My reaction to the news that Jon Stewart is leaving The Daily Show is to quote, again, Screwtape. Because this is what I always hear on the rare occasions that I'm unable to avoid listening to Stewart1
But flippancy is the best of all. In the first place it is very economical. Only a clever human can make a real Joke about virtue, or indeed about anything else; any of them can be trained to talk as if virtue were funny. Among flippant people the joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it. If prolonged, the habit of Flippancy builds up around a man the finest armour-plating against the Enemy that I know, and it is quite free from the dangers inherent in the other sources of laughter. It is a thousand miles away from joy: it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practise it...
That sums up Jon Stewart for me. "The joke is always assumed to have been made. No one actually makes it; but every serious subject is discussed in a manner which implies that they have already found a ridiculous side to it.
" And, of course, his audience, and his fans, are convinced of their own moral and intellectual superiority. The cloud of smug emanating from every frame is intense.
The downside is that he'll no doubt be replaced by someone just as bad, doing the same sort of schtick. And no doubt he'll pop up somewhere else, doing the same thing.
But I'll manage to continue not watching...
- I don't ever watch his show, but there are enough people who do, and enough commentary about it, and enough viral videos demonstrating his awesomeness in interviews with relevant political figures, that I've seen quite enough of him, I believe, to comment. So I shall.
Labels: Jon Stewart, Lewis, Screwtape