What’s going on? Am I just getting cranky and intolerant in my old age? Because I don’t know about you, but it sure feels like I’m living in a world where manners and civility are fast becoming endangered species.
A world where callous, boorish, insensitive, classless, vile behaviour is, sadly, becoming the norm; and is generally accepted, excused, ignored, overlooked and, sometimes, even rewarded.
Of what do I speak?
If, in the end, the NBA does find a way to make Donald Sterling sell the Clippers he will make pots and pots and pots of money. He’ll laugh all the way to the bank. And he’ll still be a racist pig. And a womanizer. And a slum landlord. He’s 80 years old and he’s got prostate cancer. He’s not about to change any time soon. And why would he? He’s gotten away with it so far.
If, in the end, by some miracle Toronto’s Mayor, Rob Ford, comes out of rehab and never smokes crack or drinks another drop of alcohol he’ll still be an uncouth, lewd, ignorant, dishonest, homophobic racist, because that’s his character. That’s who he is. His addiction problems have nothing to do with that. And despite it all, God help us, he could still get re-elected this coming October.
This past weekend I watched CNN’s coverage, such as it was, of the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. In case you’re not familiar with it, the WHCA is an organization of journalists who cover the White House and the President. Founded in 1914 the dinner, which became a tradition in 1920, is usually attended by both the President and Vice President, senators, politicos, celebrities, you name it. There’s usually a featured speaker (comedian) and essentially, the President (and his administration) is roasted. And the President gets a chance to roast the press, colleagues, detractors, etc.
Anyway, my only point in bringing it up is, I didn’t find it funny. Not even mildly amusing. None of it. Definitely not the CNN anchors who had nothing interesting or intelligent to say, giggled stupidly and ate Doritos and chocolate bars on air. And certainly not most of the remarks and ‘jokes’ made by either the host or the President, which were downright tasteless. At least I think so. Which brings me right back to the headline of this blog post.
“Is it me?”
Did any of you watch it? I’d love to know what you thought of it.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
In his opening remarks President Obama said, “I want to thank the White House Correspondents’ Association for hosting us here tonight. I am happy to be here, even though I am a little jet-lagged from my trip to Malaysia. The lengths we have to go to get CNN coverage these days. I think they’re still searching for their table.”
Well, ya know, there are 239 people who were on that plane, who are, most surely, dead. Their families and friends are going through the worst kind of hell right now. And while I agree the constant, unrelenting coverage on CNN is ridiculous, the missing plane, and the fate of those passengers, is anything but. So sorry, I don’t think this joke was amusing or appropriate — or befitting a President of the United States. Sorry.
Joel McHale (never heard of him before) was this year’s comedian host. Here’s one of his supposed funnies:
“Mr. President, your critics have compared you to Hitler and Stalin, but that’s ridiculous. You look way older than them.”
Are you laughing yet?