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This may be a comedic piece but…

… this rant is one of the best bits of political and social analysis I have seen in years. To quote from Wikipedia:

Jonathan Pie is a satirical news reporter character created and played by British actor and comedian Tom Walker. He is known for his outtake-like rants of a conflicted reporter speaking his mind about the state of UK politics

But seriously, this is awesome. This time he is talking (mostly) about US politics and society.

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43 comments to This may be a comedic piece but…

  • Alan H.

    I read somewhere Tom Walker got involved with Russia Today at one point but then had second thoughts about them. It’s a really amazing rant 😀

  • The obvious hate of Trump makes it suck. And Sanders probably wouldn’t have won. Trump basically united the former democratic base, the base they had before they went for mass immigration, diversity, and all things p.c. Sanders couldn’t pull the South. Probably couldn’t pull the rust belt either.

  • The obvious hate of Trump makes it suck. And Sanders probably wouldn’t have won.

    Then you seem to misunderstand what you just watched.

    No, the obvious hate of Trump does not makes it suck because the character Jonathan Pie (played by Tom Walker) is a leftie journalist. If Pie did not hate Trump, he would not be a very believable leftie journalist. And whilst I agree Sanders probably wouldn’t have won (in fact he would have been slaughtered), again, what would you expect a character portrayed as a leftie journalist to say? It is the rest of the rant that I think is amazing social commentary, delivered as a leftist speaking to other leftists.

  • lemon jellyfish

    That’s brilliant 😀 And like the rant says, most on the left won’t listen, won’t stop spewing invective. And that’s why they’ll keep losing.

  • RRS

    Of course, the extension of Pie’s proposition requires having something viable to offer in “discussions.”

  • I didn’t watch past the Sanders bit. There wasn’t anything there to hold me as an audience.

  • I didn’t watch past the Sanders bit. There wasn’t anything there to hold me as an audience.

    Then with all due respect, your comment is pointless as it relates to something you did not actually bother to watch before opining.

  • bobby b

    I’ve been forwarding that clip to my non-Trumpy friends for days. It’s both hilarious and perceptive.

    Funny, though – I’ve been assuming that he’s truly some British news guy named Pie.

  • And like the rant says, most on the left won’t listen, won’t stop spewing invective. And that’s why they’ll keep losing.

    Exactly so. In fact it appears the left are doubling down on invective, which in a sense is actually good news for it suggests a widespread lack of introspection and insight into why they have been getting their arses handed to them in 2016.

  • bobby b

    “And that’s why they’ll keep losing.”

    I understand your point, and mostly agree, but . . . just a minor quibble.

    It got them eight years of Bill Clinton.

    It also got them eight years of Obama, which we’re still enjoying. ( 🙄 )

    It makes me nervous every time someone implies some new, powerful impulse of conservative sentiment that will endure for some time. In spite of the R’s new capture of fed and state offices, we have two years until the next major set of elections – two years in which all it takes is for someone sufficiently high up to pull a Gingrich – to do something so startlingly tone-deaf and egotistical that enough people will switch back to the Dems to make them ascendant again.

    Of course, it could be that I’m just immune to happiness.

  • Gene

    … it suggests a widespread lack of introspection and insight …

    That it does. One sign that I’m definitely getting older is my rapidly growing appreciation for perspective and humility. Oh, the good that a wee dram of either could do right now.

  • bobby b

    “The obvious hate of Trump makes it suck.”

    Really? His treatment of Trump tracks closely to my own feelings. (Effing Donald Trump?! President?!!)

    And I voted for him.

    (What he’s saying could go a long ways towards helping lefties retake some lost ground, which means I should probably dislike this clip, but I know they won’t pay any attention, so I can enjoy it.)

  • Jake

    He is wrong about Trump but nails Hillary.

  • Jake

    “The last time Democrats were this mad at Republicans was when the Republicans abolished slavery and let black people vote.”

  • Yeah, I saw that on Facebook: it is brilliant.

  • Deep Lurker

    What lost me was when he started claiming that Clinton lost because because she, and the Democrat Party in general, weren’t left-wing enough. It was like watching some neo-nazi dismiss Trump as not deserving the comparison to Hitler, with a rant that Trump was a weak-kneed, lily-livered, bleeding heart liberal who was unwilling to hand out pink triangles, do was was necessary to solve the immigration problem, and provide full employment to the Zykon-B industry.

