Thoughts from Lileks on Letterman:
What’s amusing is how unamusing he is in the clip. How sour he seems. Compare him to his predecessors: Carson was all midwestern charm, with unreadable yet mannerly reserve; Steve Allen was almost as smart as he was certain you thought he must be, but he was cheerful; Parr was a nattering nutball covered with a rich creamy nougat of ego, but he was engaging. Letterman is empty; he’s inert; he stands for nothing except disdain for people foolish enough to stand for anything – aside from rote obesciance to all the things Decent People stand for, of course, all those shopworn assumptions passed around in the bubble.
This posture was fresh in ’80; it even had energy. But it paralyzes the heart after a while. You end up an SOB who shows up at the end of the night to reassure that nothing matters. I think he may have invented the posture of Nerd Cool, an aspect so familiar to anyone who reads message boards – the skill at deflating enthusiasm, puncturing passion with a hatpin lobbed from a safe distance. The instinctive unease with the wet messy energy of actual people.
Yes, reading too much into it. Really, it’s just a rote slam: If your mother is a loathed politician, and your older sister gets pregnant, famous old men can make jokes about you being knocked up by rich baseball players, and there’s nothing you can do. That’s the culture: a flat, dead-eyed, square-headed old man who’ll go back to the writers and ask for more Palin-daughter knocked-up jokes, because that one went over well. Other children he won’t touch, but not because he’s decent. It’s because he’s a coward.
I’ve never had any use for him, myself. But I’ve never been much into late-night “comedy,” period.
[Update a few minutes later]
Why aren’t feminists upset with Dave?
Because they’re leftists first, true feminists a distant second. And besides, Sarah Palin isn’t a real woman and of course, by extension, neither is her fourteen-year-old daughter. So they’re fair game.
Little Miss Atilla pulls no punches:
This is American Sharia, a**holes. The practitioners of Sharia in Muslim countries are at least consistent in their contempt for women and in their practice of gender apartheid: you, on the other hand, want sexual slavery for some women in this country; others, whose opinions you prefer, can live in relative peace and freedom. You will allow it.
If you are giving women and girls the “gift” of not being badgered for being female, and threatened with misogyny and sexual assault, they are not truly free—only living in a state of grace, contingent upon performing the right tricks, spouting leftist verbiage like seals at Sea World, balancing balls on their noses in the hopes of getting fish thrown into their mouths.
And any woman who doesn’t understand this fundamental truth about the misogynists living among them could be in for a rude awakening at any point, because that attitude will infect those who harbor it.
The leftist men in the sixties were notorious for their sexism and misogyny, considering women only useful for cooking and sex, while they wrote their manifestos. In fact, the feminist backlash in the seventies against “male chauvinist pigs” was a direct result of the experience of many of the women in the sixties with their “progressive” male cohorts. Some of them never grew up. Letterman is of that generation.