September 06, 2009

They’re Not Just Political Hacks

I agree with Richard that it is encouraging to see the government used as a punchline. Just so long as there are punchlines. But like most of the anti-government zingers now pimpling up all over, this one is terminally unfunny.

Reminds me of most of the Bush-focused ?satire.? The majority of it, including the acclaimed stuff, mainly amounted to: ?Bush is dumb! He can?t even pronounce nuclear! He choked on a pretzel! Cheney has bad aim! C?mon people?!? And if the satirist was really on, the audience might even be treated to a lazy, imperceptive jab at the red states. 

Rarely was there any real drilling down into the Bush character, the system that fostered his ascent, the type of person who would seek that path in the first place, or the obvious imprudence of a strong Executive Branch. Nope, just ?dumb guy from Texas? jokes. It was the same with Clinton, starting with the lame Slick Willie and pot smoking bits and ending with the encyclopedia of Lewinsky double entendres. Here we had the most camera hungry, nakedly duplicitous public figure of the early Internet age, and all his critics could come up with were allusions to his taste for inflated interns. Move over John Swift.

Obama is not yet attracting as much personally focused ?satire;? I think mainly because people want to avoid being called the R Word. So instead, we are getting the same level of inanity, but with the word government used in place of the word Obama.

Again, I?m all for mocking the government, but when I see the word ?Dems? attached to so much of this government bashing, I have to wonder where these ?anti-government? folks were a few years back when anyone who questioned any Bush initiative was being cast as a fifth columnist. Had someone produced a similar video to mark the formation of the Dept. of Homeland Security, how many of these same government skeptics would have been baying for him to face treason charges? When these jokesters stop harmlessly harping on Amtrak and start critiquing the more sacrosanct aspects of the system, I?ll be a little less skeptical of their skepticism.

Of course, it is only natural for people?s standards to break down when they agree with the politics of a piece. Just look at the reverence so many have for John Lennon?s ?Imagine.? Yeah, I?m glad you?re a dreamer too, but is the song any good? No. It is the ?Funkytown? of protest anthems. It would have made a really good tire jingle. But as the secular hymn of a generation, “Imagine” is a dud.

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