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.