  • Sorry Deep Lurker but I think you did not ‘get it’.

  • boxty

    Bobby b: I think you are mistaking Gingrich for Boehner. Gingrich was great. He rope-a-doped Clinton for eight years. Got tough crime bills and welfare reform passed through Congress. He was forced out by a fake political scandal involving the IRS. Shockingly, all charges were dropped after he was out of office. 🙄

    If Gingrich was still speaker of the House, Obama would have been viewed as another great jobs President like Bill Clinton. Too bad we’ve been stuck with Boehner and Ryan.

  • Marcher

    That’s funny as fuck because he nails it 😆 Tom Walker, sorry, ‘Jonathan Pie’ totally understands the dynamic and the way the censorious left thinks. Anyone critiquing the political realities (like the idea Sanders could have actually won) totally misses the point of this hilarious rant. It’s a cri de coeur from a fictional conflicted leftie talking to other lefties 😀 😎

  • Cal

    “Being offended doesn’t work any more”.

    Maybe some of them are starting to get it.

  • bobby b

    Boxty, I love Gingrich. I’m a fanboy. I could listen to him speak for hours. (I have.) If I thought he could win, I’d push him for the presidency.

    But he has this character flaw. Every damn time he gets on top – every time his POV is climbing, his influence is growing, his intelligence is gaining respect – every damn time, he does something to sabotage himself.

  • Maybe some of them are starting to get it.

    Maybe a few but they are being drowned out by the ones who think they need to double down :mrgreen:

  • Eric

    Maybe a few but they are being drowned out by the ones who think they need to double down :mrgreen:

    Good. I hope they keep on doubling down. I hope they keep rioting and crying and calling people racists and impotently stamping their feet.

  • Chip

    “And that’s why they’ll keep losing.”

    This ignores the demographic trend. The growing Hispanic vote is tipping long-term Republican strongholds leftward. Even Texas is drifting ever closer to the left.

    The fact is that recent immigrants from Central America are statist. And it’s for this reason alone that the Democrat power brokers want the border open. They sense a permanent majority is imminent, a strategy not unlike that pursued by the Blairites.

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Perry de Havilland: Many thanks for posting this.
    Very clever and bitingly satirical rant, and very, funny – superb positioning statements exactly as one might expect from the bias of the character he is portraying.
    I think he probably covers ALL the relevant points. Not an opportunity or a word wasted. He must surely have put in a lot of work to pull this together, but the points come out thick and fast, like a Gattling gun on full and like a really spontaneous and mad-as-Hell ad hoc and off-the-record rant. It clearly even fools some of the viewers into thinking that it is real. I didn’t know who the guy was, so it had me wondering at the very start, but I quickly twigged what it was and sat back and enjoyed it.
    Brilliant.

    I even liked the hurried “…I might need to have to forego the shit” right at the end, leaving one with the suggestion hanging in the air that this guy is still full of shit. Not a single opportunity missed.

  • Alisa

    I also dropped out early in the beginning, and only came back to watch the rest of it today. It was worth it. What happens is that during those first few minutes he is obviously acting, but further in he actually seems to forget that he is impersonating someone who he is not, and spills out what he himself really thinks. Or at least so it come across to me. And from that point it is really convincing, because I have actually seen left-wing pundits express similar thoughts.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Very clever, I’d say what Slarti said.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    I stumbled across this rant at some other blog and couldn’t stop laughing. I think it is brilliant.

    Two points:
    1) I recommended it to a lefty colleague (but I repeat myself). He loved it, but for completely different reasons. Essentially, he didn’t get the joke and felt it was very good advice and analysis.
    2) Doubling-down is very much going on in the UK. Corbyn anyone? I see no reason to believe that it won’t, and many reasons to believe that it will, go on in the US.

    If it does, then despite Chip’s comments above, I think that is a reason for optimism. Most emigrees from statist political systems believe in statist politics but are pretty good at recognising when those statist policies are truly burn-the-place-down-and-massacre-the-kulaks dangerous rather than “merely” damaging and corrupting, and will vote accordingly.

  • Alisa

    Most emigrees from statist political systems believe in statist politics but are pretty good at recognising when those statist policies are truly burn-the-place-down-and-massacre-the-kulaks dangerous rather than “merely” damaging and corrupting, and will vote accordingly.

    Indeed. They also don’t tend to be SJW precious snowflakes.

