February 26, 2010

Do liberals pretend to be deaf to Rush Limbaugh's sense of humor?

I have to respond to this post over at Language Log, because they are talking about me. Mark Liberman can't understand my post — "Disingenuous or stupid, Hendrik Hertzberg calls Rush Limbaugh a disgusting race-baiter" — which is about how Hertzberg misses — or pretends to miss — the humor in something Limbaugh said. Liberman's failure to get me replicates Hertzberg's failure to get Limbaugh.


Rush played a clip of Obama pronouncing the word "ask" "ax" and made a joking reference to the recently revealed embarrassing statement by Harry Reid, that Obama could win the election because he's "light-skinned" and speaks "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one." Obama's use of "ax" was in all probability a mere slip, but to anyone who remembered the Reid statement and who also enjoys exposure of the Democrats' exploitation of race, it was very funny to imagine that Obama made a deliberate choice to affect what Reid called a "Negro dialect."

It was satire.

Now, I'm not saying it was the funniest comic riff in the world. And I'm sure it disturbs those who want to be super-polite about race and, even more, those who — like Hertzberg — want to characterize the Democrats as the good guys about race and people like Rush as the bad guys. Hertzberg therefore recounted the incident leaving out the reference to Harry Reid's remark, so that the humor was hard to see and it looked more like mean-spirited race-baiting. That was totally underhanded and dishonest — unless, as I said, Hertzberg was too dumb to get it. Remember, Hertzberg took the strong position — in The New Yorker — that Rush is nothing but a big hateful racist. So the issue wasn't whether the joke was excellent. The issue is what Rush's statement means about whether he really is a terrible racist. I think my post makes it clear that he is not, and Hertzberg is either stupid or dishonest.

Liberman comes to Hertzberg's defense by calling my post "bizarre," but Liberman only quotes a small bit of what I said, and he leaves out the whole substance of my point. (Did he really not get it or did he omit the context to support his representation of it as "bizarre"?) Liberman doesn't let his readers see how Reid's remark was the basis for understanding why it was funny (or supposed to be funny) to point out that Obama said "ax."

Instead, Liberman tries to make a point by quoting a Pandagon blogger who insulted me long ago, as if that was as relevant to the discussion as Rush's reference to Harry Reid. But it's not. It's just an insult of me, which of course, repeated for no ostensible reason, would be correctly interpreted as a way to insult me and be able to try — lamely — to deny it. Liberman is right about his quoting Pandagon, but the analogy to Rush and Reid is inapt. Liberman says:
You can't defend a false characterization of someone's motivations or actions by noting that the attack was a paraphrase of a third party's remarks, especially if your reference is completely out of context.
Remember, the issue is whether it is fair to characterize Limbaugh as a racist and whether leaving out the reference to Reid dishonestly skews readers to interpret the remark as racist. To understand Limbaugh as a satirist of Democrats, rather than someone who hates (or even disrespects) black people, you need to know that he's riffing on something the Democrat Reid said about the way his Party could exploit its black candidate. (Reid was assuming that white voters are racist, but that a black candidate could succeed if he looked and spoke less like some black stereotype Reid expected those who heard his statement to share.) Thus, what was "completely out of context" was Hertzberg's presentation of Rush's remark without the material that allowed us to see it as a critique of the Democratic Party's racial strategies.

The issue is not whether Rush made "a false characterization of [Obama]'s motivation" for saying "ax." That was all a comic riff that you can think is funny or not. So, we don't really know why Obama said "ax," but Rush didn't make a "false characterization" of why Obama said it. We don't really know why Obama said it. I assume it was a simple mistake, and I bet Rush does too. But it was satire to invite us to imagine that this was Obama doing that thing Reid said he could do. Again, you may think it was poor satire, but the issue is whether it is fair to characterize Limbaugh as a racist, and the answer is no.

Liberman needs to take another look at all this and concentrate on what matters. Not why did Obama say "ax," but: Was it fair for Hertzberg to call Limbaugh a racist?

172 comments:

AlphaLiberal said...

He's just not very funny. Conservatives do not do humor well. See: Mallard Fillmore or the News Half Hour or whatever that aborted "comedy" show was on Fox.

Like when he was making fun of Chelsea Clinton when she was a teen and calling ugly.

Really, Ann, I don't see why you lavish so much attention on him. He does not merit it.

I mostly only notice him when I visit your site!

AlphaLiberal said...

Trying to be fair, here is some Lush Windbag humor.

TML said...

If it won't fit on a bumper sticker, then it's too hard for liberals to think about. They thrive on vapid one liners. Or, as demonstrated yesterday, weepy anecdotes about creepy Francis Dolarhyde-like denture re-use, ostensibly due to cruel GOP resistance to national health care.

Roger J. said...

"Conservatives do not do humor well..."

I think several conservative political cartoonists have done quite well.. One died tragically several years ago, but Michael Ramirez, IBD, inject humor into his cartoons--as compared, say to the excreable Gary Trudeau--or the terrible Herblock.

