Skip to main content

In some ways, we are blessed with talent. A goodly number of writers, creators and opinionators find themselves at home here, at Firedog, or digby,  at DU, andTPM, or Salon, Huff, or other fun places.

But, we don't have a modern day Wodehouse. He was both intelligent and stupid, witty and raw, crazy and sane, and that was just on his bad days. He was confused about the war with Germany, incapable of understanding America, except through the eyes of his characters, and absolute in refusal to accept certain realities of his country of birth. But he did one thing, and he did it well. He managed to describe society, and many levels of it, (not just his elite Bertie Wooster bits) with a curmudgeon's eye, and a class-based wicked tongue.

Wodehouse was, more than anything, a societal mirror of epic fault-finding proportions. With his endless series of major and minor aunts, the whole strange idea of a Gentleman's Gentleman, his animal, farm, golf and gambling stories,  all told in wonderfully entertaining and humourous ways, he managed to connect people with some simple, yet powerful ideas. A butler clearly superior in intellect, manners, reading, understanding and ability, compared to his owner? Yet, both seemed comfortable in their roles. And one could not survive without the other. Nor would either want to.

Wodehouse never strove to change society, he merely was content with pointing out its oddities and rich hypocritical scenarios. Yet, by pointing out the best of the worst, the worst of the best, and the weird ways of each of them, he broke down many artificial structures, both in the US and UK. Today, we find suc structures regrowing, in no small part be design. Gated communities, hispanic lawnkeepers, eastern euro baby sitters, -  today's Wodehouse would have a field day with how disjointed and bizarre our society has grown, not to mention, how quickly.

If we had a Wodehouse among us today, she/he/it would be writing about a company slave saving the day, every day, while the moronic owner manages to fuck things up in a way that would inform, amuse and connect with every single tie wearing, kowtowing, worried, unhappy corporate employee  that populates our country.

If we had  a Wodehouse among us, she/he/it would take aim at the White House, our political structure, the miscreants populating the White house Press corpse and their controling editors.

If we had a Wodehouse among us, she/he/it would entertain with humor, while poke fun at the all too serious blatherings of Rush, Sean, Billo and others, in ways that would deflate their balloons faster than a husband finding his wife putting on a condom on his soon to be deflated brother.

We came close. Molly Ivins was a gem. Her homespun manner, her inside knowledge, and her way with words was great. Many of us miss her dearly.    Keith O shows a hell of a lot of promise, but he must beware becoming too strident and snarky. So far no signs of it, but if he gets the Billo disease and starts reading his own press releases, he can lose what he has gained.  Jon Stewart and his staff are so much better at real news, when compared to the alleged pro MSM journalists, that it is hard to categorize them. Same with Colbert.

Which brings up another point. Perhaps we will never see another sarcastic, witty, and warped social commentator like Wodehouse. The intertubes, Radio, TV, all have expanded people's ability to read, be entertained and to get social commentary. Audio AND video together may mean that we don't need another PG. For myself, after laughing myself silly all too many times at his humor and wit, I think that would be a shame.

Originally posted to agnostic on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 02:12 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site