Increasingly, the most trenchant commentary on what passes for a political landscape these days comes from avowed comedians–especially satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. (Satire is really hard these days, what with walking self-satirists like Sarah Palin, Louie Gohmert, et. al. I find myself looking at headlines and saying “Surely that’s from the Onion…)
When it comes to climate change, Stephen Colbert may have delivered the best put-down ever of the “motivated reasoners” who deny that anything untoward is happening.
“I am not a scientist” is so worth watching!
If Nero could fiddle while Rome burned, we’d might as well laugh as the water rises….
I don’t know whether these things run in cycles, but over the past few days I’ve seen at least three articles/blog posts speculating why there aren’t any conservative comedians–at least, none with the audience of a Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Andy Borowitz, Bill Maher or several other liberal comics who come readily to mind.
I don’t think the dearth of conservative comics is an attribute of political philosophy. After all, in the days of the Soviet Union, there weren’t very many hilarious Communists. I think the problem is fanaticism. A sense of humor requires more than the ability to tell a joke. As my mother used to say, it’s easy to laugh when the other guy slips on a banana peel. People with a sense of humor can laugh when they are the ones who slip on it. The ability to laugh at one’s own foibles is one sign of emotional maturity. If you look at the popular political satirists, they all share the ability to poke fun at posturing and stupidity whether it comes from the right or the left. These days, it just happens to be coming mostly from the right.
Zealots provide a great target for comedians, but they themselves are almost never funny.