Re: Rock

1

If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.

What silliness! If there's anything you can learn from TV, it's how rich rich people are. And we know poor people watch TV!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 10:32 AM
horizontal rule
2

I can't tell if this bit is a joke or not, but I'm leaning towards not:

You've got to follow all that stuff. You have to understand it, because if you don't, then you're going to sound like an old guy. You got to have the ability to use it as a reference. A lot of the time, the difference between hip and unhip is just reference. We did some sketch the other night on SNL, and in it I tell my wife -- actually, we messed it up, but it was better in the dress -- anyway, I tell my wife, "Hey, honey, the cab's here." Then I look at it again. I go, "You know what? We got to rewrite this." "Hey, honey, the Uber's here." That little difference, it's a big, big deal.

Because, of course, one way not to sound old is to sound like my grandmother talking about when she went to the computer to get the email yesterday.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
3

Timely relevance aside, "Uber" is a much funnier word than "cab".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
4

I do like his description of why and how people are disappointed with Obama.

I'm trying to figure out the right analogy. Everybody wanted Michael Jordan, right? We got Shaq. That's not a disappointment. You know what I mean? We got Charles Barkley. It's still a Hall of Fame career. The president should be graded on jobs and peace, and the other stuff is debatable. Do more people have jobs, and is there more peace? I guess there's a little more peace. Not as much peace as we'd like, but I mean, that's kind of the gig. I don't recall anybody leaving on an up. It's just that kind of job. I mean, the liberals that are against him feel let down because he's not Bush. And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him. He literally operated like a cable network. You know what I mean?

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
5

4: You liked the basketball analogy?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
6

my grandmother talking about when she went to the computer to get the email yesterday.

At what point do you switch from having to sort out your kids' computer problems all the time to having them having to sort out your computer problems all the time? I'm kinda looking forward to that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:32 AM
horizontal rule
7

4: You liked the basketball analogy?

He follows that with a music analogy, ("So it's not that Obama's disappointing. It's just his best album might have been his first album.")

But as I continue reading, I also appreciate this exchange (as well as the conversation about Hillary near the end, but I won't both to excerpt that).

I don't think I've had any meetings with black film execs. Maybe one. It is what it is. As I told Bill Murray, Lost in Translation is a black movie: That's what it feels like to be black and rich. Not in the sense that people are being mean to you. Bill Murray's in Tokyo, and it's just weird. He seems kind of isolated. He's always around Japanese people. Look at me right now.

[We're sitting on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel overlooking Central Park.]

And there's only really one black person here who's not working. Bill Murray in Lost in Translation is what Bryant Gumbel experiences every day. Or Al Roker. Rich black guys. It's a little off.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
8

"So it's not that Obama's disappointing. It's just his best album might have been his first album."

That analogy doesnt' even make sense. If your first album is your best, you are definitely disappointing.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
9

8: What Rock is saying is that Obama's greatest achievement as President was being the first black President. Right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
10

And the thing about George Bush is that the kid revolutionized the presidency. How? He was the first president who only served the people who voted for him.

This sounds a lot like something a wingnut right wing person would say about Obama. And I don't think it's correct about either Bush or Obama -- although I am partisan enough to think it's closer to being true for Bush.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
11

6. I'm pretty sure that was a unique moment in time and now computers are so user-friendly that no one knows how to solve problems (that didn't know how to do it when they were harder to use).

Also 10 is right. It's nice to think about Bush that way, in a comforting way, but he really didn't look like he intended to be doing that. I mean, he campaigned that way, certainly, and some parts of the Republican party are openly that way. And both of those things are true for Obama, and most politicians. But I don't see much reason to doubt that he was trying to serve the country at large by accomplishing terrible things in stupid, horrible, disastrous ways.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
12

10: I dunno, being so resolutely partisan as to drive Jim Jeffords out of your party seems like an indication of a guy who was pretty much only playing to one side of the aisle.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
13

If President Obama is Shaq, what is his "free throw"?


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 12:26 PM
horizontal rule
14

The Congressional Republicans arguably adopted the Hack-a-Barack defense.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
15

13: A belief that the other party is capable of compromise.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
16

14: In this version of basketball there are no free throws and no ejections. Obama goes in for an easy layup and each time the Congressional Republicans hack him, and the ref calls the foul and Obama gets the ball back and tries again.

The wisdom of the analogy ban has rarely been better demonstrated.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
17

The analogy ban is like the offside rule of internet debate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
18

11: Didn't Bush say almost exactly that he was there to serve his voters with his "elections have consequences" quote?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 1:29 PM
horizontal rule
19

Rove was explicit (or was it just attributed to him) that if you get more than 51% of the vote, you've compromised too much.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
20

Bush had 3 signature domestic initiatives -- 1)tax cuts 2)Leave No Child Behind and 3)Medicare Prescription Drug Benefits. Two of those are clearly bipartisan.

