Friday, July 25, 2008

Kristen Schaal Does It Again

I have to give a "shout out" (as my Canadian friend says) to my friends Catherine and Brad, who first introduced me to comedian Kristen Schaal and "The Flight of the Conchords." Thanks, you two!

Because I'm in the dark ages with no cable and no access to "The Daily Show" (which I'm sure I would watch daily if I had cable), I'm a bit behind the times. Thank goodness for the internet! (and Blockbuster Online, so I can watch old episodes of the Conchords...)

In her latest commentary on "The Daily Show," Kristen Schaal skewers the sexist label, "cougar," which describes older women who end up with younger men. It's always been socially acceptable for much-older men to end up with much-younger women, so what's the big deal with the reverse? She is hilarious!



While I was searching "The Daily Show" web site, I found this older video of Schaal talking about the Chinese Olympic mascots (below). She manages to be funny and insightful while taking on China's human rights policies and views toward women and girls.

Some of the comments on the site accuse Schaal and "The Daily Show" of slandering China in this clip. I remember when I was the only foreigner in a jam-packed bus in Shanghai in 1986--we were in a horrible traffic jam caused by one of the first student uprisings in the late '80s. A Chinese student sitting next to me took me under his wing and tried to convince me that women in China had much better status in society than they did in Japan (I had told him I was living in Japan). In some ways, that might be true...you are probably more likely to find Chinese women working side by side with men in equal or close-to-equal roles than you would in Japan. However, you wouldn't find female infanticide or abandonment in Japan. (Incidentally, the student also fed me some propaganda line about the protests being caused by some offense some American students had done to the Chinese. Clearly, that was what the media was saying.)

At any rate, this clip is bittersweet, but very clever.


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