I like Chris Buckley’s line saying that it is unfair for satirists, because they are now in competition with USA Today. Applying that a lot of jokes come true, or as I would put it, get elected. We do now have a Congress that represents America. Not exactly the best of America, I hope now anyway. Or maybe I’ll join Alec Baldwin the next time he threatens, or is generous enough to leave America. USA Today, in the business of news and report serious issues. Satirists, are in the business to make fun of what’s going on and life in general. The problem for satirists is that USA Today and other news organizations now report on a lot of things that look like comedy. Like the government shutting down, because the House of Representatives can’t get the President to repeal his own signature legislation.
Sarah Palin, who I actually have a lot of respect for as a satirist, comedian and a beautiful women, even if someone who has just graduated from high school is more qualified to be either President, or Vice President of the United States, is the perfect example of satire, or a real-life comedy story. In Supreme Courtship, Chris Buckley, writes about a fictional character from Texas, a very attractive female judge who loves firearms and the Southwestern Texas lifestyle. Sarah Palin, who other than being from Alaska instead of Texas, has a lot in common with the fictional Texas judge. A very attractive women with a keen sense of humor, from rural Alaska, who loves the country lifestyle and is a big fan of guns, who has a great personality. But who is more qualified to be a fictional TV character than Vice President of the United States. And yet she’s nominated for Vice President by the candidate who comes within a few large states of winning the presidency.
As I’ve blogged before you can’t follow Washington politics and that is national politics and I’m sure Washington city politics as well, without a sense of humor. Unless you have a lot of money that you don’t know what to do with and decide to spend all that money on shrinks and vacations at mental institutions as a patient. Because you’re suffering from a severe case of depression. Because there’s so much nonsense (to be nice, bullshit to be accurate) that happens here that we all pay for.
U.S. Senators, who rather be president to the point that they their main job becomes running for president, instead of serving their people in Congress that the taxpayers have to pay for. A taxpayer-funded Defense Department that is so big that it can’t be audited. One f the funniest true stories of all-time. Taxpayer Congressional investigations that purely designed to hurt the leading presidential candidate from the other party. The largest entitlement programs in the world that are going broke if they’re not fixed. That no one in Congress has the balls to actually fixed, because that might mean that they have to go home and find a real job. That they’re a lot less qualified for.
But again the problem with satirists and people who write satiric books for a living about current affairs, is that it becomes harder to find new stories to write about even if you think you have something that is really funny. Because chances are that story is actually true, or something very similar to that has already happened. Tobacco companies have said under oath that tobacco is not addicted. Which was the story in Chris Buckley’s Thank You For Smoking.
We actually do have a Congress that makes con man, used car salesman, personal injury attorney’s, gold diggers, look popular. As well as the nerd in class whose hand is always up to not only answer every question, but answers the questions that the teacher puts to other students and then wonders why they never have any money for lunch, or are always getting kicked in the butt, because their lunch money is always stolen and they’re wearing a kick men sign on their butt.
The thing about Washington and American government is that jokes are not just funny, but they get elected and a lot funny made for Hollywood stories actually come true. You would go nuts and became Michelle Bachmann’s roommate at a mental institution if you couldn’t laugh about it. But that is democracy for you and as the great political satirist George Carlin said, “politicians are a reflection of the people.” They’re not God, or aliens from another planet, or even robots. (Even if they look and act like them for their lobbyists) And they represent the best and worst of us.
University of California Television: An Evening With Christopher Buckley 2009