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Taking Liberties

There will always be an element of friction and resentment between liberals and conservatives, each believing they have the monopoly on wisdom. One expects, however, that liberals, being somewhat more in touch with reality, would have the respect to accord some dignity to those holding different views. One could not be more wrong.

While I enjoy scathing humor, for my money it only works when it serves a purpose and is delivered with a dash of self-mockery. Moreover, what makes comedy more than mere clever meanspiritedness is at whom it is directed. Classic satire, the kind that endures, is directed at the powerful, not the powerless. So don't talk to me about Molière.

What brings me to these ruminations is a spate of new plays I have witnessed of late, the most recent I will simply call “HeeHaw: the Musical.” I’m not trying to be excessively hard on new playwrights, especially those trying to work out past injuries, but I truly despair for this nation if supposedly upscale liberals, given the boon of a good education and life opportunities, can sit in an audience and laugh at cruel humor directed at those less fortunate. While there are a lot of script issues I have with HeeHaw: the Musical (one-dimensional characters, caricatures really, no logical plotline, the resolution brought about offstage by deus ex machina, oh, and the devil -- literally), the biggest one is turning poor southerners into objects of ridicule and contempt. Forget that any story involving “the devil” should be automatically assigned to the trash bin. Truly: spare me. Get an act. But finding the poor and uneducated as funny is not a quality I admire in writer or audience.

Certainly not at the best of times, but we are not living in the best of times. History has shown us what deadlock brings. When the Polish government in the 1700s reached such an impasse that it could not vote to defend its own borders, the result was partitioning by its neighbors. If we, as the most dangerous nation on earth, cannot see past our differences and behave like adults, then it’s game over. It’s unlikely to be the conservatives who will be reasonable on this. It is up to us. So, liberals, stop being asssholes and grow the fuck up. There needs to be an adult in the room.

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