Jackass, The Awful Truth

Last night went to see Jackass with Mike – first time out of the house in the evening without Amy since Miles arrived. Utterly tasteless, retarded, relentless, extreme beyond words. The kind of human horror show from which you can’t avert your eyes. I have a weird admiration for these guys – they don’t seem to think of themselves as artists, even though they warp boundaries by challenging assumptions. Meanwhile, I dislike them for lowering the bar of decency another few notches.

Then tonight rented season #1 of Michael Moore’s old TV show, “The Awful Truth” with Amy – if you never saw it, Moore took the formula from “Roger and Me” — giving big business a hard time — and ran with it. In one episode he gathered a bunch of ex-smokers who had lost their larynxes to cancer or smoking and took them to headquarters of tobacco companies to sing Christmas carols through their voiceboxes. Eery and powerful … just brilliant stuff.

And so I got to realizing that there was a parallel between Jackass and The Awful Truth in that both involve elaborate pranks sprung on unsuspecting people. Only Jackass has no point except to blow minds by exploring just how juvenile and extreme grown men can be, while The Awful Truth is political. Jackass’ accidental interlopers are innocent bystanders, The Awful Truth’s are the people who pull the strings of the world. One show has a point, the other doesn’t. Oh, and Jackass is still on the air, making money. The Awful Truth isn’t.

One other thing about Jackass that got me freaked: With the caliber of popular media descending by the year, I sometimes wonder just how far away we are from death billed as entertainment. It almost seems inevitable at this point – the return of the gallows in the town square, or gladiators kind of thing. If these Jackass guys keep on going the way they are, it’s inevitable that one of them is going to die in the middle of a stunt. And of course the cameras will be rolling when it happens. And someone at MTV is going to have to decide what to do with the footage – to air it or not. Will have to decide whether to break the envelope for the ratings or not.

Music: King Crimson :: 21st Century Schizoid Man

5 Replies to “Jackass, The Awful Truth”

  1. the footage will be on the internet in no time. probably up at rotten.com or somewhere similar. just like the journalist in pakistan.

    The snuffing of the American mind.

  2. Funny, I was just watching that same “The Awful Truth” episode last week. Incredible stuff. All I knew about Michael Moore was “Roger and Me” and had no idea he took things to the next level. The smoker’s carolling was just genius, in a sad way.

    Wondering about Bowling for Columbine….

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  4. hey guys its really fucked up cause we (my lil sis and i thought it would be funny to fuck with my dad while he was sleeping) we watched jackass before he went to bed and he got drunk same with me not my sis she is 17 so we planned to stick his hand in boiling water and dump ice down his pants i thought it would be a better idea to antique him while she dumped ice down his pants sorry my dad isn’t as cool as bam’s anyway it was funny as fuck and if we had a camera i would send the film to you but oh my god!!! he is so mad its not blaming on you so don’t think that my dad just came out to yell at us he has flour on his face and it is funny but now i have no place to live ha ha its the alcohol speaking right i know him he’ll wake up tommorow and oh i love you don’t go but anyway no harm to us but tell us its funny we want your response mainly from steve o bam or johnny please reply oh my god if you could only see his face!!!

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