And tell me alpha: is "Lush Windbag" the liberal idea of humor?

miller said...

I admire your courage, but have to wonder at your stamina to continue to say the same things over and over again when liberals simply will not hear you because their minds are already made up. They just snip the words you say until it matches their narrative.

AllenS said...

That's some pretty weak shit, AL.

TMink said...

Liberals have a sense of humour?

Who knew!

Liberals have sense?

Oh, this is where the whole humour thing comes in! Very funny!

Trey

rick said...

AL....please cite exact quote of Rush calling Chelsea "ugly". Been listening to Rush for 20 years now - never heard it.

You have fallen into the same trap as the other Beta Liberals. "I heard somewhere that Rush said........"

Or better yet...take one sentence out of a 5 minute commentary.

master cylinder said...

Kinda like y'all don't think Al Franken is funny.

AprilApple said...

I doubt Rush is a racist, but I do agree he's not always funny when he attempts racial humor.

Now, it could be that I'm hyper-conditioned to wince over non-PC racial humor. (I blame our humorless tight-pantied proggies for that)

I find Rush funny when he's covering other topics. The other day I caught a few minutes in the car and he was poking fun at young-ish guys who watch ESPN. ...They have pimples and they can't get dates. It didn't sound planned, but the way he said it made me chuckle.

btw - Doesn't Rush have millions of listeners? Now that's funny! heh.

Roger J. said...

Master Cylinder does hit on the fundamental truth--who we think is funny depends on our political orientation. Like most other things involving what are fundamentally political judgments.

Triangle Man said...

I don't think they doubt he is trying to be funny. Olberman calls Rush "the commedian" after all. They may just not find the topic worthy of humor. Maybe it's his delivery? Reading the transcripts isn't going to be as funny as actually listening.

AprilApple said...

Harry Reid got a total pass for his comments. Which is more a liberal thing than a racial thing. I doubt Harry Reid is a racist. So then, Rush has every right to mock the situation. It's funny.

Ax? Ax? Come on!

Well, remember the rules: When lefties go over the line, it's "satire!" When righties push the envelope, they are mean racist jerks!

rhhardin said...

I'd say it's a linguist looking under the lamp where there's light.

The point is the looking: see, this is what lamps are for.

Paul Zrimsek said...

DeltaMinusLiberal does humor superbly. Just not on purpose.

Pogo said...

I think Althouse is missing the point here.

The left is not disingenuous or stupid, and they are not "failing to get" Limbaugh or her.

It's an Alinsky tactic, pure and simple. The intent is to ostracize. It cannot be said often enough:
'Tactic 13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.'.

They have been yet unable to do to Rush what they did to Imus.

Whittaker Chamber's Witness described well his ostracism by the American left when he exposed Alger Hiss as a Communist spy working within FDR's and Trumans' inner circle.

They are less successful now that ink is nearly free.

Larry J said...

Liberal humor pretty well peaked with Dan Quayle potato(e) jokes.

Jason said...

Man up, Alpha Libtard. Post or link to the full transcript where Rush called Chelsea "ugly."

Your fingertips are writing checks your fund of information can't cash.

Bring it, bitch.

Leland said...

Kinda like y'all don't think Al Franken is funny.

I thought Handey was funny. But his recent work... well, lets look at how he did in a free market: Air America is bankrupt.

Now if Franken was funny to liberals, one would think liberals would quit listening to Limbaugh and tune into Franken. After all, Liberals claim to have a sense of humor and deplore anger and hate. So if Limbaugh is anger and hate, and Franken is funny, why do I always see articles written by liberals about Limbaugh?

rhhardin said...

I think satire is the wrong name.

The right name is deadpan.

Pogo said...

left and right can both be funny when avoiding politics. Then it's all inside baseball.

Janeane Garofalo was a riot until she found the religion of leftism.

Political humor is most often an oxymoron. Most efforts get a Heh at best.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I can prove that Limbaugh was making a racist attack on Obama, provided you let me start from the assumption that Limbaugh was making a racist attack on Obama.

Fred4Pres said...

Just kidding!

rick said...

My all time favorite Rush jab at Libs was the " Barack the magic Negro" parody.

As planned, the Libs went into orbit...not knowing the phrase was initiated by a black columnist from LA.

AprilApple said...

From Fred's link:

"You're damn right, Dick Cheney's heart's a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him."

-Ed Schultz, left-wing sweetness

Ann Althouse said...

@Alpha My post is crushingly clear that my point doesn't depend on whether the joke was actually funny.

Anyway, jokes are funnier when they attack a target you enjoy seeing attacked, so a liberal saying libs are funnier than conservatives isn't really saying anything that matters. But I do think people in showbiz are under a lot of pressure to hew to liberal values, so that tends to cause the most talented comics to make liberal-sounding jokes.

And, anyway, Rush talks for 15 hours a week. It's not all good and it's not all funny, but an amazing amount of it is. So all in all, he's brilliant.

