In the tone of my revitalized blogging I now scan news for some subject as grist for a light-hearted post, hard to come by today. I know the late night comedians, esp. the late great Jon Stewart have their staff comb through the dismal new stories to find one that is particularly amiable for jokes. Well, they manage, but I’m finding it tough.
So let’s start with a few breaking stories.
Nebraska loses a football game. I chose this wording deliberately in that reading the reports you’d think a body blow was delivered to the entire state of Nebraska, driving a gut punch into its core. When I watched the last play I knew the long knives would be out today, a state full of coach wannabes all claiming they could have done it better and what a fool nice guy Riley is and, as usually, how more running and none of that evil Commie plot, passing, would have won the game. Well, actually I think they should have won too, but not just down to the infamous 3-and-7, where a high spirited QB goes for the win instead of avoiding the loss (I’ve had my share of negative comments about Armstrong but when it comes the guts and leadership and drive to win he’s shown this season, he’s won me over – go Tommy and don’t let the armchair QBs crush you). And though I’ve always believed in a more aggressive offense than the outdated ground-and-pound of yesteryear, yep, they did pass too much, as the conditions were lousy (maybe Riley can be faulted for that, being too used to wet weather of Oregon and thought he was back home). But it’s hard to find anything light-hearted about this news event since it’s probably just the start of a gloomy season with the fans calling for firing Riley and bringing back Bo, at least he’d throw some temper tantrums in for comic relief.
Then there is the immediate rightwingnut outrage over SNL’s skit with Hillary. Frankly I thought it was funny. Maybe being around a great comedian (Kate McKinnon) really did loosen her up a bit. A few zingers and all in all what SNL is supposed to be about, humor. But the wingnuts immediately thought: a) SNL is just in the tank for Hillary (as opposed to just trying to get ratings for itself, which is its job), and, b) all the jokes should have been about email or Benghazi (do they actually think that would be funny?) It’s jokes, folks, lots of politicians have been on SNL and a few are funny. It’s not world-changing, the sky-is-falling, oh no, Hillary didn’t look too bad – it’s comedy. Would SNL love to have Trump for their ratings. But for a guy who is already a parody of himself, he’d be telling jokes just by doing his straight lines, but of course as the wingnuts don’t already get the joke The Donald is pulling on them I doubt they’d get SNL humor. Now putting on Carson might satisfy the righties, but everything Carson says is so absurd it’s beyond a joke, but the Repugs don’t get that either. So tough to make humor out of the absurd that many take as serious. So not much fun in this story.
Oh, I’ve got one, but only a minor tidbit. The video clip of Neil DeGrasse Tyson on Bill Maher. The best part of this was Bill’s joke about Neil’s vest, his now signature eccentricity that’s always good for a laugh – great for Neil, a serious guy who knows how to have fun. Meanwhile it’s clear there is some nervous tension there given Bill’s wacko views on medicine and probably it’s hard for Neil to not take a few cheap shots at Bill’s woo, but Neil played it straight for a few laugh and the very serious point that science makes discoveries that often seem irrelevant at the time and later end up being a major driver of the economy (or other values). Now while I love science and discovery I do think it’s a stretch that water on Mars is going to lead to the next unicorn startup, but who knows.
Oh here’s a funny one: “US lacks bubble fighting tools”. That would be funny if it weren’t so sad. Every time the financial markets spin up another obvious bubble that will inevitably crash (of course, Wall Street gets its cut on the way up, the way down, and the bailout that will follow, so why should they worry) there is the claim the bubble isn’t a bubble or even sillier you can only spot a bubble after it burst. No, too gloomy to make fun of that. The Fed dithers about a tiny interest rate increase that only affects bankers and is a tiny fraction of what interest rates should be because the banks want to continue to borrow Fed money for free (and then, it turns out, deposit said money in the Fed as “reserves” at a substantial interest rate). Imagine that – someone offers you the chance to borrow at zero and lend at 2%, sheesh, sign me up for a trillion. There has to be a catch, right. There is, these free profits to the banks are what the Fed does these days (you don’t hear the rightie free market preachers complaining about this handout to the poor, oops I meant rich) and while a 1/4% interest rate hike would do nothing to the economy (except maybe trigger consumers to grab all the no-money-down, 0% forever deals they can find and stimulate some sales), it’s a bit of drizzle on the banker’s free lunch parade. But not much funny, there.
So I’ll close on this shocker (someone actually had to do a study to figure this out!): “Ad Blockers Help You Browse Faster And Save Money”. Now that has to be the scientific discovery of the century. And I thought all those ads made selfies show up quicker and save money. This does say something about the dumbed-down education that mobile devices users have received that they need a study to prove this. Now, that’s funny.