The irony in Mad [magazine] was a useful device to screen and protect oneself from a deadening mass culture. Now the deadening mass culture uses the weapons of satire and irony to immobilize us. We live inside the ironic spin room watching ourselves get shafted by our politicians, who use the same techniques once effective as a distancing device. They make us feel we are in on the joke, but in the end they are laughing at us. After all, Alfred E. Neuman has become president.

-- Art Spiegelman