Piggybacking on Thers’ post here, I just wanted to touch on this subject because it’s one that’s always fascinated me.
Firstly, I just want to throw out the fact that I know of few overtly political comedians. The only ones I can think of off the top of my head are Janeane Garafalo and Bill Maher. Ricky Gervais does some stuff on religion, but I don’t recall his act being ultra-political. That being said, the topic of bad airline food is a deeply divisive one. I understand this; emotions run deep.
The interesting thing about the guy’s list is that he makes a lot of the same points I would, only he gets everything wrong in expounding on them. In other words, it’s projection all the way down.
1. Comedy requires detachment and the ability to be self-effacing.
True. And if he’d ever watched any sitcom ever about or starring liberal-leaning folks, he’d know that self-effacing humor is pretty much 1000% of what those shows are comprised of. On Will and Grace–THE GAY SHOW–every character is neurotic, petty, shallow and vain. On New Adventures of Old Christine, Christine is a divorced, dysfunctional, quivering mass of goofy neurosis. For god’s sake, the reason 30 Rock is so funny is because Liz–THE LIBERAL FEMINIST–is a complete doof who often fails to live up to her own bumper sticker liberal ideals. Jack, the–conveniently charming and likable–conservative is always proven to be right. In, like, every show. If that’s not a bunch of liberal, Jewy writers poking near-constant fun at themselves, I don’t know what is.
Liberals laugh at themselves ALL. THE. TIME. Fer instance, take the sketch on Portlandia about the humorless, oh-so-feminist book store owners. I find it pretty funny. I like it because it’s unabashedly silly. Hell, one of my favorite things to blurt out for humorous effect is “I BLAME THE PATRIARCHY!” Well, here’s the thing: I really do blame the patriarchy for a lot of stuff, but there’s something cathartic about poking gentle fun at feminist conventions, and sometimes I just enjoy laughing at myself, especially since I am fairly new to any sort of “structural” feminism.
5. The Truth.
Exactly. Good comedy has to be about truth. One of the reasons Louis C.K. is so incredibly funny is because every painful, cringe-worthy detail he shares about his life is relatable. If we haven’t had exact duplicates of his experiences, we’ve had experiences that evoked the same pain. And pain takes us a down an interesting road, because I think pain is necessarily rooted in truth.
I know it’s controversial, but it’s dead horse I beat again and again, because I deep down suspect it to to be true… At least one study–which I don’t feel like citing right now–claims that conservatives are happier than liberals. Whenever I bring this up, I always get (respectful) pushback, but it makes eminent sense to me. To know truth is to know pain. The world is an ugly place, filled with ugly people and ugly things.
Here’s where I pull some anecdotal shit out of my ass: almost every liberal I know is a fucking wreck. You want issues? We’ve got more issues than a New York newsstand. Hey, it’s hard to live in a world filled with violence and goatse and morons. I’d much rather live in some pastoral fairyland, where everything’s green and gorgeous, and the sparkleponies frolic and burp minty rainbows. With some variation, this is the world wingnuts live in. (Only in Wingnut Fairyland, they are constantly defending the fairyland from the Gay/Feminist/Black/Muslim Pegasus of Doom.) They simply have no conception of what life is really like, of what’s going on outside their gated communities. And since some wingnuts are dirt poor, I mean “gated communities” in both a literal and figurative sense. Shit, I want to live in a fairyland too, where the sky is orange and everyone gets a free state-mandated Hello Kitty vibrator, but alas I am stuck with my blue-skied reality. And reality is often profoundly depressing.
I think most of the time comics do what they do because they’re combating depression. You have to laugh to keep from crying.
I know this is one of those *things* that gets to conservatives, because it’s yet another indication that in the pop culture wars, it’s not just that they’ve lost, it’s that their barrel of duck vaginas has been violated.
Buck up, wingnuts. Sure we’ve got Louis C.K. and Janeane Garafalo and Ellen Degeneres and George Carlin and Richard Pryor and Bill Hicks and Laura Kightlinger and David Cross…but look at it this way- You have these guys: