November 14, 2006
More quoting - here's an example of why I read Roy Edroso:.
[I]f there's any justice, David Letterman will one day be recognized as the father of our era. As with the Taibbi piece below, one shouldn't imagine the use of the term "American" here prevents a wider application.
Like other great men, Letterman knew that Americans were dumb as rocks but still had their pride, so if you were going to feed them the intellectual equivalent of hogslop, you had better flatter their intelligence at the same time.
While genii such as Cecil B. DeMille managed this trick by festooning their slopfests with Biblical and historical trappings -- making anti-culture look like culture -- Letterman found a much cheaper, much more insidious angle: let the rubes in on the gag. Call the pet tricks "stupid," make the showbiz flash-and-rattle even stupider than it needed to be, and cheerfully represent yourself as the hollowest of hollow men, and the suckers would applaud not only your twaddle, but the label on the twaddle that said it was twaddle.
Thus we began to accept lack of sincerity as an American equity, if not a virtue. This threw commercial culture into reverse gear: stupid and ugly were no longer absolute negative virtues... Nowadays the only negative virtues have to do with being a Loser: indicted, dumped, disgraced. But with enough money and a sufficiently energetic image handler, I'm sure even Kevin Federline can come back from exile.
As a liberal baby-killing sodomite, I can accept moral relativism in most things, but it breaks my American heart to see public relations, advertising, and celebrity management unmoored from the verities.