Thursday, November 29, 2007
Why I Miss the Daily Show
The recent meetings between the Israelis and Palestinians, and our President's weirdly ahistorical optimism about "The Peace Process" as a concept (which, apparently, requires very little in the way of American pressure), made me nostalgic again for "The Daily Show."
"The Daily Show" is suffering under the writer's strike in a way that other shows who shoot in advance are not. Since "The Daily Show" is, well, daily, it almost feels a bit like a news blackout. Okay, I don't "get" my news from "The Daily Show" (as some polls suggest), but I get my inoculation from the news from "The Daily Show." And that keeps me from all sorts of metaphysical ills.
Of course, who among us doesn't want the Peace Process to work? Yet everything this administration has done for the past seven years has been to ensure that peace is even harder to attain. Cue "The Daily Show," which never offers much in the way of positive vision, but at least keeps the darkness at bay. This piece suggests the way in which our policy seems to want to "replicate" our own history in places like Iraq and Israel/Palestine, projecting a vague vision of what these societies should look like (they should be democratic, they should love freedom, etc. etc.) without regard for the particularity of each place. This is not to say that I believe that there are no universal rights or shared values--but one can't help but notice the abyss between such demagogic points (freedom, security, etc.) and the vast complexity on the ground.