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1.3.17

Laughing Till It Hurts

The is no doubt that sarcasm and satire are effective political tools.  Using veiled humor has been around in social and political commentary for centuries.  In fact, Jonathan Swift's brilliant A Modest Proposal is still taught in high schools around the world - except in the English-speaking world where white writers are banned.

There is one feature of humor that must be avoided if the joke is to be effective.  It is called, "beating a dead horse."  Other than having to explain a joke, the worst thing that can happen is to tell it too many times.

The Street Meat Media, formerly known as mainstream, have waded neck deep into this forbidden territory.  What started as humorous has become tedious, boring and even regressive.

It is a given that virtually all humor involves someone else's pain.  By removing the pain from a context where one empathizes with the victim, we are encouraged - nay, can hardly stop ourselves - from laughing at the misfortunes of others.  This is why the very best comedians do not attack others, rather they hold themselves up for ridicule.  Those who attack will eventually step over the line and cause revulsion.

This is exactly what has happened with the media's attacks on Donald Trump.  At first, they drew thunderous applause and raucous laughter.  Later, it became self-conscious groans and embarrassed snickers.  Now, it has evolved into vicious attacks and the audience is growing less tolerant of it.

At first, the attacks were humorous.  Alec Baldwin's buffoonery on Saturday Night Live as Trump are so good that one imagines him watching hours of video to get the speech and mannerisms just right.  However, the jokes have gone on so long and at such a feverish pitch that the audience is starting to empathize with the target and are feeling sorry, if not downright angry.

Unused to acknowledging boundaries, much less respecting them, the media has begun driving people to support Trump, rather than holding him up for ridicule.  In effect, the media have blunted their own knives in the pursuit of blood.  Once the malintent behind the attacks is exposed, they can no longer get away with such tactics.

Basically, the media's unhalting lashes have caused folks to take a second look.  In so doing, they have seen that the tools of the attacks - Russia, immigration, etc. - may have some validity and are not as silly as they were made out to be.

In addition, Trump's easily mocked mannerisms and characteristic speech patterns are becoming more familiar to the audience, and once internalized, can only be attacked in a gentle and teasing way, not in the callous and heartless manner typical of the satire up to this point.

What's more, the media have crossed the lines of propriety.  In their desperation to mock Trump into submission, the media have literally and provably fabricated information, or at the very least have parrotted unverified statements as fact.  In so doing, the media have completely undermined their own credibility, while simultaneously building up Trump's.

Trump, on the other hand, has obviously read Sun Tsu's The Art of War.  He has patiently waited for the media to play out too far, and has now cut off their supply lines.  Whether you like Trump or not, objectively one must appreciate the masterful game he has played on his tormentors.  In fact, he has carefully left bread crumbs, which the media obediently followed, right into his trap.

It is clear that from this point on, the media - and indeed the entire left wing - must change tactics, or lose the audience.  Should they chose to continue along the path they have chosen, they will alienate the audience and ironically drive them directly into the Trump Supporter category.  Americans love underdogs, and there is no better recent example than Trump.

From the looks of things, the media don't get it.  They are so myopic and laser-focused on beating the dead horse that they haven't noticed the audience is getting restless and even hostile.  As Trump turns the tables, the audience is even beginning to cheer the once-ridiculed buffoon.

Humor, by necessity, involves someone else's pain, but it also involves exaggeration - and not a little playfulness.  Not only would the Street Meat Media benefit from a little remedial study in the art of satire, but they would greatly benefit from backing off a little.

As Sir Edmond Kean famously pronounced on his death bed, "Dying is easy.  Comedy is hard."

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