  • I even liked the hurried “…I might need to have to forego the shit” right at the end, leaving one with the suggestion hanging in the air that this guy is still full of shit. Not a single opportunity missed.

    For me that was the perfect sting in the tail 😆

  • Alisa, as regards what the character thinks versus what Tom Walker himself may really think, the crucial bit is the tiny phrase “it’s so easy” when he is begging the left to rediscover the lost art of argument.

    This is exactly what a leftie thinks – that “we’re the clever ones” and that discarding argument is discarding an area where the left is strong. In fact of course, we observe that “He who is not a socialist at 20 has no heart. He who is still a socialist at 40 has no head”, precisely because it’s an area where the left is weak. But this knowledge is so totally subversive of their self-view that it’s natural that Tom Walker finds abandonment of argument by lefties bizarre, ridiculous.

    Much of what Pie says, a right-winger agrees with – witness our enjoyment of the rant. The Sanders-specific stuff is just an in-character peg for the rant (and one may debate whether Sanders would have done better or even worse). Whether Pie agrees or not with Walker (that if lefties would only argue it would be “so easy” to win) is the experimentum crucis. Walker imagines debating global warming ‘science’ with Trump. He has never imagined debating it with Steve MacIntyre.

  • Watchman

    Chip,

    That would be the hispanic population that almost a third voted for Trump (and that is despite the fact it could be argued they were the one group he clearly did set out to irritate)? And which many of them don’t recognise the existence of a Hispanic group (reasonably – in terms of common identity and sense, it’s only marginally more sensibly than assuming Europeans are a group)?

    You’re playing the identity politics game there. However, the so-called Hispanics are individuals as well, so should be approached this way. If you treat them as the identity-politicers want, then yes, they will likely trend left for a while. If you treat them as you would (I presume) a white american (and frankly, physically the difference is often not discernable) then I suspect they will trend all over the place like everyone else. Hopefully this is just you still being caught up in the divide-and-conquer regime that has been in place up to now, and not some strange idea that you can group people together by some perceived racial characteristic anyway.

  • Alisa

    A great point Niall – went over my head, I must admit. I’m better at reading than at listening – especially to rants…

  • Paul Marks

    I think I have already seen this – is the one where the man constantly swears and denounces Hillary Clinton for not being left wing enough?

    As Mrs Clinton has campaigned for more government Welfare State spending, higher taxes and more regulations (on top of the crushing level of government spending, taxes and regulations that already exist) it is odd to regard Mrs Clinton as not collectivist enough.

    And what is it about comics and constantly swearing? Is the idea “I can not think of a punchline to this joke – so I will say the F. word a lot instead”?

    Lazy.

    Still at least it is against “P.C. ism” – I get the feeling that even the left regard the Frankfurt School of Marxism tactics a bore.

  • Chip

    I’m not playing identity politics, I’m observing it.

    Formerly red states like New Mexico, California, Nevada and Florida have all tipped purple or blue. Trends show Texas is soon to follow.

    The US is adding one million Hispanic voters every year and the fact is they vote 70-30 for Democrats and statist policies.

    This is a cultural phenomenon, with Hispanics more similar to Southern Europeans than the fleeing Protestants who largely created the American experiment.

    Culture matters. And the Dems are playing a clever long game in this regard.

  • Culture matters. And the Dems are playing a clever long game in this regard.

    Well if culture matters, then get out there are win the culture war. Culture is not genetic.

  • As Mrs Clinton has campaigned for more government Welfare State spending, higher taxes and more regulations (on top of the crushing level of government spending, taxes and regulations that already exist) it is odd to regard Mrs Clinton as not collectivist enough…blah blah blah

    Paul. This is an actor called Tom Walker very effectively acting the role of ‘Jonathan Pie’. If you are critiquing Clinton within the context of the leftist political views of a character posited as a leftie journalist, then perhaps you have entirely missed the whole point of this rant.

    And what is it about comics and constantly swearing? Is the idea “I can not think of a punchline to this joke – so I will say the F. word a lot instead”?

    Lazy.

    Because that is how such people speak, Paul. It is not lazy, it is very accurate acting, but maybe I just know more people like this than you do. I am a member of an arty farty West End club which is more or less overrun with real life versions of Jonathan Pie (albeit much less self-aware) 🙄

  • bobby b

    The US is adding one million Hispanic voters every year and the fact is they vote 70-30 for Democrats and statist policies.”

