Picking on easy targets again

I think it’s time for me to explain why, after a life as a Democrat, I’ve turned my back so vehemently on my former party, and why I reject the word “liberal,” even though I once embraced it, and still hold to the classic ideas for which is stands. However, this will not be that post. I have a fair amount of work today, a short day in which to do it, and a backlog of fatigue. So, I’m going for the easy post, which is a quick comment on this week’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which I finally got around to watching.

As you know from an earlier post I did, Sorkin’s hostility to “Right Wing” Christians is pathetic and pathological. His lack of courage — that is, his picking on an easy target that he knows won’t strike back — was again evident in this week’s show. I don’t even have to waste time summarizing the plot, which was vapid and turgid. It’s enough to know that Studio 60 is a show about making a sketch comedy akin to Saturday Night Life (“SNL”). The big enemies are Bush, the network, and “Right Wing” Christians. Bush is dangerous to the country; while the network and those pesky Christians keep trying to mess with the heroes’ job security (as well as to stifle free speech, of course).

Because of the SNL premise, it is incumbent on the show to come up with some sketch ideas. This week’s sketch was called “Science Schmience,” and was apparently a parody of a Jeopardy-style game show. The contestants were an Orthodox Jew (played by Rob Reiner), who is a Kahane follower; a Taliban member; a Right Wing Christian; a Wiccan; and a college student. Throughout the show, you’d get interludes where the camera would bop in on rehearsals for this “comedy” sketch. The “host” would ask a question rooted in science, and you’d get to hear one of the “contestants” give a response rooted in faith.

Interestingly, the camera never got around to picking on that Taliban man’s beliefs. That is, there were moments were the Christian and the Jew were made to look like ignorant fools. There was a moment when the college student gave the right scientific answer but was told she was wrong under the “science shmience” rubric, and the “Wiccan” got to make a witch hat joke. The Taliban man’s only line was to the effect that “the Jew is right,” and even that wasn’t as to a religious point.

In other words, for all his big talk about freedom of speech and striking back at religious bigots, Sorkin never touched the Taliban man’s presumed extreme religious beliefs, violent political ideology, misogyny, etc. It was such a pathetically obvious avoidance that it simply reinforced the fact that Sorkin will only attack those he knows won’t strike back.  This is a bad show, not because it’s badly written (Sorkin is a good writer) or badly acted (the ensemble is strong), but because its ideas are manifestly wrong.  Ultimately, there is nothing Sorkin can do to use a fantasy to tout his courage, when we’re all well aware of what’s going on in the real world.  No wonder the show is a ratings disaster.

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  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I think it’s time for me to explain why, after a life as a Democrat, I’ve turned my back so vehemently on my former party, and why I reject the word “liberal,” even though I once embraced it, and still hold to the classic ideas for which is stands.

    Does that mean you are a classical liberal instead of a fake one?

    His lack of courage — that is, his picking on an easy target that he knows won’t strike back — was again evident in this week’s show.

    Those homophobes do strike back, they just strike back in the form of protesting at the funeral of our soldiers and holding up signs that say “God hates faggots and God Hates you”. Funny, doesn’t that make the wacko Right wing christians on the Left’s side? The Left is attacking the Christians that are on their side, perhaps a little engineering of a plausible threat? Hah. Amateur tactics.

    It was such a pathetically obvious avoidance that it simply reinforced the fact that Sorkin will only attack those he knows won’t strike back.

    Naw, can’t be, Book. How about a different interpretation. Sorkin isn’t attacking the Taliban guy because he is still in negotiation with the Taliban in how to “coordinate” their attacks on each other in such a way as to accrue mutual benefit. The Left attacks the Right as homophobic and whatever, extremist religionite. The real homophobic religionites are, in the meantime, chanting all that crack about US soldiers died cause God punished them for letting in gays. Wow, that sounds like US soldiers died cause Bush went and got into a bad war. They attack each other but they are also on the same side. They both want the same thing, and they aren’t too hesitant about engaging in Foley attacks to get it.

  • http://captainsql.blogspot.com Cappy

    Heh heh heh. Looks like Rob Reiner wasn’t merely playing Meathead in All in the Family.

  • erp

    It’s been obvious for a long time, that gratuitous asides attacking conservatives are a fact of life in the cinema and on television programs.

    We’ve sorta been watching “Vanished” because it comes on after “Prison Break” which was fascinating when it started last year, but has become somewhat tedious after only a couple of episodes in the new season, but I digress.

    The episode last Monday had an info-babe (a little Rush jargon) intoning that the senator was returning to vote against the conservative supreme court nominee who endorsed warrantless searches.

    I don’t have the quote verbatim, but the gist was that the courageous senator who just learned that his adored wife was brutally murdered, was willing to do his duty to prevent a conservative from being seated on the bench.

    So another so-called entertainment show is being struck from the magic recording device attached to our cable box.