Friday, January 6, 2012

The Left Wing Media????

In an article in the Guardian today, 6 January 2012, Joshua Alston blogged about the return of the Independent Film Channel's (IFC) hit comedy Portlandia. I have never seen Portlandia, which debuted on IFC in January of 2011. Alston sees it as a show which skews liberals, much like the earlier unsuccessful The Goode Family, Mike Judge's (Beevis and Butthead, King of the Hill, Office Space) comedy about a family of environmentally responsible socially conscious politically correct liberals which ran on ABC for 13 episodes and on Comedy Central for four.

Portlandia, set in the trendy bastion of liberalism, Portland, Oregon, lambasts, according to Alston, liberal zealotry, on a cable channel that most people would presumably see as liberal. His point: See liberals CAN make fun of themselves. Can conservatives?

Neither Portlanda nor The Goode Family were the first American television shows in which liberals laughed at themselves. The "skewering", some intentional, some unintentional, of various types of American liberalism has been around for awhile. Think All in the Family (the US version of Till Death Do Us Part). Think the wonderful "Quickie Nirvana" episode of Rockford Files which makes much wonderful fun of the diverse liberal spiritualism of the 70s that arose out of the individualist yet conformist hippie middle class culture and was, in some cases (as Quickie Nirvana shows) transmorgified into, as it did in the life of Jane Patten/Sky Aquarian/Gopi/Hester (Jane Curtin), the central character in "Quickie Nirvana" along with private eye James Rockford (James Garner), Jesus Peopleism.

Though one right wing blogger and his cyberposse seems to see "Quickie Nirvana" as the ultimate media warning about the dangers of liberalism in general and see Sky's everywhere in America's schools, unions, political parties, well the Democratic Party anyway, and political bureaucracies like the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, the irony is that the Sky's of the world, the spiritualist hippie liberals of the world, are the ultimate in bourgeois individualism while, simultaneously, being the ultimate in American conformism. This description, bourgeois, individualist, conformist, can, of course, also be used to describe most of the American right. And that is, dear unreaders, is irony.

Bibliography:
Joshua Alston, Look Out Liberals, Portlandia Returns for a Second Season, http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2012/jan/06/portlandia-liberals-second-season-tv?commentpage=last#end-of-comments
American Digest, Quickie Nirvana, http://americandigest.org/mt-archives/5minute_arguments/the_more_things_change_th_1.php

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