Andrew Sullivan of The Sunday Times has written about the new “cartoon controversy” surrounding South Park in an article reprinted in The Australian called “Oh my god, they killed satire”.
At the end, he says:
“Laughter matters because piety begets power. Orwell once remarked that one reason fascism never took off in Britain was because the sight of a goose-stepping soldier would prompt your average Englishman to giggle. Someone is now silencing the giggles. And our world is a lot creepier because of it.”
Maybe there is something in that. But a friend of mine uses a meter she calls “The Ugh Factor”. Goose-stepping soldiers, like country & western singers at weddings and badly played bugles on Remembrance Day, are funny. Menstruating statues of the Virgin Mary are “Ugh”. Or perhaps even “UGHHHH!”