One of the main themes of this blog is my affection for popular culture while at the same time understanding that much of it antithetical to my beliefs.
One of my beliefs as a devout Catholic is that God and nature have defined marriage as between a man and woman. An attempt to change that is wrong.
There are many people who disagree and we engage each other in discussion trying to persuade the other. Sometimes humor and mocking are used on either side. That is fine.
But then there is an abandonment of humor to enter into polemics.
Case in point:
Last night on Saturday Night Live, Colin Jost said this on Weekend Update:
“During the Supreme Court hearing on the constitutionality of gay marriage, Justice Samuel Alito asked if homosexuals are allowed to marry, what would happen if a group of two men and two women tried to apply for a marriage license. Well, Sam, I’m no legal expert, but they’d probably tell them ‘no.’ Because that’s polygamy, and it’s illegal, and also, not at all the same thing. So, let’s stick to the case at hand, and not try to turn this whole thing into some kind of gay word problem. Cause if the gay marriage train leaves Massachusetts at 3 pm, and the traditional marriage train leaves Tennessee at 6 pm, it doesn’t matter, because look around you, everyone’s already on board the gay train.”
Now, some of you might say that analyzing a joke goes against the nature of humor or that if I was secure in my beliefs then I should have a sense of humor about it.
But here's the problem: it wasn't a joke. It was a lecture.
Read it again and you'll see that there is no actual punchline. It ends with an applause line to rile up the crowd. It was a political stump speech, not a joke.
At no time did he point out why Alito asked the question. He simply mocked him.
Jost said: Well, Sam, I’m no legal expert, but they’d probably tell them ‘no.’ Because that’s polygamy, and it’s illegal, and also, not at all the same thing."
He completely side-steps the point of Alito's question. If we can change the definition of marriage for homosexuals, why not multiple partners? Jost saying that polygamy is illegal is nonsensical. The whole point of the Supreme Court case is that same-sex "marriage" is illegal in most states now. Was Jost meaning that because something is illegal not it should always be. If that is the case, then he would be in favor of ruling against same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
He goes on: "Cause if the gay marriage train leaves Massachusetts at 3 pm, and the traditional marriage train leaves Tennessee at 6 pm, it doesn’t matter, because look around you, everyone’s already on board the gay train.”
I almost admire the opposing side's hubris to claim that "everyone's" on their side. It does have the advantage of creating a sense of inevitability. Of course if "everyone" were on the gay train, why are the bothering going to the Supreme Court. Just put it to a vote and be done with it. Surely in places like California it would pass (oh, sorry).
Anyway, my point is not to argue for marriage. As I said, if you believe differently I am more than willing to engage in dialogue.
But notice what this "comedy" show has done. Taking its cue from Jon Stewart and his ilk, instead of actually finding some humor and making actual jokes, Jost simply said: "Alito asked a question that highlights a problem with my side, so rather than answer it I will call him stupid and out of touch with everyone else who matters."
That isn't comedy. That's (and I hate to say it) bullying.
Jost has informed me that the popular culture believes that everyone is on the gay train.
Which means, in their eyes, I am no one.
Not that my self worth is defined in any way by what is said by comedians who do not know how to write jokes. But this serves as another reminder of the emnity that my pop culture bears towards me.