Sunday, November 05, 2006

Explain later:

First, in re: your comments on Sascha Baron Cohen.
The only person immune to his ridicule is himself. That's a valid point, which you then use to let your mind take off into flights of unsupported literary and philosophical rambling. In doing so you duplicate his symptoms: the intellectual narcissism of someone who cocoons himself in his own ideas, and his own ideas about the world.

Ask 3 mathematicians from 3 different countries to write the number "5" on a blackboard, and the marks will all have the same meaning. Ask them to draw the same landscape and the drawings will be strikingly dissimilar. Each landscape will be different. Words exist somewhere between numbers and pictures, they're ambiguous, but you treat them like external objects.

You and Baron Cohen, like George W. Bush - though he's the only idiot- share the same narcissistic weakness: the world is or must be as you perceive it.

Ralph Nader attacked The Rockford Files as an example of violence on television. when a theme of the show was the main character's distaste for it. Rockfish had a gun but hated touching it and every time he was forced to hit someone his hand got hurt. The show was of all things, humane and funny.

The strength of Stewart and Colbert as opposed to Baron Cohen is in the touches of humanity, of real terror at the stupidity of the people they mock not as a terror of others but of themselves.
"Are people that stupid? Are WE that stupid"
Battlestar Galactica deals in a world of post-apocalyptic moral ambiguity and does so with more humanism than one would expect on television, let alone in televised Sci Fi. Your comments on that show are as absurd the right wingers' encomiums from past seasons.

As for the genealogy of Borat. My father could not bear to watch Faulty Towers. "That's not comedy, that's psychosis!"
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Now on to this post, because they're connected:
"The solution to this, to use the answer implied in Aristotle, is reality."

There is no 'reality' there is only an argument over what it might be. What that argument requires are shared parameters among the beliefs of the people who are engaged in it. We need shared 'half-truths' to negotiate the ambiguity. Do we still have respect for the semi-failure of all acts of communication? Do we have faith in the "semi-failure" of government that defines a republic?

Yes. That's why people trust the honest insincerity of Stewart and Colbert's true fake news. But the lack of that respect, the weakness of the mind alone, is the flaw in Baron Cohen's mockery and Newberry's relentless intellectualizing. The isolated [misunderstood] genius is not a model for communication nor even for thought.

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