And I pay attention to it because it's hugely popular. It's what a lot of ordinary people listen to and are influenced by. It therefore needs to be understood and explained fairly. These cheap shots, like Hertzberg's, deserve an answer. I make it my business to provide that answer.

And I have criticized Rush too. Click on my tag to see where.

From Inwood said...

I’ve got it!

The Hertzberg certainty principle:

"The more precisely Rush’s snippet, regardless of context, criticizes The Anointed One, the less precisely Rush Limbaugh can disclaim that it is racist.”

mvl said...

PJ O'Rourke is quite funny, and quite conservative.

Mr. Mike was, I suspect, conservative, and was extremely funny.

I bet Kevin James is conservative.

There used to be some funny conservatives on SNL, that knew how to prick the liberal bubble, not exactly sure who that was.

Margaret Cho is not funny and the exponent of liberal humor. Ellen Degeneres is really not funny at all, and is another exponent of liberal humor.

Liberals get the air time nowadays, they are the only ones allowed on TV.

Maguro said...

Is AlphaLiberal confusing Rush Limbaugh with John McCain? Now, that's funny.

rick said...

Al Franken, comedian....very funny

Al Franken, senator.....certified buffoon

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Kinda like y'all don't think Al Franken is funny.

Even, years ago in my youth, when I was more liberal leaning.....I NEVER thought Al Franken was funny. Ever.

He gives me the creeps. Sweaty palmed greaseball...mean and nasty....probably tortured his family cat as a child.

The reason that liberals don't get Rush's humor is that you have to listen for more than 15 seconds, connect the statements to previous statements and actually have a frame of reference. It is like listening to Dennis Miller.....if you don't have an education and some cultural references, you just are not going to get the jokes.

Woooosh.....over their heads.

Triangle Man said...

Man up, Alpha Libtard. Post or link to the full transcript where Rush called Chelsea "ugly."

Is there a complete unedited archive of his transcripts somewhere? I tried tracking down the veracity of the "whitehouse dog" episode from his TV show, but came up blank. Lot's of supposed clips from transcripts, but nothing proving the case one way or another.

From Inwood said...

Prof A @9:02

Sigh, you have to re-explain your presentation to humorless liberals.

BTW, I think that AL's "Lush Windbag" is funny, though, like you, I think that Rush is not a windbag (not to mention the scatological "bag" references).

And, along the lines of Leland's comments, Al Franken was usually quite funny as Stuart Smiley.

Gotta be ecumenical in viewing satire, wit, humor, irony, sarcasm.

And, Pogo's point is well taken about "Heh" rather than belly laughs re political humor.

Jason @8:44:

Gonna use your line!

Peano said...

Kinda like y'all don't think Al Franken is funny.

Al Franken in Congress. Now that's funny.

AllenS said...

Ok, ok, I'm going to say something like really, really totally funny.

Rush Limpballs.

Huh? Huh? How funny is that?

Jason said...

Let's go, Alpha Libtard! Let's see the goods! I'm calling you on your BS! You got NUTHIN!!!!!!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Rush Limpballs.

Huh? Huh? How funny is that?


[in my best Bevis and Butthead voice]

heh heh heh....he said balls.


Liberal humor

rick said...

Speaking of buffoons and Minnesooooota.....does the name Jesse "the body" Ventura, Governor ring a bell?

What's in the water up there?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Lefties = Charlie Brown
Limbaugh = Lucy
His humour = Football

Every. Single. Time.

Amazing. And very funny in itself.

Scott M said...

Alpha, once again, you cast a wide swing and end up hitting nothing.

Berkley Brethed of Bloom County fame is one of the best satirists of the last 30 years. His humor was decidedly right of center and, in fact, he went out of his way here and there to remind us of the fact. Bloom County was one the best-written and best-drawn strips for years. Humor indeed.

A more contemporary example is South Park, another right of center exercise in how wrong you are. Please explain to me how Matt and Trey "don't do comedy well". I'm dying to see you air that one out.

What's really eating you is that your meme's are dying and you on the left have absolutely no idea what to do about it. I'll grant you the stuff old white guy afraid of change stuck to conservatives in the past, but it just ain't gonna work. As the right gets past being a slave to the extreme right social agendas, you guys will find yourself in deep shit indeed.

Jason said...

Cue the theme music from Jeopardy!

C'mon Alpha! Where's that link? Let's see it!

AllenS said...

Democrats come up with some pretty good jokes, sometimes. Did you hear the one about the farmer in Iowa that health care cost issues? How about the NY woman who was wearing her sister's dentures?

master cylinder said...

wow Scott, show me where you have been freed from the tyranny of the extreme right- are you disavowing Limbaugh?

rick said...

MC

Rush isn't extreme right. Rush is right.

Scott M said...

"Know thine enemy" is the quote, I believe, just to be a bit snarky. You need to brush up on Xer and Mellenial conservatives if you think we're still beholden, at all, to the evangelical right. The Tea Party movement (now being exported to BRITAIN, if you can believe that, lol) is a great example of this. Sure there's some old people included, but all old people aren't right-wing evangelicals. And, for that matter, not all right-wing evangelicals are complete loons just as all left-wing environmentalists aren't complete wackos.

