|First published in American Thinker|
A unanimously negative media response to the political slapstick movie American Carol reinforces my theory that humor -- and satire in particular -- is an accurate litmus test of one's political and ideological convictions, even if one insists on having no convictions at all. If you want to check your friends' politics, take them to see this conservative comedy and watch the reaction.
Committed liberals won't laugh at conservative humor and vice versa. If they don't agree on the joke's basic philosophical premise, the sting will miss the spot and the joker will be shrugged off as a pathetic fool (for reference see conservative reaction to any of the David Letterman shows in the last ten years).
Besides, what kind of satire is that which doesn't show President Bush as a cross-eyed war-mongering idiot with a Hitler mustache? Without that minimum requirement film critics can't really be expected to rate a political comedy as groundbreaking, original, and funny. Looks like they all had prior commitments.
Am I implying that all American film critics are committed liberals? Not just yet -- we must psychoanalyze them first.
The fact that all critics -- who otherwise are a rather disunited bunch - displayed a monolithic unity in declaring American Carol "unfunny" speaks not so much about the new film as about their old allegiances in culture wars. Their infuriated braying from across the political minefields helps to identity their species and gives away the locations of minefields. The mischievous comedy worked like a flare sent from behind the enemy lines, exposing hostile fortifications and troop movements, causing commotion, and providing additional comic relief. It would be worth making American Carol just for that.
But if you're an academic pacifist and prefer a highbrow, non-violent analogy, consider likening American Carol to a yardstick that allows us empirically to measure the disconnect between the media and the American public.
On the one-stop movie website RottenTomatoes.com that rates films on a 100% scale, American Carol scored an almost unprecedented 0% from top critics, a miserable 13% from all critics, and a whopping 72% from the RT community (the community score would probably be higher if liberal activists didn't bomb it with zero ratings). For added objectivity I also made a comparative list of critical quotes. The results will astound you -- but more on that later.
To continue with analogies, American Carol can also be compared to an X-ray tool for studying the disparity between differently shaped funny bones in liberals and conservatives -- a phenomenon I had mentioned in my earlier analysis of liberal reaction to conservative humor.
Our perception of "funny" is part of our overall perception of reality and is inseparable from our values and beliefs. In this sense a random chuckle can be as telling as a knee jerk in the doctor's office, betraying our prejudices, attachments, and stereotypes. The switch that prompts us to either laugh or cry is the same one that prompts us to either love or hate. The selection is automatic, based on what we hold true or false, right or wrong, good or evil -- the subjective beliefs we all have, whether we are aware of them or not.
Subjective beliefs are shared by large groups of people: nations, cultures, political parties, and Oprah fan clubs. It's only natural to gravitate toward people who share our beliefs; we feel more comfortable with those whose reactions are consistent with ours. On the flip side, however, it's just as natural to see those who don't share our beliefs as wrong, depraved, and stupid.
And that's precisely what film critics must have felt when they were forced, due to the lack of screenings, to see American Carol in theaters, sitting next to the cheering and laughing fellow Americans: wrong, depraved, and stupid. Feeding off a different belief system than the rest of the country, the "mainstream media" critics were not amused with the jokes whose premise they didn't condone or even understand.
It's true that what makes people in one culture laugh may very well make people in another culture cry. But is there a kind of humor that is shared universally? Humor that can be equally funny to all nations, cultures, political groups, and film critics? Are there jokes that, instead if dividing us, can bring us closer together in celebration of our common humanity? Of course there are -- only such jokes usually involve pulling a finger. Anything above that level is liable to be found divisive, insensitive, and morally depraved.
For a better perspective let's take a step away from American Carol and look at Chevy Chase who was in raptures over the recent SNL lampooning of Sarah Palin, but slammed the parody of Hillary Clinton because it went against his moral beliefs. At the same time, my conservative friends and I found the SNL Hillary jokes hilarious -- just as we thought that American Carol was very funny. Some of the funniest people I know loved it as much as I did.
Now that we've agreed that our funny bones are shaped differently by our biases, let's review American Carol's cultural and historical premise -- the lingering, bitter ideological standoff between conservatives and liberals that permeates every aspect of American cultural and political discourse.
