Saturday, March 14, 2009

Comedians as prophets

Watching Jon Stewart's interview with Jim Cramer just now made me wonder if the prophets were, perhaps, funnier than we think. It certainly seems like comedy is a terrific position from which to critique the culture around you. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do it night after night after night.

Not that Stewart was funny in the interview. He was everything people have been saying: pointed, powerful, and completely devastating.

And perhaps he was devastated himself by the whole thing. I don't think he was kidding when he ended the show by saying, "I hope this interview was as hard to watch as it was to do."

He sounded a bit like Jeremiah tonight, did J.S. I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate that - either of them, I suppose I mean. But still, when Stewart told Cramer that Cramer of all people should understand the kind of "shenanigans" that Wall Street traders get up to, it reminded me of Jeremiah saying,

For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have treated the wound of my people carelessly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace’,
when there is no peace.
They acted shamefully, they committed abomination;
yet they were not ashamed,
they did not know how to blush.

Perhaps this is hyperbolic. "Prophet" is a loaded term. But I'm glad Stewart is doing what he's doing. I think he's fighting the good fight.


Jan Toepfer said...

seems not much has changed over the ages tho. sad.

stephy said...

Brilliant. Thanks for writing this!