Can We Just Laugh Off ISIS?

In his famous 1940 film The Great Dictator, Charlie Chapin struts, twitches, and screams in a thinly-veiled portrayal of an unintentionally-hilarious Hitler surrogate, Abenoid Hynkel. Chaplin’s intent was to turn the fear and awe of the Nazi’s stridency and militarism on its head, turning the Third Reich into an object of ridicule and thereby diminishing its power.

This spring, Saturday Night Live took the same tack in satirizing the militant group ISIS. In a skit, Dakota Johnston plays a young girl saying goodbye to her father before what would seem to be a semester at college. But instead of campus, the camera pans out to show a truckload of crazed, automatic rifle-toting Islamists with a version of the ISIS flag (this one reading “I love cats” in Arabic) speeding up to spirit a willing Johnston away.

Read the rest of Elizabeth’s story on vice.com.

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