Saturday, October 16, 2004:

You are partisan, what do you call it, hacks

Café Tacuba -- Metamorfosis
Anyone see Jon Stewart on Crossfire? Tucker and Carlson expected him to come on and talk a bit about his book, make a few jokes, do a little song and dance, and leave. Instead he played along very briefly then started pressing the point that they were failing at their job of improving democratic discourse in the U.S.. It was very impressive. "Must see TV," indeed--or, if you're like me, and try to avoid TV whenever possible--must-see downloading.

STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk...

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

STEWART: No. No. I'm not going to be your monkey.

Now he's in a bit of a strange position, because his show is political but he's trying to say it's "only" comedy. Well, it's only comedy about very serious stuff, but as long as people can laugh it off his show doesn't get canceled, so he's toeing a line. I'm happy to see him do it as long as it keeps his show on the air, though I know it's uncomfortable and--honestly--the Kerry interview was Not Good. Not deep or thought-provoking and, yes, the questions were generally weak. But this Crossfire appearance was awesome. I wanted to send the man a telegram reading "RAWK!!! \o/"


Cafe Tacuba are a Mexican rock/metal/ska/jazz/hip-hop band started in 1989. The singer & lead guitarist "Anónimo" isn't entirely anonymous, though he is ... what? multi-pseudonymous? (... Suddenly I feel like a Coen bros. character--"Jesus, Tom, I was just speculatin' about a hypothesis.") Dude changes his name a lot, I mean. Two brothers, Joselo and Queque Rangel, on guitar and bass; Emmanuel Del Real on keyboards & guitar.

"Metamorfosis" seems appropriate enough today--not for the lyrics; they're about a woman that the singer met who used to be down to earth and became a snob--but for the jaunty happiness of it. Whistling down the street twirling a cane. It's a cover song, like everything else on Avalancha de Éxitos and, like everything else on that album, I've never heard the original. I'm guessing it's a lot different.

Will Stewart's appearance change anything on Crossfire? I doubt it. Will it change his own life? Maybe. Maybe the format of his show, or maybe whether he works on it. But what had me so excited about it was not the sincerity or the persistence of it, but the audience reaction. At first they were taken aback--this isn't what I ordered--and then they were applauding.
bittorrent -- Jon Stewart on Crossfire

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