A Comedy of Errors
by Saab Lofton
"I found [Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity] cowardly and even a little heartbreaking ... It turns out that Stewart and Colbert don't really want citizens to do anything about the corruption of our media and political classes. They just want us to sit back and laugh at them as they mock this corruption -- then high-five ourselves for being so awesome ... In this sense, Stewart and Colbert have become the designated opiate of the left in this country. Every night, they allow us to laugh at how bad things have gotten without actually doing anything about it."
--Steve Almond, The San Francisco Chronicle, November 5th, 2010
In the beginning, whenever the elite wanted to avoid taxation or any other societal obligation, the standard tactic was to tell the masses to work harder a la Boxer the Horse from George Orwell's Animal Farm. Except of course, as my mentor wisely pointed out ...
"While some multimillionaires started in poverty, most did not. A study of the origins of 303 textile, railroad and steel executives of the 1870s showed that 90 percent came from middle- or upper-class families. The Horatio Alger stories of 'rags to riches' were true for a few men, but mostly a myth, and a useful myth for control."
--Professor Howard Zinn (1922 - 2010)
... then came the much vaunted New Age and that insufferable hippiebabble, which essentially serves the same, exact function ...
"The new age/hippie types who insist we all 'create our own reality' never had to think much about the privilege that was created for them before they were born. They drive me apeshit."
--Geov Parrish, from a personal e-mail he sent me on July 20th, 2007
"The book boldly and ignorantly states, 'the only reason any person does not have enough money is because they are blocking money from coming to them with their thoughts.' Tell that to the 36 million Americans living in poverty. Even worse, tell that to the 3 billion people worldwide who live on less that $2 a day."
--Courtney E. Martin, from her review of The Secret
... but now there's another barrier: Humor. I've been fighting the forces of evil since 1987, and more often than not, I'll face a fool who "thinks" (note the quotes) making a sarcastic wisecrack will instantly/magically solve any socio-economic problem. NEWSFLASH: It woN'T.
According to the May 2011 Nielson ratings, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart beat the entire Fox News network in terms of total viewers. The O'Reilly Factor (2.8 million) drew more total viewers than The Daily Show (2.3 million), but Jon Stewart beat everything else on Fox. However, while this may SEEM like a good thing, it's potentially problematic.
It's as peace activist Amy Littlefield said on February 16th, 2007 in Rhode Island's Brown Daily Herald: "Perhaps humor is a way for people opposed to the war to deal with the terror and anger they feel ... but humor is also an extremely effective way to ignore the true depth of the problem."
Absolutely PERFECT: "Humor is also an extremely effective way to ignore the true depth of the problem." And if there's one thing white Americans are jedi masters at, it's ignoring the depth of problems their imperialistic ancestors created. Granted, one shouldn't pay for the sins of a (grand)parent, but if you KNOW the following is in the libertarian platform ...
2.0 Economic Liberty
The only proper role of government in the economic realm is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes and provide a legal framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by government to redistribute wealth, or to control or manage trade, are improper.
... and you STILL vote for or support that shit, then you're just as guilty of RACIST GENOCIDE as your predecessors who're responsible for THIS ...
"Unemployment grew in the Reagan years ... At the end of the eighties, at least a third of African-American families fell below the official poverty level, and black unemployment seemed fixed at two and a half times that of whites, with young blacks out of work at the rate of 30 to 40 percent. The life expectancy of blacks remained at least ten years lower than that of whites. In Detroit, Washington, and Baltimore, the mortality rate for black babies was higher than in Jamaica or Costa Rica."
--Professor Howard Zinn (1922 - 2010)
... doN'T get me wrong -- as this scene from The Boondocks shows, one can find humor even in the aforementioned ...
... but like hippies who "drop out" of society, all too many engage in escapism by refusing to take ANYthing seriously (let alone the white supremacy inherent in Reaganomics) -- and therein lies the problem ...
Back when I lived in Las Vegas, I spoke with Al Mancini of ABC Radio and he confessed to me that the investment community would much prefer to fund the work of a left-wing comedian than a left-wing dramatist because drama can inspire people to demand more out of the rich and powerful (Star Trek and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace certainly come to mind), which is the LAST thing someone wallowing in a MTV Cribs mansion wants, hence the emphasis on comedy.
Harvard Professors Michael C. Dawson and Lawrence Bobo once tag-teamed to write the following for The Black Commentator ...
"Blacks and whites see the world from opposite ends of American Manifest Destiny, which is at the very core of the white national personality, worldview and sense of self. Like a Black Hole, Manifest Destiny exerts a near-irresistible pull on white Americans, distorting history and even the near-past beyond recognition. Realities are made invisible, even as they unfold in plain sight."
... this is why so many whites prefer humor -- it's obviously easier to deal with, but we're talking about Human beings here and saving lives is FAR more important than maintaining suburbia's already colossally spoiled comfort level. Once white America finally realizes that, it'll take its first steps into a larger world ...