This blog is about satire in general, and in a more broad sense the total non-existence of conservative satire which is a remarkable thing in and of itself.
Satire is humor derived from perceived absurdity. Usually a satirist will artfully exaggerate something he finds absurd in order to make that absurdity more obvious, thus provoking laughter (and in a broader sense, relieving stress in the audience at dealing with that absurdity). Bush was the source of so much satire not just because he gave comedians so much material, but because the psychological need to laugh (rather than cry) was there for many people. Laughter relieves tension, and satire is, I have long thought, one reason a lot of people who watch the news don’t buy a gun, move to washington and start picking off congressmen.
But it is remarkable that there is no real conservative satire. When I googled “conservative satire” pretty much the only thing I found that was not satire of conservatives, conservative policies etc was a show that aired on fox news called The Half Hour News Hour, which is the only somewhat mainstream conservative satire show I have ever heard of, and I heard of it only long after it was canceled. I’ve seen clips from it and I can’t really find any humor in it, and it seems to derive it’s “satire” from the kind of nastiness that fox news employs. For instance this clip is just them pointing out that the ACLU protects the free speech rights of nambla. I fail to see any joke there, it’s more of a conservative talking point with an applause line (and canned laughter). And it’s nasty. I’m sure if Voltaire were a fox news satirist, he would say “I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it… Unless I disagree with you of course, in which case you shouldn’t have the free speech I enjoy daily.” Adding “First ammendment, shmirst ammendment”.
But I’m getting off the point. What little conservative “satire” I’ve seen seems bitter and mean and often dishonest at worst, and dry and humorless at best. But then maybe it’s a matter of taste and I am missing something?
In my search for conservative satire, I found a blog which called itself conservative satire. It contained gems like this:
“New study finds one in ten adults worldwide are obese, of that it is believe 30% are obese due to BFL or “Big Fat Liar” Syndrome. A disease that scientists have identified [is] caused by registering Democrat.“
This is not funny, or intelligent.
There is a microcosm of this in religious satire as well. There is a lot of witty satire of religious beliefs, some of it mean-spirited but most of it clever and thought provoking. This fake motivational poster in particular has caught my attention:
Is it offensive to many believers? Yes. But irreverence aside, it’s basic information is accurate and it is a genuine attempt to convey the absurdity many see in the christian scheme of crucifixion, salvation and the literal interpretation of genesis. But though I’ve seen many, many versions of this attacking atheism every single one consistently misrepresents atheism or distorts science in order to attack it.
Etc. You would never see a picture like this from the secular side lying about what christians believe in order to mock them. I’ve never seen that. And if atheists were going around saying that christians believe that santa clause rose from the dead to wash our clothes so our linens may be saved or some nonsense, what would that say about atheists? You certainly would never see something like the next poster:
This, I would argue, is not satire. It’s not even humor. It’s a neurotic reaction. But maybe it comes from the fact that there is no conservative or fundamentalist satire to relieve the stress that regular satire relieves in liberals and secular people, because you cannot laugh if you aren’t at liberty to agree or disagree. Maybe satire and (good) humor requires some degree of free thought.
Bear in mind I mean conservative in the sense of the modern neo-conservativism, and by religion I refer only to strict biblical literalism, which both seem to be examples of strictly in-the-box thinking. I do not mean to imply that all conservatives of every stripe or all religious people in any sense are mean-spirited or without a sense of humor.
If there is politically conservative or fundamentalist satire that isn’t bitter like this, I would be curious to see it. Anyone have any examples?
Maybe it’s just a difference between intelligence vs stupidity, regardless of ideology. Or that in-the-box thinking, whatever is the cause, limits the mind and inhibits the things required for a good laugh (that isn’t at someone else’s expense).