The wars in Afghanistan, and Iraq, and the Patriot Act were bipartisan too. So what are you all talking about?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 1:34 PM
horizontal rule
21

Didn't Bush say almost exactly that he was there to serve his voters with his "elections have consequences" quote?

Didn't Obama use the same line (provoking a parallel obsessive response among conservatives)?


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
22

21: Probably. Although given how much more fractious the Democratic coalition is, it's probably less pernicious. And of, course, 20: we've long been governed by moderate center-rightists.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 1:57 PM
horizontal rule
23

20.last: I was going to say this earlier, but: 9/11 confuses matters, so you need to look at his moves in the first 9 months. Recall that, in the aftermath of the contested election, all the Villagers said that Bush was sure to moderate his policies our of deference to the circumstances of his election, and then he completely failed to do so. The Bush tax cuts were pushed through (using reconciliation) bigger and worse than ever, and then the followup that phased out the estate tax a few months later. Cheney had his infamous energy task force, Bush reneged on a campaign promise to reduce air pollution, including CO2, and Bush also repudiated the Kyoto Protocol. Global gag rule signed on first day in office.

Also, Dems hate(d) the Bush Medicare Part D, because it was a total scamtastic giveaway to big pharma. The goal may have been bipartisan, but the actual legislation was resolutely partisan (and only passed thanks to unprecedented strong-arm tactics by Tom DeLay, almost certainly including direct bribery on the floor of the House).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 3:07 PM
horizontal rule
24

I'm going to Social for a social. Anything I should try, keeping in mind that I'm cheap and have shitty taste?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
25

22.last: And how that was handled in the media versus all the ongoing hand-wringing over the ACA is exhibit #9737 in the saga of "saying mainstream media 'fails' is a disservice to 'fail'."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 3:37 PM
horizontal rule
26

That should be 23.last. I laugh to think what those months would have been like if Gore had won under similar circumstances. (Can't find it with a cursory search, but prior to the election some Repub strategists had already attempted to salt the narrative about Gore being illegitimate if the situation was reversed, as seemed possible from polls.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
27

19: That makes his inability to pick a non-idiot pollster during the 2012 election even funnier than it was before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 3:48 PM
horizontal rule
28

Bush famously ran as the Uniter, the one who would move us beyond the bitter partisanship of the '90s, and made some big getsures towards this like NCLB, and they never legislated like the worst of their rhetoric, but they were incredibly partisan in the typical manner; appointments, lack of enforcement. Hell, they politicized the Justice Department with ideological purity tests, and partisan prosecutions. I'm still amazed at how little objection the Democrats and the media raised to this, even given my low opinions of both.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:10 PM
horizontal rule
29

Media doesn't raise objections. It conveys them, or not, as it's masters wish.

Lots of Democrats complained about all these things the whole time. After 9/11, the complaints had to take a certain form, but continued nonetheless.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:19 PM
horizontal rule
30

They didn't shut down the government, but if that's your standard, you're going to be disappointed in everyone all the time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
31

29: Lots of Democrats complained about all these things the whole time.

With relatively subdued media conveyance.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:23 PM
horizontal rule
32

Well, yeah, but anyone who wanted to know about such things could find out easily. I guess the assertion is that the complaints didn't go viral -- that's a tough standard to hold people who can't control the media. I.e., people going against the Village narrative.

I was going to make an analogy to blaming Obama for the way Maliki purged Sunni officials after the departure of US forces -- I mean, where's the leadership? -- but that would certainly fall on the wrong side of the line.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
33

(Speaking of whom, I heard from a guy in Baghdad today that Maliki is trying to stage a come back of sorts from his position as VP (which, conveniently, insulates him from investigation into his prior corruption) Bush/Cheney is truly the gift that keeps on giving. To everyone.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
34

24: Advice too late, but I don't really recall. It was over a year ago that we went. IIRC flatbread pizza was above average, but not amazing. Something else was pretty damn good - tater tots with cheesy sauce? Something like that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
35

Well, yeah, but anyone who wanted to know about such things could find out easily.

