Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Swift is Dead! Long Live Swift!

I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that George W. Bush is no longer funny.

Let me explain:

Frequent readers of this blog will have realized that I conceal many of my true thoughts behind the veil of sarcasm, dramatic irony, metaphor, pathos, puns, parody, litotes, satire, and the occasional Month Python reference (like that one there). The purpose of this is two fold: first to hold an opposing view up to public ridicule, and second, to get a cheap laugh. Jonathan Swift did it first and showed that satire be effectively used; Jon Stewart did it most recently and showed that you could get ratings doing it, even if you are on basic cable.

The problem with satire, of course, is that in order for it to be effective, it must be so ludicrous, so absurd that it makes the opposing view sane by comparison. The systematic oppression of the Irish was not funny for Swift, but eating babies was. At the same time, Swift recognizes the legitimacy of the system, choosing to affect policy through established institutions, rather than overturning them. So, the satire bit works only if he’s proposing that the government eats babies.

The juxtaposition of incongruities is hysterical…usually. Unfortunately, Bush has now transcended his incongruities.

We had our warnings. “There ought to be limits to freedom,” he is reported to have said back in 2000. We laughed; it was a stupid thing to say. "What a moron!" "How absurd!" "Limits to freedom? Ha!"

He meant it; little did we know.

In the left wing public consciousness, we watched this guy move from benign dope, to Defender of Western Civilization, to warmonger, to corporate patsy, to… well… authoritarian dictator? Is that even possible in this country? Am I really suggesting the unsuggestable?

How does one effectively mock the subversion of the Law, the blatant disregard for the fundamental truths of our system of government, and the audacity that flaunts both? How can someone mock this guy if he is not adhering to a common philosophical ground? More simply put: IT’S NOT FUNNY IF BUSH REALLY DOES BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE EATING BABIES!! ... metaphorically speaking, of course.

So, I’ve finally stopped finding this guy funny, even in a buffoonish kind of way. The grave seriousness of his recent actions, violating the 4th amendment and all, and his lack of irony, has me scared.



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