Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Satire 202

I've mentioned the quasi-religious Karen Spears Zacharias (think of a white Oprah) and her tenuous grasp of comedy before. In fact, I'll just go ahead and revisit it. To Karen and her squirrel-brained readers, this is funny:

What matters to Americans is that Sarah Palin has great hair and a taut body even after birthing all those kids. That Todd, he’s sure a lucky fella. Wink.Wink. Nudge. Nudge.

Sarah Palin is the new pin-up girl for Alaska and all things American.

She’s the female version of George W. Bush.

She hasn’t read a book since Spot got ran over.

She thinks analytical is a brain disorder to be avoided.

You see what she did there, with Spot, the dog, who was featured in a children's book. It's a literary reference. This was written late last year, so she gets extra points for keeping it current.

You can read the rest if you like. No? Your loss. Oh, and she had the audacity to write this:

I’m bone tired of the snarky and the snide — aren’t you?
I boggle.

Today, Spears turns her irony-free gaze upon the bestseller "Go the F--- to Sleep", which takes aim and children viz. their unwillingness to perform the titular activity. The book is certainly ribald, but also observant and, really, trifling.

Not so, says the highly-disputed queen of comedy. Via CNN, she writes that:

Nobody is suggesting that there's a connection between Adam Mansbach's book and child abuse or child neglect. Still, there's no denying the reason "Go the F*** to Sleep" should be kept out of reach of children is because of its violent language and because of the way it demeans children.

Um, no, it should be kept out of reach of children because it has child-inappropriate language in it, just as a Jonathan Franzen novel should be kept out of reach of children.

She continues, by way of some Doctor:
"Imagine if this were written about Jews, blacks, Muslims or Latinos," says Dr. David Arredondo. He is an expert on child development and founder of The Children's Program, in the San Francisco metropolitan area, which provides consultation and training for those working with troubled youths.
Well, if you replace children with "blacks" or "Jews" in any context, you'll arrive at some squeamish results.

Ugh, the blacks threw a temper tantrum when I wouldn't buy them a candy bar, but I told them they already had a cookie. And then I come home to find the Latinos throwing pancake mix on the floor while my wife was taking a nap.

www.sh*tmyjewsruined.com is still available, if you're interested in perpetuating this meme.

Zacharias then, weirdly, goes on to lament the disappearance of the practice of reading to our children. That's all well in good, but hardly the fault of the author of this book. Her argument culminates as follows:

The violent language of "Go the F*** to Sleep" is not the least bit funny, when one considers how many neglected children fall asleep each night praying for a parent who'd care enough to hold them, nurture them and read to them.
But, to be clear, mocking "mama Palin" who is, by all accounts, a good mother, his hi-freaking-larious.

Look, if there is a serious issue with "Go the F--- to Sleep" (aside from the crass content), it is the underlying issue. Parents simply will not enforce the discipline necessary to get their kids to go to sleep. That, of course, is a different issue.

Pretending that toddlers are somehow a marginalized group (note: if you cannot wipe yourself, and do not have a disability, I will marginalize you) is the stuff of someone so inanely self-serious that she is no position to dictate what is funny.

Stick to recycling Sarah Palin jokes, sweetie, and let the funny people do funny.

Wait, one more... From her Christmas wish list:

Sarah Palin. Duct Tape. I can think of 50 Ways to put it to good use in the Palin household.
Because Palin should be quiet. Oh, for fun...


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