Will on the Speech
The Prince

How Jokes Won the Election

Emily Nussbaum's piece in the latest New Yorker, which appears as a piece of television criticism, is one of the more perceptive, and scarier, analyses of the recent national catastrophe which I have read.  Online the title is "HOW JOKES WON THE ELECTION: How do you fight an enemy who’s just kidding?"

Comedy might be cruel or stupid, yet, in aggregate, it was the rebel’s stance. Nazis were humorless. The fact that it was mostly men who got to tell the jokes didn’t bother me. Jokes were a superior way to tell the truth—that meant freedom for everyone.

But by 2016 the wheel had spun hard the other way: now it was the neo-fascist strongman who held the microphone and an army of anonymous dirty-joke dispensers who helped put him in office.


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