Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Breaking the Political Fever with Humor

If ever the American electorate went mad, this is the moment. People have scoured the past for prior insanity but came up short. The 1960s were close, considering Vietnam, the Nixon era and Watergate, not to forget the Generation Gap, a renewal of the Civil War’s “father against son, brother against brother”–not to mention the mothers and daughters in that mix.
But this age of ugly warfare is one that never seems to take a holiday. News coverage in the ‘60s was led by CBS News and Walter Cronkite, setting a standard for civil discourse amid the clamor of demonstrations, disruptions and internecine warfare.
Today, for the first time in televised communications, reasoned coverage like that of CNN steadily loses viewers while you’d think Fox was doing the Lord’s work: the channel of choice now for a generation that went to college but never learned to think, demands instant gratification, and has an attention span of two to three seconds at a whack. Fox is made for the likes them, with its steady drumbeat of vitriol against Democrats, liberals and Obama, all to the tune of “fair and balanced” news reportage.
The saving grace to all this is that their one-sided, vacuous rants lack one important thing–humor. And what better infusion into the dour body politic than Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show” and Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report” (last two “t’s” are silent).
Following Glenn Beck’s very self-indulgent grandstanding at the nation’s capital, comic relief is in order. There promises to be a bumper-crop turnout for this event at the same location featuring Stewart, currently the nation’s go-to guy for news that hits home, thanks to his expert lampooning of the stuffed shirts that comprise the political landscape; and Colbert, the faux conservative who accomplishes similar results by posturing from the other side of the political aisle.
If anything can lance the nation’s festering boil, or break the fever of Republican and Tea Party utterance that masquerades as truth, it’s these two from their high horses of comedy. Whatever they do on October 30, it stands to reduce to irrelevance America’s jackanape Reality Show in progress since the election of Obama.
Stewart typically delivers a revelatory expose of American politics merely by asking questions, juxtaposing current political rhetoric with prior statements by the same idiots, and follows it all with quick-witted, incisive barbs.
Colbert has the surface persona of a modern conservative windbag, from which emerges nightly the stupidity of their rhetoric, causing viewers to surmise that were modern Republicans real Republicans– and not the late, lame version–he might be one of them.
Everyone in the public eye is fair game for these merry pranksters, and none is above ridicule. The difference is that rightwingers don’t watch either show or, if they do, they don’t laugh, and for one reason only: they have no sense of humor–which speaks volumes about the paucity of modern conservatism. The litmus test is to view them and note one’s own reaction.
Their event, which is the day before Halloween–meaning just before we all return to the politics that are truly scaring the hell out of us, is teased on their nightly shows (Mondays-Thursdays beginning at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central). Stewart’s “Daily Show” exhibits sample posters for his “March to Restore Sanity,” tweaking the idiocy of Tea Party banners thusly: “I Disagree With You, But I Don’t Think You’re Hitler,” “9/11 Was An Outside Job,” and “I’m Not Afraid of Muslims, Tea Partiers, Socialists, Immigrants, Gun Owners, and Gays–But I Am Kind of Scared of Spiders.”
Colbert touts his as a counter-demonstration to “Keep Fear Alive”–a reference to the constant refrain from dingbat politicos currently running for office nationwide and who play on economic anxieties with dire accusations regarding incumbents.
By all accounts, people are poised to descend on Washington from every corner of the U.S. for the day. But there are satellite rallies nationwide too, from whence Comedy Central will broadcast live from the National Mall. Till then, find more at: http://www.rallyforsanity.com
So check your local TV listings or betake thyself for some comic relief from the sex, lies and videotape of inane news and politics and join the fun.
Whoever lacks a sense of humor should get over themselves.

2 Responses to “Breaking the Political Fever with Humor”

  1. A titter to the left … a titter to the right …
    Put ’em both together, and you got da’ chuckle-lot.

    Thanks John for the upside.

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