Friday, July 15, 2016

Who is laughing now?

As much as I enjoyed the sarcastic humor in the Daily Show and the Colber Report, as the years went on, I stopped watching them.  For one and only one reason: I worried that instead of getting enraged, we were merely laughing things off.

If you were to go back and watch some of those clips, I bet you will agree with me.  Those were some serious, serious issues that the mostly liberal audience was laughing away--of course, for catharsis, more than anything else.   But, laughter has never overhauled society.  In fact, while we laughed and laughed till we cried, the others whom we were laughing at were loudly and openly gaining strength.

I provide you the following Colbert clip from six years ago as a piece of evidence.  Where was the outrage at Rush Limbaugh's and Steve King's atrocious statements?  I bet you also see how much of the fascist's rhetoric is along the same vein, right?



Or, how about this one from five years ago?


4 comments:

Mike Hoth said...

It's interesting, I had a very similar discussion yesterday about televised comedians. We reached the agreement that the (still mostly liberal) audiences of some talk shows were not listening to a comedy monologue so much as they were laughing along as men in suits belittled a viewpoint or person.

Turning everything into a joke is what comedians do, and nothing is sacred in comedy. The Daily Show put itself into a news format, and that's where some people got their real news from. It's easier to say that Trump is crazy instead of paying attention, just like it was easy to say "George Bush is dumb" and ignore anything he did that wasn't funny. Americans would rather have somebody else think for them and just nod their heads.

Sriram Khé said...

I admit that it was during the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld years that I found comedy most cathartic. If not for Stewart and Colbert, I would have had an even tougher time--especially because those years also overlapped with the university rejecting my application for promotion, and my marriage falling apart. For this teetotaler, the comedy relief provided quite a high ;)

But, sarcasm has only limited effect. If there is no constructive response, then ... which is also the story of Trump's candidacy. My moment of not merely laughing at Trump came about almost exactly a year ago, on July 20, 2015. The Statesman Journal had an awesome op-ed after Trump made fun of McCain:
twitter.com/congoboy/status/623368290581114882

Ramesh said...

I would be more tolerant. Its OK to laugh some time and its OK to think some time. The Comedy Show, which I would eatch every day , but for the stupid copyright laws by which it is blocked in India now, does its job of making you laugh. Doesn't mean you should not think.

Sriram Khé said...

Well ...
Yes, thinking ought to accompany ... but, ...

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