Why Comedy and Satire Work

Have you seen the reaction PBS and Bill Moyers' are getting due to his video essay a few weeks ago?

Moyers opined a critical (read: not completely one sided for Israel) view on Israel's military operations in Gaza, as well as a critical view on their settlements.

Many nights, Jon Stewart says as much, but does so in sarcasm.  "Why are they fighting over a piece of land the size of New Jersey?"  It's religious, and while I can understand it, it's frightening that so much very real death and pain can come from a land dispute.

And ultimately, the reason why comedy and sarcasm work is because the underlying truths are too embarrassing.  Even religion is not the real explanation.  At its core, we have two civilizations who have always been at war fighting over that piece of land.  Their religions were just an excuse to cite an instance of where these two civilizations are different.  So, in the end, why change tradition?

But to cite these facts would merely be offensive, and no one would question why.  Consider your reaction if your entire life's disposition was called into question because someone attacked an underlying point of your belief structure.  

As a joke though, you at least have a chance to laugh for a minute and brush it aside not ever thinking about the underlying point of the comment.


Popular Posts