November 18, 2015

John Oliver's vapid blast of croquem-b.s. after Paris attacks

Mindy AlterRebel Blogger
 

Apparently, we're all supposed to be blown away by the passion and cleverness of alleged funny man John Oliver's f-bomb-laced pro-Paris rant:

On his show, the audience cheered as Oliver said as part of his expletive-laden monologue:

“France is going to endure. And I’ll tell you why. If you are in a war of culture and life style with France, good fucking luck! Go ahead, go ahead. Bring your bankrupt ideology. They’ll bring Jean-Paul Sartre, Edith Piaf, fine wine, Gauloises cigarettes, Camus, Camembert, madeleines, macarons, Marcel Proust, and the ****ing croquembouche! You just brought a philosophy of rigorous self-abnegation to a pastry fight, my friends."

Sorry, John, but you rather missed the point.

The point is not that Edith Piaf and the croquembouche are more appealing cultural hallmarks than the jihadis' beheadings and shouts of "Allahu Akbar!"

The point is that, M. Hollande's newfound combativeness aside, it remains to be seen who is willing -- who has the will -- to fight to the death for his belief system.

Will it be the enervated Frenchman, scarfing down croquembouches and civilizational ennui in the local café?

Or will it be the Allahu Akbar boys, who are lean, mean zealots intent on making the entire globe submit to their totalitarian religious authority?

See, you can drop all the f-bombs you want, but that doesn't make you tough or equip you in any way to confront the existential (and not in the Jean-Paul Sartre sense) fight ahead.

(Editor's NOTE: Ironically, two days before the Paris attacks, another comedian -- Adam Carolla -- let loose with an equally expletive laden rant against France that makes for interesting if off-colour listening in light of later events. LANGUAGE WARNING:)

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Comments
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commented 2015-11-23 00:55:29 -0500
This is the same asshole who called prime minster Harper a bigot who hates blacks and Muslims so we should vote for inspector Cousteau for pm. He can get anything right.
commented 2015-11-19 21:37:02 -0500
Rolan Kozma wrote:
“I hope you start feeling better, Jeff.
I imagine we’ll run into each other again on this site at some point, and we can have a good, spirited discussion. I enjoyed this one, too. :)”

Thanks, Rolan. I rarely engage in these kinds of discussions anymore. I find people combative amd unwilling to consider that they may have something wrong. Too quick to put negative inflections on relatively nonchalant statements. I’ve been guilty of that myself. I may have done it to you. :-D

Like you, I am a fan of John’s. Likewise, he is one of the few who routinely makes me laugh out loud as well. So, that is certainly a bias on my part. I think it is important to allow comedians to push the envelope. Although, if I felt he crossed a line. I’d have no qualms about criticizing him.

Just one not so minor point. I am taking John’s position about France’s culture to symbolize not only France, but all of the free world.

Nice to know that we are able to disagree in a civilized manner. I have great respect for reasonable people like yourself. We can disagree without getting personal. Good on ya.
cheers,
Jeff
commented 2015-11-19 20:09:19 -0500
Jeff – Yeah, I can understand the sentiment about Carolla. It’s a little off topic, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Maybe they put it in because it references a bomb and then a bomb went off (I hope not, because that really is stretching it)? But more likely because it shows that the French are resentful of the US. But you’re right, it doesn’t fit the rest of the article particularly well. I didn’t realize it was an editor’s note either, so I guess it must have been the rebel guys… Good catch.

I can agree with you that Oliver doesn’t really have influence in strategic decisions, but he does have a lot of influence over how a lot of people think. I don’t think the point of this article was to berate John Oliver (on this I could be wrong) as much as it was to say that his reasoning was flawed when he goes on a rant saying that we don’t have to worry about France because they have a superior culture. The F-OFF ISIS, I have no problem with, and you’re right, his rant certainly does make you feel better.
And therein is the issue – if you feel better and you don’t revisit the issue outside of the comedy show, it will turn into your default belief on the issue (at least that’s how it tends to work for the people I know). I happen to like John Oliver, he’s genuinely funny (one of the few comedians that can make me laugh out loud), but the humour he puts forward is pretty one-sided – so I don’t mind that someone challenges the ideas behind one of his rants. stops kicking the dead horse
“I would say this though. If we don’t start getting angry soon, the West will surely fall in the not too distant future.”
I think that is the real underlying reason why this piece was written. We are told that ISIS isn’t a real threat to us, and that whatever minor annoyances (terrorist attacks) they cause won’t affect us long term. I’m with you on this one, it’s time to get angry, and to start fighting ISIS like we mean it.

