Print & Pixels
With All Due Respect

A lesson from Nigeria, on balancing the blessings of modernity and the celebration of an ancestral past.

Published on: February 5, 2018
Martha Bayles teaches humanities at Boston College, is author of Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad (Yale 2014), is a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute, and a regular columnist for TAI.
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  • QET

    “Liberationist Left” is itself an anachronism.

    One thing I found interesting. While the writer refers to a “Nigerian perspective,” she make no mention of a “Nigerian” culture. Instead, she mentions several sub-cultures regnant in differing parts of the country. (One wonders whether there is really even such a thing as a Nigerian perspective). I think most Westerners’ default rule is that satire of a culture from within that culture is acceptable, whereas satire from without isn’t, especially if the satirist is Western and the culture being satirized is non-Western. Here, while the satirists are Nigerian, it does not say whether they are Yoruba. Does that matter? Should it?

    I also find it interesting that agents of the Western cultural left (ex-Daily Show writer, Brooklyn NGO) are, in 2018, actively seeking to inflict a Western style of satire in an African country. The article mentions that such humor is appealing to “Western-oriented viewers,” but the promotion of other Western cultural styles and practices in African nations is roundly condemned as “colonialism,” “White Man’s Burden,” etc. Why not this one? My understanding is that the entire thrust of current left-liberalism-progressivism in the West is to actively discourage further orientation of Africans (and everyone else) toward Western thought, culture, habit, style, institutions, etc.

    In any case, I hope that these cultural ambassadors of modern Western satire promote the South Park model over the Daily Show model. The former is ecumenical in its targeting; the latter, pointedly, is not.

  • Marathon-Youth

    One often makes the mistake that what is modern is also western. By and large the Western world has defined what is modern but what is modern is not always western.
    “Modern” in the non Western world includes methods of living that work in the modern world and are not derived from the West

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