To your question though, a very recent example is the reception the idiot anti-gay guy got at CPAC. There are plenty of others, but I suspect you know that.

Scott M said...

Oh, and by the way, Margaret Cho is one of the fastest women in the world when it comes to running away from entertainment. I wholeheartedly disagree about Ellen DeGeneres. She's genuinely a funny person. Very quick too.

Pogo said...

Ellen DeGeneres' stand-up was hilarious. Like Steven Wright, but a bit less weird.

AllenS said...

Here's another example of Democrat funny talk:

C-SPAN’s cameras picked up audio of Biden chatting casually with participants.

“It’s easy being vice president — you don’t have to do anything.”
Whomever Biden was chatting with said, “It’s like being the grandpa and not the parent.”
“Yeah, that’s it!” replied Biden.
Biden’s spokesperson later insisted to Politico that the Veep was “obviously joking,"

It just doesn't get much funnier than that, does it?

John said...

Alpha,

If you want to know the state of liberal satire contrast the current Doonsberry with South Park. Gary Trudeau sounds today a whole lot like Walt Kelly did in the late 1960s; angry, a bit bitter, and someone who just can't comprehend the changes that have happened over his lifetime. Is there more out of touch and stale political satire than what goes on in Doonsberry? South Park in contrast is absolutely cutting edge and what Doonesberry was in the early 1970s.

Liberals are not hip anymore. They haven't had a new idea in 40 years. They are dominated by a generation that is older now than the World War II generation was in the 1960s. T

TheGiantPeach said...

Hertzberg has a bit of a track record at being obtuse when it comes to getting the joke.

He once had a post about the "Benny Lava" video by Buffalaxed. It's an Indian music video with subtitles, where the subtitles represent what the song lyrics sound like if you assume they are English words (which, of course, they aren't). It's hilarious

And Hertzberg missed the point... completely missed it even though it wasn't exactly subtle. He went on this rant complaining about the quality of the translation. Even though he didn't speak Hindi, he could tell it was a terrible translation (this turned out to be an unintentionally funny remark as well, since the song was in Tamil).

So, it's quite possible that Hertzberg isn't just pretending to be deaf to Limbaugh's sense of humor.

Jason said...

Alpha, if you can't substantiate the lie, you should at least tell us what ignorant, lazy-assed, lying, slandering, libeling libtard sources and commentators you got the lie from.

If you hold truth to have any value whatsoever, you should be very angry at those people. I would be.

Who lied to you, Alpha?

Jason said...

Alpha. They deceived you. You trusted their research and integrity and now they made you look like an idiot.

You should be very angry indeed.

Just give us the names and call them out here for the liars they are. We understand, and love you.

Just give us the names.

Scott M said...

Shrek: What you're doing is the opposite of helping.

Kensington said...

For what it's worth, I found this admirably fair-seeming attempt to suss out the truth about Rush's much-ballyhooed "smear" of Chelsea Clinton.

It's still not definitively sourced, but it's better sourced and explored than any other account of the matter that I've ever seen.

If this article gets it right, the truth is somewhat less incendiary than the Left has been saying, and, in my assessment, there's still a teeny-tiny possibility that the entire incident was benign and unintended in the first place.

From Inwood said...

See

Rush Limbaugh is an antibody, not a toxin

http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2010/02/rush-limbaugh-is-antibody-not-toxin.html

Daniel said...

If it's not funny, it's offensive.

Ever notice, Ann, that when Limbaugh says something other people find offensive, you rush to his defense by claiming satire, yet when he says something YOU find offensive, the satire all of a sudden doesn't matter?

Double standard.

Shanna said...

He's just not very funny. Conservatives do not do humor well.

As opposed to the excellence of endless references of Bush=Chimp? Oh, and sex references? Yeah, liberals are a laugh a minute. *eyeroll*

Triangle Man said...

I don't think Rush ever called Chelsea ugly. From Usenet posts (e.g. 1, 2, 3) at the time, I think she was compared to a dog on his TV show in November 1992. Rush said it was a technical error and apologized at the time. Others wondered why, since it is a taped show, the incident was allowed to go to broadcast if it was a mistake. It could have truly been an error, or a tasteless joke with plausible deniability.

Henry said...

I don't think Limbaugh is a racist, and have zero patience with the offended squeaks of the liberal opinionists chasing after him with their tiny swords.

I do think he has drained all the humor and edge out of his liberal-reverse-racism theme. At some point, I wonder what skip in his mind bounces him back to it. His snark on the Haiti earthquake, for example, was completely bizarre.

If he isn't a racist, he is a racialist. He's wiling to exploit race as material for his show, if nothing else.

The Reid comment was probably worth some satire, but not that much. The material is played out. He needs to get a new hobby horse.

Shanna said...

Ellen DeGeneres' stand-up was hilarious.

Totally, I remember watching some of it when comedy central used to play it. It was very deadpan. Her show was not so great, though.

Triangle Man said...

I may have mentioned it before, but here in the land of bumper sticker protest, the funniest one I have seen is:
"Bumper Stickers Are Not the Answer"

Kirby Olson said...

Shrinking ambiguity is a left tactic. It may well derive from Alinsky.

It's a short term tactic, though, which in the long run destroys the credibility of the people who do it.

The left has lost its credibility.

Obama has completely squandered his credibility. Yesterday's show trial of stealthcare reveals him again at his tactics. He still has not allowed an iota of Republican discussion of what's in the package, only whether or not they are going to let it be rammed down the public's throat.


Open wide!

former law student said...

"Do liberals pretend to be deaf to Rush Limbaugh's sense of humor?"

Does Rush Limbaugh have a sense of humor? I never could listen to him long enough to find out. And I doubt listening to him longer would make me appreciate his genius. (Me: The milk tastes sour. You: No, it's not sour, it's good! You really need to drink the whole glass, then you'll see. Me: Uhh... Thanks but no thanks.)

But from reading the professor's post on Hertzberg I can see Limbaugh's sense of humor: he finds the same things funny that a mocking high school sophomore would.

AllenS said...

fls, do you have a sense of humor? If so, tell a joke that you think is funny, or tell us someone who you like to listen to, that's funny.

former law student said...

why do I always see articles written by liberals about Limbaugh?

Limbaugh is an opinion leader for millions of Americans. If Limbaugh started wearing plaid Bermuda shorts and flipflops, millions of American men would start wearing plaid Bermuda shorts and flipflops.

And then, and only then, will Althouse understand why liberals have a problem with Limbaugh.

former law student said...

Allen S:

Jay Leno. I always get a chuckle out of Jay Leno.

Michael said...

There is nothing more sophomoric than "wingnut," "Lush Windbag," "bushitler," "chimpy," or all the other laugh triggers the left finds so clever and invigorating. It is remarkable, really, to read these words and realize that grown men and women wrote them thinking they might offend or demean. Revealing.

AF said...

Ah, the "it was just a racist joke" defense.

former law student said...

all the other laugh triggers the left finds so clever and invigorating.

Reading "Doughy Pantload" makes me laugh, not because I have any animus for Jonah Goldberg, but because "Doughy Pantload" just sounds funny to me.

Henry said...

And then, and only then, will Althouse understand why liberals have a problem with Limbaugh.

Funny! Though I think your premise is wrong. Folks like Limbaugh -- or the New York Times Opinion writers -- don't change anyone's minds. They are popular because they verbalize what a bunch of people already think.

Limbaugh's critics are playing to their own crowd. Apparently some people like scolds. But more people like pugnacious boors.

AllenS said...

Jay Leno. I always get a chuckle out of Jay Leno

Me too. Jaywalking and the Battle of the All Stars are great.

Jason said...

Alpha's continued silence on this thread. Now THAT'S funny!!!!!

edutcher said...

Lefties have trouble being funny because they're so busy being "outraged" over whatever oppression of the people (whom they also despise) they're supposed to oppose once they get their marching orders and talking points from Puffington or Kos. Franken was amusing doing "the decade of me, Al Franken" back in the 80s. Like Alpha, the humor pretty much went when he started being "outraged" over everything.

Pogo is correct when he says that the Lefty idea of what's funny is based on the Gospel According to Uncle Saul. He's also right about Janeane Garofalo; as for DeGeneres, I always found her rather lame, but I'll take his word on her stand-up act, as some people don't translate well to TV.

The upshot is that the Lefties' idea of clever anymore is Chimpy McHalliburton Bushitler. Rush is a lot more droll - and effective - which is what really drives them up the wall. When he did a parody of Little Old Lady from Pasadena on Hillary (She's the Little First Lady with Megalomania), it was a scream. I haven't heard anybody on the Left that funny since David Frye.

WV "chumalli" A pal with a lot of diarrhea.

Big Mike said...

First of all, the kind of post I hate most is where the blogger more or less says "here's what so-and-so wrote about me in their blog and here's why they're FOS." It reminds me of the quarrels between my parents when I was young, and how each tried to explain themselves and win me over to their side. A plague on both your houses. Well, okay, not yours.

But still.

I mean, you're writing about a liberal, for pity's sake. I wouldn't trust a liberal to tell me the time of day if I could see the clock he was looking at.

But, as regards liberals and humor, in my experience liberals have this quaint and curious notion that certain subjects are off-limits, so that any attempt to crack a joke at the expense of one of their holy cows must ipso facto be racist, or sexist, or otherwise despicable. Therefore as far as they're concerned, Rush Limbaugh must be racist because he's making fun of an African-American. Not only that, he's making fun of the African-American. The one whose election caused the oceans to stop rising or something like that.

That's how liberals are, that's how they'll always be. There's no point wasting brain cells on them.

former law student said...

Again, you may think it was poor satire, but the issue is whether it is fair to characterize Limbaugh as a racist, and the answer is no.


With Reid's quoted statement as a hook, Limbaugh went into a prolonged riff on a stigmatizing characteristic of black people's speech.

I remember hearing this joke on Carson: A Japanese guy complains he has trouble seeing, so he goes to the eye doctor. The doctor examines him and says, "I know why you're having problems. You have a cataract."

The Japanese man says, "No, I drive Rincorn Continentar."

Now, was the comedian racist? The joke was funny because of the surprise twist, but it hinged on a peculiarity of Japanese people speaking English.

exhelodrvr1 said...

In some cases it is deliberate (i.e. as in this instance, when they leave out parts of the story so that the readers won't know what actually happened.)

The biggest issue, though, is that most liberals don't realize that racism is inherent to their point of view. That colors (pun intended) how they see everything, from their view of minorities and how best to approach their problems, to their understanding (actually, lack thereof) of conservatives and their approach to issues.

former law student said...

to their understanding (actually, lack thereof) of conservatives and their approach to issues.

Yeah, if only we drank enough
sour milk we would come to appreciate it.

Kylopod said...

Could you one of you witty, sophisticated Limbaugh listeners explain to me how Limbaugh's statement that Obama is an "Arab" is an example of humor or satire, and not proof that he's a complete ignoramus?

Scott M said...

@Kylopod

I don't follow Limbaugh, but I'll take a stab at it if you go first and defend similarly "satirical" comments by Bill Maher.

Matthew said...

Liberals have no sense of humor.

Unless it involves the chance to laugh at white, male, heterosexual, taxpaying, gun-owning, Christians.

Then it's hillarious.

Everything else eludes them.

Ann Althouse said...

Daniel said..."If it's not funny, it's offensive. Ever notice, Ann, that when Limbaugh says something other people find offensive, you rush to his defense by claiming satire, yet when he says something YOU find offensive, the satire all of a sudden doesn't matter? Double standard."

No, because the issue isn't whether it's offensive. Assume it is. The issue is whether Rush is a big old racist. I say he's not. But he is offensive a lot of the time. And good satire is often offensive. If the question is whether some satire is offensive, I'll talk about that, but that is simply not the question here.

For example, Richard Pryor and Chris Rock often made jokes about race that were offensive -- intentionally offensive. But I don't think either man was/is a racist. You need to understand the whole context. To name someone who wasn't black, Lenny Bruce did the same.

It's a big deal to call someone a racist. It isn't simply a matter of talking or joking about race while crossing the usual lines of politeness and political correctness.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ah, the "it was just a racist joke" defense."

No, it's the "it was a joke about racism" defense.

William said...

I'm sure David Letterman's writers huddle around the conference table and compete to think of new, clever ways to mock Sarah Palin and her children. These writers are all very bright and they are at the age when one's mockery skills are at their peak. David Letterman has a lifetime of experience and knows how to choose the best joke and deliver it with just the right amount of wry spin. It's professionally done, and it makes you sick to see it done....I don't claim liberals lack talent or a sense of humor. But it's fair to say that they lack a sense of humor about themselves and their own prejudices. When SNL does a killer sketch about ole Dave's lechery, I'll start taking the humor of liberals seriously.

From Inwood said...

The Japanese man says, "No, I drive Rincorn Continentar."

I guess the sophomoric answer to that is "ROR" instead of "LOL"

BTW, if a Conservative told that, um, un-PC sophomoric joke to a Riberar....

Mikio said...

Althouse, wake the fuck up. Limbaugh also thinks Obama uses black dialect to score political points with blacks, but the difference between him and Reid is Reid was trying to say it's cool while Limbaugh is obviously disgusted by it. (If you don’t believe this, see my prior post on this topic which fleshes it out. Just Ctrl+F my name -- it only occurs once.) He was venting this disgust through sarcasm foisting it all on Ried which was totally disingenuous bullshit and race-baiting on his part. Stupid ass conservatives think we can’t see through their phoniness and lies.

former law student said...

Unless it involves the chance to laugh at white, male, heterosexual, taxpaying, gun-owning, Christians.

Then it's hillarious.


I agree with that. As the old Candid Camera theme went:

“it’s fun to laugh at yourself. It’s a tonic tried and true. It’s fun to laugh at yourself as other people do.”

white, male, heterosexual, taxpaying, gun-owning, Christian former law student.

Semper said...

Personally, I'm a big fan of The Capitol Steps who specialize in political skewering of both sides. I find that when I start to get offended at their humor, I've been taking politics too seriously again.

Larry J said...

Democrats come up with some pretty good jokes, sometimes.

Yes, but I wish they'd quit electing them.

mvl said...

I'm Italian, but I think this is really funny. Eddie Murphy making Italians look stupid.

But it is pretty funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fp67geuhJM

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I wholeheartedly disagree about Ellen DeGeneres. She's genuinely a funny person. Very quick too.

