There are so many reasons I am thankful to be alive in the year 2008. Vaccines. Automobiles. The Macbook. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” But perhaps one of the most encouraging benchmarks of our time is the advent of “fake news.” Programs like “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report”, as well as publications like The Onion, are brilliant indicators of not only the human race’s gift for (and faith in) the power of humor, but also it’s burgeoning sense of rage against the pathetic, transparent illusion of the media.
I am convinced these contemporary satirical outlets are crucial to almost any socio-political discourse in America today because with each and every episode or edition, they seem to cry out, “Stop insulting us! We’re not as dumb as you think!” Sure, they can be a tad solipsistic at times, and yes, there is a risk that some will turn to these outlets in lieu of “actual” journalism and news gathering; but at their best they throw some pretty righteous pies in the faces of those who believe they can distill the events and consequences of the world’s stage into simplistic sound bites and banal platitudes. And I say, “Bra-fuckin’-vo!”
Consider Exhibit A: The following clip from a recent “Daily Show” episode brilliantly chides both the media and its consumers for allowing the powers-that-be to perpetuate the idea that the current economic downturn in America is just too complex for us fat, dumb, and happy cattle to ever understand. The clip, I believe, speaks for itself, so watch and get a little angry, because John Stewart and Co. are unveiling a very important secret here, namely that you are being talked down to. Every day. All the time. And this is very dangerous, folks. The longer we comply with this assumption, the more we are being taken advantage of. The longer we allow ourselves to be reduced to one pathetic common denominator, the more power we surrender as active and concerned citizens. And the longer all of this goes on unchecked, the more we will begin to believe it.
We are not so idiotic.We are not so ignorant. And we will not be so silent.
Oh yeah, and it’s pretty damn funny.
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