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Comedy and politics

By maxwell edison ·
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As many of you may or may not know, accuracy in reporting is one of my pet peeves. (This includes "reporting" of any kind, from any and all sources, including an individual. A false premise, I've often said, equals a flawed conclusion and/or a poor decision.)

The Pew Research Center, which I consider one of the more reputable organizations that measure public opinion and behavior, has reported something that is, if you think about it, rather sad. 20 percent of young adults in America, the report says, learn their political campaign news from late night television shows such as the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and others. Man oh man, talk about an uninformed electorate. One-fifth of the voting public cast their votes based on comedy and satire! I find that incredible. I find that disturbing.

Another 20 percent gathered their "news" from the Internet. The Internet can certainly be a source for credible information, to be sure, but it can also be a source for the absolute worst misinformation.

Nightly network news was named as a regular source of campaign news by 35 percent, newspapers by 31 percent, and 38 percent said cable news networks was a source for political campaign information.

Obviously there are overlaps in sources, which is understandable, since many people, myself included, use a myriad of sources to gather information and as a way to (hopefully) weed out misinformation.

But the article concludes as follows:

"Young adults were far more likely than those over age 50 to say they regularly learned something from comedy TV shows ? by 21 percent to 3 percent. In general, Americans are poorly informed on specific information about the campaign. Those who regularly learn about the campaigns from entertainment shows were even less informed."

They "learned something from comedy TV shows"? Comedy TV shows?????? Sad, very sad indeed.

What do you think? What are your sources? Do you think the Internet is more a source of information or misinformation? Do you even consider the "comedy" shows at all? How many try to find the necessary "balance"?

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by mrafrohead In reply to Great message - Some comm ...

"But if you really believe that one voice can indeed make a difference, especially if you consider that one voice plus one more voice plus one more voice, etc. can indeed "add up", then you have a much better chance of making that difference."

I agree with that right down to the last letter. But what I'm trying to say is that's not how it works. When majority rules, because of just one vote, that's great. But then the government says, **** on you all, and does the opposite of what majority ruled, that teaches me that they will do what they want regardless of us and our voices. We are just the joksters that pay our hard earned money to them in the form of their "taxes".

I bust my ***, for 12 measley dollars an hour, for them to tax the crap out of it. Then they have the gall to ask my opinion. When myself and all others answer, they say great. You wanted this? Well we're going to give you the opposite instead because it better suits them. Then they take our taxes, and DONT spend it on schools or safety like we voted and buy themselves new cars, or another house. Refurnish their offices that were just redone 6 months earlier.

So what is the point. They spit on us, why should we even humor them? There is no honesty or integrity in our government anymore. They do what they want, when they want and how they want. We have NO say. Signing your name on a card and punching the little holes are meaningless. It's just a ruse to make the peasants "feel" important, but the weight of it is no more than air.

I trust an upfront thief more than I trust my own government. At least the thief isn't lying that he is what he is. Whereas our government is trying to hide it.

Mrafrohead

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jkaras, a few more comments

by maxwell edison In reply to Good points

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Let me go out on a limb here and suggest that you and I are more alike than we are different. I'm not any smarter than you, nor was I born into privilege. I certainly don't have the level of education many others do, as I suppose you don't either. I learned more in the school of hard-knocks that I learned behind the doors of any college. When I left my parent's home and found myself out on my own (at 17) I was as dumb as dirt, I was dirt poor, and I had no idea where life would take me. But as experience quickly became my best teacher, I realized that remaining on the dirt road was a matter of choice. I've worked for everything I've gained, and the only thing ever given to me was the air I breath and the free-will in which I believe. Why is it that we see things so differently? Why is it that out results and outlook are apparently so different? I think the answer to the second question can be found in the premise of the first.

It's been said that with freedom, comes responsibility. If you want to delegate responsibility to others, then by default, you give up some of your individual freedom in the process. When it comes to credit or anything else, your freedom to choose will determine your outcome. If people find themselves with overwhelming debt, then they've made the wrong choice. Life is no more than a series of choices. If you accept the hand you were dealt, which only makes sense, since you can't do anything about it anyway, and make the right choices, but choices which are based on your desire to reach a distant and self-determined destination, then the results will, most likely, be quite satisfying. You are what you think about; you'll become the person you think you will be; and your outcome will be surprisingly identical to the expectations you place on yourself. (No, it's not easy. I have to remind myself every day.)

You mentioned your admiration for Jackie Gleason, another area where you and I are alike. He was not only a great comedian, but a great actor (the best as Minnesota Fats), and a great musician as well. He came from poor and humble beginnings, and struggled with the hand he was dealt in life. But do you think that Jackie Gleason was apathetic? Do you think that Jackie Gleason had a defeatist attitude? Or do you think that Jackie Gleason created the very outcome that he dreamed for himself? Jackie Gleason understood that whatever happens on the outside of you doesn't matter as much as what happens on the inside of you. And that's the beauty of America. Regardless of what you want it to be, it's a self-fulfilling and self-determined destination. Unless, of course, you believe otherwise. Either way, you'll be right.

