“Comicocracy” as a Cultural and Political Reality

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18523/2617-8907.2020.3.13-20

Keywords:

politics, media mythology, show business, video clip, comedian, laugh, consciousness, D. Trump, V. Zelensky

Abstract

The article researches one of the distinctive trends of the world political situation: its implication in comic culture. Buffoon is symbolically perceived as one of the cultural archetypes of the humanity. The comedian’s public status has rapidly evolved from the humble caste in pre-modern society to the top of the political party in the post-modern society. Laughter is currently being heard not from the least privileged groups of population but from the political Olympus. Traditional politicians have been replaced by a new generation of figures who used to be involved in the show business, with a lack of experience in public management and the reliance only on the popularity of their television image. Laugh seems not to be able to create anything outside its own field of play; however, it can be used to destroy the opponent, which in its turn stimulates the development of the political buffoonery.
The article is an attempt to analyze the situation related to the presidential election of the showman V. Zelensky in Ukraine. It has become possible considering the media mythology produced by the news outlet, response and approval from TV audience, which still includes the majority of the population, unlike Internet, cinema and theatre.
Man of leisure seems to be beyond time in networks of archaic myth, consuming primitive products of mass culture, such as soap operas or television shows. Political talk shows, in particular, draw an audience of millions because they give an ordinary person a virtual opportunity to communicate with popular figures as well as an illusion of being involved in solving of publicly significant problems, yet politics is presented as entertainment.
Manipulative technologies are successful because they take into account the “clip” consciousness as a product of the visual culture, which has superseded the culture of printed text with the developed linear type of consciousness.
Therefore, the unconditional rightness of the so-called “majority” of any society is an illusion inspired primarily by the media that perform political orders on oligarchic channels, are preoccupied with their ratings and shake up society in order to achieve the required political resonance. On the contrary, real social development is not ensured by the masses, but by the accumulation of people with higher level of consciousness, namely an active “minority” that is ignored in times of aggressive populism.

 

Manuscript received 15.03.2020

Author Biography

Ruslana Demchuk, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Dr. habil. (Cultural Studies); Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies of the Faculty of Humanities of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA). Main research fields: East-Christian culture, national identity, political mythology.

r.demchuk@ukma.edu.ua

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