Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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Innocence Lost

I stopped watching Titus with Kim in the hope that The Daily Show would be on -- hey, I'm actually interested in watching a specific television program that's not a sporting event! -- only to discover a Bill Maher stand-up comedy performance in its place. I started watching it, laughed a little, but started wondering, after a minute or two, why the humor seemed so foreign. It took me a few minutes to realize that the show was from over four years ago. When Maher turned to political jokes, they were about Clinton's sex life, Gore's lack of a "dick," and Bush coming out of nowhere.

I tried to recall what it was like for us four years ago. I was teaching back-to-back sections of English 380 starting at a too-early 8am, just as I am this semester. But that was the only similarity I could hold fast. I was looking back through many feet of dimly lit water, not sure what I was seeing or why it mattered. Have we really changed that much? I feel so much closer to 1991 than I do to 2000. Watching the new Eminem video, I enjoyed the reference to the "No Blood For Oil!" slogan from the protests against the first Gulf War. Yet it seemed totally natural. References to the Clinton years, by contrast, are imbued with the aura of fantasy. Maybe it was all a strange dream. At least some of Maher's humor from 2000 is equally applicable to 2004, though: "I'll tell you this about Jesus: he's not a Republican."

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