    Short term, this huge influx of Mexicans might serve Democrat purposes, as people who have just made the dangerous and funds-draining illegal move across the border need more state support than most, and need more expressions of welcome. No one wants to be hated, and the Democrats have been more welcoming to them than the Republicans.

    But, long term, I think it backfires on the Dems.

    The typical Mexican – especially the typical Mexican family unit – is culturally much more attuned to a conservative viewpoint than a liberal one. They tend to be religious, and family-oriented, and respectful of tradition. They also tend to be hard-working and prideful. Charity, when they have the resources, is something they give to others, not something they seek for themselves.

    Look at the evolution of the Cuban immigrants to this country. These are people with many of the same cultural imperatives as the Mexicans. Granted, for some years they were dependent on public money to survive, but they very quickly got off the dole and are now generally a solid middle class group, supporting conservative causes and candidates more than 50%.

    I wouldn’t fear the long-term electoral consequences of the invasion from the south.

  • Chip

    I think the culture war in terms of free markets and individual liberty versus statism and big government has been lost.

    Partly because the former only emerged with strength when it was tied to a large reformist religious movement that saw the state, king and papal church as threats to their religious belief. Free markets and small government continued to flourish in the US as long as this faith remained strong, partly I think, because churchgoing communities are better equipped to ride out economic instability. As protestantism has waned in Europe the embrace of the state has quickened. The same is happening across the more secular parts of the US.

    I’m an atheist but the correlation between Protestantism and indivual liberty is too strong to ignore.

    Now, sure we can make the case that free mrkets are a net positive but this is largely a logical argument while the statist argument is always primed with emotion.

    Most people aren’t logical.

  • Chip

    According to Pew Research:

    “And while most immigrants from Asia and Latin America identify with the Democratic Party, the report found that Hispanic members of the second generation — those born in the United States with at least one parent born outside of the country — were even more likely to identify as Democrats than their parents.”

    And being conservative on social issues isn’t the same as rejecting statism. They’ve gone hand in hand in central and South America for eons.

    Again, look at the math. America is drifting into statism and immigration of low skilled people from statist cultures will eventually make this transition permanent.

  • Sceptical Antagonist

    Tom just appeared on this week’s THIS WEEK, explaining the character he created…

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Perry: You wrote:

    …This is an actor called Tom Walker very effectively acting the role of ‘Jonathan Pie’. If you are critiquing Clinton within the context of the leftist political views of a character posited as a leftie journalist, then perhaps you have entirely missed the whole point of this rant.

    ________________________________________
    I would suggest that there are whole swathes of the audience watching and listening to this video that will similarly “not get it”, and that is not an indictment of them. As I commented above:

    It clearly even fools some of the viewers into thinking that it is real. I didn’t know who the guy was, so it had me wondering at the very start, but I quickly twigged what it was and sat back and enjoyed it.

    – because it was clear – from some of the comments that preceded mine – that some people needed to have the joke explained to them.
    One of my hobbies has long been the study and practice of humour (the telling of jokes and the writing of humorous stories and plays), and one of the things one learns is that the theory of communication comes into play throughout the communication of a joke. One component of verbal communication is the decoding stage at the recipient’s end – the translation (of language, say) that happens when the message is in the recipient’s head. Our paradigms tend to govern this translation and filter our senses – how we see, hear, feel and interpret (perceive) and even how we respond to, the world around us – and this will certainly influence the decoding, so “sausage” might be perceived as (say) either simply describing a processed meat product, or be a titillating smutty reference to “penis”, in the perceived meta-context. Authors, playwrights, political speakers and comedians alike all rely on this, and use it to advantage.

    Because this filtering process goes on in every person’s head, the puzzle is that objective truth may exist, but human nature may preclude us from being able to experience it.
    So some jokes will go right past some people, because it doesn’t match their peculiar paradigms.
    I also, instantly disliked the swearing, because that usually signifies that the person speaking does not possess the language or intellectual skills or knowledge of vocabulary necessary to coherently articulate or express his thoughts in clear and meaningful language. So, such speakers generally resort to swearing as a substitute for language, and will generally demonstrate thereby that they can’t perform too well in the critical thinking department. One can only think with what one knows, though one may legitimately swear deliberately for effect, or (say) as a condescending form of protective colouration with some audiences who might not be expected to be able to keep up with anything more challenging.
    As @Paul Marks called it – “lazy” – which it would have been had it been a real rant by a real person, but the swearing, as employed, perfectly fitted the character being portrayed, who remained – as we learned at the end – still full of shit.

