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February 10, 2007

the doug giles school of non-hilarity

This is a link sent to me by old Monk old buddy old pal.  He sent it to me because we are of the shared opinion that one of the traits that unites all "Conservatives" or "Right-Wingers" is their genetic incapability to be funny.  Or intentionally funny, at least.  Maybe you recall us posting about this, talking about how funny Bruce Tinsley's Mallard Fillmore isn't, or some thing like this.

This here is the link.  It is an essay by some fella named Doug Giles (or so he claims) on the subject of how Mr Giles' fellow conservatives need to be funnier, at least strategically, because of the millions of impressionable youth being indoctrinated into progressivism by comedians, who are naturally progressive, because they are funny.  In this passage, Mr Giles shares how easy it should be to be funny:

Why can’t conservatives get their comedic act together?  The liberals, on a 24/7 basis, are tossing us soft balls that we should be driving out of the park in a humorous, prime time, way.  It’s so easy it’s stupid.  All we have to do is just read the crap that the left does, out loud, and it’s hilarious.  We don’t even have to be that imaginative and try to develop quips, as they provide an endless supply of ammunition.  We couldn’t make up the stuff they do even if we wanted to—no one on the planet is that creative.

To begin, let's congratulate Mr Giles for bringing it with the Self-Fulfilling Hypothesis.  Not only does he bravely throw his hat on the chopping block with the premise that Conservatives have a little funny problem, he then goes the extra mile and demonstrates that in fact he himself, as a Conservative columnist, is indeed not funny.  The passage above is delivered in a whimsical, conservational tone, full of colorful idioms and metaphors -- almost in the vein of a comedian's monologue -- yet fails to elicit even a smirk or a Bushian snigger.

Perhaps what hampers Mr Giles' ability to bring humor and laughter into the world is his lack of rudimentary writing skills.  First, I wonder if Mr Giles has a firm idea of what "soft balls" are, and if he intends to invoke them in that context.  Second, I would suggest that that difference between an em dash and a hyphen is freely available in most English 101 classes, or, failing that, the Internets.  And finally, the over-usage of contractions reads less like a contribution to the public discourse and more like a letter to the editor written in crayon on a paper bag.

Unfortunately, his poor composition skills do not make him unfunny; they make him untalented.  What more clearly contributes to his fatal and tragic comic disability is his insistence that the flair for making funny be seated in the mocking and derision of those with whom he disagrees.  This is not what makes funny those liberals he lauds as funny.  The schticks of Chris Rock and John Stewart are not, "Oh, those crazy Conservatives!"  They are more astute observers of society, and they are not ideologically oriented.  Yes, they do target the administration and the acts of the administration -- this is because the administration has had unfettered power for some years, and they have relentlessly fucked things up.  The minority does not bring as many comic opportunities, purely for the reason that they have no power.  Mocking the powerless is an act of the mean-spirited, and such mocking does not rise to the public standard of "funny".

Unless, of course, you are Doug Giles.  Wasting breath on making fun of the gays, the feminists, the treehuggers, etc. does not make one amusing.  It makes one a bully.  And the call to attract people to your cause by uniting around the distaste for certain individuals is by no means a novel tactic.  It has been used by various governments and movements throughout history.  I would list them, but they're quite familiar, and I don't want to lower the conversation to that level.

We'll just stick with the level of, "Doug Giles, you are one dumb-assed unfunny guy."

Posted by mrbrent at 5:00 PM

FEMA -- thumb-twiddling disaster response

For perspective's sake, I will remind readers that the date of this post is February 10, 2007.  It's important to keep this in mind in light of the following:
• FEMA to aid victims of Christmas tornado in Florida

Because, you see, traditionally, February 10 occurs six or so weeks after Christmas.

You would've thought that the public villification of FEMA for losing an entire American city might have affected the FEMA response time as far as things like natural disasters, loss of life, etc. are concerned.  Well, affected it in the sense of reducing it.

But you have to remember -- the less good FEMA are, the more money they spend!  That's the Bush Administration difference.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:36 PM

February 9, 2007

shortsighted mainstream media

Front page headline on the front page of Allentown, PA's Morning Call:
With only 90 weeks to go, Clinton, Giuliani break from pack

Either some weisenheimer typesetter slipped a superfluous "only" in there, or the Morning Call has a sophisticated deadpan humor I was previously unaware of.  Or maybe someone forgot to insert the "freakin'" between "only" and "90"?

Although they, like everyone else, are missing the real story -- who are the presidential frontrunners for 2012?  And are they pro- or anti-Singularity?

Posted by mrbrent at 8:57 AM

February 8, 2007

they don't like iran out here, no

A question while I am in what-I-used-to-think-of as the newshole and now will modestly call a media blackout: if we were to invade Iran or bomb Iran or attack Iran from behind with a steel chair, would I hear about it?  Would they talk about it at the 7-11 in the region of Eastern PA in which I am staying?  Would the dude behind the counter tell me, when I'm picking up some turkey and some Lebanon bologna, "Hey, we are in the process of killing Iraq and letting God sort Iraq out?"

This is just hypothetical, but it's the kind of thoughts I have in the quiet moments.

That and, are one out of five Spider-Man storylines titled, "To Catch A Spider"?

Posted by mrbrent at 10:52 AM

February 6, 2007

rudy is truly america's mayor

Hello, you rest of America that is not encompassed by the five boroughs of New York City!  I heard that your mayor, or, America's mayor, is moments away from officially running for President.  You all must be happy, soon having the opportunity to vote America's mayor into America's President!

Also let me say how reassuring is your American concept of a mayor: a thin-skinned fascist whose greatest accomplishment (other than cynically profiting off of 9-11) is to stand around and squint menacingly at the camera.  I hope someday to learn what qualities you would look for in America's County Commissioner -- birth defect? learning disability?

You know, Americans, that it is these moments of your good judgment that makes us think that you are only nominally qualified to choose what to watch on TV every night, let alone vote.

(I know, big No Fair on my part -- delete "Americans" and insert "Fans of Rudy".  The remainder of you Americans, you're fun.  Let's get together.  Also, I forgot to mention that these "Americans" or "Friends of Rudy" are also most likely overweight and not very attractive.)

Posted by mrbrent at 10:08 AM