Friday, October 02, 2009

Letterman's "Lutheran Guilt" Confession

"..and talk shows (are) confession"
-U2, "Playboy Mansion"

Simulacratic and surrreal how Letterman (see

responded, and how the audience responded to Letterman's confession/jokes.
But how else can one confess , and process confession on TV (see
the the ZOO TV post, Confessional Boxes are Inevitable )?

"...Letterman remarked that what his team delivers is essentially “circus time,” with things being lit on fire, dropped in water, and thrown off of buildings. Letterman isn’t happy with this state of affairs. It isn’t as if trying to make conversation with the last person to get voted off the island is Letterman’s preferred vocation, but an exhibition of literal nonsense appears to be what’s required. He stressed that he could never really know for sure, but playing in the big leagues in the unending competitiveness of prime time seems to allow for no pause in circus time. He wants, after all, to stay on the air.

With heartbreaking candor, he expressed a preference for the kind of television associated with Tom Snyder and Rose himself, the exhilaratingly legitimate moment of people talking to each other and other people tuning in from far away.

But could he risk it and keep up with Jay Leno and The Tonight Show? Would he remain, as the saying goes, commercially viable? Not necessarily. He has to play it safe. Back to throwing stuff off of buildings—back to whatever it takes.

Before the cameras, David Letterman can’t talk to the kind of people he wants to talk to. He can’t quite facilitate the stories he’d like. His show can’t show what he wants it to show. He can’t do what he wants to do without losing access. Access to what? Power? Influence? Like everyone else, he has to guess at what the biggest chunk of viewers want and then deliver it. And what haunts him is the feeling that the guess might be wrong. Maybe the..

_David Dark, continued here

"If you push confession out of church or culture, the other will inevitably rise up and meet the need. "

1 comment:

  1. Letterman is fine; he never was the “Family Values” type. Yes, he probably cheated on his girlfriend now wife. But at least he does go around claiming he is Mr. “Family Values” like some of our politicians (can you just see the grin on all “Fake News” reporters/commentators). This has been a tough summer, for Dave, for our economy but at least he did not end up on the “Republican 2009 Summer of Love” list: Assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), Board of Ed Chair, and Kristin Maguire AKA Bridget Keeney (SC).


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!