Jon Stewart Slams CNN, Proves We Still Have Human Feelings

I just saw an alarming segment of the Daily Show. Jon Stewart played a clip of a CNN program called “Early Morning”. True to its word, it begins at 5am. Ashleigh Banfield called Kerry Kennedy – at 5am – and proceeded to discuss her father’s assassination, asking if she had any “haunting memories” of her father’s campaigns.

Jon Stewart summed up the train wreck thusly: “You don’t cold-call a Kennedy at 5:00 in the morning. Do you know how many unexpected tragedies this family has suffered?”

It wasn’t the first time things went horribly awry with this cockamamie idea. As I watched, squirming and deeply embarrassed for everyone involved in the call, I realized that our culture can still be saved. We can still be embarrassed – we still feel shame. In the reality tv blitz where people discuss the most private events of their lives, it is good to know that there is not an audience for this kind of mindless stupidity.

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From “God, If You’re Not Up There, I’m Fucked” by Darrell Hammond

Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond’s gritty, funny memoir is a surprise win for me. I always enjoyed him as Bill Clinton and Sean Connery on the show but knew nothing about his real life. In his memoir, he discusses his suicide attempts, drug addictions, cutting behaviors, and how he finally made his life a success. His arrival at Saturday night live was some twenty years in the making. He wanted to be a comedian but his demons kept dragging him off course. There is a sense that he didn’t really expect to be successful, but he kept working at it anyway.

It is a truly inspiring story. I found these two paragraphs particularly insightful.

Truth of the Day

A White Room

I love this.

I Have No Information About Your Penis


Truth of the Day

Glamourrat

Truth of the Day

Lady Diana Spencer

Christopher Hitchens On Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes

To an extraordinary degree, modern suicide-writing takes its point of departure from the death of Sylvia Plath. When I myself first read The Bell Jar, the phrase of hers that most arrested me was the one with which she described her father’s hometown. Otto Plath had originated in Grabow, a dull spot in what used to be called “the Polish corridor.” His angst-infected daughter had described this place as “some manic-depressive hamlet in the black heart of Prussia.” Her poem “Daddy” must be the strictest verdict passed by a daughter on a male parent since the last reunion of the House of Atreus, with its especially unsettling opinion that, as a result of paternal ill-use: “Every woman loves a fascist… the boot in the face.”*

[…] I myself don’t think, striking though the image may be, that an entire “hamlet” can be manic-depressive. However, I can forgive la Plath her possibly subconscious metaphor because most of what I know about manic depression I first learned from Hamlet.

*The feminist school has often looked in a manner of marked disapproval at her husband, Ted Hughes. I find it difficult to imagine him actually maltreating Sylvia physically, but there’s no doubt that he could be quite stupendously wanting in sensitivity. I once went for some drinks with him at the apartment of my friend and editor Ben Sonnenberg, who was by then almost completely immobilized by multiple sclerosis. Hughes droned on for an agonizingly long time about the powers of a faith-healer in the (perhaps somewhat manic-depressive) Devonshire hamlet where he lived. This shaman, it seemed, was beyond praise for his ability with crippled people. On and on went the encomium. I could not meet Ben’s eye but from his wheelchair he eventually asked with commendable lightness: “How is he with sufferers from MS?” “Oh, not bad at all,” replied Hughes, before blithely resuming with an account of how this quack could cure disabled farm-animals as well.

Excerpted from Hitch-22: A Memoir by Christopher Hitchens.

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