Please. People. Can we declare a moratorium on “Not so much”? It was fine when Jon Stewart first started dropping it years ago on The Daily Show, as it worked well with his droll, self-deprecatory, post-Borscht Belt delivery. But I’m hearing it way too often these days, often from the mouths of people who (a) are old enough to know better than to try to cop hip patter or parlance, or (b) have no idea whose schtick they’re copping. The next time you are tempted to ask a rhetorical question out loud, and then answer yourself with “Not so much,” pause for a moment, and try to come up with your own clever tagline instead. Your conversation partners will thank you.
And actually, while I’m talking about The Daily Show, I should note my own little personal political protest regarding it and its spinoff, The Colbert Report. We had diligently taped them and watched them over the years for our end of day ritual: the watching of the shows. But then one night Stewart had Democratic Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd on the show, and I was looking forward to seeing what Dodd had to say, since he often turns up on those “Which Candidate is Right For You?” internet polls when I enter my personal interests and preferences. Unfortunately, Stewart spent the entire segment just absolutely ripping the dude to shreds as a delusional outsider, giving him no chance to sparkle, shine or even communicate anything of substance.
And it hit me: the issues of the day in this country are far too important for us to allow those who are brave or committed (or crazy) enough to shoot for the Presidency to have to grovel for face time on TV, only to be mocked on fake news shows for their efforts. As much as I had enjoyed watching Stewart and Colbert over the years, that was the last night I taped or watched either of them. And I won’t watch either of them again. That’s my little personal stand against our all-giggles, all-short-attention-span approach to information and news these days. I want to assess my candidates on their merits, not on how well they can spar against professional comedians trying to make them look foolish.
So The Daily Show and The Colbert Report? Not so much. I’ll stick with my trusted newspapers, magazines, websites and public forums that attempt to give all credible candidates their due respect and honor, and give the opportunity to get some depth into the subjects at hand, not just the quick giggle. I feel that’s the least I can do to make a little stand for something as important as the future of our nation.