Me Smart, You Stupid

According to this article, which cites a very important study, “The Daily Show is much funnier than traditional newscasts, but a new study from Indiana University says it has the same amount of meat on its bones when it comes to coverage of the news.”

I don’t find this very interesting – obviously The Daily Show is as good, or better, at presenting the news than the nightly news – but it’s nice to have quasi-scientific data to back up what we already knew.

More interesting is that the study probably does The Daily Show a disservice, because though the quantity of the news it presents may be equivalent in some raw way to what the network news provides, my hunch is that its viewers end up with a deeper understanding of the world. The Daily Show news is presented within a coherent, intelligent, paradigm that spans years, whereas the network news hews to a very simplistic narrative.

It’s the difference, basically, between having a good teacher, who not only draws connections for his students when it’s necessary but who moves more quickly through basic material because he trusts his students to remember what he’s said before, and having a mediocre teacher who explains some of the basic things over and over again and never gets to the complicated ones because he doesn’t believe his mediocre students remember what he said yesterday.

In other news:

My WHBFF and I have an ongoing argument over the attractiveness, or hideousness, of Crocs, those plastic clog-sandal things with the holes in them that all the cool kids are wearing. She says they’re ugly. I say they’re ugly in a neat-o way that makes me smile.

One of the Go Fug Yourself ladies agrees with my WHBFF, writing, “Repeat after me: Crocs are not okay. Crocs are not okay. Crocs are NOT OKAY. I mean… look: If you’re in the garden elbows-deep in an afternoon of weeding, I’ll concede that Crocs make an ounce of sense. ? [But] We cannot allow the ghoulish Rubber Menace to become the sort of perceived all-purpose footwear that the Ugg boot has become.”

Actually, I like Uggs too (and my WHBFF hates them). There’s some deep paradigm clash here that I can’t quite pin down. It’s not as simple as fashionable vs. unfashionable, or good taste vs. bad (though in the example offered by GFY, the Crocs are clearly deployed to un-tasteful ends) It has to do with the aggressive difference of the shoe styles – their departure from the norms of good taste – and also the opportunity they present for celebrities to be ostentatiously trendy.

My guess is that it’s this latter aspect of them that so offends the ladies, and so bemuses me. I’d be out of job, after all, if celebrities weren’t ostentatious.

Author: Dear Dexter

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