On Political Satire, Sadness, Baby Driver
How to write political satire in 2017?
No, seriously, I’m asking you for advice. Because I’ve been at a loss for several years. The main hindrance to my desire to author political satire is not simply that some people won’t get the joke, though that's always an issue, and it isn’t because I don’t want to be funny anymore. I think I can still be funny (keep your mouth shut if you think otherwise, Foul Critic). I just have increasingly felt that outright support or condemnation is all I can muster when it comes to anything of heavier subject matter than my precious films, food, comics, video games, etc.
The #1 problem I see is that shows such Colbert Report were on the air for years and despite his large popularity and enjoyable, intelligent take-downs of backwards political ideologies, the most extreme elements of said backwards ideologies have taken control of the American political machine. And in the near-year that a man who is a walking self-parody has been the Leader of the Free World, the abundant skewering by shows such as SNL and The President Show and influential figures such as Colbert and every other TV host (except for Jimmy Fallon and Bob Barker, I think) has not succeeded in curtailing his dangerous, dipshit shenanigans. We are not any less polarized over he and his accessory actors either.
Whereas once upon a time I was via comedy and satire able to channel my anger at things I perceived to be injustices, the fact of the matter is that these same injustices today make me not angry but sad. I feel sadness with every bomb dropped, every bullet fired at another human being, every callous policy implemented, and every indignity, injustice and cruelty suffered by a human at the hands of another. I feel sadness watching our society claw at itself rather than find ways to fix the various ills and inequities that have plagued us since slavery, Suffrage, and Stonewall.
I was once far braver as a comedian in the face of such overwhelming negativity and willing to wage war on it with song, absurdity and/or satire. Now I mostly just pray that others find that same bravery and use it accordingly. Regardless, if you are like me and having problems finding your humor lately, we still need you to contribute how you feel it best even if it seems pointless… even if it’s just choosing not to stand for a nationalistic ritual that seems totally out of place before every-freaking-single sporting event ever.
Anyhow, off topic, I’m way late to the party on this one, but I just saw Baby Driver and I cannot figure out both how it can be so similar in almost every way to the movie Drive and also unique and just as awesome. Edgar Wright is a golden god of film. I’ve been a fan since Shaun of the Dead and see no end to this fandom in sight.
Not only that, but the soundtrack’s Spotify playlist has led to me rediscovering Jon Spencer as fantastic gym music. I highly recommend you try the same. You’ll be grooving between sets on the thigh-extender thingy or whatever you plan on doing.
I can’t decide which one I like better: Baby Driver slightly edges out Drive with its super fun and irreverent tone rather than the Michael Mann-ish neon Noir of Drive. But Drive has Gosling, our nation’s Beautiful and Blonde Acting Treasure. I’m torn.