The Court's Jesters

In the Bad Old Days of the monarchs who built Europe, there emerged the figure of the court jester. The court jester had the unique ability to speak truth to the Crown, stating the bald realities that the powerful would rather avoid. Today, the court jester has reemerged, but his role has changed. The contemporary court jester comforts the comfortable, mocks the powerless, and reinforces the System that grants him privilege. He’s not really a court jester, but a court’s jester. And the three most renowned jesters in the larger parody we call a country are Steven Colbert, John Oliver, and Jon Stewart Leibowtiz.

“Stewart” was the first of the breed, transmuting Craig Kilborn’s fratty, cynical approach on The Daily Show into the SWPL liberal smugness that anticipated clickbait culture. Stewart made his reputation during the George W. Bush years by channeling the Left’s vague sense of occupation under the hated Texas President. His basic technique was to play a clip of Bush saying something absurd (or sometimes simply out of context) and then to stare blankly at the audience, inviting them to share in the scornful laughter at their cultural foe. This was then transferred to congressional Republicans during the Obama Era and finally transitioned into a generalized contempt for conservative Whites as a group. While Stewart wins praise for bashing both sides, his critiques of the Left mostly focus on them being “chickenshit” or politically incompetent, while Republicans are condemned because of who they are.

Stewart created the dominant form of contemporary comedy, or perhaps post-comedy–the baldly signaled social cue, followed by the required response. It was the precursor to the Internet’s emotional porn, where text accompanying videos not only tell you what to think, but also what you should feel. The key to Stewart’s Culture of Comedic Critique is that it is entirely dependent on the audience – the equivalent of a bumper sticker that says “Vote Republican, it’s easier than thinking.” Of course, you could just as easily substitute “Democrat” for Republican and it would objectively be just as funny, but it would be subjectively interpreted very differently depending on the audience.

Stewart’s colleague Stephen Colbert ostensibly fulfilled the traditional court jester role with his mocking take on then-President George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. Yet this was hardly a risk, as Colbert’s attack on an unpopular President couldn’t have harmed his reputation in media circles, something the canny Colbert clearly knew before he did it. Cracking jokes about a Women’s Studies Professor at an obscure community college is far risker to anyone’s career that insulting a Republican President.

And since Colbert got his own program, he’s created a White minstrel show that allows Colbert’s Fox News-style character to justify White dispossession through his own stupidity and thoughtless pride. His hapless foils in the American Right fall for this every time as they are clueless to understand the nature of the attack. Colbert also has broken character to act as a cheap labor lobbyist on Capital Hill, waxing lachrymose about the “suffering” of the illegal immigrants. Of course, this is coupled with Colbert flashing his faux serious eyebrow and cracking gay jokes as Congressman Steve King unironically protested that Colbert was insulting the American worker.

As Colbert’s comedy show nears its end, he has become cruder. The Obama Administration recently decided to allow fertility clinics to essentially sell American citizenship to families who never actually set foot in the country by using the services of an American surrogate mother. This also includes access to American welfare programs that are already being heavily utilized by Obama’s newly imported Third World constituents. Such a decision renders the concept of the United States as something actually less meaningful than a geographic entity. Colbert decided that it was not the decision, but the discomfort with the decision that is comedic fodder, lamely joking “"UterUS-A! UterUS-A! UterUS-A!" Revealingly, he sneered in his idiot conservative mode, "All of us know that citizenship is genetic!"

Well, in a real country anyway. The problem is that both Colbert and Stewart want an impossibility–the old fashioned liberalism of the American Establishment somehow squared with the modern virtues of diversity and multiculturalism. The spirit animal of Colbert and Stewart is not George Carlin but Newsroom protagonist Will McAvoy, who despises the “American Taliban” but simultaneously yearns for the confidence and certainty of Kennedy style technocracy, with benevolent “apolitical” experts guiding society. This was best expressed in the Colbert/Stewart Rally in 2010, with Stewart taking off the clown mask temporarily to plead for “sanity” and simulated conservative Colbert caricaturing the Tea Party as whipping up “fear.”

If the American Right is trapped in a fantasy of the 1950’s, much of the American Left still has a fantasy of the early 1960’s, a supposed middle class paradise when both Republicans and Democrats supposedly agreed that government was a force for good and statesmen could discuss their differences rationally. The problem is that you can’t have functional public institutions, good schools, or efficient administration once you dump an unlimited number of Third World peasants onto them and demand functional White communities be deliberately integrated and destroyed. Diversity necessarily turns politics into a zero-sum game.

To compensate, the Narrative that our cultural commissars have decided on is that White identity politics, even promoted through the false consciousness of conservatism, Christianity, or Americanism, is to be discredited because that’s what’s holding us back from the Great Society.  And the way these retrograde ideologies and the constituency they represent are to be discredited is not through analysis but mockery.

