By Kelli Dunham, April 1, 2014.
Most of us that is.
In honor of April Fool’s Day, a short survey of three of the best examples of progressive political satire/comedy of the past year:
One of the best bits is, of course from The Onion, the world’s least reliable news source but the best source for articles errantly quoted by everyone from Your Aunt Martha to Republican Congressman John Fleming.
In January, when entire cities were melting down in response to the confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act, The Onion published a not completely satirical article called Nation Recalls Simpler Time When Health Care System Was Broken Beyond Repair:
“…Describing a more innocent period in the country’s history—before opponents of the act temporarily shut down the government, and before the disastrous rollout of the new insurance exchanges led to widespread public exasperation—citizens shared with reporters their warm memories of what they called a bygone golden era.
‘Back then, if you couldn’t afford health insurance and got really sick, you went bankrupt, plain and simple,’ said Dominique Otis, a Modesto, CA mother of three. ‘They didn’t have this whole mess of lower-cost options, or all these subsidies you might or might not qualify for based on your income. People didn’t have to deal with any of those headaches. They just went ahead and died of preventable causes.’
‘Those were the good old days, ya know?’ she added with a sigh.”
Quintessential Onion and, unfortunately, relevant even today.
The second most amazing bit of political satire from this past year is anything you find anywhere (which is also everywhere, that dude is prolific) by Baratunde Thurston:
“Thank you Google [for video showing that GPS called Malcolm X Blvd Malcolm Ten] The following interaction occurred in Lansing, Michigan over Thanksgiving, but I suspect all Malcolm X-named streets received the same treatment regardless of location. What other GPS follies have you encountered?”
Or in How I Respond to Hate Mail
“[quotes nasty email someone sent and then posts his reply: REDACTED thank you so much for your thoughtful, articulate, and considerate response to my TWIT appearance. It’s people like you and comments like these that motivate me to strive for excellence and resonance in my work. I look forward to a future in which you and I can develop our relationship even further and maintain, nay EXPAND, the respectful tone you’ve established here. Thanks for setting the bar so high. Stay wonderful, my friend and may God or the Higher Consciousness or Science bless you.
With utmost sincerity
Baratunde The Elitist Dbag Thurston
Sent from your mom’s Sky Pager”
Another final bit of amazing social/political satire is Betty Bowers take on Jack Chick tracts. Jack Chick tracts, if you’re unfamiliar, are the rectangular comicbook looking Jesus literature that are commonly left in hospital waiting rooms, the benefits office, the Veteran’s Administration and basically any place suffering people go to congregate.
The purpose of the Jack Chick tract is to increase suffering people’s suffering by reminding them that they are probably going to hell. With such encouraging and verbose titles as:
Killer Storm: God Gave Noah A Way To Escape The Flood, God Made A Way For You To Escape the Coming Judgement
or the ironically titled The Bully: Harry Would Rather Have His Daughter Be a Drunk Than a Christian.
Betty Bowers offers a different take: Flatter Jesus or He’ll Torture You in Hell!