Remember when we thought Dick Cheney’s connection with Halliburton was a conflict of interest? And we threw around big words like “neocon war profiteer” and “crony capitalism,” which made us sound really pissed off and super smart, even though we didn’t really know what they meant? How quaint.
Remember Jayson Blair? Jonah Lehrer? Stephen Glass? So charming how we got riled up over a few fake articles and a tiny bit of plagiarism. Amateurs. Speaking of, remember when Oprah bitch-slapped James Frey on national television because he “made up” part of his memoir. Adorable.
Remember when we thought Y2K was going to be the end of us all? Stockpiling evaporated milk and Spam like we’d just watched a rerun of The Day After, all because the calendar was changing and the country hadn’t done enough to prepare us for the coming doom? What childlike simplicity.
Remember when consensual sex with an intern was impeachable? When we worried how we would explain blowjobs to our young impressionable children? Those were such innocent times for us and Sunday morning TV. I mean, who ever thought that one day we’d be helping our 12 year olds prepare for their media literacy projects by translating the audio-video of an Etalk road trip or a Russian hotel room. Not me! Oh, for our unsullied youth.
Remember when we used to lose it if someone littered, or didn’t compost, or threw 10 million gallons of crude oil in the Gulf of Mexico? Its quite darling how we would get so incensed. Talk about micro-aggressions! How could we have known those were the salad days of environmentalism? No one ever denied they were doing anything wrong. People were merely too lazy to find a proper garbage receptacle. Or drunk.
Remember Watergate? Travelgate? Billygate? Whitewater? The Salem Witch trials? Golly, those were simpler times.
Remember when Graydon Carter used to write searing rebukes of George W and his administration in Vanity Fair every month? Remember when he wrote that President Bush headed “one of the most secretive, deceptive, vindictive, unaccountable, reckless and downright venal administrations in American history.” Oh Graydon, I miss our youthful innocence.
Remember the Cold War? Me, neither. But remember when our parents were scared shitless that Khrushchev had his finger on the button? Such winsome days.
Remember when a hanging chad was the biggest threat to the fall of democracy? Gosh-darn it, those voting machines were made in America!
Remember private email servers?
Remember when we used to watch House of Cards, or Scandal, or Independence Day, and think the plots were totally unrealistic and ridiculous. And we’d throw off the warm snuggly blanket of our liberal naïveté and stand and yell at the TV, “This shit could never happen!” How cute were we.
Remember when parody and satire were made up? When people actually used their own imagination to craft witty skits and humor pieces, instead of reusing tweets and quotes and full speeches verbatim? Like, writers and actors literally had to make stuff up! And we’d be indignant sometimes when they weren’t even that funny. Especially those really lean years at SNL in the early ’80s when no one, but no one, was staying up until 12:30, and even Lorne Michaels couldn’t stand it anymore, and, really, thank God for Eddie Murphy….
Wait, where was I? Oh yes, the outrage. So sweet.