Rep. Massa is the Hunchback of Notre Dame. He is an object of derision with a mad crowd that points, laughs and throws stuff. They cheer wildly as each insult hits its mark. I know this because I stand in the middle of that crowd. These are the times in which we live, and hey, I'm pretty good at it. I'm fairly certain he walked out on stage of his own volition. I'm sure I read his t-shirt clearly that read, "thank you America, can I have another". It's good spectacle so don't tell me to cover my eyes. I'm taking it all in. I am participating in 21st century American democracy, emphasis on the "mock" part. A public whipping takes place every week. It's a different victim in a different landscape with a different nuance, to be sure, but it's a public whipping and count me among the audience making best uses of my interactive technological applications.
This is not a self-loathing moment. If that's your expectation then stop reading now, this is no narrative about epiphany, moral realization and repentence. That ain't me. This isn't about a "despicable" press. My what an antiquated notion! Sentimentality about the trusted Cronkite press suggests I hate baseball because Bob Gibson retired. I watch baseball and hiss the new villains. I watch the news and hurl insults at the latest hunchback.
I am nether proud nor embarrased by any of this as it neither uplifts or demeans me. It is sport and I am only playing a game. These people are trotted out solely for my entertainment. It would be rude not to watch. If you watch cable news and wonder, "who watches this stuff?", that would be me. It's produced for me. It's scheduled for my convenience. MSNBC even repeats stuff so I can work my life around them. That's pretty gracious of them I think.
Being a satirist is the finest, laziest hobby in the world. I create nothing, I just poke fun at the crap you made. And, if you're producing the news, well you create 24 hours daily for crap for me to mock. It's all grist for the mill from the talking heads and technical mishaps to the racist rants landing finally on the hypocritical polticians and the uninformed baboons who interview them. To be fair, I can't even keep up. At least once a week they bring me a hunchback. It is my favorite part.
The sweetest part, I can tell you, is that it's not your lives that I ridicule. It is our lives, and that self awareness that exposes self-mocking makes it all..okay. I only need a laugh or two to insure I'll return again tomorrow. On a good day, you join me.
Rachel Maddow ticks me off. She is an actual journalist. She leaves me no jokes. Worse, if jokes are there, she says them, in a more professional, journalistic and mature way than I ever could. I watch her only for the awe factor. Oh, and to get the news. If every news show was like Rachel's, we would simply be an informed citizendry perfecting our culture through democratic means. My gosh, what a yawner. Where's the sport in that? I'd be off Twitter and calling possible opponents for Yahtzee. I might have real friends again, not virtual ones. My children would not start every sentence with, "Dad can you stop typing for a minute?"; another antiquated notion.
So leave me to the tools of my trade. My orange Boehner, Dumbo Palin, alien Bachmann, Mansonesque Cheney, testicle swinging white sheeted teabaggers, johns Ensign & Vitter & Vatican's own Stupak. And believe me, that is the short list. And once a week, bring me a hunchback Massa. Never ask why I have this grin on my face. And once a night visit Rachel Maddow and wonder how it might be, sadly,
another antiquated notion.