokes are the core of the show which is shrouded in an impenetrable wall of stolen bits. That basically is what Family Guy is. It was bad from the first season, right from the get-go, and will always be bad. There's no blips in the wavelength of shit...just shit...forever and ever.

Its geodesic shape is that of actual inertia. A straight line of never-ending/never-altering crap.

"Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to any change in its motion (including a change in direction). In other words, it is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant linear velocity, or to keep still." (wiki) 
Family Guy is a straight unchangeable line. What's more is they gave this show TWO clones of itself...American Dad and Cleveland. Meaning this straight line has two identical clones of it in its universe.

Rating: What do three straight identical measuring and angled lines give us?


Equilateral Triangle

Family Guy (and Family Guy ' and Family Guy '') are an equilateral triangle....of crap. Okay, it's not that bad, it can be funny sometimes but I think this rating variable really fits snug-like-a-glove in this case.

Conclusion

We have successfully concluded our geometric ranking of Edge/Boundary Pushing Cartoon shows and I believe it went well. Maybe I should go back to rating things with numbers or letters though.

I wanted to include good shows like Futurama and Ren and Stimpy (I think Ren and Stimpy has a big place in history honestly)...but these two are not omni-popular like the Big 4 Edge-Pushers are. Only 4 cartoons have had massive appeal.

Thank you and good night.