A couple of years ago, The Onion released a surprisingly hilarious video spoofing the RNC; sure, today, The Onion mostly spends its time bending over backwards to neoliberal policies and orgasming over Clinton, but for a brief window a couple of years back, there was a bit of a nice vacation courtesy of Republican bashing.
This wasn’t surprising in itself. During the electoral farce seasons, one expects satire sites to publish political satire in the same ways that conspiracy theorists scream about “crisis actors” every time an angry White kid shoots up their school. What was surprising, though, was the medievalism of the satire.
The video simultaneously tackles many conservative fallacies—quality of education, the weaknesses of “autodidacticism” at the advanced level, and Self-Made Man myths. The “dr.” on the fictional candidate’s name can easily refer to either Fox News personalities or Ben Carson, while the fumbling speech-pattern can easily be Sarah Palin.
More than that, though, I enjoyed how the skit connected these logical fallacies to Arthurian myth. In this context, a sword crowning one king of England is replaced with a diploma, and hard-work is replaced with wading through some water. All of this is a smart deconstruction of the upper-class’s mystification of labor; truthfully, most did not earn their degrees through “hard work,” as they, in many situations, had family money pay for their studies. Intelligent substitutions like these is what makes the video great and connects the modern to the medieval.