Me too. I really like Ellen. She is funny, witty and seems like a person who would just be a fun person to hang out with.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I don't care who you are..


This is funny

From Inwood said...

I hear on the radio news that NY Gov, David Patterson, has dropped out of the upcoming race for Gov.

The NYT, not Rush, has been orchestrating this (its heart not being in the right (OOPS Left) place since he looked like he might well lose to the GOP).

Say, if Rush had pounded on this double-dipper minority guy, a blind Black, about his opĂ©ra bouffe Administration & personal life & made jokes (like the riffs that Letterman did about former Governor Pataki’s Polish name, which the PC Police ignored) can you imagine the "AHAs" about racism?

From Inwood said...

The Japanese man says, "No, I drive Rincorn Continentar."

How come this guy can pronounce the "r" in "drive" correctly?

Trooper York said...

Satire is tough.

Some people take it personally.

Thin skinned don't you know.

jim said...

Considering what a monster smash hit "HALF HOUR NEWS HOUR" was, that alleged deafness seems to be of pandemic proportions.

Limbaugh happily calls himself an "entertainer" when it suits his purposes, which is usually when he's intentionally gone over the line to pimp for ratings - or when he's been caught out telling yet another lie (I wonder how many times a week he wishes the founders of Google would burn in hell)- otherwise he's "the greatest genius of our time" who's bravely fighting the good fight to save America from the evil plot/plague of liberalism. His credibility is circa zero & has been for a very long time now, for this & many other reasons.

How anybody can question whether the guy who told a caller to "take the bone out of his nose" is racist frankly eludes me - or was that merely yet more of his oh-so-post-modern "satire" soaring over our naive little heads?

The real mystery is why anyone wastes their precious time heeding the rhetorical bloviations of someone who is objectively & demonstrably dead-wrong so often (cf. William Kristol, Ann Coulter, et al).

In the bygone era when intellect wasn't classed as a social liability but as a valuable standard to be desired, these people would all be laughed off the stage everywhere they went.

Conservatism once used to pride itself on the vigor of its intellectual heritage - now it values hypertrophic nativism & hero-worship instead, with sadly predictable results: without a robust foil, liberalism in America is well on its way to becoming just as intellectually dessicated & hypocritical as conservatism.

(tl;dr - turn off the squawk-box & read a real fucking book by someone who gets their facts straight, instead of going along with overpaid blowhards who tell you what you want to hear)

Bruce Hayden said...

Althouse, wake the fuck up. Limbaugh also thinks Obama uses black dialect to score political points with blacks, but the difference between him and Reid is Reid was trying to say it's cool while Limbaugh is obviously disgusted by it.

I think that I remember Limbaugh actually refuting this the other day on the air, pointing out that he didn't really think that Obama could probably switch to Black dialect when required. I think that the analogy he used was Hillary speaking Southern.

As with much of the complaints about Limbaugh, this again was aimed at Democratic hypocrisy, and that of Harry Reid in particular.

Roger J. said...

Mr Jim--please sir, share with us your recommended reading list so we can assess your literary choices.

Scott M said...

In the bygone era when intellect wasn't classed as a social liability but as a valuable standard to be desired, these people would all be laughed off the stage everywhere they went.

What era would that be, exactly? The one in which the left began embracing mediocrity in our public schools? Mediocrity in just about all aspects of our culture, in fact.

jim said...

"Mr Jim"?

Hoo boy.

Do what all us cool opinionated smartasses do: read the classics.

Dostoyevsky, Diderot, Nietzsche, Kafka, Joyce, Conrad, Rabelais, Swift (just off the top of my head)... a hundred thousand books by the Hannitys & the Frankens & the Coulters can't touch the sheer depth & power in any one of those at their best, period.

They're not classics because they were by authors who somehow got a really really incredibly good agent: I've been reading & re-reading them my entire life & they always deliver.

Now feel free to assess your brains out.

Scott M said...

Dostoyevsky, Diderot, Nietzsche, Kafka, Joyce, Conrad, Rabelais, Swift (just off the top of my head)... a hundred thousand books by the Hannitys & the Frankens & the Coulters can't touch the sheer depth & power in any one of those at their best, period.

Did someone in this thread or any other maintain otherwise? I'll grant you all on that list except Joyce, btw. Classic, sure, but...ugh.

rhhardin said...

Here's A.J. in Houston calling Rush, Sep 16 2009.

Rush seems to accept Negro dialect.

(file will disappear next month when AT&T shuts down Worldnet.)

Roux said...

Rush is funny. When I heard "Barack the Magic Negro" I just about ran off the road I was laughing so hard.

But some thought Rush was racist to do that parody on his show. He was making fun of Sharpton for saying that Obama hadn't walked the walk like he and Jesse had. It was hilarious.

former law student said...

former Governor Pataki’s Polish name

Hungarian, if you please.

Interesting fact: Wikip says that Pataki's grandfather came from the same part of Hungary (borders subject to change) as the Satmar Hasids.