If you have it, and you know you have it, you have it. If you don't have it and think you have it, you have it. But if you have it and don't know you have it, you don't have it.
-Jackie Gleason

If I could make one suggestion to you, and I mean this with the best of intentions. Read about Jackie Gleason. Read about Bob Hope. Heck, read about Tiger Woods. And it doesn't just have to be about celebrities. Read about Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie. Read about all the people who were dealt a lemon in life, but found a way to make lemonade. Use these people as a source of inspiration so that you can find the same things in yourself. You'll be amazed at how the thing outside of you appear to be different, when you start seeing the things inside of you differently.

Free-will, self-determination, and America. How sweet it is!

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It appears we were responding at the same time

by jkaras In reply to jkaras, a few more commen ...

to eachother's posts. I do feel that we are very simular individuals that want what everyone wants in life, happiness and to be apart of this world that some how some way we made it a better place. We will always have some issues that differ but I gain better understanding viewing these posts from you as well as others and dont hold any grudges on difference only if bigoted. I completely agree that life is defined through responsibility and your acceptance of that responsibility regardless of it's magnitude, large or small. I choose to make something of my self or choose not to, that's my cross to bare , not anyone's else regardless that moomy or daddy didnt love me, beat me or any other excuse. Whether I had all the breaks or none at all I'm responsible for myself and I have to respect the man I see in the mirror every morning when I see my reflection. It's a schame that few people that are in power positions to make change that effect millions rarely accept that mantle of responsibility despite wanting that job and promising to uphold that responsibility. I cannot change the education system, I cannot change the medical system etc.., but I can help change others opinions of treating others like we were taught when we were little or as every religious faith does, embrace the moral road or embrace the rat race maze for more cheese.

I would actually love to read more about Jackie since I never got into reading celeb books. He like others were extremly talented that they were able to cash in on their talent and make America work for them, they are truly inspiring stories. I see the government as making the basic living standards possible for those who cant do it by themselves, thats job no#1. I'm not talking about a free ride for the lazy but a world where there are more possibilities for the not so fortunate (you get my drift on the consensus). Out of the millions of dollars wasted on this, that or the other more money could be invested in better education making peoples dreams of a better tommorrow. To tell you the truth I've never heard of a company that went bankrupt by not investing in its people, why cant the government do this? The governemnt isnt about making a profit. We are millions of dollars in debt and that will never change, if we are going to be in debt why not invest in our greatest treasure? Why do we hear about single mothers working 2 to 3 jobs only to be in the hole not able to properly care for their children? WHere the politican claims close your legs it your fault for getting pregnant or choosing the wrong guy. How in this time of our existence do people fall through the cracks when our technology allows us to do wonderous things? The truth no profit, not the joy of making a difference and thats quite sad no isnt it?

Also I was hoping you would comment on George Carlin and his fight to free speech. Do you think he destroys the American dream or points out not to be cattle? Our governemt has so much potential to create a Utopia if only someone would step up to the plate, but most see the mountain and give up trying to climb it. Respect to you my friend as always.

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On George Carlin

by maxwell edison In reply to It appears we were respon ...

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I love George Carlin. He's got about twenty years on me, but I grew up laughing at his stuff.

But first I want to address one thing you said. "Our government", you said, "has so much potential to create a utopia." On one hand. I couldn't disagree more strongly. But on the other hand, I couldn't agree more passionately. Utopia holds a different definition for different people. Therefore, a collective utopia is an unreachable objective, and trying to create a utopia for one, might create a living **** for another. Moreover, America is an idea defined on the concept of individualism, not collectivism. But in the sense that the United States government can, and should, guarantee the right of every individual to seek and attain his own utopia, I would agree. The right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is an individual guarantee, not a collective one. Moreover, it's the pursuit of happiness that's guaranteed, not the attainment of happiness. All too often, people misunderstand this very simple concept. When people look towards the government (or anyone else, for that matter) to "make them happy" instead of relying on themselves, not only will they always fall short of their objective, but it's contradictory to the principles that started this big called America experiment in the first place, and it will always infringe on the liberties of others.

But I digress. Back to George Carlin.

As I've mentioned an several occasions, I'm a record album collector, and my collection of comedy records stands at well over a hundred. Jonathan Winters, Bob Newhart, Stan Freeberg, Redd Foxx (Did you know Redd's birth name was......Sanford?), Alan Sherman, The Smothers Brothers, Shelley Berman, Steve Martian, Cheech and Chong, Jerry Clower, Woody Woodbury, Bill Cosby, Carol Burnette, Tom Lehrer, George Carlin, and more, are all in my collection. The seven words you can't say on TV, by George Carlin, is one of the best comedy recordings of all time. But it's rather obsolete today, I suppose, as nothing is off-base on television anymore.

There's such a thing as laughing at yourself to keep things from getting too serious, and a little self-depreciating humor about ourselves as Americans can be just as therapeutic. But I would hate to think that someone might derive their political opinions and subsequent conclusions based on such humor, thus the intent of the original thread.

