Fang Talks

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10 03 17

The Counterparty

Or, how to do political parody the right way.

Way back in the early 80’s, Dutch comedy television was hitting their stronger years. And as effective comedy should, it poked fun at the things people were dissatisfied with. As it happened (really, when does it not) this was politics. A fictive political party, the “Counterparty”, held ridiculous standpoints and wasn’t afraid to violently poke and prod at the populist parties of the time. They identified themselves as “free guys” and promoted their party as the one for “all Dutchmen who can’t stand the Netherlands anymore”.

Soon, the lines between fiction and reality blurred. They got a half-joke question seriously discussed in parliament, and their popularity grew to unexpected heights. Had they actively participated in elections, they likely would’ve earned a fair few seats.

In a hilarious turn of events, one of the nationalist parties at the time adopted some of the Counterparty’s slogans and standpoints, and published compliments to the minds behind the parody party in their own hand-out magazine. The Counterparty may still have been fictional, but it had grown bigger than just comedy.

A few days before the elections, the two characters that started it all staged their own deaths and made off to South America. People wanted them to get into politics for real, people wanted to kill them for real. They left their mark on their times, and showed that bringing the normal (fictional, exaggerated) man into politics was what people wanted.

And also that it wouldn’t change anything about the shitshow of it all.
~ Fang

Comments

  • 13/03/2017 (1:03 PM)

    We have a similar party over here called the Monster Raving Loony Party. Their job is to basically be complete idiots (as the name suggests) and, much like your own Counterparty, there are times when they seem to be getting legitimate interest and people are taking them seriously. I suppose the difference is that yours was never meant to be real. The Counterparty are very much the Spinal Tap of politics.

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