While this is an undoubtedly historic conflict of epic proportions, Hollywood is mostly keeping it under wraps of a mythical "mainstream" culture. The rare appearances of conservatives in mainstream movies and TV shows are limited to hypocritical, narrow-minded hicks who attack graceful liberals but lose in the end because liberals are intellectually, culturally, and morally superior to them and represent the majority of Americans. Paradoxically, outlandish intolerant rants by brain-dead liberal celebrities in real life are also presented as mainstream.
If the notion of two antagonistic cultures within this country is news to you, please be reminded about the reality of culture war and the fact that any war requires a minimum of two adversaries. There surely are other factions -- but for now they are all aligned into two distinct opposing camps that are loosely and rather misleadingly labeled "conservative" and "liberal."
Conservatives are trying to conserve the American revolutionary tradition of small government whose main duty is to make sure people are free to take care of themselves. Liberals, on the other hand, want to impose a foreign tradition of a massive government that takes care of the people in exchange for their liberties. Did I mention that labels were misleading?
To see who the aggressor in this culture war is, notice who is trying to preserve cultural values and who is trying to change or replace them.
Hollywood was one of the first American territories occupied by liberals in culture wars. The last conservative insurgency was briefly fought there back in the 1950s. That episode was later rewritten in a classic Hollywood fashion to present liberals as modest and noble heroes fighting the roaring conservative Goliath.
Soon thereafter Hollywood was churning out dozens of agitprop culture-war movies annually, showering money and Oscars on able radicals.
But this year a small band of conservative Hollywood insurgents, risking their careers, produced one openly counter-propagandistic comedy about the very culture war that had forced them into the trenches in the first place. Of course American Carol was booed in Hollywood. What did you expect, an Oscar for best literary adaptation?
Denunciations by major film critics in the national media were echoed by an army of internet wannabes who tend to flock around the shortest rout to fame and fortune: liberal activism.
Brian Orndorf, whose film reviews appear on prestigious movie websites, calls American Carol a "lousy, hopeless movie, easily one of the worst films of the year" that "reinforces how needlessly divisive our country has become." But if the cultural division is so sizable that both groups can't even understand each other's jokes, isn't it best to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly instead of continuing to pretend and live in denial?
And what's with this "needlessly"? Aren't we supposed to "celebrate our differences"? What happened to the liberal doctrine of diversity? Or are there different kinds of differences and some differences are more different than others? Should we only celebrate those differences that conform to the party line and obfuscate those that are perpendicular to it? And isn't the latter closer to the actual meaning of "being diverse"?
The party line on this subject is clear: beat conservatives into pulp and if they resist accuse them of being "needlessly divisive." Anything less would legitimize conservatism and make it an equal partner in the cultural narrative. Because if the liberal narrative monopoly is shattered, down will go the "mainstream" cover of the liberal media, exposing decades of deception and hidden skeletons. Once you realize how high the stakes are, the sadistic critical beating of American Carol no longer looks like an overreaction. In the words of Karl Marx it was "historically inevitable."
To get a better perspective I looked up reviews of a liberal comedy Religulous with Bill Maherthat opened in theaters simultaneously with American Carol (in case you're wondering, Religulous was never labeled as "liberal," "left-wing," or even "political").
Bill Maher's idea of funny? A hundred and one minutes of bashing religion by a sad confused comedian who thinks that faith is "a neurological disorder." Orndorf's reaction? He admonished Maher for not going far enough:
"Religulous is the type of film to be sent off into the world to crack open a few eyes and change some lives. In reality, only those patient with Maher and already free of devotion will be receptive to the message. It's a missed opportunity."
No complains about "divisiveness" here, although the "crack open a few eyes" remark aptly describes the liberal idea of unity and cultural dialogue.
