Sunday, March 28, 2004

The Humor Divide 

Atrios continues to dig up dirt on The Institue For the Journalistic Advancement of the End Times, with special guest non-funny Roy Rivenburg, the only man with the guts and the determination to out Holocaust-survivors as frauds -- frankly, I'm beginning to doubt Michel Thomas ever served in the Texas Air National Guard at all.

Meanwhile, at Pandagon we get a seemingly unrelated exploration of non-funny James Lileks' war fetish.

What do these two have in common? They are "humor" columnists who happen to be crazy ultra-conservatives. Also, coincidentally, neither of them are very funny.

As a Minneapolitan, I had to put up with Lileks for far too long -- I don't think I've ever met a single person who actually reads him, except by accident. His column is a blatant rip-off of a long-running feature at the rival St. Paul Pioneer Press known as Bulletin Board, a kind of Metropolitan Diary with a dash of Prairie Home Companion to make it annoying and folksy. But Lileks' column takes away the Keillor-crap and adds in a whole lotta Lileks, whose attempts at Humor remind one of a Spambot attempting to emulate James Thurber (post-blindness), with the "conversational" style of a guy who didn't get called back to the auditions for Diner (probably beat out by Steve Gutenberg).

And Rivenburg, well, let's draw a little diagram:
Rivenburg ----frequent defender of---- Gov. Schwartzetc. -----frequent guest of----- unfunny hack Jay Leno.

Why aren't conservatives funny? Because all of their ideological leaders are pompous blowhards with bad haircuts? Because they're stupid?

Well, both of those things are true to an extent, but not all conservatives are stupid -- some of them are merely greedy or heartless. And those are not funny qualities. Humor is subversive and absurd. Conservatives are extremely versive and surd. It's that simple.

Not that all leftists are funny -- Marx, for example, was not very funny. Though his Louis Napolean crack ("first as tragedy, then as farce") was clever. But those who defend the status quo and believe in universal norms of Good and Evil and Right and Wrong are less funny than those who think that the people in charge are fools and bastards.

And, as I may have mentioned, they have very bad haircuts.

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