Race to the Punch Line

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We are currently engaged in a culture-wide race to the conclusion of a reductio ad absurdum.

Think of it this way. Back in the Bill Clinton era, there were always stories of the “trail of bodies.” If you gave any credence to them at all, you were a nut, a conspiracy theorist, a true head case. One of the ways I knew that Hillary Clinton was finished is that the “trail of bodies” meme went from a strident outside case against them to a cynical inside joke. It no longer had to be believed — it just had to be believable.comey

In the first Clinton era, if you referred to it at all you would be shouted down angrily. In the second Clinton era, when James Comey suspended his second review of Hillary’s emails, the memes appeared instantly. “I discontinued searching her emails when I found my own suicide note.” And there was no high indignation.

What this does is tell you how much “juice” there is in a movement. When everybody gets the joke, you are in trouble.

We are in a similar place when it comes to radical Islam. The strictures of political correctness tell us that we must not generalize. Whenever we hear of a bombing, we must not assume that the bomber was named Mohammed. We must wait until the evening news to find out that his name is Mohamed. Another meme: “We must not jump to conclusions . . . aaaaaaand it’s Islam.” When everyone gets the joke, even if the joke is not considered in the best taste, the thing being mocked is in trouble.

In the old Soviet Union, a judge came out of his chambers, laughing so hard he was weeping. One of his colleagues asked what was happening. “I just heard the funniest joke I’ve ever heard,” he said, still laughing. “What was it?” his colleague asked. “I can’t tell you . . . I just gave someone 10 years for it.”

When this kind of subversive humor is widespread, the target regime is doomed. It doesn’t matter if the jokes are widespread and whispered, the regime is still doomed.

Let us modify the old saying—whom the gods would destroy, they first make ridiculous.

One of the hallmarks of being ridiculous in this way is the stark fact that you cannot imagine yourself as being the ridiculous one. All you see is that you’re up against Trump . . . and he is the butt of the SNL jokes. But I am not talking about who the court comedians make fun of. When the kept comics finally join in, the regime is more than doomed. It is Baghdad-Bob-doomed.

The radical jihadists are of course humorless. All they see is western culture supine and defenseless – their suicide bombers will go through us like a hot knife through butter. They see how stupid it is. What they don’t see is how many of us see how stupid it is.

When the tyranny has it all buttoned up, jokes are not simply forbidden. They are not possible. But once they become possible, and widespread, and very funny, the punch line is in sight. So notice the jokes, and mark the reactions. That is your barometer. As Orwell put it, and he should know, “Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie.”

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Qodesmith
Qodesmith
4 years ago

I’m sorry, what is this about exactly?

Rob Steele
Rob Steele
4 years ago
Reply to  Qodesmith

I think he means that we live in interesting times. Expect the left to blow up, maybe, or the right.

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  Rob Steele

Luke 12:1-7 below! ; – )

jigawatt
jigawatt
4 years ago
Reply to  Qodesmith

I’m sorry, what is this about exactly?

Obama’s the President, Donald Freaking Trump’s the President-Elect, and Doug’s still postmil.

timothy
timothy
4 years ago
Reply to  jigawatt

worse, much worse. God is using the the most ridiculous spectacle of a man since Samson to lead , and humble, His people.

What makes it funnier is the balloon animal contortionist knots the American evangelical must untie in his brain without popping–bang!–like a blindfolded illegal swinging at a Trump.pinata. “Dang!* I hit it, but all this winning came tumbling out”

*What’s wetback for “dang”?

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
4 years ago
Reply to  timothy

“Ihuela”?

Gary
Gary
4 years ago

And of course, the corollary: All comedy is ultimately tragedy.

Carson Spratt
4 years ago
Reply to  Gary

Only if you switch out the objects. Comedy for one side is tragedy for the receiving end.

JL
JL
4 years ago

I use my sister as a political barometer. She is your typical Southern Fox news Rush-head. When she said some months back, “Well, you know the media lies,” I knew it was over and Trump would win. There are many of us that were considered conspiracy theorists for years who didn’t talk about ‘things’ because we would be considered nutty. Now, what was conspiracy theory is conspiracy fact. Fascinating times. I praise God for the way He is bringing the darkness into the light now. A great time to be alive and witness His justice! “But God has chosen the… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

And Jesus said: Luke 12 12 Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops. 4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the… Read more »

JL
JL
4 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Amen!

Merry Christmas, “A” dad and all!

lloyd
4 years ago

I hope you’re right.

JL
JL
4 years ago

Jackie Mason must have read this column, and comments today:

https://goo.gl/A3RUQmz

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

Soon as you mention Jackie Mason, I hear the Aardvark from the “Ant and the Aardvark” cartoons.

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
4 years ago
Reply to  JL

… and BTW, your link don’t woik.

Frank_in_Spokane
Frank_in_Spokane
4 years ago

“Hey boy, God don’t think stuff’s funny.”

Evidently, Bill Engvall’s dad was wrong on that score.

40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
40 ACRES & A KARDASHIAN
4 years ago

What this does is tell you how much “juice” there is in a movement. When everybody gets the joke, you are in trouble. We are in a similar place when it comes to radical Islam. The strictures of political correctness tell us that we must not generalize. It’s not just “strictures of political correctness” telling us we must not generalize. It’s also you. You said it’s obnoxious and unworkable for America to generalize about foreign Muslims and refuse to let them immigrate here. Donald Trump has now proposed drastic measures to deal with the threat of domestic terrorism, of the… Read more »