All About That Base
Back for another week of topical news, Patriot Act returns with a shorter, but no less effective, episode exploring the violence in Sudan. The capital Khartoum has seen a seismic shift in political power lately as the decades-long dictatorship is on the brink of being toppled. Through Hasan Minhaj’s usual mix of dark comedy and well-written jokes, we learn more about the nation, it’s history and all the ongoing drama.
Having only been established back in 1956, for 30 of those years Sudan has been led under a dictatorship at the hands of Omar Al-Bashir. After a funny joke involving orchestral scores under the news, we learn about his reign and the military government who overthrew him to act as a transitional government for a democracy to appear in the nation. Unfortunately, Hemedti is a military dictator whose partnership with Saudi Arabia threatens this completely.
It’s a dire situation and in the midst of peaceful protests, the secret police opened fire on protestors leaving destruction and chaos in their wake. In an age of political jokes, memes and ridicule toward some of the world’s leaders, we sometimes take it for granted just how difficult and brutal living in these countries really is.
When it comes to female empowerment though, seeing a lot of women and girls marching for democracy and women’s rights in this country really goes to show just how progressive our world is becoming in the fight for equality. After learning about the Kartoum Process, Hasan leaves us with a sobering message and things still looking bleak for the Sudanese.
The shorter length of 20 minutes for Patriot Act is something I wish more episodes adopted. Rather than adding 2 different stories in one week or dragging out the length to 30 minutes, this shorter run-time helps make the jokes feel tighter, the message more immediate and the short, snappy news update more powerful. Patriot Act delivers another very well written episode here, one of my favourites in the entire 3 Volumes, and one that points a very big spotlight on a Sudanese crisis that doesn’t look like it’ll be resolved any time soon.