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The Liberal Definition of Victory (And why satire is a failed art)

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  • The Liberal Definition of Victory (And why satire is a failed art)

    Yesterday HBO host John Oliver delivered an incendiary rebuttal of GOP frontrunner Donald Trump. I admit it was very entertaining and I did go to the internet first thing in the morning to see if Trump had made Johnny Boy his next target of ire. But what I found was several pages of liberals dancing in the streets over Oliver's little routine.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/...b0bf0dab32a73c

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ing-to-be.html

    https://www.rawstory.com/2016/02/joh...tty-lifestyle/

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/watc...tch/vp-BBq9s8r

    Using terms like "annihilated", "destroys" and "glorious", the left is crowing about this like we conjured up the ghost of Bin Laden and shot him again. There seems to be an air of "Yeah! We showed him!"

    The only problem is, no they didn't.

    I am very much NOT a Trump person. Nothing would please me more than to see a different GOP frontrunner. And I found Oliver's routine to be downright hilarious. So I can claim the ground of objectivity when I also say that it was no victory and did absolutely nothing to the political landscape. And here's why: I know a few members here aren't going to like what I'm about to say: but satire is virtually worthless in the marketplace of ideas.

    Unless it is expertly done, satire accomplishes nothing besides giving the party faithful of the targeting faction a good laugh. Because satire often hinges on hyperbole and generalizations, it tends not to be well received by it's target. One faction laughs and the other faction think they're a bunch of aholes. Which does not make friends and influence people. Instead it does the opposite. The people who enjoyed the satire pat themselves on the back for being so smart, the people who were satirized look down on the opposing faction as simple minded and bigoted, and both sides dig their trenches a little deeper. Unless satire is expertly done, it doesn't change minds.

    If you think satire is a high art that changes minds and influences society, watch John Stewart's one trick pony routine of comparing Mitch McConnell to a turtle. Stewart's retired from the Daily Show, McConnell's still in office. Looks like the tortoise beat the hare again.

    And the problem with America is that satire has become our bread and butter instead of our guilty pleasure. It's become so pervasive that satire shows like the Daily Show are practically viewed a news sources by low information voters. And because of the prevalence of satire, it seems that the media is less interested in intelligent dialogue and more interested in who can deliver a "sick burn".

    The left crows over Oliver's fiery segment and there's no doubt that it was fun to watch. But in terms of political dialogue, it is also straight from the School Child Tactical Manual of Playground Warfare. And as someone who desperately wants to see Trump lose his support, nothing can be more aggravating than knowing that the oppositional stratagem is to call him a poopie head. I'm betting no Trump minds were changed last night. And unless Donald's twitter response was buried under the adulation of the left that occupied several pages of Google, Oliver didn't even successfully bait him.

    Trump supporters need to be engaged and convinced to turn away from Trump. And badmouthing him and them is the absolute worst way to do it. Especially since his tit for tat replies fire his base. Left and right alike need to be careful here as insulting him is basically like trying to repel a fire monster with fire.

    So stop dancing in the streets and get with the arguments of substance. You didn't win anything. You didn't show Trump who's boss. You just flamed him a little. I can safely bet dollars to donuts you haven't moved the needle on his support. Satire is a hallmark of free speech and the canary in the coal mine for gauging how much you have. But it's intellectual junk food when the time comes to influence people who don't share your opinions.
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    Anything that confirms the prejudices of the groups you mentioned is always viewed as brilliant.
    Avatar is General Gerard, courtesy of Zouave.

    Churchill to Chamberlain: you had a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor, and you will have war.

    Comment


    • #3
      http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=167753

      Now which group was that that misses out on satire?
      "Ask not what your country can do for you"

      Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

      you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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      • #4
        I don't understand what was supposedly funny about it.

        Comment


        • #5
          I find much of Michael Moore's stuff hilarious... Probably not in the way he intended it, but still hilarious...

          He's even laughed at my commentary on his stuff personally...

          http://www.gocomics.com/obama-and-the-fatman/2014/02/18

          (I'm Enoki on that board... The avatar kind of gives that away...)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
            I find much of Michael Moore's stuff hilarious... Probably not in the way he intended it, but still hilarious...

            He's even laughed at my commentary on his stuff personally...

            http://www.gocomics.com/obama-and-the-fatman/2014/02/18

            (I'm Enoki on that board... The avatar kind of gives that away...)

            Michael Moore is perplexed...

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Half Pint John View Post
              http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...d.php?t=167753

              Now which group was that that misses out on satire?
              QUOTE: " ... Because satire often hinges on hyperbole and generalizations, it tends not to be well received by it's target...."

              In your thread example, many missed the satire responding to the OP satire.

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              • #8
                The programme was quite incisive, but Oliver should've known better than to try to make Republicans think.
                Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Daemon of Decay View Post
                  Well, his dilemma is how many of those meals can he wolf down in the next twenty minutes on his lunch break... Isn't it obvious...?

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                  • #10
                    I've seen Oliver's show and find it funny.

                    But I find it interesting that it seems only the Republicans are the butt of the joke. I guess Democrats never do anything funny such as barking like a dog.
                    "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Beatrice Evelyn Hall
                    Updated for the 21st century... except if you are criticizing islam, that scares the $hii+e out of me!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Charger View Post
                      I don't understand what was supposedly funny about it.
                      I will add that to the list...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 17thfabn View Post
                        I've seen Oliver's show and find it funny.

                        But I find it interesting that it seems only the Republicans are the butt of the joke. I guess Democrats never do anything funny such as barking like a dog.
                        Jokes are all well and good but only if they fit the network's narrative. Never pass up another medium to influence peoples opinions.
                        "Artillery lends dignity to what might otherwise be a vulgar brawl." - Frederick the Great

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                        • #13
                          Here's the link for those interested in what John Oliver said https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpO_RTSNmQ


                          Now the question is: is John Oliver actually wrong about any of the facts he presented about Trump?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
                            Here's the link for those interested in what John Oliver said https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnpO_RTSNmQ


                            Now the question is: is John Oliver actually wrong about any of the facts he presented about Trump?
                            Better question is: why would anyone take anything this loser says seriously?

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                            • #15
                              Oliver was funny and accurate. The actual problem is none of that matters at all.

                              Trump supporters like the brand and the sound bites. End of discussion. Many of them seem to fully accept that half of what he says is nonsense and his actual policy positions are going to be a roll of the dice.

                              So there is no real way to combat that but with an alternative "feel good" candidate that would appeal to the same demographic or, what is going to happen, a tribal warfare between two camps.

                              If Oliver was replaced with sober, fair accurate, in-depth, balanced, it would have less viewers and just as little impact.

                              What is bizarre is that both Stewart and Oliver, comedians, will take the time to research issues, positions and past pronouncements of the same people in a way that network news rarely does.

                              Comment

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