Adam Lovejoy writes from London: Personally, I often watch the news on the box to have a laugh. I don’t like all those comedy shows because comedians these days are hopeless at making people laugh. Most of them are simply not intelligent enough to come up with anything even remotely funny. But news is always fun to watch because the stuff that is reported most of the time is hilarious – or just plain stupid, which is funny it itself.
Take the big story that keeps on rolling: the crisis in the Eurozone. The latest development is that Spain is getting €100 billion to prop up its banks. It is presented as if it makes sense, even though it doesn’t. It’s a clear cut swindle to save the euro from collapsing and give the money men some more public cash to play with. Anyway, this con is hilarious really, if you think about it. The bankers have basically ordered the politicians to pump another huge amount of public money into the system and present it as an attempt to save the Spanish economy. No comedian could have thought of such a sketch but you can enjoy it for free on every bloody TV news channel, with hacks talking about it while keeping straight faces. Hilarious stuff!
And how about the coverage of all those summits that European leaders and unelected EU commissars hold all the time, producing absolutely nothing at them but pretending that they are working their socks off. How I laugh when I see people like Angela Merkel, David Cameron and that Italian bloke Mario pretending to be hotly discussing some important issue, grouped together, watching from the corners of their eyes whether the cameras are getting their best angle possible. It’s a scream.
I generally find all coverage of all summits very funny. All those G8 and G20 gatherings are one long joke, with mediocre pompous fools wasting millions of their taxpayers’ money, pretending that they matter and that they can change things. Even though they don’t and they can’t. It’s a like watching episodes of a comedy show with weird looking people doing silly things.
And then there’s Syria and the black humour that comes from news reports about the conflict there. Yes, sure, people are dying and that part is not funny at all. But the rest is like one long black comedy routine. Imagine, you have a supposed popular revolt that is not really a popular revolt but an insurgency funded from the outside and infiltrated by Al Qaeda. And you also have the West and the Arab League talking absolute rubbish, pretending they are itching to stage a military invasion but quietly praying that the Russians and the Chinese keep on blocking resolutions in the UN Security Council that would open the way for an intervention. And then you have the helpless and incompetent UN that has done absolutely nothing to resolve the crisis. In fact, both UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and UN and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria Kofi Annan have been delivering some pretty hilarious routines, demonstrating to the world that they have no idea what to do about Syria or pretty much any other hot spot. Black comedy and satire all round, in other words.
And if you look at the Arab Spring as a whole and the way it is covered in the news it does resemble some bizarre comedy series with practically every hack getting it all wrong while providing some outstanding drivel on the subject. No one had predicted the Arab Spring, no one could understand what it was about even though in every country that was sucked into this supposed feast of democracy the Islamists took the upper hand. And suddenly all this talk about democracy and freedom and people’s powers looks like a monologue of some deranged comedian who lost the plot and talks total bollocks.
And there’s a lot of other stuff on the news on the box that should make you laugh. Politicians not knowing what the hell they are doing and saying things for which they technically should be fired on the spot but still keeping their jobs. National economies run by people without a clue how to do it properly. Brain dead celebs taken seriously. And the list never ends really.
So what I’m saying here is that news coverage beats comedy all the time. Especially when the poor hacks have to keep straight faces while talking about some pretty crazy things taking place.
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