Thursday, September 24, 2020

Review of "The Rip Off Mad," edited by Albert B. Feldstein

 Review of

The Rip Off Mad, edited by Albert B. Feldstein

Five out of five stars

Nobody does social parody better than Mad

 One of the long-term weaknesses of the humor that appears in Mad Magazine is that it becomes dated. Political humor that is extremely funny at the time is lost on most people reading it fifty years later. For example, biting humor about President Richard Nixon and Watergate is generally not understood by the modern reader. There is little to none of that in this book.

 It contains the usual Spy vs Spy segments and parody of the American social mores. Nearly all of that is timeless and just as relevant now as it was in the late sixties. My favorite was the section on phone harassment. Landlines are now largely a thing of the past; the mobile cell phone has replaced them. Yet, the annoying phone calls are just as persistent and frustrating as they were fifty years ago.

 American society has changed a great deal, but the interactive components have not. People still are people with emotions, petty annoyances and common ways of interacting with each other. For those reasons, this remains a solid book of humor.

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