Which brings us to the latest jester to emerge, John Oliver. Oliver is another Daily Show alum who hosts Last Week Tonight. Oliver’s innovation is a Keith Olbermann-style “Special Comment” where he waxes indignant about some new outrage to equality. It’s mixed with Daily Show identity humor, where a cultural foe is quoted, a caricatured view of the opponent’s position is created as a straw man, and the Narrative is reinforced. While the vulgar language and pseudo-comedic overtone allows the host to affect the ironic style of SWPL culture, Oliver is simply practicing a more subtle form of emotional porn, carefully instructing his Urban Elf audience what to think and tweet.

For example, Oliver’s nuanced and thoughtful take on Ferguson is that it’s all about the shooting of an “unarmed black man.” All evidence to the contrary is simply giggled out of existence.

Oliver is slowly transitioning from a jester to just another courtier as the comedic pretense transforms into bald advocacy. Stewart and Colbert are following this pattern. Stewart is releasing his directorial debut Rosewater, a dose of syrupy sweet pabulum calling for the Last Man to hurry up and arrive in Iran. It will bring democracy the same way Kony 2012 stopped “human rights” abuses in Africa.

And Colbert will soon be hosting his own late night show, no longer as his character but as himself. This isn’t stopping him from running out the clock at Comedy Central by hosting adoring interviews of Anita Sarkeesian of Gamergate fame and supposedly editing out the exchanges unfavorable to her. Thus, one of the most powerful media figures in the country thinks the real problem is not President Obama unilaterally abolishing immigration law, but too many men playing video games.

The elephant in the room is that The Daily Show celebrates–and indeed exemplifies–an almost caricatured phenomenon of Jewish media personalities laughing at the goyim yokels and simply dismissing critics they can’t easily skewer.

However, if the Culture of Comedic Critique is stereotypically Jewish, it now exemplifies something larger. After all, we are told Colbert is a practicing Catholic, and with this current Pope, I can believe it. Oliver is a gentile who married a pro-Republican military veteran, Kate Norley of “Vets for Freedom.” And the producer/creator of the Daily Show is Lizz Winstead, a fairly predictable feminist who was raised Catholic, cracks jokes about tornados hitting Republicans in flyover country, and can intone that “Abortion is a medical procedure” while also insisting that it’s good because “some people, like me, NEVER WANT KIDS AND LOVE SEX.” The latter’s combination of “here’s why that’s a problem” liberal moralism combined with the open celebration of being an evolutionary dead end sums up the entire approach of this ersatz form of satire/advocacy.

As for Stewart Leibowtiz, his critiques of Israeli behavior and American slavishness to the Jewish state would be called anti-Semitic if it came from anyone else. Indeed, he is called a self-hater by the more enthusiastic Israel Firsters of the American Right. However, his non-Israeli Jewish sensibility is largely compatible with the kind of philosophy espoused by Colbert and Oliver. Whites are to behave as Colbert and Oliver do–silly, deracinated, harmless little manlets. The world they favor is not “White genocide”–Whites are to exist as consumers and technocrats, their identity defined by their shopping list at Amazon, preferred coffee at Starbucks, and the size of the Human Rights Campaign equality sticker they put on their Prius.

Where does this leave conservatives? Largely in the prison of their own nostalgia. Just after President Obama’s re-election, Colbert’s foil Bill O’Reilly got into some trouble for claiming that Romney’s defeat meant “the White establishment is now the minority…it’s not a traditional America anymore.” Soon afterward, he indignantly told the media that he doesn’t “lament” that and it’s “vile” to imply he does. How dare anyone accuse him of being pro-White! The real danger, he intoned, is that liberals want to turn us into a Western European country. He then changed the subject into why people should buy his various books on various American historical figures.

More recently, O’Reilly appeared on The Daily Show, ostensibly to talk about his book “Killing Patton.” Instead, Jon Stewart lectured him about White privilege, to which O’Reilly offered a tepid defense. The media celebrated Stewart’s attack as a great example of truth telling to out-of-touch Whites who don’t understand the necessity of social justice.

And that about sums up the European-American situation. White conservatives want to be allowed to celebrate the “traditional America” of the Founding Fathers and the Fourth of July without examining the racial roots that made it possible. They can lose themselves in pleasant fantasies that the Third World nightmare of the Kardashians and Lena Dunham is the same thing as the Old Republic of Washington and Jefferson. The ex nihilo America of conservative imagination is a totally original product of Constitutionalism, Christianity, and capitalism, able to be restored so long as people believe in it hard enough–the Tinkerbell theory of statecraft.

In contrast, the media Narrative promoted by The Cathedral recognizes the European origins of the United States. It simply wants to destroy these roots. The jesters do this by mocking explicit or even implicit White American identity as illegitimate and dangerous–and almost every journalist now apes the ironic, sneering tone of Colbert, Oliver, and Stewart. Journalism is about the display of social cues, not the exchange of information.

Unless European-Americans recognize themselves as a group and organize in defense of their interests as a group, they will continue to be the hapless foils of a Comedic Culture of Critique that targets them for who they are. After all, what we’re seeing isn’t new. It’s simply the old story of courtiers justifying the System that they serve. And as long as White Americans pretend they're running the show, they’ll remain blind to the reality that they aren’t the audience–they’re the punchline.