I hope you start feeling better, Jeff.
I imagine we’ll run into each other again on this site at some point, and we can have a good, spirited discussion. I enjoyed this one, too. :)
Rolan
commented 2015-11-19 17:17:10 -0500
ROLAN KOZMA – Thanks for the reply,Rolan.

Mindy Alter sums up her position with this: “See, you can drop all the f-bombs you want, but that doesn’t make you tough or equip you in any way to confront the existential (and not in the Jean-Paul Sartre sense) fight ahead.” I don’t believe Ms. Alter was being fair to Oliver. He has zero influence on strategy decisions and he knows it.

Oliver is only expressing what I’m sure 100’s of millions were thinking in the early aftermath of this horrific slaughter. Anger is an appropriate response. He was in no way looking to command the “fight ahead.” His main message however, was one of hope for the future. Something we could all sorely use right now.

Who besides Ms Alter thinks Oliver believes telling ISIS to F-Off is a legitimate political strategy for the future? He was using his show to do a tiny bit of venting on behalf of his viewers. That’s why they ate it up. Why berate him for it? I would say this though. If we don’t start getting angry soon, the West will surely fall in the not too distant future. Once that naive PM of ours brings the reign of terror home to us, it shouldn’t be long before we suffer the same fate as Paris. There couldn’t be a worse time to ressurrect “Flower Power”. Happy ways. God help us all. A tad off-topic. I know. ;-)

I can’t fathom why The Rebel’s editors chose to add Carolla to such a negative piece. It doesn’t make sense to me. His little off the top of his head rant is what he does. Other than being about France, the “bit” wasn’t related to anything Oliver said. Carolla wasn’t wrong. France and the U.S. have had strained relations at times. Remember “Freedom Fries”? Adding him to the article wasn’t Ms Alter’s doing I take it. Why throw Carolla under the bus for a brief, innocuous, completely unrelated “bit”?

I’m sick as a dog right now. Sorry if I’m rambling :)
cheers,
Jeff
commented 2015-11-19 13:25:42 -0500
@jeff, I’m not the ideologue here, Jeff. If you take a look at your critique of me, you’ll see that it’s pretty much the same as mine of yours.
My comments had nothing to do with Carolla, or world leaders (other than the latter being politicians), so let’s get that red herring out in the open right off the bat.
I didn’t call you a hater because you were “aggressive”, but rather because you were implying that what Mindy wrote was irrelevant (or perhaps trying to “reach” for something relevant to talk about). And I think that it’s valid to call you a hater if you’re voicing your opinion that her column is either irrelevant or worthless.
I never said that she was immune to criticism, but am rather criticizing you FOR a specious criticism.

Speaking of specious, that’s exactly what Mindy was addressing, a specious argument by Oliver.

And Jeff, perhaps your intention was to defend Carolla and Oliver, but belittling someone by not addressing anything she said isn’t defending, it’s dismissing. There’s a huge difference.

Perhaps you misunderstood my comment:
“And,as I’m sure you know, this stuff is written by people in their spare time on topics that interest them, so chill out and stop being a hater Jeff (if, of course, you have any character and wish to avoid being hypocritical).”
I told you to do the same thing you told Mindy – Chill out. The hater part I explained earlier.
As to" implying you had not character and are a hypocrite", you’ll notice a conditional “if” at the beginning. I’m saying you should take your own advice, or you’ll be shown to be hypocritical, and you’ll only care about being hypocritical IF you have character. So, far from calling you a hypocritical person without character, it was an arrow pointing back to you saying "hold yourself to the same standard that you hold Mindy to, if you care about whether you’re hypocritical or not (which is a direct indicator of your character).