Curiosity prompted me to compare quotes by other critics who reviewed both American Carol and Religulous; I placed them next to each other in two columns. The results are astonishing:
But enough about Bill Maher's "all-American funniness." Considering that one of American Carol's satirical targets is Michael Moore I also checked what reviews the Carol-bashing critics may have written about Moore's "mainstream" films:
Other reviews didn't have a readily available pair, but it's worth reading them if only to understand the level of spiritual and intellectual unanimity a right-wing comedy can provoke among the otherwise disjointed critics:
In case you were wondering what "media bias" consists of, movie critics have just articulated it for you in clear terms. Not a single critic made the intellectual effort to step outside the liberal frame of reference and examine the other side's premise in order to get the joke. Isn't that what open-mindedness means? It's not as difficult as it seems -- conservatives have been doing it for years, ever since liberals took control of the movie and TV industries.
Don't get me wrong; all critics have the right to their opinions and it's great that American Constitution guarantees them the freedom to parade a maniacal knee-jerk aversion to traditional American view of this country's place in history and the world. It's diversity, right?
Having an opinion is not a problem. The trouble is that all these critics have one and the same opinion. Without a hint of diversity.
When suddenly, as if by command, formerly diverse critics cease being all over the board and are drawn, like paper clips to a magnet, into a far left corner where they begin to march in ordered formations -- that's a huge red flag over Kodak Theater.
It exposes more than just differently shaped funny bones. This is a sign of a total takeover of the national media by leftwing ideologues whose hiring and editorial policies have terminated intellectual diversity and populated offices with goose-stepping drones -- achieving a monolithic ideological purity that rivals only that in the corridors of the glorious party organ Pravda.
Now that we're clear on our domestic differences, let's turn to our foreign audiences.
To an outsider, the lasting resentful dispute between the two conflicting American voices coming out of a single American head may seem like schizophrenia, which should confuse even a well-meaning observer. And the foreigners are confused. Some abandon all efforts to understand this country; others use the confusion to stir anti-American sentiments to strengthen their own political power; yet others want to end all uncertainty by either destroying America or converting it to Islam, which is practically the same thing.
Whether we like it or not, this is the sad political reality we have to live with. Foreigners need to realize what the two voices are and what ideas they really represent before they even begin to understand anything about America's actions on the world arena and at home, including the rubbish coming out of Hollywood. Americans, too, need to realize how confused the outsiders are before they begin to understand anything about the origins of America's image abroad and the foreign reactions to their country.
Need a clue where to begin the un-confusion? Watching An American Carol might be a good start.
$.$. HalliburtonWhat tickles the funny bone? Fun is the first word in funny."
ZuccoFirst, congrats to Oleg for THEPEOPLESCUBE.COM, by far the most cleverly satirical site I've ever encountered; after reading this, check it out, you won't be disappointed - good satire points out truths hidden and not so hidden.
Stalin's CatMinistry of Misinformation
Stalin's CatMinistry of Misinformation
Quote:Good satire points out truths, hidden and not so hidden ~
Stalin's CatMinistry of Misinformation
Red SquareIn view of this unanimous discussion, the Party has unanimously decided to name it...
Red SquareIn view of this unanimous discussion, the Party has unanimously decided to name it...
Red SquareIn view of this unanimous discussion, the Party has unanimously decided to name it...
Commissar TheocritusDr. Halliburton, I must confess that these days I have trouble with the phrase "fellow travelers." It sounds too elitist. Well, hell we are elitist. But too many people know that the only traveling we do together is to Davos, Bali, and Jackson Hole.
|(Go to page: 1, 2)||Red Square||98||47391|
|(Go to page: 1, 2)||Red Square||104||30523|
Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 12 guests
Rubiks & Rubik’s Cube ® used by special individual permission of Seven Town Ltd.