And if they knew enough that they had to do more than look to conventional media outlets. Sunday Show world was a different world.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 4:55 PM
horizontal rule
36

The rise of Kos, TPM, and other online venues came about because the traditional "SCL" media was grossly underserving people outside the Village. It still is. My point is that you can blame Obama or Pelosi or Ralph Nader or anyone else who's not getting heard for this, but that makes you a crank.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
37

I had fries and $2 Brooklyn Lagers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
38

The spokescreatures for the Democrats in the media are almost universally anemic. Surely this can't be solely the fault of the media. Obviously, they have some freedom to select only the most Villager approved representatives, but I can't believe the party has no influence on the talking points these people use.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 5:36 PM
horizontal rule
39

The party has no influence on talking points! Jesus, do you have any understanding of how parties work in our system? People can tell employees what to do. Outside of that, no one can tell anyone what to do. It's silos all the way down.

The parties also have no influence -- none, whatsoever -- who the media wants to put on. If you want to be on the media, you have to dance to the media tune. The alternative doesn't exist in our society, and never has.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
40

Now $2 Yuengling. Plus dalriata's coworker.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:15 PM
horizontal rule
41

If he asks about me, we met not here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
42

Maybe bagging food for the homeless.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
43

I'm unconvinced that fundraising organizations like the DLC don't get any influence with their money. Isn't there a network of shitty Democratic strategists who keep getting jobs because their employment is required before a campaign can see national money? Or has this changed?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
44

Or bagging the homeless for food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:37 PM
horizontal rule
45

Bush/Cheney is truly the gift that keeps on giving. To everyone.)

Just today I got linked to this George Will column from earlier in the month:

The last 11 years have been filled with hard learning. The 2003 invasion of Iraq, the worst foreign policy decision in U.S. history, coincided with mission creep ("nation building") in Afghanistan.

The worst foreign policy decision in US history. I am not a good enough student of history debate that, but it's quite a claim.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
46

That was me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
47

18 et seq.

A fair bit of mythology has grown up around the impact of Matthew Dowd's "There Are No Swing Voters Anymore" memo in November 2000. In Rove's telling, the pre-election plan was to govern from the center, until the Dowd memo convinced him of the wisdom of energizing the base instead. That story always seemed a little too convenient to be plausible.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:51 PM
horizontal rule
48

The worst foreign policy decision in US history.

Worse than the escalation in Vietnam, maybe, but certainly nowhere near as bad as the decision not to invade and then annex Canada.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
49

Think how cold it would be here if we got rid of that border.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 6:59 PM
horizontal rule
50

The worst foreign policy decision in US history. I am not a good enough student of history debate that, but it's quite a claim.

It's up there with "hey, lets fight the British again!" in 1812.

On preview, 48 seems to think that was a good idea....


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
51

45: The fact that George Will made the claim causes me to think it can't possibly be correct, but I am struggling to find a counterexample (at least measured by the conventional gauge of cost effective promotion of national interests; there are certainly foreign policy decisions that were worse on a purely moral dimension).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 7:04 PM
horizontal rule
52

Von Wafer, could you send me your current email? I was going to send you something and noticed I only have an address that I assume is obsolete.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
53

It's my last name and then my first name at gee mail. You can also send me mail through my personal website. Or you can use my old work address. I still check there if I know that I need to look for something.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 7:35 PM
horizontal rule
54

If 40 is wrong, I blame $2 beers and certain people earning the respect of their peers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
55

Plus, would it kill you to have a less common first name.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 1-14 8:12 PM
horizontal rule
56

So, does anybody want to talk about the comedy parts of the interview. I found them pretty depressing, and confirming that for all the great comics it produces, the American comedy business is a bit messed up by the need to get your TV show and then stay on TV. Now, obviously Chris Rock isn't your typical comic, so when he says he can't try out new material for fear of having a bad version end up on Twitter, it's different from, say, Jenn Kirkman saying the same thing. But it's a pretty stark contrast to the scene in the UK where people are constantly trying out new material (partly that's a cultural thing - the UK scene revolves to a certain extent around Edinburgh which demands a mostly new set every year), seemingly without fear of internet reprisal. While there are certainly internet blow-ups, they're usually the result of rehearsed material. And more importantly you can make a living outside of TV because of the commercial viability of touring. And even on TV there are just more venues for second tier and below comics, because of all the panel shows.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 1:47 AM
horizontal rule
57

because of all the panel shows.

Not a feature, my friend. Not. A. Feature.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:08 AM
horizontal rule
58

I kind of want to hear more on 48. What specific time are you talking about? Saying that we had insufficient gusto during the War of 1812?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:24 AM
horizontal rule
59

I dunno, I think it is. I mean, there are a lot of crappy ones, sure, but there have been many great ones over the years (Shooting Stars, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, the early years of HIGNFY, even QI can be good). And I reckon @Midnight is one of the two or three best comedy shows on in the US now. But I wasn't so much talking about their quality so much as the way they can give a much wider variety of comics frequent national mainstream exposure doing more or less their own thing than the US model of strictly sitcoms, movie roles and very rare "specials".

