David Letterman is not Howard Beale

I don’t watch tel-a-lie-vision, so was amazed to come across this fracking rant, on fb. And yup, Letterman undercut its dramatic intensity in the end with two jokes. Was there somebody in the wings, staring him down? Was he forced to stop?

Just noticed that this video went up in July 2012. Already a year old. No more peep from Letterman? Has he not (yet) endured that fierce attack of conscience that divides the world in two?

David Letterman is not Howard Beale.

“Ladies and gentleman, we’re screwed” — if we think that celebrities are going to save us. The new world starts inside each of us. Each of us an Edward Snowden, each of us a Howard Beale.

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2 Responses to David Letterman is not Howard Beale

  1. Ben Kreilkamp says:

    You’d have to watch a lot of Letterman to begin understand him, both the “jokes” and the “rants”. The language of humor is notoriously complex. I’ve watched a fair amount and have noted a change over the years. He has matured, somewhat. I surmise the birth of his son may have had an effect on his consciousness and conscience. But it would take a lot more study than i have patience for to understand him. In particular you’d have to understand his audience, which he certainly does have by now his own intuitive sense of. I do think he’s pretty much doing what he wants, but of course would not be where he is without a firm understanding of what his bosses want. In particular the undercutting you note of his message is intrinsic to his act. On the other hand I have witnessed him give real time (in TV terms) to straight messages of the environmental disaster, which he does seem conscious of. But the medium is at its core a way to go and to stay asleep, and he knows that very well.

    • Thanks, Ben, for this nuanced clarification of your experience of Letterman. In my whole life, I’ve probably watched only two hours total of him. For some reason, even as a child, I felt allergic to television. Something about the vibration made me squirrley. I didn’t even want to be in the same room if it was on. The Kennedy assasination however, had me riveted. And from then on, that kind of breaking news trumped the vibrational dissonance. Until the daily Vietnam body counts, which sickened me so much that I stopped again.

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