Saturday, February 21, 2004
Conan The Conquerer

Colby Cosh has eloquently and insightfully dissected the Conan O'Brien/Triumph debacle:

[W]hile I wouldn't dream of defending the phony indignation of a handful of socialists, kleptocrats, and race-baiters, there is a genuine cultural issue here. The people who are stamping their feet over the antics of a hand puppet are, I think, genuinely confused as well as politically opportunistic.
Colby puts the real blame for this 'scandal' squarely on the shoulders of those who enticed Mr. O'Brien up here in the first place:
Canadian authorities promoted Conan's show without performing one minute of due diligence. Triumph has been a centerpiece of Late Night for years, and everyone but the politicians knows that his act consists of insults -- insults of the precise sort that is gradually being socially proscribed, and criminalized, up here.

They confused entertainment for advertising, too. Show business is business, to be sure, but without the show, there's no business. Was Conan expected to spend a week lulling American audiences to sleep with some kind of stale Soviet travelogue expounding gustily on Canada's glories?
I haven't yet invested a lot of time into reading Mr. Cosh's pieces; but after investigating his blog and perusing his recent work, I think I have to make it a higher priority.
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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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