I thought of putting this in Cafe Society or even the Pit, but decided it best fit here.
I had a busy April and just caught up with the Kit Harrington episode. The ignorant coastal elitism was seriously galling.
“Weekend Update” featured two WTF jokes about the Upper Midwest. “I didn’t know there were still any gay people in Wisconsin”? Tammy Baldwin is the first openly gay person elected to the Senate. Minneapolis is “so white”? Ilhan Omar, the most controversial black woman in Congress, represents the city. :smack: I mean, these are not obscure bits of trivia. No one in the whole production process caught how inapt these stereotypes obviously are?
Let’s also note that Minnesota hasn’t voted for a Republican for president since 1972. (New York ties five other states for the second-longest such Democratic voting streak, started in 1988.) But New Yorkers apparently think we’re a bunch of white bread homophobes? :mad:
While I would never flip myself, I can kind of understand why some others in the region would get fed up with being treated so contemptuously by coastal liberals, and kind of flip them the bird, like “if you’re not going to recognize us as worthy of respect, part of the same team, then screw you, we’ll just defect to the other side”.
It’s not smart politics. Yes, okay, it’s a comedy show. But these are also not good jokes, unless your only target audience is people who share this stupefyingly lazy ignorance about actual reality.
Those complaints are probably down to the Weekend Update writers (headed by Colin Jost), not down to the show as a whole.
I would be very surprised if people willing to vote for Trump were, a) watching, and b) so offended that they…decided to vote for Trump. I mean, if they were even remotely willing to vote for Trump in the first place, they don’t need to be ‘pushed over the edge’ by jokes on SNL. They are willing to vote for Trump.
Willingness to vote for Trump is not something that comes to a person because they get offended by jokes about certain states being predominantly white or predominantly conservative. The willingness to vote for Trump, at this point, is kind of a thing in itself.
Where is the causal connection? Why would SNL making fun of you lead you to vote for Trump? It’s not like Trump was running on shutting down SNL. If anything, having Trump elected means more left-leaning jokes. Having Clinton elected would mean she’d become the target of the jokes.
What they shouldn’t have done is have Trump actually come on the show, or push the idea that it was so utterly ridiculous that he could win. Having the guy on humanized him. And making light of him helps people become complacent.
I don’t think this is an ongoing concern, though. People do now see Trump as a legitimate threat. And even the jokes shifted tone. They are in full on trolling mode, deliberately goading Trump, rather than being dismissive of him. He’s the common enemy.
If I were an SNL viewer from Minnesota or Wisconsin and seriously offended by those jokes, I would stop watching SNL.
As you noted, Minnesota hasn’t voted for a Republican president since 1972. You think they haven’t heard any cheap jokes from the coastal elite in 37 years? Did you ever watch* Mary Tyler Moore, Coach, How I Met Your Mother* or any other TV show where Minnesota was part of the plot?
Michiganders had to endure a lot of jokes from SNL when Gerald Ford was president. And they had to endure more about the water supply in Flint. But from 1992-2016 Michigan was a blue wall state.
The way liberals mistreat(*) “Fly-Over-Land”, pretending that America is filled with ignorant rednecks, is surely offensive to many of these people; and will cause some of them to reject the Ds in a backlash of counter-contempt. In fact, looking at how close the 2016 election was it can be assumed that this backlash elected Trump.
(*- I plead guilty myself, frequently expressing contempt in these threads for the ignorant voters of “Fly-Over-Land.” Fortunately, I have no influence — even my best posts at SDMB are generally ignored.)
Thus I think OP makes a very valid point. I regret that responses #2, #3, and #4 all blithely decline to acknowledge the point. In 2021 expect the rednecks of Fly-Over-Land to be ridiculed again if R victories continue.
The point people (other than septimus) are missing is that it’s a cumulative thing. Not “I saw this thing on TV last weekend and now I’ve changed my mind about everything”.
Or just put it another way: why sit there on the coast and sneer at people in flyover country who are actually your allies? Even if it doesn’t make them change their votes, that’s just a dick move. And it’s not very good comedy when it has such a blatant disconnect with reality. Again: who is the intended audience for those jokes? People who had a very dim idea of what those places are like, and got to chuckle while having an outmoded and lazy stereotype reinforced? Oh, bravo. You made those people laugh and helped them feel superior. Well done.
This would make more sense if regional jokes about the upper Midwest were the only regional jokes being made.
But that’s not the case. Regional jokes have always been, and continue to be a staple of comedy: jokes about Californians hugging trees and drinking lattes; jokes about Texans with big hats and big hair; jokes about New Yorkers being rude and oblivious to what they see on their streets; jokes about Vermonters talking funny and being wary of people who move there; jokes about Washington and Oregon denizens being fussy about craft brews …it goes on and on. And don’t get me started on Florida jokes.
And SNL has included them all, from the time the show started right up to the present day.
This idea that people from Wisconsin and Minnesota have some special status as being too delicate to be the subject of regional humor is, well, quite insulting to people from Wisconsin and Minnesota.
But those jokes all have some truth to them. Indiana, similarly, would have been a perfectly good butt of the gay people joke even if gay activists in Indianapolis or South Bend get annoyed. But how do you choose Wisconsin out of all fifty states when its senator, the first out gay person in the history of the Senate, just cruised to reelection by a double digit margin in November 2018? How do you cast Minneapolis as a lily white city when huge and very recent national headlines have repeatedly referenced Ilhan Omar? I wouldn’t have the audacity to complain (even if I were quietly fuming) about these jokes if they made any sense as the kind of regional humor you describe.