Starbucks new policy to talk race with customers prompts new hashtag #DontHoldUpTheLine
Hillary: DELETE is the new RESET
Charlie Hebdo receives Islamophobe 2015 award; the cartoonists could not be reached for comment due to their inexplicable, illogical deaths
Russia sends 'reset' button back to Hillary: 'You need it now more than we do'
Barack Obama finds out from CNN that Hillary Clinton spent four years being his Secretary of State
President Obama honors Leonard Nimoy by taking selfie in front of Starship Enterprise
Police: If Obama had a convenience store, it would look like Obama Express Food Market
Study finds stunning lack of racial, gender, and economic diversity among middle-class white males
NASA: We're 80% sure about being 20% sure about being 17% sure about being 38% sure about 2014 being the hottest year on record
People holding '$15 an Hour Now' posters sue Democratic party demanding raise to $15 an hour for rendered professional protesting services
White House describes attacks on Sony Pictures as 'spontaneous hacking in response to offensive video mocking Juche and its prophet'
Obama: 'If I had a city, it would look like Ferguson'
Biden: 'If I had a Ferguson (hic), it would look like a city'
Obama signs executive order renaming 'looters' to 'undocumented shoppers'
The aftermath of the 'War on Women 2014' finds a new 'Lost Generation' of disillusioned Democrat politicians, unable to cope with life out of office
White House: Republican takeover of the Senate is a clear mandate from the American people for President Obama to rule by executive orders
Democratic Party leaders in panic after recent poll shows most Democratic voters think 'midterm' is when to end pregnancy
Desperate Democratic candidates plead with Obama to stop backing them and instead support their GOP opponents
Ebola Czar issues five-year plan with mandatory quotas of Ebola infections per each state based on voting preferences
Fun facts about world languages: the Left has more words for statism than the Eskimos have for snow
African countries to ban all flights from the United States because "Obama is incompetent, it scares us"
Obama: 'Ebola is the JV of viruses'
BREAKING: Secret Service foils Secret Service plot to protect Obama
Revised 1st Amendment: buy one speech, get the second free
Sharpton calls on white NFL players to beat their women in the interests of racial fairness
President Obama appoints his weekly approval poll as new national security adviser
Obama wags pen and phone at Putin; Europe offers support with powerful pens and phones from NATO members
White House pledges to embarrass ISIS back to the Stone Age with a barrage of fearsome Twitter messages and fatally ironic Instagram photos
Obama to fight ISIS with new federal Terrorist Regulatory Agency
Harry Reid: "Sometimes I say the wong thing"
Elian Gonzalez wishes he had come to the U.S. on a bus from Central America like all the other kids
Obama visits US-Mexican border, calls for a two-state solution
"Hard Choices," a porno flick loosely based on Hillary Clinton's memoir and starring Hillary Hellfire as a drinking, whoring Secretary of State, wildly outsells the flabby, sagging original
Accusations of siding with the enemy leave Sgt. Bergdahl with only two options: pursue a doctorate at Berkley or become a Senator from Massachusetts
Jay Carney stuck in line behind Eric Shinseki to leave the White House; estimated wait time from 15 min to 6 weeks
100% of scientists agree that if man-made global warming were real, "the last people we'd want to help us is the Obama administration"
Jay Carney says he found out that Obama found out that he found out that Obama found out that he found out about the latest Obama administration scandal on the news
"Anarchy Now!" meeting turns into riot over points of order, bylaws, and whether or not 'kicking the #^@&*! ass' of the person trying to speak is or is not violence
Obama retaliates against Putin by prohibiting unionized federal employees from dating hot Russian girls online during work hours
Russian separatists in Ukraine riot over an offensive YouTube video showing the toppling of Lenin statues
Obamacare bolsters employment for professionals with skills to convert meth back into sudafed
Joe Biden to Russia: "We will bury you by turning more of Eastern Europe over to your control!"
In last-ditch effort to help Ukraine, Obama deploys Rev. Sharpton and Rev. Jackson's Rainbow Coalition to Crimea
Al Sharpton: "Not even Putin can withstand our signature chanting, 'racist, sexist, anti-gay, Russian army go away'!"
Mardi Gras in North Korea: "Throw me some food!"
Obama's foreign policy works: "War, invasion, and conquest are signs of weakness; we've got Putin right where we want him"
US offers military solution to Ukraine crisis: "We will only fight countries that have LGBT military"
Putin annexes Brighton Beach to protect ethnic Russians in Brooklyn, Obama appeals to UN and EU for help
The 1980s: "Mr. Obama, we're just calling to ask if you want our foreign policy back. The 1970s are right here with us, and they're wondering, too."
