Raised Voices

Late last night, I made Mr. Shakes watch an episode of Dr. Phil with me. This is a fun thing to do once every few months or so, because it evokes from Mr. Shakes a stream of snarky commentary that provides me with much amusement. (Dr. Phil: What do you think when you watch yourself on that video? Mr. Shakes: All I knoo is that I’m watching an asshoole becoome a billionaire befoore my eyes.)

On last night’s show, Dr. Phil was taking on a dad who was disciplining his 12-year-old stepdaughter for a myriad of “infractions” by screaming at her like a drill sergeant. Mr. Shakes broke with tradition, and stopped mocking Dr. Phil long enough to impersonate Major Dad, and he leapt to his feet, hunched his shoulders, and started barking out orders at me, sending me into gales of laughter—in no small part because it was the first time in three and a half years of marriage I have ever heard him shout. It was kind of surreal.

I had the same reaction when I saw this clip of David Letterman going after Bill O’Reilly—and I don’t think I’m the only one. Thesaurus Rex, who gets the hat tip, puts “David Letterman: Cultural Avenger” at the top of a list of “10 Things You Thought You'd Never Say.” It’s jarring. And brilliant.

My fervent hope is that it also presages the beginning of a shift in how we regard people like O’Reilly. They are dangerous; their kind of deliberate misinformation is a virus that attacks the heart of a democracy. Letterman seemed completely and uncharacteristically fed up—and I hope he’s the first of many. A cacophony of raised voices can start swinging that pendulum back in the other direction.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus