Thursday, February 16, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: The Proper Use of Mockery

CURMUDGUCATION: The Proper Use of Mockery:

The Proper Use of Mockery


Jimmie Fallon has done it again, and not, I'm afraid, in a good way. 

Fallon has now twice included a Betsy DeVos sketch. His show's version of DeVos is bumbling and clueless, the kind of hapless twit who says, in response to questions about her fitness for the job, replies "I am totally got this."

As regular readers of this blog are well aware, I am not above or beyond mockery of certain subjects (I still kind of miss Arne Duncan). I believe that some well-aimed mockery, some pointed satire, can be just the thing for dealing with difficult individuals, offices, or policies.

But mockery, improperly done, can be dangerous.The dangers are twofold.

First, mockery of little piddly things can take our eyes off the ball. the big, ugly, spikey, dangerous ball that we're not paying attention because we're making fun of someone for tying her shoes badly.

The Trump regime has provided more than ample examples. Quick-- name all the bad policies that came closer to fruition while we were making fun of the Trumpinator's insistence that his crowd was the biggest of them all.

Mind you, little things can matter. I've burned up a lot of internet on little things, because little things are often the key details that tell you what someone really thinks, what they really see, what they're really up to. I have parsed the living daylights out of single sentences because words matter and the ones that people choose matter. But attention to detail is only useful when it helps us see the big picture-- not when it takes our mind off the big picture. For instance, did the fumbling of historic/historical tell us anything important about DeVos (or one of her aides)? I don't think so, nor do I think it was mistake that revealed some unusual confusion; it's a mistake that lots of folks make.

The repeated mistakes with spelling and usage constitute a pattern, showing a carelessness about 
CURMUDGUCATION: The Proper Use of Mockery:

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