The mockery-cracker is a Trojan horse of laughter that allows you to smuggle cheerful, empowering or revolutionary criticism against power deep into the most festive salons and up to the highest peaks of power. Take the sting out of power with laugh-out-loud quotes or self-written jokes – the choice is yours.
Laughter can be an expression of joy, it can function as a social lubricant – liberating and unifying – and it can be used as a weapon. By using ridicule as a technique of rule, powerful people can attack from above; while quips and other satirical expressions are ammunition for a laugh that strikes from below. By mockery we mean in this context all forms of humorous criticism; be it jokes, forged poems, presentation of involuntarily comic quotes, etc.
In recent times, the powers that be have begun to embrace satire to take the sting out of it. Popular politicians pre-empt criticism by being self-deprecating – a tactic that is both disarming and diverting. This tendency must come to an end as soon as possible, otherwise the satire loses its sting, and an important weapon ends up in the hands of the enemy.
The mockery-cracker is confusingly similar to a regular cookie-cracker which is expected to contain a harmless and lighthearted cookie joke. With The mockery-cracker, you can get close to power without its representatives understanding what is going on. Thus, one is free to carry out a cheerful and satirical surprise. The opponent does not even manage to resort to his usual self-deprecating counter move.
The mockery-crackers can also form the framework for a demonstration in the public space, where they are distributed on a larger scale and form the basis for an epidemic of overwhelming laughter. Read more about power-overturning laughter in the section of Sitting mat for sit-down actions.
A paper hat and a quote from secretary general of NATO and former prime minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg:
Jens Stoltenberg at the LO Stat (trade union) conference in 2008: «I don’t know what NPM is, but if you’re against it, I’m sure I am too.»
Six years earlier, Stoltenberg had introduced one of welfare’s biggest reforms: hospitals as health enterprises. A reform carried out at record speed and without prior investigation, and which bore all the hallmarks of New Public Management.
A completely ordinary cookie-cracker can easily be turned into a Mockery-cracker: Carefully open it and pry the contents out. Replace the wreath-cake-joke with your own piece of paper and reassemble the cracker. The mockery-cracker can either be stealthily placed among other crackers on a wreath cake in a festive party, or you can take a more targeted approach and challenge a person in power to pop the cracker, put the coloured paper crown on their head and read the joke.
A suitable text for The mockery-cracker that is used against neoliberal persons with great power could be the following:
Cosmic being 1: What actually happened to the rowdy ape species Homo Sapiens on Earth? How did they manage to eradicate themselves?
Cosmic Being 2: They invented neoliberalism.
Examples of other texts that can be used in The mockery-crackers:
Ronald Reagan: «Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let’s not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources.»
Margaret Thatcher: «There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty.»
Friedrich August von Hayek: «I am certain, however, that nothing has done so much to destroy the juridical safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice.»
Milton Friedman: «The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.»
Ayn Rand: «Those who advocate public scholarships have no right to them; those who oppose them have.»
Tony Blair: «I can only go one way. I’ve not got a reverse gear.»