Last night, I watched the 1973 film The Wicker Man. Basically, it is about a Christian policeman who (a) tries to prevent murder in and (b) tries to suppress paganism in a Scottish island community. It was a bit perplexing from a contemporary standpoint. Most of my friends would agree that the state has a critical role to play in deciding what children should be taught and the legitimate terms under which lives can be ended. At the same time, most of them would likely consider paganism less objectionable than Christianity, if one was forced to choose a religion.
As such, the film felt oddly disconnected from time, like a satire from a place and era you do not understand. From my current perspective, it was almost at the precise balance point between mocking the pagans and mocking the Christians. Neither had any claim to empirical validation of their belief structure.
It is enough to make one wonder about how today’s satire will be viewed in 25 years. Will people find themselves uncertain about whether The Daily Show was mocking or praising the Bush administration?