In a stunning act of defiance, Obama courageously unfriends Putin on Facebook
MSNBC: Obama secures alliance with Austro-Hungarian Empire against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine
Efforts to achieve moisture justice for California thwarted by unfair redistribution of snow in America
North Korean voters unanimous: "We are the 100%"
Leader of authoritarian gulag-site, The People's Cube, unanimously 're-elected' with 100% voter turnout
Super Bowl: Obama blames Fox News for Broncos' loss
Beverly Hills campaign heats up between Henry Waxman and Marianne Williamson over the widening income gap between millionaires and billionaires in their district
Biden to lower $10,000-a-plate Dinner For The Homeless to $5,000 so more homeless can attend
Kim becomes world leader, feeds uncle to dogs; Obama eats dogs, becomes world leader, America cries uncle
White House hires part-time schizophrenic Mandela sign interpreter to help sell Obamacare
Kim Jong Un executes own "crazy uncle" to keep him from ruining another family Christmas
OFA admits its advice for area activists to give Obamacare Talk at shooting ranges was a bad idea
President resolves Obamacare debacle with executive order declaring all Americans equally healthy
Obama to Iran: "If you like your nuclear program, you can keep your nuclear program"
Obama: "I'm not particularly ideological; I believe in a good pragmatic five-year plan"
Shocker: Obama had no knowledge he'd been reelected until he read about it in the local newspaper last week
NSA marks National Best Friend Day with official announcement: "Government is your best friend; we know you like no one else, we're always there, we're always willing to listen"
Al Qaeda cancels attack on USA citing launch of Obamacare as devastating enough
The President's latest talking point on Obamacare: "I didn't build that"
Carney: huge ObamaCare deductibles won't look as bad come hyperinflation
Washington Redskins drop 'Washington' from their name as offensive to most Americans
Poll: 83% of Americans favor cowboy diplomacy over rodeo clown diplomacy
Obama administration gets serious, threatens Syria with ObamaCare
Obama authorizes the use of Vice President Joe Biden's double-barrel shotgun to fire a couple of blasts at Syria
Sharpton: "British royals should have named baby 'Trayvon.' By choosing 'George' they sided with white Hispanic racist Zimmerman"
Nancy Pelosi extends abortion rights to the birds and the bees
Hubble discovers planetary drift to the left
Obama: 'If I had a daughter-in-law, she would look like Rachael Jeantel'
FISA court rubberstamps statement denying its portrayal as government's rubber stamp
Every time ObamaCare gets delayed, a Julia somewhere dies
GOP to Schumer: 'Force full implementation of ObamaCare before 2014 or Dems will never win another election'
Janet Napolitano: TSA findings reveal that since none of the hijackers were babies, elderly, or Tea Partiers, 9/11 was not an act of terrorism
News Flash: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) can see Canada from South Dakota
Drudge Report reduces font to fit all White House scandals onto one page
Obama: the IRS is a constitutional right, just like the Second Amendment
Jay Carney to critics: 'Pinocchio never said anything inconsistent'
Obama: If I had a gay son, he'd look like Jason Collins
IRS targeting pro-gay-marriage LGBT groups leads to gayest tax revolt in U.S. history
Boston: Obama Administration to reclassify marathon bombing as 'sportsplace violence'
Study: Success has many fathers but failure becomes a government program
Michelle Obama praises weekend rampage by Chicago teens as good way to burn calories and stay healthy
This Passover, Obama urges his subjects to paint lamb's blood above doors in order to avoid the Sequester
White House to American children: Sequester causes layoffs among hens that lay Easter eggs; union-wage Easter Bunnies to be replaced by Mexican Chupacabras
Time Mag names Hugo Chavez world's sexiest corpse
Boy, 8, pretends banana is gun, makes daring escape from school
Study: Free lunches overpriced, lack nutrition
Joe Salazar defends the right of women to be raped in gun-free environment: 'rapists and rapees should work together to prevent gun violence for the common good'
Dept. of Health and Human Services eliminates rape by reclassifying assailants as 'undocumented sex partners'
Deeming football too violent, Obama moves to introduce Super Drone Sundays instead
Japan offers to extend nuclear umbrella to cover U.S. should America suffer devastating attack on its own defense spending
