Our Weird Politics

Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, and MAGA.

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When Comedy is Not Funny

Great comics combine social commentary with humor. Increasingly, they’ve skipping the latter.

David Brooks’ $78 Airport Burger

A joke(?) gone a-rye.

Does Comedy Have to be Based on Truth?

Hasan Minhaj is a serial liar. Does it matter?

The Retirement Age

France shines new light on an old problem.

Leo Gallagher, 1946-2022

The stand-up comic is gone at 76.

Monday Morning Tabs

Stuff from last week and over the weekend that might be of interest.

Lived Experience in Art and Journalism

What are the limits of representation?

Louis C.K. Wins Grammy While Canceled

Is the creepy comic’s comeback complete?

Respectability Politics

A Black columnist argues that Will Smith set back a whole race.

Some Thoughts on “Cancel Culture”

Thomas gets the ball rolling, and I take off from there.

Is Putin “Irrational”?

Addressing an analytical pet peeve (and, more importantly, correcting a mistake).

More Rogan (but not Just Rogan)

Musings about US politics and culture.

Joe Rogan, Experienced

Out of a sense of fairness, I gave a listen.

Why Was Whoopi Goldberg Suspended?

Since when is it a crime to say stupid things on “The View”?

The Economics of Streaming

The industry is changing rapidly.

Bob Saget, 1956-2022

The beloved comedian and actor is gone at 65.

Mort Sahl, 1927-2021

The first modern stand-up comedian has died at 94.

The Psychology of Internet Fame

Our brains are wired to seek approval but may not be equipped to handle our modern existence.

Norm Macdonald, 1959-2021

The SNL comic has died of cancer at 61.

Southernification of Rural America

Rural-urban is now a bigger divide than North-South.

Weak Parties and the CA Recall

With an appearance by Caitlyn Jenner’s choice of party.

Jay Leno Apologizes for Asian Jokes

His stale jokes about eating dog have drawn fire for years.

Amazon Killing Libraries?

The quasi-monopoly power of the world’s largest bookstore is problematic. Maybe.

Party of Grievance

Not of governance.

Dave Chappelle’s SNL Monologue

A quadrennial tradition.

Carl Reiner Dead at 98

A legendary comic is gone.

White Actors No Longer Voicing Cartoons of Color

Another bow to the inevitable.

Dave Chappelle’s 8:46

Arguably the best comedian of his generation is not kidding around.

Rush Limbaugh’s Presidential Medal of Freedom

Another controversy amid a reality show State of the Union address.

The Hidden Left-Liberal Divide

One side is arguing over rules while the other is focused on consequences.

Joe Rogan, Bernie Sanders, and the Intellectual Dark Web

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Understanding Ukraine

Trying to nail down some basics about a very complicated situation.

Thrust Into An American Scandal, Ukraine’s President Dubbed ‘Monica Zelensky’

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky finds himself in he middle of an historic American scandal, and with a new nickname.

Trump Put Ukraine Military Aid On Hold Just Days Before Phone Call

Just days before he repeatedly pressured the President of Ukraine to reopen a closed investigation involving the son of former Vice-President Biden, President Trump suspended military aid that had been authorized by Congress.

The President, The Whistleblower, And Ukraine

The latest allegations about exactly what the President may have been trying to do in a phone call with a foreign leader that caught the attention of a whistleblower are becoming more serious by the day.

Americans Can’t Distinguish Satire from Reality

Stories from sites like The Onion are routinely shared on social media and perceived as real news.

Epstein Death Leads To Legitimate Questions And Baseless Conspiracy Theories

Jeffrey Epstein’s death by suicide has led to many legitimate questions that should be investigated. It has also led to the rise of a number of baseless conspiracy theories.

Author Herman Wouk Dies At 103

Herman Wouk, best known for works such as The Caine Mutiny, The Winds of War, and War and Remembrance, has died at the age of 103.

Tim Conway, Versatile Comedian, Dead At 85

Legendary Comedian Tim Conway has died at the age of 85.

Colbert on Trump’s Family Separation Policy

A classic demonstration of the old maxim, “the medium is the message.”

1970s and 1980s Yearbooks Featured Blatant Racism—And Not Just in the South

Ku Klux Klan jokes, fake lynchings, and the like were routinely depicted even at places like Cornell.

Ralph Northam’s Forgivable Sin

Virgnia’s governor has to resign. But not because of some 35-year-old photos.

Roger Stone Indicted In Russia Probe

Roger Stone, who worked with the Trump campaign in an official and unofficial capacity throughout the campaign, has been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Kirsten Gillibrand Enters The Race For President

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest Democratic entrant into the 2020 race for President.

What’s The Problem With Apu?

One of the longest-lasting characters on The Simpsons may not be long for this world, but before we write him off perhaps we ought to stop and think.

Bill Cosby Sentenced To Up To Ten Years In Prison

After forty years, a sexual predator finally gets at least some of what he deserves.

What is Labor, Anyway?

Entertainers work for a living, too.

Louis C.K.’s Awkward Comeback

The masturbator-harasser is doing stand-up again.