A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Friday, August 20, 2010

You’re No Fun Anymore, Brazil!

So these two Brazilian politicians walk into a bar and...

That’s it! I really don’t have an ending for that joke. I just thought I would throw it out there to anyone who feels compelled to finish writing a gag. Mainly, I did this in case there are any comedy writers/satirists in Brazil who are suddenly finding themselves without work, but who wish to keep practicing their comedy chops.

The reason they are facing unemployment is Brazil’s ban on political jokes until the end of the current election season, or roughly the end of October. Think of it! Three months without any smirking, tongue-in-cheek running commentary on politicians by the likes of Juan Stewartez (a fictional Brazilian counterpart to our very own Jon Stewart, who I just made up.)

Proponents of the law - which applies to radio and television, but not newspapers - believe that the ruling will keep politicians from ”being portrayed unfairly, ensure a level playing field, and encourage candor by candidates”. Brazil’s comedians are rightly crying foul, claiming that their freedom of speech is being denied.

Gee, Brazil, you really know how to take the fun out of politics! Having said that, we are compelled to examine each of the arguments in a courteous, civilized manner which will — we hope — serve as a model of peaceful, intelligent public discourse of this issue. Now, having made that pretentious statement, we should also state that, once we examine these ideas, we will then place very fat, large whoopee cushions under each of them.

The rule is meant to prevent candidates from being portrayed unfairly. Well, that sounds nice, but isn’t that the job of one’s opposing candidate(s)? I can appreciate your wanting to take the burden of this job off the shoulders of the comedians, but let’s face facts: they are professionals. They know how to get their point across in a biting, satirical fashion, but really, who gets hurt?

You believe that banning of humor from your political campaigns will ensure a level playing field for all of the candidates. Snort! Don’t make us laugh! Oh, wait, that is the whole laugh! None of our politicians in America worry about campaigning on a level playing field, which is why serious attempts at campaign contribution reform have always fizzled out. Level playing field...I’m sorry I can’t even think about this concept with a straight face. It’s probably best if we move on...

You also want to encourage candor from the candidates by eliminating those pesky humorous ribbings from the comics. Everyone wants politicians to be honest, but we don’t actually expect them to do it. Hell no! Why do you think we bust their stones every time they tell us something that is honest and forthright, but it’s not something we want to hear all the same. That’s right, because we, the electorate, can’t handle the truth!

I really hope Brazil is kidding. The image of out-of-work comedians is just too much for me to contemplate. Fortunately, I have a suggestion for a solution.

In order to keep Brazil’s comedy writers and satirists busy during the lean times ahead, I propose that Brazil borrow some of our American politicians. This way they can keep working, poking jabs at our politicians and not violate the silly, free speech-stifling rules their country is enforcing. Don’t worry that we need them. We have more than enough to go around.

Take Sarah Palin...please!* She’s traveling around the country making all sorts of comments that are ripe for ridicule. Newt Gingrich is another one you can have. He is so full of gaffe-laden anecdotes that you won’t be able to write fast enough to catch it all.

They’re not serving in any public office at the moment, but get this: they think they’re running for President of the United States. Isn’t that rich? Shh! Don’t tell them otherwise. Seriously, how can you look these gifts in the mouth?

Okay, if you want some balance, we’ll throw in Hillary Clinton. She’s our Secretary of State at the moment, but we might be able to spare her for a few days. In any case, you might squeeze a gag or two from her travails, but for my money, Palin and Gingrich are the ones to watch.

As for the humor-challenged Brazilian government, I can only feel pity for them. Obviously these elections demonstrate that Brazil is only going through the motions of a democracy, without actually being a democracy. (Believe me, many of us Americans feel your pain.) Your government will find out soon enough that politics can be a pressure cooker of mean-spiritedness. The humor generated by it is a release cherished by all civilized cultures.

*May God bless you, Henny Youngman, wherever you are.

(Thank you for reading. Please remember to laugh whenever you get the chance.)


Anonymous Easily Amused said...

Someone has said "Life is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel". Or the other way around. Anyway, I must be a manic-depressive because I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the thought of a Gingrich/Palin team as candidates in 2012, because a lot of our Fellow Americans take them seriously. Let's send them to Brazil for a few months--maybe that is what it would take to stir the comedy writers into open rebellion at the unfairness of it all.

August 23, 2010 at 7:11 PM  

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