World So Absurd Parody Impossible
EVERYWHERE: Comedians everywhere bowed their heads and observed a moment of silence in mourning as the National Association of Comedians (NAC) today declared satire dead.
Satire, the use of irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics, was one of the oldest forms of comedy.
However, recent events including Donald Trump securing the Republican nomination for President, Trayvon Martin’s killer auctioning off his murder weapon, North Carolina’s governor suing the Federal Government over where queer people can poop, and whatever “Blac Chyna” is, have finally eviscerated the venerated style of humor.
“Nowhere to Go”
Comedians cite the sheer lack of possibilities for comedic exaggeration as one cause of the demise of satire.
“For example, how can you make a joke about Donald Trump being President?” said NAC president Charlie Wisenheimer, “What do you exaggerate? His looks? He’s the caricature of a greasy slimeball. His policy positions? Everything he says is painfully hyperbolized- he literally speaks only in superlatives. There’s nowhere to go.”
“Don’t even get me started on these so-called celebrities,” Wisenheimer added, “What can you say about Kanye and Kim Kardashian? Their lives are already elaborate jokes.”
Due to this and countless other ineffably absurd and hopelessly illogical realities, the possibility for creating satire has been extinguished.
World’s Oldest Humor
Satire is often regarded as one of the first forms of comedy – making its debut around the time of Aristophanes wrote the play “The Frogs” in 405 BCE.
Notable satirists include Johnathan Swift, whose famous screed “A Modest Proposal” suggested that overpopulation could be solved by the rich purchasing and eating the infants of the poor.
French philosopher Voltaire vivaciously eviscerated the French aristocracy (and just about everyone else) with his satirical polemics.
In the modern era, Mark Twain frequently employed satire to communicate his criticism of 19th century America. Twain once remarked:”It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
Even more recently, shows like “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver” have reinvigorated the idea of political satire in 21st century America.
RIP Satire (400 BCE – 2016 CE)
However, that is all in the past now. The use of humor to illuminate the absurdity of modern society has been crushed by the weight of the actual terrifying nonsensical nature of our current sociopolitical landscape.
“It’s a shame,” NAC president Wisenheimer said, “Because it was just starting to get good. Oh well, I guess when we have a President who was literally the star of his own reality show where he insulted people, then we can just watch stuff like that. It won’t be funny, or insightful, but it’ll be something.”