By Angelique Haugerud
No Billionaire Left Behind is a compelling research into how satirical activists take on of the main contentious issues in modern American political tradition: the more and more profound department of wealth in the United States, and the function of massive cash in electoral politics. Anthropologist and writer Angelique Haugerud deftly charts the evolution of a gaggle named the Billionaires—a well-liked community of satirists and activists who make a mockery of wealth in America—along with different satirical teams and figures to puzzle out their influence on politics and public opinion. within the spirit of renowned courses like The Colbert document and The day-by-day Show, the Billionaires reveal a cosmopolitan wisdom of economics and public affairs throughout the lens of satire and humor. via player remark, interviews, and archival learn, Haugerud presents the 1st ethnographic research of the facility and obstacles of this evolving type of political organizing during this witty exploration of 1 group's efforts to elevate wish and encourage motion in America's present political climate.
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Nine And Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s well known “fake” information software The day-by-day convey, stated he and his writers specialize in the morning information that almost all agitates them, “the occasionally somber tales he refers to as his ‘morning cup of disappointment. ’”10 briefly, issues more likely to invite ironic The Comedy of Wealth? five humor are accurately those who frighten, embarrass, ache, or affront us. but via the tip of the day, Jon Stewart and his employees suppose higher simply because they've got transposed that “little cup of unhappiness” to humor. For them—and most likely for thousands of viewers—The day-by-day express is a “kind of catharsis computer, a healing filter out for grappling with provoking matters. ”11 And for a few, ironic humor is way more—a political spark, an concept for motion. “It’s a category battle and We’re successful! ” the ladies in dependent robes and males in tuxedoes who attracted media throngs to primary Park on a glowing summer season morning are political activists who for greater than a decade have used satirical highway theater to aim to highlight severe questions about democracy and financial equity. With a understanding wink, they are saying precisely the contrary of what they suggest. They percentage affinities with trickster humor’s be aware play or mischievous use of homonyms, ambiguity, and double entendres. 12 this can be play as subversion, within the spirit of the court docket jester or clever idiot who can converse competently what others dare no longer utter. those activists perform an cutting edge style of what students time period “contentious politics” or “collective motion” or “social movements”—if one takes those wide different types to refer, as Charles Tilly does, to “ordinary those who make collective claims on public experts, different holders of energy, rivals, enemies, and items of renowned disapproval. ”13 The Billionaires’ style—described by way of a brand new York occasions reporter as a fragile stability of “earnest purpose and absurdity”14—both mocks and upholds the style referred to as political protest (Figure I. 4). After a debut as “Billionaires for Forbes” in 1999, they morphed into “Billionaires for Bush (or Gore)” in 2000, “Billionaires for Bush” in 2004, “Billionaires for Bailouts and Lobbyists for McCain” in 2008, “Billionaires for Wealthcare” throughout the 2011 well-being care debates, “Billionaires for Plutocracy” in 2011, and “Multi-Millionaires for Mitt” in 2012. Adaptively named, they have been comedian sentinels for plutocracy. caution flags in eras of extra are much less more likely to come from the political heart than from the margins, even if from humorists or severe voices that cross unheeded. Cautionary phrases approximately grave instabilities within the economy from economists similar to Nouriel Roubini15 of latest York college, for instance, have been neglected or downplayed by means of so much economists, pundits, and coverage makers sooner than the 2008 fiscal drawback. After the main issue broke, Roubini—dubbed 6 creation FI GU R E I . four Billionaires for Bush on tax day, April 15, 2004, big apple City’s important publish place of work. photograph by way of writer. “Dr. Doom” via pundits—attracted extra realization, although his positions have been under no circumstances embraced or commonly publicized by means of company information media.