Mock and ridicule ISIS – it’s one weapon we all can use

By Scott St. Clair | The Save Jersey Blog

Since day one, Saturday Night Live has been a go-to place for satire about events and personalities of the day. If it’s in the news, it’s mocked on SNL. Not surprisingly, ISIS and its bloodthirsty jihadis are now targets, but some people don’t think that’s appropriate because, they say, there’s nothing funny about what they do.

The most recent example of the hullabaloo is a SNL skit where Dakota Johnson, late the Bond-age girl of the naughty 50 Shades of Gray, and regular cast member Taran Killam, mocked home-grown ISIS recruits from the U.S.

Itself a parody of an ad Toyota ran during the Super Bowl, the video-skit has a wholesome-looking American girl getting dropped off by her Camry-driving dad at a rendezvous point where she’s to be picked up by her “friends” who happen to be a cadre of ISIS fighters – the obvious punch line – in a Toyota pickup, the vehicle of choice for jihadis:

What’s this – ISIS jokes? How dare you think there’s anything funny about jihadis who kill people! How offensive is that? Social media went nuts with complaints:

A lot of thin-skinned people out there need to lighten up. It’s not like something similar has never happened, say, in Colorado.

Because “there’s nothing new under the sun,” making fun of an enemy isn’t new. During World War II, Hollywood worked overtime mocking Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo and all things Axis. If you think SNL’s poke in the eye toward ISIS was bad, watch how Disney made Hitler and the Nazi’s look like buffoons:

“Der Fuehrer’s Face,” which won the 1943 Oscar for best animated short, is typical of what was produced during the war, with much of it commissioned by the government. Yes, Virginia, there was a time when our government meant business it when it went to war.

Caricatured images of fat, stupid Nazi’s; the brutality of slave labor shown to make the point and make you laugh and images of enemy leaders that encouraged you to love hating them. Everyone was on board the war at the local movie theater – no TV then, of course – in a way that didn’t make you turn your head at the savage brutality of American casualties and concentration camp atrocities.

In both, victims aren’t the objects of ridicule – it’s victimizers.

ISIS thugs are bullies, and bullies are all alike. They share personality characteristics, including anxiety about their failures and shortcomings and, for the males among them, insecurity about their masculinity. They’re cowards who are afraid of being exposed as failures or, if you will, girly men, hence their hyper-aggressive behavior that routinely falls outside norms they espouse.

Mohammad Atta and his 9/11 terrorist pals got it on in Vegas, baby, Vegas where it was booze, strippers and lap dances. Jihadi John is a basket case of paranoid and suicidal fantasies. Not quite Sharia.

When it comes to ridicule, they can dish it out, but they can’t take it. That’s why it’s important to throw it back at them in spades.

Saul Alinsky’s Rule No. 5 says, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”

He’s right, just as he is in all of his “Rules for Radicals,” one of the best works on grassroots organizing strategies ever written – strategies that can be as useful for the right as they are for the left if the right gets over being stuffy and hung up about its dignity.

While it’s one thing for a single person or small group to mock a bully – French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo mocked ISIS setting the standard for courageous social commentary, but at a cost – when a nation does it, when all or most of 320 million people in the U.S. do it, then the message is sent.

Thumb your noses at them. Give them a bushel basket of raspberries. Mock them on SNL and elsewhere. Laugh at ISIS and the jihadis because they can’t handle not being taken seriously – it drives them nuts, makes them less formidable and look like the wholly ridiculous idiots they are.

At the same time, pound the living bejeebers out of them by pointing every weapon we have in their direction, including a 20-kiloton, fully loaded, armor-piercing whoopee cushion. Bombs away!

When Jihadi John gets a drone-delivered pie in the face, he won’t look all that tough, and we’ll have a good laugh at his expense.

Scott St Clair
About Scott St Clair 127 Articles
SCOTT ST. CLAIR: Earning a J.D. from the University of Puget Sound in 1975, Scott is a communications professional who has worked as a freelance journalist/writer as well as a political operative.

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