the horror

Well. I'd heard about it, I'd been warned about it, I'd been told stay the fuck away from it, but last week I couldn't help myself and ended up watching Dennis Miller on CNBC in friendly cross-promotional conversation with Jay Leno.

Holy Mother of Beelzebub. I couldn't believe that this pathetic TV weasel was the same Dennis Miller who used to produce a stream of obtuse, densely trivial and usually funny wisecracks for Saturday Night Live. Miller was irritating and self-important back in his Weekend Update days - his comedy specials revealed a man who clearly believed that he was far more edgy and vital than he really was - but even at his worst he projected a joky self-confidence, giving you the impression that he was playing not so much to the camera but to the little self-critic in his head. Please, he was saying, please, little demon. I'll show you how smart I am. Even when he was staring into the lens of the camera, which was all the time.

But now. My God. He laughs like a schoolgirl at his own lame jokes and anecdotes. He tells stories about Bush as if Bush were not a stupid bigoted bully, which is plainly the sum of his personality. To someone so versed in ripping up the facades of gravitas that politicians and CEOs and other celebrities employ, it's confusing and dreadful to see Miller putting fresh coats of paint on the GOP outhouse. It gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach to see him interrupt Leno's jokes for yet another story of Bush's wit. I remember that Miller was pro-Gulf War back in the early 90s, but nothing prepared me for the look in his eyes whenever he mugged for the camera on his own show. It said: Mr. Bush, are you watching? Do you approve? Am I a better host than Leno? Clearly, the little demon of Miller's superego has hopped off his shoulder and moved to the White House.