In my “G” post, I mentioned how jesters have been able to say things – sometimes, painful truths – in a way that others just can’t. I’ve heard that this goes back to the medieval courts; that the jester was free to say whatever he wanted to about any nobility, including the king. I’ve also heard that he was considered pretty non-threatening, since he was usually gelded.
In my own time, I’ve seen how many comedians have said things that would be brushed-off if said by a person with actual power. For example, when Bill Hicks said “Every time I turn on my TV, I hear ‘drink beer, drink beer.’ Why? Because it makes us slow and stupid and docile, and that’s just how they like us.” If you heard this from a conspiracy author, it would be easy to dismiss, but it hits closer to home while you’re laughing.
And George Carlin comes to mind. He had a great piece about how we would take our veterans’ trauma more seriously if we still called it “Shell Shock” instead of “Battle Fatigue.”
Of course, my favorite is Jon Stewart. Four days a week, he and Steven Colbert use comedy to bring serious issues to an audience that would not be interested in watching regular news. I’m afraid that I’d be in that category as well; I tried watching regular news, but all the sensationalized violence was too much to take.
On that note, I’m afraid that I’ll have to bow-out of the A-Z challenge. There is an anthology that is taking submissions until the end of May, and I finally got inspiration for a contribution. The anthology is a collection of satirical essays on how to be a better Mad Scientist/Super Villain. For example, you could submit an essay on finding a dormant volcano for your lair, or the finding and training of lackeys. Check it out, if you’re interested, at A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil. It will be taking up much of my time for the next few weeks, so I’ll see you all soon.