And no, I don't think George Carlin destroys the American dream. To the contrary, I think he epitomizes it. After all, when he started his comedy career in the 60s, what other country could have accommodated such a successful realization of his dream? In Cuba, China, The Soviet Union, or Saddam's Iraq, he would have been shot! And even though many of his routines are anti-American, or so they seem, I'd bet anything that he'd give credit to America for his success just as much as he pokes fun at her.

Stay cool, and don't believe anything the Bush administration tells you. In fact, play it safe: don't believe anything anybody tells you.
- George Carlin.

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Typo Alert

by maxwell edison In reply to On George Carlin

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I'll blame a cut and paste error on this.

A sentence above should have read, "....but it's contradictory to the principles that started this big experiment called America in the first place...."

(I hate it when that happens....)

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typoes

by Cactus Pete In reply to On George Carlin

self-deprecating, not self-depreciating, eh?

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dpetrak - thank you for pointing these thing out

by maxwell edison In reply to On George Carlin

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I guess that's what I get for typing too much too fast.

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Good ole george

by Oz_Media In reply to On George Carlin

"I suppose, as nothing is off-base on television anymore"

I have the seven words routine on LP too (for the younger members, ann LP is a Long Play record. A vinyl disk used for rplicating audio via a small needle that follows the bumps magically hidden into Grooves in the large plastic disc) but I really don't think they are on TV too much, even with the more liberated North American TV. IN Canada they've graduated from soft to medium core porn on TV, full frontal no close ups, and the F word is becoming more and more accepted by the CRTC (Canada's FCC).

Remeber Carlin as the train conductor in the kids series about the famous British stories of Thomas the Train Engine?
Also had Ringo Starr doing the part for a while.

I don't know if you followed Sam Kineson (sp?) but he had the best takes on religion. He was a priest at one time, then say a different light and started to tear aprt biblical credibility with a vengeance. He did a few parts on rock videos and stuff but die a while back.

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by mrafrohead In reply to Why vote? Why get involve ...

Maxwell,

I don't think that I typed what I wanted to quite right.

What I am saying is this. We voters vote on something. It's approved. The "government" decides that they don't like it, so they overturn it. Even though the people said, this is what we want. They give US the finger and do what THEY want.

That is my experience.

So with that as an example, why waste the time to vote?

It's happened, I think four times to me and all other voters that voted on our Initiatives.

So ultimately, the people speak, majority rules, but it counts for nothing. So why should we waste our time?

And I'm not being challenging on this to be an asshole, but I'm trying to learn, so please reply.

I understand that the way of our country is that we voice our opinion, majority rules and from that majority, law is made.

Well here, it seems to me, we are returning back to the ways of old England. The king says this, so screw the people and that's that. I recall us leaving there and having a big ol war because of it. So I KNOW that it's a big deal, but those in authority don't seem to think so. They need their fancy offices and expensive cars on our dime, but don't want to invest our money where we vote them to or how we vote them to.

In all honesty, I found it insulting that my voice was taken away from me when they cancelled our votes. That was MY voice on that stupid little card, and it was taken away. Along with every other person in this state. And they have done it more than once, which shows it was no accident.

So, please enlighten me. Everyone I know thinks that I'm stupid for my way of thinking on this topic, but I keep thinking of this thing I read once. Spite me once, shame on you. Spite me twice, shame on me. Or something like that...

mrafrohead

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by mrafrohead In reply to Why vote? Why get involve ...

"I was expecting an "elections are a joke" message, so you didn't disappoint. But again, if elections are a joke, at least your vote may allow you to write your own punch line."

I don't quite know how to respond to this. I was going to ignore it, but the more I think about it, it's really turning my freakin guts inside out. These are fighting words!

First off, I know you all think I'm a joke here. Hence the reason I started the thread off with a note, that I'm being serious. No screwing around, dead serious.

I am sharing my experience in life with voting. Then posing the question, why continue to get burned?

Just because I make light of most things, and my opinion may be different than just about everyone else's doesn't mean it's wrong. Maybe I just see it in a different light.

My point, I stated I was being serious, and I don't appreciate being mocked.

But while you're at it, here's something else you can make a joke of.

Your idea of America is dying. It is being sold to the lowest bidder, and we are all being played as fools because we are allowing it to happen. Unfortunately, the cowards of this country would never do what it takes to fix the problem and only one person can do nothing.

I love what this country was founded on. But where we are now, is no where in the ballpark of where we started. The duel that you mentioned earlier, that is honorable. Not how it's done now with digging dirt on your opponent and showing it to the world, or lying or cheating or stealing. All what our government does very well. **** on us, they'd rather spend their time and money taking care of all of the other countries first, so we at least have a nice image. While our own are dying on the streets, and have no options.

Greed has bought this country, and we are all falling with it. The only way I can think of to fix it is to completely start over.

But what do I know, I'm just an uneducated, ignorant computer nerd that should be locked up in an institution for my crazy ways of thinking.

All I know for sure, is when I think of where we are heading, and where we are at, it doesn't "feel" right. This isn't what was intended for us. We have been sold, but no one is willing to open their eyes and see it.

Mrafrohead

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