Feminists organize one billion women to protest male oppression with one billion lap dances
Urban community protests Mayor Bloomberg's ban on extra-large pop singers owning assault weapons
Concerned with mounting death toll, Taliban offers to send peacekeeping advisers to Chicago
Karl Rove puts an end to Tea Party with new 'Republicans For Democrats' strategy aimed at losing elections
Answering public skepticism, President Obama authorizes unlimited drone attacks on all skeet targets throughout the country
Skeet Ulrich denies claims he had been shot by President but considers changing his name to 'Traps'
New York Times hacked by Chinese government, Paul Krugman's economic policies stolen
White House: when President shoots skeet, he donates the meat to food banks that feed the middle class
To prove he is serious, Obama eliminates armed guard protection for President, Vice-President, and their families; establishes Gun-Free Zones around them instead
State Dept to send 100,000 American college students to China as security for US debt obligations
Jay Carney: Al Qaeda is on the run, they're just running forward
Fearing the worst, Obama Administration outlaws the fan to prevent it from being hit by certain objects
World ends; S&P soars
Riddle of universe solved; answer not understood
Greece abandons Euro; accountants find Greece has no Euros anyway
Wheel finally reinvented; axles to be gradually reinvented in 3rd quarter of 2013
As Santa's workshop files for bankruptcy, Fed offers bailout in exchange for control of 'naughty and nice' list
Freak flying pig accident causes bacon to fly off shelves
Report: President Obama to visit the United States in the near future
Obama promises to create thousands more economically neutral jobs
Imam Rauf's peaceful solution: 'Move Ground Zero a few blocks away from the mosque and no one gets hurt'
Study: Obama's threat to burn tax money in Washington 'recruitment bonanza' for Tea Parties
Study: no Social Security reform will be needed if gov't raises retirement age to at least 814 years
Vice President Biden: criticizing Egypt is un-pharaoh
Israelis to Egyptian rioters: "don't damage the pyramids, we will not rebuild"
Lake Superior renamed Lake Inferior in spirit of tolerance and inclusiveness
Michael Moore: As long as there is anyone with money to shake down, this country is not broke
Obama's teleprompters unionize, demand collective bargaining rights
Obama calls new taxes 'spending reductions in tax code.' Elsewhere rapists tout 'consent reductions in sexual intercourse'
Obama's Regulation Reduction committee finds US Constitution to be expensive outdated framework inefficiently regulating federal gov't
Taking a page from the Reagan years, Obama announces new era of Perestroika and Glasnost
White House to impose Chimney tax on Santa Claus
Obama decrees the economy is not soaring as much as previously decreeed
Conservative think tank introduces children to capitalism with pop-up picture book "The Road to Smurfdom"
Obama refutes charges of him being unresponsive to people's suffering: "When you pray to God, do you always hear a response?"
Fluke to Congress: drill, baby, drill!
Planned Parenthood introduces Frequent Flucker reward card: 'Come again soon!'
Obama to tornado victims: 'We inherited this weather from the previous administration'
People's Cube gives itself Hero of Socialist Labor medal in recognition of continued expert advice provided to the Obama Administration helping to shape its foreign and domestic policies
Hamas: Israeli air defense unfair to 99% of our missiles, "only 1% allowed to reach Israel"
Voters Without Borders oppose Texas new voter ID law
Enraged by accusation that they are doing Obama's bidding, media leaders demand instructions from White House on how to respond
Official: China plans to land on Moon or at least on cheap knockoff thereof
Koran-Contra: Obama secretly arms Syrian rebels
Poll: Progressive slogan 'We should be more like Europe' most popular with members of American Nazi Party
May Day: Anarchists plan, schedule, synchronize, and execute a coordinated campaign against all of the above
Midwestern farmers hooked on new erotic novel "50 Shades of Hay"
Study: 99% of Liberals give the rest a bad name
Obama meets with Jewish leaders, proposes deeper circumcisions for the rich
Cancer once again fails to cure Venezuela of its "President for Life"
Tragic spelling error causes Muslim protesters to burn local boob-tube factory
White House: "Let them eat statistics"
Special Ops: if Benedict Arnold had a son, he would look like Barack Obama
The Fine Report
Sad Hill News
Looking at the Left
Red Planet Cartoons
Death By 1000 Papercuts