Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies
Vulgarity, Laughter, Populism, Comedy, Ridicule
Laughter can provoke both cultural catharsis and sociopolitical critique. However, in an era of Trumpism, laughter has become troubled by vulgar rhetoric of shrugging off comic possibilities insofar as the act of “laughing-at” has overtaken US media culture. This essay argues that political laughter in the shadow of President Donald J. Trump is at risk of being enervated by an overwhelming sense of humorless ridicule. Nowhere is this more apparent than the infamous manifesto, “The Flight 93 Election,” which makes Trumpism into the laughable outgrowth of a crude comicality so prevalent in democratic—and anti-democratic—affairs.
© 2020 National Communication Association
Gilbert, C. J. (2020). Pissing in Political Cisterns, or Laughing Into the Pot of "The Flight 93 Election". Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies . https://doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2020.1714067
Available for download on Sunday, July 25, 2021