Television


WATCH: Jon Stewart Says a Tearful Goodbye, Gives Parting Advice on Bullsh*t Tonight was the end of an era. Longtime funny man and voice of the left Jon Stewart said goodbye to his fans. After he did a tearful bit with his good friend Stephen Colbert, he gave an amazing final speech on why it's important to call out bullshit when you see it. In other words: he summed up the thesis of his show in one simple four-minute goodbye.


Jon Stewart with Wife

"Bullshit is everywhere" Stewart said. "There is very little you'll encounter in life that has not been infused with bullshit. Some of it is innocuous," but some, he warned is sinister.

"Patriot Act," he noted, "Because 'are you scared to let me look at all your phone records act' doesn't sell. So whenever something's been titled freedom, fairness, family health, America, take a good long sniff. Because chances are it's been manufactured in a facility that may contain traces of bullshit."

See the three videos.


Jon Stewart with Family

Fox News Chief Makes a Bizarre Attack on Jon Stewart Apart from Arby’s, there’s no one that’s felt the heat of Jon Stewart’s blistering takedowns on the “Daily Show” over his 16-plus years more than Fox News.

Jon Stewart and Wife Tracey Prepare for Life After the Daily Show … and it Involves a lot of Animals! he and his wife Tracey have reportedly decided to purchase a farm in New Jersey. It’s a good thing too, considering that they boast a family that consists of two children, four dogs, two horses, two pigs, three rabbits, two guinea pigs, two hamsters, one parrot and two fish. ”All rescues,” Tracey says of her enormous brood. “Except for the children.”


Jon Stewart with Pit Bull He Rescued

USA’s 'Mr. Robot' Is the Anti-Capitalist TV Show We’ve Been Waiting For A deep, visceral hatred of modern-day capitalism is what fuels the show.

What is clear is that Elliot is a paranoid, rabidly asocial computer savant who is self-medicating on morphine. A network technician by day, Elliot is a “hacker vigilante” by night, anonymously tipping off police to online child pornography rings and gangbangers bragging about murders in code on Twitter. His daytime employer is a cybersecurity subcontractor helping the massive conglomerate E Corp.—which Elliot always calls Evil Corp.—fend off an increasingly intense series of cyber attacks. (In a nice touch, series creator Sam Esmail straight-up jacks the old Enron logo for E Corp., reasoning in one interview, “it’s not like they’re going to sue us for it.”) Because of his connection to E Corp., Elliot finds himself recruited by the mysterious “Mr. Robot” (Christian Slater) to join the hacker collective society, which wants to take down the company.

Mr. Robot has become a critical darling, and it’s easy to see why. For starters, it’s built around the performance of Malek, which is phenomenal, an unusual combination of intelligence, deadpan affect and charisma. It’s also one of the better-looking shows on television, with a visual aesthetic that alternates shots of perfect symmetry with ones framed from slightly off or tilted angles, creating an unnerving beauty. (This was especially the case for the first and fourth episodes, directed by Niels Arden Oplev and Nisha Gantara, respectively.) And the writing is generally excellent: witty dialogue that’s rarely cloying, genuinely surprising plot twists, and realistic characterization. There’s also a pretty great musical score by Mac Quayle, borrowing heavily from the playbook of rattling snare taps and spooky synths that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have employed in David Fincher’s most recent films.

But what truly makes the show different—which most critics have either ignored or glossed over—is what provides both its animating spirit and its primary narrative engine: a deep, visceral hatred of modern-day capitalism.

That loathing is front and center in the series’ opening scene, in which Elliot confronts the child pornographer in person. At first, the man thinks Elliot is trying to blackmail him and angrily refuses to pay a cent. But as Elliot reveals his M.O. of turning cybercriminals over to the police, the pornographer grows desperate and pleads with Elliot, promising to pay any amount. But Elliot dashes his hopes, telling him seconds before the police burst in, “I don’t give a shit about money.”

We learn, however, that this indifference is feigned; in fact, he hates money.

“Sometimes I dream about saving the world, saving everyone from the invisible hand,” Elliot tells his “friend” during one monologue, over a montage of a coworker making his monthly minimum school-loan payment and waiters scrambling for tips. “The one that brands us with an employee badge. The one that forces us to work for them. The one that controls us every day without us knowing it. But I can’t stop it.”

He can’t, that is, until Mr. Robot comes into his life, tempting him to take down E Corp., which “happens to own 70 percent of the global credit industry.” If they manage to destroy the company’s servers, Mr. Robot promises, “every record of every credit card, loan and mortgage would be wiped clean …[creating] the single biggest incident of wealth redistribution in history.”

But by placing class warfare front and center, Mr. Robot makes socialism a vibrant force again in popular culture, its aims urgent and compelling.


"A group of anti-TV guerrillas are planning to liberate people from television's irresistible grip. Last week they used a recently launched gizmo called TV-B-Gone to take direct action against television sets in public places.

"The glorified remote control, about the size of a key ring, will switch off most television sets in a 13-metre radius within 60 seconds. The device formed the focus of TV-Turnoff week--an annual protest against television's all-pervasive influence--that began in the US 11 years ago. Organised by the TV-Turnoff Network, White Dot and the anti-consumerism group AdBusters, the protest has steadily spread to other countries, including Canada and Britain" ("Media Studies: Zapper makes telly a turn-off." Guardian Weekly, May 12, 2005: 20).


Colby Glass, MLIS