(Photo: Michelle V. Agins/NY Times/Redux)
Us liberals, comedy is our best weapon, and if you’re going to take that away from us and make Margaret Dumonts and let the right-wingers be Grouchos, we’re completely fucked. I don’t want to sound like a supervillain, but I won’t fucking allow it. That is going to hurt the progressive movement in this country more than anything, is people suddenly going, we’re the scolders, we’re the shushers, we’re the ones offended by everything. Whereas one of the best weapons against conservatism is satire and offensiveness and bad taste—those were always our best weapons, and they’re fucking them up for everybody.
— Patton Oswalt in an interview with The Daily Beast
The question that led to this response was about Patton’s old nemesis,Salon, and the impact outlets like it have on left-leaning politics and culture when they act as the comedy cops. As he says, the worst part about what Salon does is that it’s completely cynical. The editors know they’re generating nothing more than horseshit click-bait, but what they’re injecting into the media bloodstream is actually far worse because it’s horseshit click-bait disguised as a genuine service to progressivism and the world at large.
These poor, dumb kids they’re hiring these days — these Millennial social justice warrior-types who all live in Brooklyn and read like they got their start on the Tumblr circuit — they probably believe wholeheartedly in the outraged polemics they crank out day after day. And here comes Salon’s managing editors, slapping a can’t-miss headline on their work and raking in the clicks, all in the name of the company’s shameful new business model and because their checks won’t clear if they don’t.
But when it comes to comedy, that kind of crap is bad for us. It’s bad for progressivism and it’s bad for America.
Patton’s comment should be nailed to the front doors of Salon and its ilk like a 95 Theses with dick jokes.
Chez Pazienza was the beating heart of The Daily Banter, sadly passing away on February 25, 2017. His voice remains ever present at the Banter, and his influence as powerful as ever.