When it was announced this month that comedian and actor Alec Baldwin will co-write a book with public radio talk show host Kurt Anderson, offering a satirical look at the Trump presidency, I first thought it would be funny. After all, Baldwin is hysterical in his portrayal on Saturday Night Live of the bombastic, sexist, racist, novice president. But the Penguin Random House book, due out on the anniversary of when America elected its demise-in-chief, may represent a shift in how Americans deal with failed politics.
It’s been a long-standing trend that Democrats and Liberals use humor, satire, and comedy to highlight what’s wrong with the government, primarily the Republican sides of the equation. Every late night host relishes attacking Trump. Comedy Central built up its network around The Daily Show, which uses comedy to inform and soothe its viewers. But is all of this joking around, from SNL to Stephen Colbert, helping to change the political landscape?
One would argue that the late-night liberal comedy set is unintentionally having the opposite impact that it seeks. Rather than Bill Maher or Rachel Maddow leading a revolt of activism, their humor and obscene wit are giving us novocaine to dull the pain. Think about it.
We laugh at these jokes and agree with most of what they tell us – and yet the country continues to vote more Republican than in a decade. Of course this has to do with many factors, from whom the Democrats run for office to the track record of elected Democrats, but it shouldn’t be lost that with the alleged liberal media bias advantage, coupled with the late-night daily comedy barrage that favors a liberal agenda 10-1, the country is getting more red by the minute.
How do we solve this conundrum?
Do liberals secretly like to just complain and laugh at disasters like Trump, thus, enabling the nightmare reality to continue by supporting the alternate reality of satirical TV shows and now books like Baldwin’s?
Don’t get me wrong, one can do both – laugh and take action – but maybe we unconsciously are letting laughter win. It dulls us and serves our need to be understood and pitied. Maybe if we turn the crutch of comedy off and turn away from the escape a book like Baldwin’s offers us, we’d be angry, hungry, and irritated enough to find a way to truly end the suffering and vote out these right-wing barbarians. I mean it. The satire comedy is our candy bar or ice cream. Whereas turning to junk food doesn’t solve our problems, and one would say it enlarges them, turning to comic relief doesn’t really help us pass good legislation or prosecute the unethical or illegal acts of our leaders.
I’m as guilty as anybody. I will likely buy the audio version of You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump, because Baldwin will no doubt do a great voice over to what should be belly-hurting comedy. But it will be so funny that it should make me cry.
Did people sit around during World War II to listen to a radio show that mocked Hitler? No, people went out and did what they could to contribute to stopping this megalomaniacle monster.
Do we have the courage to resist, not just the policies of a government that repeatedly fails us, but the comic television and satirical books that make this ugly reality permissible and tolerable?
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs
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