Sunday, February 18, 2007

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for the Fox Channel TV show Mad TV because one of the indicators (I am told) of pre-senility is loss of one's sense of humor. In recent years, I watch Saturday Night Live and I do not laugh, nor even recognize what the comic intent was in the bits or in the ways the actors execute. And then I watch Mad TV and discover I that I do still have a sense of humor. (I'm not saying I have a refined sense of humor. May I paraphrase Lord Shakespeare? He laughs not wisely but too well.)

I am thankful for news from baseball's spring training. So far only the pitchers and catchers have officially reported, but the non-stories are flowing. Barry Zito has changed his delivery except he hasn't. The press misconstrued and in the morning Zito tells the press "you have lost your privileges." But by afternoon the press has had its privileges bestowed anew.

I am thankful for the rule of three. As I tell my students, you offer up two of anything and people feel cheated somehow, thinking that you came up with two ideas and then you gave up. But, I tell my students, you come up with three of something, and if those three are good enough -- let us say three good quotes from audience members after a speech -- then readers will think probably you talked to more than three people or (in the case of blog items) the blogger could probably have gone on and on from the bounty of his imagination.

As the waiters now say until I want to push in their faces: Enjoy.


mackdoggy said...

Do you not laugh at Jon Stewart?

....J.Michael Robertson said...

You are right. We howl with laughter at him and Colbert. It's political humor, but it is wonderfully done humor. One does not laugh simply because one agrees. I read on my lefty blogs that the new Fox equivalent of the Daily Show is not funny because a) it's just not funny; it's technically incompetent when it comes to the mechanics of joke-making; b) it does not play off the day's news but simply ridicules people. If someone tells me it's worth watching, I'll watch it. But certainly not until, particularly since it's incovenient that JC and SC offer up eight hours a week of TV that the wife and I like to watch. I'd prefer not to spend that much of my time in front of the tube, at least outside of NCAA basketball tournament and baseball...