Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday avoidance therapy: On Love, Tina Fey, Frank Zappa, and the First Amendment

Happy Sunday, and Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

In Escondido (Spanish for "hidden"), love (and chocolate) is in the air. And in Lincoln, MA, love is in the garden:

Two Big Black Hearts, by Jim Dine (American, b. 1935)
at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA


Presidents, senators, governors, and half-governors have long been parodied by the talented comedians of Saturday Night Live, none of whom has attracted voluminous quantities of hate mail and threats like actor, writer, and producer Tina Fey, famous for her spot-on portrayal of the ex-governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Ironically (which is part of the problem with Palin's fans, right there), Fey would often only recite, verbatim, the very words Palin herself uttered. So this part of the interview with Fey for the upcoming issue of American Vogue was disheartening to read (H/T Bree):
[...] She also bought a "little house" in the country, but she won't say where, because "I don't want anyone to come there and try to kill me." Ever since her devastatingly funny Sarah Palin impressions, she has for the first time in her life attracted unwanted attention—and hate mail. "People started projecting politics onto me," she says. "There are people who hate me now because of that." Fey's parents are Republicans, and she herself is an Independent. "The partisan nature of politics continues to appall me. I'm almost paralyzed by my inability to see things in black-and-white. I encountered a lot of hard-core Democrats who are just as rabid and hateful, and I found that just as shocking. It was scary to be in that world of politics. I felt uncomfortable to be in that discussion. The weird thing is, when Darrell Hammond or Will Ferrell or Dana Carvey did an impersonation of a president, no one assumed it was personal, but because Sarah Palin and I are both women and people think women are meaner to each other, everyone assumed it was personal."

I originally posted these at Ezra Klein's blog, back in the day, and given all the recent hullabaloo about doing away with certain perfectly good English words because someone, somewhere might get offended, I thought it might inspire readers--especially new ones who missed this the first time around and who might not be aware of the late Frank Zappa's profound interest in politics and First Amendment issues--to see our hero FZ pointing out the then-nascent rightwing trends ("toward a fascist theocracy", as he aptly described it).

What you're about to see is a video clip--in three parts--of Maestro Zappa appearing on the CNN program Crossfire. Also appearing are On the left! Tom Braden, On the right! Robert Novak, and along with Mr. Zappa--In the crossfire!--is Washington Times columnist John Lofton. Enjoy!

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