Jim Carrey and the FOX Comedy Shuffle

Some of you have already seen the Jim Carrey parody.  If not, you can see it here. I have also included a Young Turks wrap-up of the responses to it below.  I’d like to respond to those responses with a little logic.

First, FOX News makes the claim that Jim Carrey is making fun of white southerners.  Not some white southerners.  All.  While some white southerners are ridiculed in the video, you’d have to be willfully blind not to see that, in fact, most of his white southerners are portrayed positively, even in their parodic form.  Note that his country singer is a white southerner, along with many of his backup singers.  On top of that, the host of the Hee Haw show is an (assumed) white southerner, with a parodied Sam Elliot making an appearance for kicks.  In other words, the only people Jim Carry is actually ripping on are a certain brand of gun rights activists, who may or may not be southerners (people like Charleton Heston, who is the only villain in the entire video).  But he is most certainly not ripping on southerners at large.  To do that, he would have to sing a different song and change the setting and cast entirely.  All the villains would have to be white southerners and all the good guys would have to be whatever isn’t a white southerner.

Second, most of the FOX responses are, in effect, attacks on Jim Carrey as a person, based almost exclusively on the fundamental misunderstanding I’ve outlined in the previous paragraph.  They don’t bother to address the parody itself (at least, not in serious terms — their attempts to address the parody are overshadowed by their desire to attack Carrey, ad hominem infinitum).  For example, they attack him for wanting to remain “relevant,” assuming that the man who has been in 15 films (minus TV) in the last 12 years (with three more on the way between now and next year) is “on the way out.”  While it’s true that his popularity has dwindled somewhat since his glory years (the 90s and early 2000s), you’d be hard pressed to prove that this is because his career is crashing.  People are still casting him in movies, and he’s still making Hollywood money.  If anything, his career has simply found its comfortable “middle,” where many actors and comedians go after they hit their peak.  We can talk about his career going to hell in a hand basket when people stop casting him as major characters — when he becomes little more than a character actor.

Third, they claim that Carrey hasn’t been funny since The Truman Show.  I’m sure someone will go back through the FOX records and find a sea of instances in which people on the network have said the exact opposite, but for now I’ll take this claim as original.  Comedy is subjective.  Not all people agree on what is and is not funny.  I don’t think Kevin Hart is funny.  Some people love him to death.  I think Lewis Black is hilarious.  Some people hate him.  You’d had a hard time finding a comedian that everyone thinks is hilarious.

Setting aside the subjectivity of humor, the claim they’re making is an absurd one.  A great deal of people a) have enjoyed his comedy since The Truman Show, and b) enjoyed this parody video.  For evidence of that, you just have to go to Twitter and read the tweets.  There are people who hate it and people who love it.  Neither group is some kind of homogeneous mass of like-minded individuals.  People who don’t even agree with Carrey on some or most of his anti-gun points found him amusing (and the other way around too).

Point is:  FOX News is a clown network.  It claims it is a news station.  It claims it is fair and balanced.  But in the end, it is simply trying to do what it accuses others of doing all the time — politicizing everything.  There is no fair and balanced on that network.  It is a wagon train of heavily filtered “reality” trapped in a cycle.  Unlike the people who traveled West to make a new life, this particular wagon train is trapped, never to find the “utopia” hidden beneath the nonsense.

(This post was originally on Google+.  I have since edited it.)

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