When the boss is away, the mice have a field day: one of them steps up to the plate, the other slips in a dose of fun-hate.
Jason Jones stepped in for an indisposed Jon Stewart the other day to talk about the shitty job of being second-in-command. Despite the odds (and the heavy boots he had to ll) he pulled it o , turning the nervy and potentially awkward opening segment of this singular Daily Show to a slam-dunk on the politics of diplomacy.
In a nutshell, Jones paid attention to Joe Biden’s comments on how the USA’s biggest problem regarding the Islamic State are ‘our allies.’ He first painted the comments ridiculous, running the classic Biden-is-a-big-gaffemeister joke, before delving into the issue a little deeper and pointing out that there was a large element of truth to his words.
‘Apparently the way to create a diplomatic crisis is to say something true.’ Jason Jones, The Daily Show
The result was the quote above: Apparently the way to create a diplomatic crisis is to say something true… one of the more succinct and poignant comments I’ve heard on today’s politics. The only other comment that compares to it is Mark Twain’s classic joke:
Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.
On a related note, somebody else managed to score a little slam dunk of their own that night by slipping into the show a Biden-related picture that had nothing to do with what was being presented. Let’s call this person Slosh, a male assistant producer with a squeaky voice and a passion for swashbucklers and Borat.
Slosh, who is reportedly a fan of meatballs, American football and Turkish foreign policy, somehow managed to slip in a picture of VOTUS (Vice-president of the United States) Joe Biden with POTROC (President of the Republic of Cyprus) Nicos Anastasiades during the skit about ’the Syrian rebel movement’ and the ‘more extremist, more organized groups,’ fabricating a visual association between the POTROC and Islamic extremism.
Seriously, who does that? Very cunning. Trivial but cunning. Next time viewers see the POTROC, they’ll think, ‘Hey, isn’t that one of the guys who pretend to be our allies, while funding the Islamic State behind our backs?’ Then they’ll bugger o to whatever it was they were doing while some poor prick who gives a hoot tries to convince them that the POTROC hails from Limassol, and that in Limassol the only things that matter are the sea, the carnival and Russian tourism.
None of these things have anything to do with Islamic fundamentalism, of course, primarily because Islamic fundamentalism is bad for business. Plus Limassol used to be raided by the Saracens, the Mamelukes and the Ottomans all the time, back in the days of the medieval caliphates, which makes caliphating a pretty unpopular notion in town.
Not The First Time The Cyprus Conflict Finds Its Way On Screen Through The Back Door.
The Slosh stunt reminded me of a little known but more to the point skit in POTC 2: Dead Man’s Chest, where a couple of sailors on a sleepy ship are fighting over a hat, while the kraken prepares to fuck them up. One of the sailors was Greek Cypriot, the other was Turkish Cypriot, and their skit was most representative of the Cyprus situation: a case of loud and often incomprehensible arguing that leads nowhere other than the bottom of the sea. Hence the sketch, which was probably a weird, left- field, wtf segment for outsiders, whereas for those in the know it was hilarious and poignant.
Staying with the POTC skit for a moment longer — who did the vicious kraken represent? Some say it’s Turkey, others say it’s Greece; some say it’s Britain and NATO, others say it’s Soviet and post-Soviet communism, or just the powers that be. I personally think it represents stupidity and vanity, all in one, with a little simian obliqueness to boot.
Back to the Daily Show and the kudos I offered to Slosh for his cunning trick: because sarcasm can easily be misunderstood and misconstrued (see John Oliver’s LWT segment on the CIA’s peculiar use of sarcasm to combat the Islamic State’s online propaganda campaign, which is liable to back re) let me explicitly clarify that the ‘kudos’ I offered to dear Slosh were offered sarcastically. I want to make this crystal clear, just so I don’t get a bunch of angry emails from people who support POTROC Nicos Anastasiades, calling me names. Because I would then have to call these people names too, most of them involving the words ‘you thick piece of shit’ and other such dainty terms. I don’t have time for a diplomatic incident.
As for Jason Jones, great show, but let’s face it, nobody kills it like Jon Stewart. He’s got the cartoon face to end all conversations. Bring him back, kicking and screaming, vomiting if need be. It’ll add more spice to the show, which, to be perfectly honest, is all about purging today’s sickness and disease to begin with.
For the Daily Show clip, search their website