This evening, when watching television, I noticed two things that disturb me.
First, over the course of a about an hour, I saw ads for all three major American car companies. Of the three, only Chrysler actually appealed to quality. Ford was content with a “tradition of Ford” spot, and GM shamelessly wrapped itself in the flag with a spirit of America spot. I’m wildly annoyed by this. I’m convinced the US is capable of making a decent car, but it seems like only Chrysler is actually trying; witness the sloppy attempts of GM to participate in the sports sedan market with its butt-ugly Cadillac CTS — this from the folks who thought “Hey! A Cadillac pick-up truck” and called it a good idea.
The other thing: I just watched a fascinating dialog on the Middle East question that was both nuanced and interesting — and altogether free of bombast. Moreover, said dialog featured substantive contributions from both show host and guest. The show? Comedy Central’s Daily Show, which featured the New Yorker’s David Remnick as its guest this evening. A comedy show is the only place we can see discussion without some talking head going apo-goddamn-plectic over the sound of his own howling. Why is this? Contrast this with the softball handling Jay Leno gave Dick Cheney, and you’ll see what I mean.