Stephen Colbert doesn't quite belong on this list. Not because he isn't an amazing satirist. Hell, I'll go on record right now and call Stephen Colbert the greatest living satirist --not only on Earth, but even on the inhabited moons of Rylos 7. No, the reason Mr. Colbert is different from the other entries is because while his satire has been misunderstood, that misunderstanding got him a ticket to the White House correspondent's dinner. In 2006, Colbert took his faux Bill O'Reilly-esque persona and expertly dissected President Bush just feet away from where he was sitting.
What Did Morons Think Was Going On?
Well Bush's handlers must have seen this purveyor of "truthiness," attacking the liberal media and intellectual left and believed him to be one of their own. Or perhaps they knew Colbert was a liberal-minded comic, but because of his satirical conceit, believed he would behave more like his character in order to stay in the good graces of his fictitious hero, George W. Bush. After all, the Colbert character was fond of asking guests whether George W. Bush was a great President or the greatest President. How insulting could he be?
What Was Actually Happening?
Well, as was a surprise to no one who had even a basic grasp of satire, Colbert took the opportunity to eviscerate Bush under the pretense of praising him. It's deliciously painful to watch Bush bristle at the barbs he suffers. So painful that some of you might find it hard to believe that Colbert could have been booked in error. That someone could be surprised that this former Daily Show alum would use comedy to lambaste the sitting Republican President. You might offer that Colbert was merely invited as a sign that President Bush had a sense of humor about himself. Well, to you I say yeah, that sounds like Bush. That's probably why they had Colbert back. Oh, wait. They didn't. They had these guys the next year...
Two-person comedy troupe, the Rubberbandits, recently reached the top of the Irish charts with their single Horse Outside. I don't mind telling you, I watched this video no fewer than 30 times the week it came out, constantly finding new things to love about it. In it, a groomsman at a lower class wedding woos a bridesmaid by disparaging the cars owned by her other suitors and touting the merits of his mode of a transportation - a horse.
What Did Morons Think Was Going On?
Well, apparently, many in Ireland criticized the song for contributing to poor public perceptions of the city of Limerick as a slum where impoverished people are so backward, they still ride horses. Also, because one of the suitors recommends that the newlyweds throw house parties with "drinkin' and druggin'" in front of their children, some accused the Rubberbandits of promoting drug use.
What's The Actual Point?
Well, like any good piece of satire, there's more than one point. Sure, it's funny to laugh at our misguided protagonist who has the audacity to brag about having a horse instead of a car, but anyone who thinks the song is merely mocking the backward, horse-riding fools of Limerick, is missing the point. It's clear from the video, that this protagonist is our hero. Not only does he get the girl at the end and ride her off like a knight in shining armor, but he leads the entire congregation, including a seemingly kind-hearted priest, in the recitation of the chorus:
Fuck your Mitsubishi, I've a horse outside.
Fuck your Honda Civic, I have a horse outside.
Fuck your Suburu, I've a horse outside.
If you're looking for a ride, I've a horse outside.
So what's going on here? Well, first of all. Limerick IS a depressed area. Apparently, you CAN see horses tied to trees there. So I'm not sure how a song acknowledging that is doing something unfair. More importantly, however, who are these three suitors who are driving these not so impressive cars? One look at the video makes pretty clear they're a bunch of thugs, perhaps managing to scrape together enough cash to afford their mediocre cars through thieving or drug dealing. Indeed, it's one of these creeps who proposes drug use in front of children at the start of the vid. Our protagonist leads the town in protest against them, seemingly saying, "Hey, we're all ghetto here. But at least I ride my horse proudly." After all, is bragging about a Mitsubishi really much more absurd than bragging about a horse?
But that's just not my spin, listen to Rubberbandit "Blind Boy Boat Club" take to the radio to explain his point and "feed the trolls" in a way that makes me a little misty. Proving that while there will always be satirists out there, spitting out merely mean-spirited sarcasm for the main point of proving how smart they think they are, some still use satire for a larger point and are willing to bear the brunt of the thickheaded for our amusement and a cause.