Writing satire is not easy, especially when you’re supposed to mock real people. To get a real idea how dangerous it can be, take a look at this alleged Barack Obama gem. It’s actually written by “actor, writer, filmmaker, comedian, and author” Albert Brooks, and it’s supposed to mock Vladimir Putin’s recent New York Time op-ed.
Of course Putin deserves all the mocking he can get. What he doesn’t deserve is this writer’s ignorance because it turns the entire joke on its head and leaves the reader gasping for air for all the wrong reasons. Let’s start with this epic line:
Mr. Putin, we put a man on the moon and you barely got a monkey home safely.
Did you hear this? It wasn’t a tsunami splashing. It was half of Russia simultaneously pissing on the floor laughing. You know, once upon a time, when Americans still bothered to properly fund their educational system, people actually knew that the first man in space was Russian. It was NASA who struggled with monkeys. The Russians rarely considered using those animals because, to every American’s surprise, Russia is actually not located in the tropics and monkeys aren’t freely available for space tossing.
Trashing the Russian space program and claiming America’s got the upper hand is hilariously tragic not only because historically Russians were way ahead in almost all aspects (first satellite, first dog, first man, first woman, first spacewalk) but because today America cannot send a single astronaut in orbit without relying on Russian rockets. Of course, people like the author of this tragic attempt at satire, are the same ones who let their own country’s space program deteriorate so much that when people say moonwalk, they think of Michael Jackson, not of Neil Armstrong. Funding wars around the globe is much more important than space shuttles.
It’s one thing to put down exceptionalism, but before you do that, you at least have to produce one Broadway show, or make one commercial airliner, or invent one type of salad.
This is the saddest point of the article. I know that refuting it would be useless because the author would probably never understand why. The Russian Broadway is called Bolshoi Theatre and is slightly classier. It was also founded in 1776. Russia has been making commercial airliners for ages and their salad is among the most popular ones in Europe even though it was invented by a Belgian guy.