I’ve given some thought to the now infamous Stephen Colbert “testimony,” which dovetails nicely with the recent attacks by Obama, Kerry, Biden, and other prominent Dems against those pesky, ignorant voters. I’m no fan of Colbert, Jon Stewart, Letterman, or any of the other comedian-pundits that appeal to a center-left audience, and it’s for reasons that go beyond politics. Jonah Goldberg has a piece today that I think nicely pinpoints the distaste that this ilk leaves with me.
The basis of this type of humor is irony. I know irony quite well, and will admit that it’s played a role in my own sense of humor over the years, although it probably peaked with me sometime in the early ’90’s when I was still in high school. Now I just resort to straight-up sarcasm.
Did SCOTUS make the right decision on medical mandates for large businesses?
What I’m saying is that irony is old hat, old news, post-post-whatever just for the sake of it, and it grew tiresome for me about 15 years ago. Those who are, in my opinion, truly funny have moved (or progressed) beyond a childish desire to lampoon everything that most decent people take seriously. There’s a juvenile, puerile streak to this humor, something perhaps started by Mad Magazine back in the day, that permeated the brains of today’s self-important comedians. In my view, this humor has gone so far in the direction of not taking anything at all seriously that it has lost its basis in that one piece of vital criteria for any humor that’s funny: Truth.
Of course, followers and admirers of Colbert, Stewart, and even Letterman believe that it is they who know the real truth, and it’s that arrogant BELIEF that allows them wade into snarky characterizations of those they believe still represent “the squares” or “the establishment.” The problem is that it is THEY who are now The Establishment, those keepers of (to paraphrase Seinfeld) nothingness.
Their caricature of Dick Cheney long ago became a caricature of a caricature, devoid of any basis in truth or reality. Pick your right-wing villain and the portrayal is through smugness directed at a figment of their own imaginations, not a real flesh-and-blood human being. They are villains as they themselves imagine, not as a parody of a real life form. In their desire to tear down what they have historically viewed as The Establishment, which basically represents those members of the population with standards, they have moved society into a world of relativism so devoid of meaning that irony simply now exists for irony’s sake.
Colbert, in the end, was the perfect representative of this Democratic Congress. Far from a stunt that backfired, he better represents their views of the political opposition and of the electorate at large perhaps more articulately than elected Democrats do, with the possible exception of Al Franken. His “humor” was racial, which of course is fine if you’re parodying supposed racists.
The problem is that he merely exposed the race-obsessed views of the Left, views that have no basis in truth in the conservative movement that he parodies. Secondly, his “testimony” was a complete waste of time and resources, something elected Democrats have also excelled at. And he was certainly not the biggest clown and buffoon in the room, when you consider clowns like Pelosi, Reid, Barney Frank, the list goes on; and these are the people who decide what to do with OUR money. Thirdly, he perfectly demonstrated the contempt and disdain that liberals have for ordinary Americans, whom the Left views as ignorant, bigoted racists. Again, I say this is projection.
Obama’s comments in Rolling Stone and Kerry’s comments about “people who don’t pay attention” perfectly sum up the views of this Elite, and in their world of nothingness and relativism that they themselves have created, they have made themselves completely oblivious to the truth that surrounds them and will ultimately do them in. Real humor, like real art, must have a basis in truth. Relativism is the antithesis of truth. And so is irony for irony’s sake.