"It's always fun to come to Florida because you never know what might kill you." So proclaimed Jon Stewart, the host of Comedy Central's the Daily Show, where he appeared this past Saturday evening in Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall before a reported sellout crowd of 2,000 Stewart vapid devotees. (I've seen larger crowds of rubber-neckers at a car wreck, but that's another matter entirely.) "It's just a weird state (Florida). You have spring break, where you invite thousands of drunken frat people down. And if you feel threatened by them, you can kill them."
Stewart, the bombastic, self-anointed king of satirical humor, was lamely attempting to ridicule Florida's "stand your ground" self-defence law, which is currently undergoing nationwide scrutiny principally as a result of the February shooting death that occurred in Sanford, Florida of 16 year old Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed community watch guard. A much needed review of the nuances and specifics of the law as a result of that tragic occurrence need not be a subject for debate, but to diminish the importance of such a review by trivializing its life and death consequences with black satirical humor is in poor taste even for someone as prone as is Stewart's relentless pursuit to make fun of anything and anyone that do not measure up to his boundless ideal of self-righteousness and misplaced sense of intellectual superiority.
Indeed there can be much truth gleaned from satirical humor, as the employment by editorial cartoonist have illustrated for decades. But there must a moniker of recognizable truth underlying the pointed jabs in order to hopefully affect a desired beneficial end result. To merely amuse oneself and supposedly others at the detriment and embarrassing expense of another is neither satirical nor funny. It is merely in poor taste.
Shakespeare penned, "Jesters do oft prove prophets." Stewart may consider himself to be a jester, but a prophet he is not. He is just an entertainer in a cheap suit looking for another moment or two of misguided adulation from a collection of malcontents who have nothing better to do on a Saturday night than laugh at their own ignorance.