In any case, I hope that clears up any misunderstandings between us.
Now to the question you asked:
“The reason “some” comedians have influence, is because there is a far greater likelihood of hearing the truth from them than any leader. What does that say about the quality of our leadership in N. America? "

I’d say the quality of our leadership is pretty poor. In fact, I’d say it looks like many in leadership are trying to make N. America fail and make people as docile as cattle in the face of danger. Yes, sometimes comedians speak truth in a way that politicians can’t, but other times, comedians try and oversimplify or play the “bait and switch” game.
For example, Oliver played bait and switch by saying that French culture would overcome Islamist culture (that was basically the point of what he was saying, feel free to disagree). I have no doubt the French culture could overcome the Islamist culture. But it’s not French vs. Islamist culture, it’s an Islamist culture which attacks with weapons against a French culture which won’t. To my mind, French (popular) culture and cuisine can’t overcome the culture of people with guns that want to kill others specifically because they ascribe to a different ideology.

How do you think that France’s culture could overcome a culture who’s goal is to kill or subjugate anyone that doesn’t join their group (I’m talking about Islamists like ISIS, not muslims more generally, just so we’re clear)?
commented 2015-11-19 04:33:31 -0500
Rolan Kozma – Sorry, Rolan. I inadvertantly deleted this from the post below.
If you read my first post and then compare it to your rebuttal, you will note that the most agressive thing I said was “Slow newsday?” Whereas you called me a “hater” and implied I have “no character” and I am a " hypocrite". And I’m the “hater”?
Just because contributors here do this in their spare time does not give the immunity to criticism. I’m doing this in my “spare time” as well. But I don’t get the same rights to a different opinion?
Jeff
commented 2015-11-19 04:11:54 -0500
Rolan Kozma -U.S. comedians have been tossing barbs at France as far back as I can recall. If Adam Carolla has more influence than a world leader, even if he is far more intelligent, we are in serious trouble. I’d wager most Canadians have no clue who he is. Not to mention that his comments had nothing to do with the attacks last week.

The reason “some” comedians have influence, is because there is a far greater likelihood of hearing the truth from them than any leader. What does that say about the quality of our leadership in N. America?

As far as me being a “hater” goes, I’m not the one who is belittling Carolla and Oliver. I’m defending them. But, in your world, I’m the aggressor. I’m fine with that. In fact, it’s about what I would expect from idealogues.
Jeff
commented 2015-11-19 03:52:16 -0500
More hollow proggy symbolism, vacant threats from decadent left polis and now, vacuous curses from hissing libs – if this is all we can muster in defense of our culture, savages will surely inherit the earth.

As for the so called “lean mean zealots”, We’ll see how their berzerker resolve holds up when Vlad the bloody is done with them. While we wring our hands and anguish about minimal collateral damage in our war to preserve our culture, Putin has no such compunctions – here is a man who willingly will sacrifice 50 hostages just to annihilate the Islamist scum who attacked them. These Islamist punks have POed the globe’s real heavy – film at 11
commented 2015-11-18 23:41:39 -0500
@jeff Come off your high horse. Comedians guide the culture more than most politicians do, so when they’re saying “we don’t need to worry about anything because… muffins,” and proclaim victory, someone should critique them.
And,as I’m sure you know, this stuff is written by people in their spare time on topics that interest them, so chill out and stop being a hater Jeff (if, of course, you have any character and wish to avoid being hypocritical).
commented 2015-11-18 16:36:12 -0500
Slow news day? All you have for is insulting comedians? They aren’t world leaders. They are COMEDIANS. Chill, Mindy
As to Mr. Carolla’s rant, why not ask your boss if it’s true. He’s been posting videos showing us young men blaming the U.S. for the attacks.
commented 2015-11-18 11:14:04 -0500
John Oliver is just a Liberal butt kisser, who thinks anyone gives a damn what garbage he spews out of that big trap-door mouth!
commented 2015-11-18 11:06:28 -0500
Sorry Mindy, but it’s YOU who missed the point.