Speaking of panel shows, what's the deal with how pretty much all the few US ones that exist (@Midnight, Wait Wait, and Ask Me Another spring to mind, and it even applies to pseudo-panels like Doug Loves Movies) having the panellists playing for random members of the public? Where did that practice originate? As far as I know it's never done in the UK.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 7:27 AM
horizontal rule
60

I confused this with the recent NYTimes discussion between Rock and QuestLove sort of about the new film. Also pretty good.

I always say, my kids are so rich, when they watch "Diff'rent Strokes," they side with Mr. Drummond. "What's wrong with those kids? Don't they know a good deal when they see it?""


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 8:41 AM
horizontal rule
61

Two thoughts spring to mind: (1) a native gimmick to boost ratings by giving everyone a chance to be named on the show; (2) maybe distantly associated with Celebrity Jeopardy where they play for charities?

I like UK panel shows in general, and feel the closest American equivalents are too competitive in format. @Midnight comes the closest.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
62

I listen to the News Quiz, mostly because I listen to the Now Show and they seem to be alternate seasons in the same podcast subscription, and while it's reasonably funny, I do find the kabuki 'game' format bizarre -- the handing out of points, and announcing which team won at the end of the episode just seems goofy. It's not like the accuracy of the panelists' knowledge of the news is what's driving the interest of the show. I'd like the show a little better if it dropped the game aspect entirely.

Once you've sticking with the 'game' format, involving random people off the street who are going to win or lose in some mildly meaningful way, makes more sense to me. (Although I admit that I can't listen to Wait wait.... at all. I find it insanely boring.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
63

56: I think he agrees with you that touring is lucrative--he mentions how much more you make when you tour, and that it's only having small children and attending their events that prevents him. He even jokes about going on summer break tours, to align with his kid's school year.

Otherwise... yeah, I hadn't ever thought about it, but everyone with a recorder in their pocket + the internet outrage machine does make trying out new material more fraught.

Unfortunately, that's a lesson I think we keep relearning-- when politicians are honest (or pandering) and are caught on tape, they learn to stick the the same 5 sentence talking points. Which means that you never get to hear the actual thoughts of successful politicians--and the debate's artificially constricted. You can't stumble into common ground if you can't lay out heterodox positions.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
64

I always say, my kids are so rich, when they watch "Diff'rent Strokes," they side with Mr. Drummond. "What's wrong with those kids? Don't they know a good deal when they see it?""

That's another example of this thing I have with Chris Rock. I think he's exactly wrong -- rich kids wouldn't understand what the big deal is - it's poor kids who be amazed at what a sweet deal Willis and Arnold are getting.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
65

The profusion of panel shows in the UK is amazing. I stayed in hotels for a week and somehow never happened across any fictional TV shows. It seemed like all there was was panel shows, Big Brother, specials where some celebrity walks around various places talking about history, and reality shows about the daily life of someone with a weird physical condition. And reruns of random American content ("Knock Off", the Rob Schneider / JCVD movie? In the year 2010? At 9 PM?).


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
66

re: 65

There's quite a bit of good fictional TV produced, but it tends to be shown in blocks at certain times of the week, or in certain slots. You'll find it largely on the BBC channels, ITV1, and Channel 4, not so much on the rest. Lots of soaps and long-running drama serials, as well.

The UK is much like the US, I imagine? [I've never watched any TV when I've actually been in America]. A core of a few high quality channels and most of the rest are just re-runs, game shows, cheap movies, and so on.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
67

56: According to Rock, American standups, including him, is constantly trying out new material.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
68

66: 65 was talking, I think, about any fictional TV, not just better-quality fiction. Surf TV in the US and you'll find tons of sitcoms, procedurals, etc. But maybe it was related to the times Ned was watching.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 12- 2-14 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
69

I can't listen to Wait wait.... at all. I find it insanely boring.

Huh. To a first approximation, it's the only public radio show I care for at all. I'd guess the key is finding Peter Gross funny; the panelists are important (and a few of the regulars are duds, unfortunately), but he's the glue.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
70

62: Many of the better UK panel shows play with the pointlessness of the scoring. Most famously ISIHAC, with its , but also Shooting Stars (silly and usually humiliating trial for the winner) and International Waters (the last round scores a million points, rendering the rest of the show moot for "winning" purposes) and QI (a system that allows and facilitates getting negative points). I'd agree that the News Quiz doesn't get much out of keeping score, though.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-14 9:33 AM
horizontal rule