    It was a very thoughtful, well-written and well-constructed piece of humour, delivered with perfect timing and pace, hammering just about every single one of the main logical fallacies, weak arguments, corrupt attitudes and absence of critical thinking so depressingly and consistently displayed by the lefty luvvies and cultural marxists/fascists in the American (and British) political scene – those people who know so much better than we do what is good for us and will ram it down our throats and censor us, or worse, threaten us with violence, if we disagree or object, using meaningless pejorative labels (waysist, homofobe, fassist, etc.). Those labels are words that once may have had a useful and specific meaning in the English lexicon, but that now are relegated as simply labels to shut down contrary debate, by articulating an unspoken and strongly intolerant and divisive non-sequitur pointing to people as being the unacceptable “other”:

    “You disagree with me, I am virtuous and unarguably right and thus you are a bad person and wrong and we should all hate you and vilify you.”

    (I think Edward De Bono referred to this approach as signifying “intellectual deadlock”, an ego-driven condition which inhibits the ability to think critically, and the smarter we are the more we apparently may tend to suffer from it.)

    As I wrote, I consider this sketch to be bitingly satirical and a brilliantly constructed and delivered piece of humour, but I appreciate that not everybody will necessarily be able to perceive that that might be the case, if they do not have the paradigms to see it with.
    Having now further analysed the sketch, I am even more impressed with the author’s skill.

    Consider: Everything – each little component – has meaning and purpose. The Gattling gun delivery of pertinent points; the close-ups and grimaces; the waving hands; taking off and putting on of the jacket; the implicit haste (he’s running late for his appointment, keeps looking at his watch etc., and doesn’t even have time for a shit); turning away from and back into the camera as though unaware of it (as one would probably be); the anguish of having lost to Trump, compounded by the anguish of his belated discovery/realisation of the perceived only possible cause of the loss, and his condemnation of it and that it is he and his ilk who did it to themselves; the second slightly lagging image on the screen in the background, ludicrously aping and emphasising his movements and gestures. There was more, but you get the drift. It was a 3 or 4-dimensional sketch.
    And then, at the very end, there was what initially seemed to me to be a strangely unnecessary and vulgar line in the hurried:

    “…I might need to have to forego the shit.”

    It took me a moment to take that in, and then I burst out laughing, because it clearly was deliberate and – if one had been paying close attention – it really did leave one with the suggestion hanging in the air that this guy is still full of shit, and yes, as you put it, it was also – perhaps cruelly, but not undeserved:

    “…the perfect sting in the tail.”

    But I suspect it was still even more than that. The author knew we would be watching and listening to all of this, and that at that end-point we just might need a little humorous confirmation that we were on the right track in our understanding of what we had witnessed. So he smilingly gave us a subtle little conspiratorial wink (metaphorically speaking).

    Does this ring any bells?
    IMHO, this Guy was not only making a bitingly satirical joke about, and giving the bird to, the PC liberal/left cultural marxists, but also was enjoying a little inside joke:

    “We always knew they were full of shit didn’t we?”

    – along with his audience, in true Shakespearean style.
    It is brilliant.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    @Perry,

    Culture is not genetic.

    I disagree. A large part of IQ is genetically determined, and it definitely has an effect on culture. For example, hyper-rationalists like you tend to be more common in high IQ societies – I doubt we will find such potential thinkers in say, Papua New Guinea. Which in turn creates the culture that is prevalent there.

    Other than IQ, another factor that is slowly emerging as having genetic origins is empathy. There’s some research that strongly suggests that genes and hormones affect how people react to emotional information, and that there are discernable genetic differences between different races that correlates to different responses.

    And if we extrapolate empathy as one factor that goes into culture, then obviously there’s a link.

    Of course the research may be bunk, etc, etc. But it’s well past time to consider if there is the possibility to all this being true, in which case genetic engineering may take on even more importance. If genes can shape attitudes, and attitudes make up a culture…

    Then genes determine culture. Control the genes, control the culture that results. Want a docile population that will endure the harshest conditions for a dictatorship without complaint? Want a bunch of rollicking explorers to press the space frontier? Just select for the traits you want.

    The Dems are smart in trying to get Hispanics into the US. Enough of them, and the US will resemble South America politics and social structures, and I think such structures favor the left significantly. I’m sure many voters are just thrilled with the thought.