There’s very little real humor in our politics, today, apart from Comedy Central, TV or Saturday Night Live. Where are the staged satires, the broadside lampoons, one-act comic operas, comedic stories and novels? Mostly, we are too jaded and sore. We’re sore about the state of things, the mess the nation is in, on many levels, in many sectors.
Locally, we have the ever-brilliant Carolyn Plath and contemplative Kristine Mietzner, writing in our newspaper. From Creators’ Syndicate, we have the incisively shrewd wit of Marc Dion, often included in our paper’s Forum. Some others give us joy because we agree with them, but they are being neither elevating nor funny. They tell us truths the extremists neither accept nor even fully perceive when told, because they are in self-righteously arrogant denial of many things. The cartoonist Mike Luckovitch is quick, sharp and amazingly apt, catching complex moments or subjects in clever images. For biting irony, of course, we have Jerry Page who writes often above the grasp of our far-right-fink trolls, whose comments wander wildly off point. One wonders if senators and representatives standing in halls or working in offices still tell each other jokes, apart from making snide comments about opponents.
Today, we’re a sad country because our society is broken. Not just the politics of our national governance is broken, but the national community is gone, split into “haves and have-nots.” Split into rich and poor, and the rich split into “Me” people and “We” people, the self-first set high in the financial stratosphere above even the responsibly rich We-folks. The tiny fraction of the one-percent at the top of our “food chain” are the most in-turned, self-serving lot we’ve ever known because they’ve managed to rig nearly everything in their favor. It seems to be a game with them, a sort of big-board Monopoly or Risk.
Paradoxically, they’ve rigged the game to put themselves above any significant risk by various means of insuring against loss. The whole economy is their casino, their shearing machine. They lose a little here, it comes right back, there. They play both ends against the middle class, devil take the poor, while the religiously addled or badly educated, often fundamentalist, bourgeois folks, join the devil by siding with the cynical richest who manipulate them with divisive tactics, leading them ever into foggy swamps of false idea and unreal vision.
These addled people, so certain of themselves, have fallen into the Tea Party mind-set. Dwelling in a kind of mass hypnosis, their loyalty is to a dream world that separates them from reality. Continually, by mutual reinforcement of each other’s dream world, they have intensified their dream and widened their distance from the rest of us.
We need a list of House GOP members whose seats are not secured by gerrymandered districts. We must isolate the tea drinkers and win for Democrats the seats of the less secure Republicans. The radical extremists may not be turned out of their strongholds, but they will be surrounded, outnumbered by smarter people and left to wither away. I wish I had something funny to end with, here, but I don’t want to laugh myself emphatically all the way to emphasema. That’ll come soon enough. Ah, there’s that oxygen bottle! Well, I don’t need it just yet.