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The Only Thing Worse Than Julian Assange As A Houseguest…

Topics: Popular Media | Add A CommentBy admin | March 22, 2011

…would be staying at this couple’s apartment.

Or is there something else going on here? A friend sent me a link to the video below today; it’s supposedly a re-enactment of Assange’s stay at the home of friends of established comedy writer Allison Silverman. As I watched the video distractedly while I worked on something else, I thought to myself¬† “Yeah, yeah. Pretty much what you’d expect from some narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, internationally known hacktivist type“.¬† I expected to find at least a little humor in the thing, but didn’t. In fact, as I continued to watch, I found myself thinking “Damn, these pretentious urban hipster assholes are even worse than Assange!” I mean, by creating an elaborate video featuring their friends Michael Brumm and Peter Gwinn (Colbert writers) and David Rees (creator of Get Your War On) to publicly air their petty complaint about their slovenly houseguest, weren’t they themselves showing even less class and more ignorance of “real” social grace? In the end, I’m not so sure. If you haven’t seen the video, please watch it before you read the rest of what I have to say, below.

So did you have the same reaction? Did it come across as an annoying and pointlessly over-produced complaint about someone we all know is probably a jerk, but in light of the interesting material he’s helped expose, doesn’t need more character assassination than he’s already getting? Well, if your initial reaction was similar to mine, I think we’ve been had. We’ve talked before about The Death & Rebirth Of Political Meta-Satire As Quantum Comedy, and even tried our not-so-subtle hand at it with Why Is There A Nascar Track At The Oklahoma City Bombing Site? and Is Stephen Colbert A Time Traveling Nazi Vampire? But we have to tip our hat to the new level that Silverman and company seem to have taken this kind of meta-satire. It requires the kind of subtle attention to micro-genres one usually only finds amongst fans of ambient music to see any comedy at all. But it’s there. I think we’re at an interesting point in pop media. If – like me – you’ve at some point in your life enjoyed the existential and absurd theatre and humor of Beckett, Sartre, and Brecht, but always felt just maybe you were missing something, it’s entirely possible that the continued assault on the wall between professional and user-generated content is creating a new strain of it, right before our eyes.

Here’s another example. This satirical take on supporters of Sarah Palin is BRILLIANT:

The problem? It wasn’t satire. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.