Sometimes comedy illuminates hard truths with a pointed urgency that other means can’t quite achieve. Sometimes comedy is just funny. This series of posts is mostly about the former instances, but the latter is valuable, too.
I can’t claim that I stuck through Portlandia through it’s entire run — including the pending final season — but I have tremendous affection for the comedy series co-stewarded by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Although I didn’t have intimate knowledge of the scruffy metropolitan area it satirized when the program launched, I recognized a generational identity within the comedy.
My swath of the American experience — largely forgotten about in the social energy around both the arrogant authority of the baby Boomers and the misplaced scorn heaped upon the millennials — was briefly known as “the slacker generation” before “generation X” took hold. I always thought the former designation was more telling. We were the ones who formulated the dream of the nineties. Like a lot of the music that Brownstein signed her name upon, I sometimes felt like this early Portlandia sketch was written just for me and my people.
Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Laughing Matters” tag.