Feature

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry

In a crazy world, comedy is king, said John Avlon in TheDailyBeast.com.

John AvlonTheDailyBeast.com

In a crazy world, comedy is king, said John Avlon. When one out of five Americans thinks President Obama is secretly a Muslim, half think he’s a socialist, and extremist wingnuts like Glenn Beck draw huge audiences with their weepy, apocalyptic declarations, “the only sane response” is parody. That’s why TV satirists Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart have become the most credible sources of commentary in the media.

In several weeks, Stewart will host a pre-election “Rally to Restore Sanity” on the Washington Mall, to mock extremists on both sides. He’s suggested that people carry signs such as, “I disagree with you, but I’m pretty sure you’re not Hitler.” What more need be said? Colbert, in his role as a faux right-wing blowhard, announced a counter-rally to “Keep Fear Alive.” The name of that rally alone “captures an entire election strategy better than a thousand earnest letters to the editor or a dozen doctoral dissertations.”

Not only does this kind of satire serve as a reality check; it provides a badly needed reminder “to take ourselves and partisan politics a little less seriously.”

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