The human race has one really effective weapon, said Mark Twain — “and that is laughter”
Last June, investigative journalist, Felicity Arbuthnot, sent a link to an article by André Vltchek, novelist, investigative journalist, filmmaker and playwright, who reflected that no revelation, no discovery of crimes committed by Western governments and companies leads men and women to demand the immediate resignations of their governments, or the changing of their entire political and economic system.
We add that mainstream mass media misleads the public by sidelining the important and focussing on the trivial:
Vltchek continues: “We write and write, film and talk… Huge accusations are made, crimes confirmed… But again: nothing happens!
In a reply to Felicity – strengthened yesterday by Edward Luce’s Financial Times article – I suggested that only humour remains: the revelation that the Emperor has no new clothes, no honesty and no humane feeling.The reply was accompanied by a collection of cartoons – the best about Britain was by Ingram Pinn – above – but it only reaches a limited audience; ‘saturation coverage’ is needed for a significant impact.
In the FT on Sunday, Luce referred to a ‘potent intervention’ from comedian John Oliver, whose use of the Monopoly board game illustrated the industry’s stranglehold on internet speeds and prompted 4m viewers to jam Washington with complaints. He marvels that:
“Far from catering to our shrinking attention, the comedy shows demand as much of their audience as the most ponderous news channels. Mr Oliver employs four full-time researchers, including two former New York Times journalists. His segments go for 20 minutes between breaks and contain more data than, say, an hour of CNN”.
Luce attributes the increased audience for humour to a collapsing or ‘cratering’ public trust in authority, as few institutions are unscathed in America, or we add, Britain:
- rising distrust has engulfed the marbled pillars of Congress
- the Supreme Court
- the media,
- the Boy Scouts,
- corporate America,
- the Catholic Church and so on.
He expresses two easily challenged reservations about ‘the comedic reach’: it is left leaning, so? And it has no answer to terrorist states that incinerate people (presumably not a reference to CIA drone strikes) stating that only politics can solve such problems.
But the fact is that state politics are totally failing to provide solutions. Could cartoonists and comedians do any worse?
This one certainly presented an agenda and had an irrefutable answer to critics.
Posted on February 9, 2015, in Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Media, Public relations, Vested interests and tagged Cartoonists, Climate change, comedian John Oliver, Comedians, economics, Edward Luce, Felicity Arbuthnot, politics, public trust, state politics. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.