Per Tehanu’s comment, I’m gonna address the rest of Fleming’s list.
2. Comedy is about having an intellectual connection with your audience. A problem with the left is that they isolate themselves too far from average Americans to relate with them.
- Though liberals are a minority in this country, they are very good at putting themselves in a bubble
so they’re only ever around other leftists who reaffirm their views. That’s why they seem so surprised and upset when they encounter opinions held by the majority of Americans and why they were taken so off guard by how hugely unpopular things like Obamacare are. And it’s how they keep convincing themselves they’re hilarious — by only hanging around the few remaining people who think a “Sarah Palin is dumb” joke is edgy.
Gah. The projection here is so strong, I’m tempted to just leave the comment unmolested. OK, just one inappropriate tweak…
I don’t find Sarah Palin jokes particularly edgy, just funny, because they’re rooted in…wait for it…truth. Jesus Christ, the woman is a moron. We could quit making jokes about her tomorrow and she’d remain a moron.
I don’t think many politically astute liberals were caught off guard by the unpopularity of Obamacare. The American electorate is made up of people who are unengaged and just plain pig-ignorant. Credit where credit is due, the right’s campaign of demagoguery has had an effect. Although, it would be disingenuous of me to neglect to mention that the Dems did a pitifully inept job of selling it. God, they’re pathetic.
3. Comedy requires self-awareness. You’ve seen how the hippies at Occupy Wall Street seem so perplexed that people don’t take them and their “down twinkles” seriously? Well, comedy requires some ability to understand how others perceive you, and liberals are horrible at that. While most people see the left as silly nitwits, they just think everyone looks at them as these obvious geniuses. This is a big reason they have so much trouble coming up with jokes about President Obama. “How in the world are we supposed to make fun of an out-of-touch elitist who thinks he’s smarter than everyone and who has written multiple memoirs despite never having accomplished one useful thing in his entire life? It’s impossible!” Really, if you can’t make fun of Obama, you need to turn in your comedian badge right now. You can keep the gun.
This one confuses me a bit because I wasn’t aware the entirety of the OWS movement was made up of comedians. I’m pretty sure that had it been, they would have come up with better material than “down twinkles.” Assuming none of these comedians were Dane Cook. Also, I’d be willing to bet that plenty of liberals found the “down twinkles” kinda goofy. I did.
I don’t know if most people see the left as silly nitwits. I’m not even sure Fleming sees us as silly nitwits because he also says we’re out-of-touch elitists in the very same article. It’s hard to be out-of-touch elitists if everyone is laughing behind our backs. The “elite” label implies that we’re above everything. Being the butt of a secret joke would be at odds with that meme.
As for Obama being a font of joke material, I just don’t see it. The reason I don’t see it is not because because of some tribal sense of protectiveness, but because I simply find him boring. On the rare occasion I do hear a joke about Obama, it’s usually a riff on his perceived coolness. I guess a lot of liberals don’t find his lukewarm progressiveness or iffy record on civil liberties that funny.
An aside here, for the kind of people who find solace in Fleming’s “humor:” Going on and on and on about liberals thinking they’re SO SMART but are really just a bunch of dumb poo-poo heads reveals more about your insecurities that it does any imaginary chink in the liberal armor.
4. Can’t be an elitist. For comedy to work, the comedian has to have some amount of respect for the audience. But liberals look down on everyone who doesn’t subscribe to left-wing politics. Try going to a comedy club and yelling, “You’re all stupid idiot hillbillies! I’m much smarter than you! Shut up shut up shut up!” It probably won’t go over very well. Well, maybe with the right delivery.
This “point” may be the most baffling of them all. As I said before, most top comedians and comediennes are not overtly political, so this “elitism” charge is moot. And obviously the audiences who go to see Bill Maher and Janeane Garafalo know what they’re in for; in fact Bill’s and Janeane’s vociferous liberalism is the feature, not the bug, of their routines.
“You’re all stupid idiot hillbillies! I’m much smarter than you! Shut up shut up shut up!” It probably won’t go over very well.
I dunno…I think it goes over great.