Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Team America World Police

Great piece from A.O. Scott at the NY Times on Team America. “Not that the movie is partisan, exactly. . . . Of course Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone are joking — what else is new? — but like most good jokers, they also mean exactly what they say. Clever comedians that they are, they have also rigged Team America with an ingenious anti-critic device, which I find myself unable to defuse. Much as it may pretend otherwise, the movie has an argument, but if you try to argue back, the joke’s on you.” (registration required) Propagandists of the world: take note. See—you can make movies that people who may not agree with you will still appreciate.

phlog ::: from editor :::



This phenomenon probably reached critical mass when The Onion moved from Madison, Wisconsins to NYC, but is most recently seen in Jon Stewart’s Crossfire appearance, where his cover of “I’m only joking, I’m a comedian” is the perfect (and perhaps only) cover for saying the deadly-but-true things he wishes to say.  Satire, since the time of Juvenal, it seems, is the last weapon of use amidst a decaying republic.  It won’t help save us, but it will alert those who are still awake that not everyone is fiddling while Rome burns.  A.O. Scott’s recognition that you can’t seriously rebutthe argument of a joker, or else “the joke’s on you” is one reason why the court jester function of these comedians and these films is so important to maintaining our sanity as the world goes mad.

Posted by publisher on 19 Oct 04 at 06:15 AM
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