Saturday, November 11, 2006

Comedic Eye for the Outraged Guy

So Rummy has left the building. Does anyone really believe this? This guy has been around since at least the Nixon White House, and survived like a cockroach after a nuclear blast.
Over at Alternet, Evan Derkacz has posted this bit from Craig Ferguson's talk show;
Craig refers to Rumsfeld as "a great friend of the show" in his intro to the footage of Rumsfeld's press confrences. The gag--the addition of hands making it look like DR is doing anything but answering the questions (or even listening to the questions)--is funny. But it speaks also to the attitude of the White House (and not just it's current occupants): when you're running an empire, why would you bother with anyone but your cabal? We have to keep things under control in order that we might continue strip mining the wealth of the planet. What the hell do you mean, we should concern ourselves with bullshit like democratic oversight?
Amerika may have been founded on the idea of keeping tyrants in check, but even the founding fathers decided that economics and social status trumped democracy. Even in the middle of a democratic revolution, they had to ensure that the hoi polloi didn't get their hands on any real power--those who know better must ensure that the masses don't do anything stupid, after all--and thoughtfully ensured that the structure of this new government was messy enough to impair it's effectiveness as a democracy.
Satire, like the clip above, is the last refuge of the outraged, mining the gulf of hipocrisy, exposing the differences between the private and public face. It is also powerless--even though occasionally someone becomes so big a joke they are forced from the public eye (Stockwell Day's leadership of the Conservatives comes to mind). But satire doesn't kill--not even careers (again Stock comes to mind). All satire really exposes is rage--and then bleeds that rage off before it becomes action. in politics, democracy is about agument and organization. Satire is about rage and powerlessness. So, less mock, more talk, walk the walk. That's democracy.

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