On the surface, SNL is just another comedy show. A standard feature of the show is the opening segment, which usually pokes fun at the current president. Every once in a while, that segment is pretty funny, and is viewed extensively on YouTube.
However, over the past several years, two things have happened to the show. First, its comedy has become increasingly captured by the left. The routines are oftentimes premised on a progressive worldview. Second, SNL has become less and less funny, and sometimes downright boring.
Usually, an election year and a president’s first year is fodder for comedians. There’s so much good material created during the campaign, the biggest challenge is figuring out what to focus on.
However, during this election, it quickly became clear that SNL made a conscious decision to ridicule Trump and softly promote Hillary. Sure, the show poked fun at her from time to time, but its vitriol was directly squarely at The Donald through Alec Baldwin. Sometimes he was funny, but more times than not he played Trump in a manner so that SNL’s liberal audience could laugh at their representation of Trump, rather than what he actually did.
Then came the election, and the liberal pandemonium that followed.
The show immediately after the election opened in a manner reminiscent of what it did after 9/11. Rather than a raucaus opening, it began quietly with Kate McCinnon, in her role as Hillary Clinton, playing the piano and singing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. (Cohen had died earlier in the week.)
McCinnon closed the segment by stating, “I’m not giving up, and neither should you.”
Why would SNL open the same way it did after 9/11?
Because its audience equated the two events as the two most terrible moments in their lives.
(h/t Daily Caller for the tweets)
People who watched the song on YouTube were grateful for SNL opening the show the way it did. Here are some comments:
Thank you SNL for this moment of grace and healing.
Guys, remember that this is an LGBT woman, who just learned that Trump and Pence, two mysoginistic homophobes, are in charge of her rights. Think about what is about to be taken away from her. Then listen to what she says. “I’m not giving up, and neither should you”. She’s not just speaking for Hillary. She’s standing up for herself, for all of us. Kate, thank you for fighting for me.
Wow. I felt actual pain when I saw the tears in her eyes because I can’t help her get through the next 4 years with a racist, sexist HOMOPHOBIC cunt for president. I love her too much to see her cry. 😭😭😭🔥🇺🇸
Perfect and poignant. Captured the mood of the country.
I can’not think of a more beautiful, fitting, and sad tribute for the loss of a brilliant musician and, for 50% of us, the loss of a critical election Personally I found it to be one of the most profound moments in television since the coverage of 9/11 and all of the awful mass shootings of the past several years. To me, the sketch was in part a tribute to Leonard Cohen, the feelings of Hillary Clinton through the voice of Kate McKinnon (who could barely and understandably stay in character), and most of all, a statement expressing the shock, devastation, anger, and fear that many of us feel. I’ve never posted to a website before and I’ve never been politically active. That ended for me early Wednesday morning. For those of you that agree with me I urge you all to peacefully but firmly make your voices heard, fight for what is right, and take nothing for granted.
By opening this show in the manner it did, SNL made a very clear statement: from now on, the show is made by progressives, for progressives.
And no one else.
Meanwhile, the Demonization of the Donald continues.
Alec Baldwin has a guaranteed four years of income as he keeps playing Trump. And Melissa McCarthy took up the role of White House press secretary Sean Spice just last week. (Although I have to admit that her characterization of Spice and comedic timing is top notch.)
However, is it possible that SNL may be harpooning yet another figure in the Trump administration?
Brietbard reports that Rosie O’Donnell has updated her profile picture on Twitter in an apparent attempt to convince SNL that she should play Trump advisor Steve Barron on it.
“I am here to serve,” O’Donnell wrote on Twitter on Tuesday when asked if she was willing to take a turn as Bannon on SNL. “Alec has trump – melissa has spice – i would need a few days to prepare – so if called – i will be ready.”
Neither SNL or the long-running show’s creator Lorne Michaels have commented on whether or not fans can expect to see O’Donnell as Bannon.
On the one hand, Rosie’s mashing of her face into Bannon’s is amusing. Unfortunately, when connected with what else has been going on at SNL, one can also see a far more menacing undertone.
Rather than merely making fun of another president, SNL is clearly taking aim at the Trump administration. If it decides to bring O’Donnell on, it will have at least three caricatures with which to play on its show. Its increasingly progressive audience will expect nothing less than the show demonizing and mocking Trump and his goons for the crimes for which they are guilty in the audiences’ minds.
What is dangerous about this set up is SNL could fan the ideological flames burning within its audience, at the possible expense of any hope genuine dialogue that could take place among Trump and progressives. After all, they’ve got a President whose lips stick out like a baboon’s ass and a press secretary whose temper makes Trump’s behavior akin to that of the Virgin Mary.
And if O’Donnell came on, how would they protray Bannon? While I don’t know, we could take a hint from Time’s most recent cover:
The Great Manipulator. How intriguing! How diabolical!
Can you imagine O’Donnell playing him looking like a grand chessmaster, under subdued lighting, carefully evaluating the next move to elevate Trump and crush his enemies?
We find ourselves in a frightening situation in which SNL could help create an environment in which it feeds its progressive audience the message it wants to hear: that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president, who must be removed at all costs. Its opening segment could become the very playground in the next progressive narrative is described so that its adherents may unleash their fury on those who deserve it.
Yet as the jester in Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame asks, “what makes a monster, and what makes a man?” Are Trump and his colleagues the monsters progressives make them out to be, or perhaps are the monsters somewhere else?
One of the greatest insights Rene Girard made about human psychology is how the rivarly between people seeking to satiate their needs to obtain a common desire leads to conflict, and if not resolved peacefully, violence. When those who fail to obtain that desire see their more successful rivals holding the very thing they want, they fall into such a rage that they see their rivals as their monstrous double. Girard explains the phenomenon in Violence and the Sacred:
In the collective experience of the monstrous double the differences are not eliminated, but muddied and confused. All the doubles are interchangeable, although their basic similarity is never formally acknowledged. They thus occupy the equivocal middle ground between difference and unity that is indispensable to the process of sacrificial substitution – to the polarization of violence onto a single victim who substitutes for all the others. The monstrous double gives the antagonists, incapable of perceiving that nothing actually stands between them (or their reconciliation), precisely what they need to arrive at the compromise that involves unanimity minus the victim of the generative expulsion. The monstrous double, all monstrous doubles in the person of one … becomes the object of unanimous violence.
We can now appreciate the atmosphere of terror and hallucination that accompanies the primordial religious experience. When violent hysteria reaches a peak the monstrous double looms up everywhere at once. The decisive act of violence is directed against this awesome vision of evil and at the same time sponsored by it. The turmoil then gives way to calm; hallucinations vanish, and the detente that follows only heightens the mystery of the whole process. In an instant all extremes have met, all differences fused; superhuman exemplars of violence and peace have in that instant coincided. Modern pathological experiences offer no such catharsis; but although religious and pathological experiences cannot be equated, they share certain similarities. (pp. 170-171)
While SNL and its actors claim to hate Trump and what he stands for, their rage over his victory has led them to emulate him. In other words, they have become monstrous doubles of their enemy. Unless someone pulls themselves out of the madness, the only resolution to this conflict is war, until only one side remains.
St. Michael, pray for us!