Letterman is empty; he’s inert; he stands for nothing except disdain for people foolish enough to stand for anything - aside from rote obesciance to all the things Decent People stand for, of course, all those shopworn assumptions passed around in the bubble.
This posture was fresh in ’80; it even had energy. But it paralyzes the heart after a while. You end up an SOB who shows up at the end of the night to reassure that nothing matters. I think he may have invented the posture of Nerd Cool, an aspect so familiar to anyone who reads message boards - the skill at deflating enthusiasm, puncturing passion with a hatpin lobbed from a safe distance. The instinctive unease with the wet messy energy of actual people.
Yes, reading too much into it. Really, it’s just a rote slam: If your mother is a loathed politician, and your older sister gets pregnant, famous old men can make jokes about you being knocked up by rich baseball players, and there’s nothing you can do. That’s the culture: a flat, dead-eyed, square-headed old man who’ll go back to the writers and ask for more Palin-daughter knocked-up jokes, because that one went over well. Other children he won’t touch, but not because he’s decent. It’s because he’s a coward.
Oh, one more thing: it’s okay for David to say that because someone said something else about someone, and since I didn’t write about that, I’m a hypocrite. Just so we’re clear.