The Crack Emcee said...

Rush is a racist who keeps Bo Snerdley tied up in his backyard.

I know:

I just escaped from Ann's place.

(Meade helped.)

Kylopod said...

@Scott

>I don't follow Limbaugh, but I'll take a stab at it if you go first and defend similarly "satirical" comments by Bill Maher.

What "satirical" comments of Maher's are you referring to?

(For the record, Maher has said many things which I consider offensive, obnoxious, and/or ignorant. Don't peg me as a Maher defender just because I attacked Limbaugh.)

Roger J. said...

Well Mr. Jim--you do realize those classics that you (and I) have read dont rely on facts--they are great because they outline philosophical positions. So I have absolutely no quarrel with your classics--they are the foundation of our civilization. Probably why the U of Chicago included in them in their great books series. But your question absolutely begs the question re books supported by facts--want to try again?

And agree wholeheartedly that we can eliminate any book written by al franken or ann coulter

Scott M said...

Don't peg me as a Maher defender just because I attacked Limbaugh.

Fair enough. In particular, re: Maher, the first one that comes to mind was his wonderfully crafted quip about retarded children being the equivalent of owning dogs. He later plead the satire defense as did others defending him.

Regardless, your original comment suggested we explain how one comment was an example of humor or satire. On the face of it, that doesn't take any more proof than the speaker saying it was humor or satire. That's like saying, "show me an example of a good song". I used good as a quantifier here because it seems that everyone assumes humor means funny, which is entirely subjective.

Humor almost always requires the bad fortunes of others, whether that target be self-deprecating or someone/something else. In other words, there are very few examples of humor that are, so to speak, victimless crimes.

As far as politically correct speech, I am constantly encouraged that we're living in the last days of a bad idea. Unfortunately it's scarred us as a culture, but the fact that white stand-ups are doing unabashedly racially stereotypical humor, and getting away with it, is encouraging. This isn't any more racist (a red-herring word if every there was one, at least in this context) than black standups doing it...for decades...while it was verboten for everyone else.

To put it simply, I'm all for everyone laughing at what's genuinely funny to them, regardless of PC landmines.

From Inwood said...

fls

You're right, of course Pataki = Hugarian name & I had two Hungarian American aunts. They're rolling over in their graves!

Mikio said...

Bruce Hayden -
I think that I remember Limbaugh actually refuting this the other day on the air, pointing out that he didn't really think that Obama could probably switch to Black dialect when required. I think that the analogy he used was Hillary speaking Southern.

That's a refutation of nothing. Even if your memory is correct, and even if Limbaugh wasn't lying to distance himself from Reid and truly thinks Obama can't speak in black dialect, by making the comparison to Hillary speaking Southern he's obviously saying he's able to detect when Obama's trying to utilize black dialect which would be no less disgusting to him and thus changes nothing. He would still have a worse, more cynical take on it than Reid, is a lying, hypocritical sack of shit for claiming or even insinuating otherwise, and those who are supporting him on this are also lying, hypocritical sacks of shit or gullible and stupid. Which are you?

Scott M said...

by making the comparison to Hillary speaking Southern he's obviously saying he's able to detect when Obama's trying to utilize black dialect which would be no less disgusting to him and thus changes nothing.

I must be missing something about this as I didn't hear the comment and don't really care. Taking what you're saying here, Bruce, I have to ask...what's wrong with pointing this out?

I can remember clearly the audio/video of Hillary doing that and I found it disgusting. I was home with a newborn during the 2008 primary so I heard Obama speak...a lot...both in speeches and in more candid tenor. Having grown up on the south side of Chicago, it's readily apparently to me when someone shifts in and out of "dialect". It's pandering and nothing else. How is abject pandering by a politician not disgusting prima facie?

Traveller said...

Why are you objecting to all the humorous articles about Rush Limbaugh's racism? Don't you like a good joke?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Mikio,
"he's obviously saying he's able to detect when Obama's trying to utilize black dialect which would be no less disgusting to him and thus changes nothing"

Obama doesn't normally speak like that, and he wasn't raised in an environment where he would have picked up that style of pronunciation. So it seems that anytime he does use that style, it is being done intentionally. How is it "disgusting" to point that out? Is it equally "disgusting" if someone comments that Obama is a good speaker?

Scott M said...

Whoops. Sorry, Bruce. I misread the earlier post. My last comment should have been directed to Mikio.

Meade said...

I just escaped from Ann's place.

(Meade helped.)


Okay, now remember: The second pill will make you larger again after that first one made you small.

But the ones that Nancy Pelosi gives you?
They don't do anything at all.
They're homeopathic.

flenser said...

If he isn't a racist, he is a racialist. He's wiling to exploit race as material for his show, if nothing else.




Race is central to American politics. You can't talk about politics and NOT talk about race, and the Dems talk about race constantly. So I call BS on this "Rush is exploting race" stuff.

Gar said...

I may be wrong about this, but isn't Limbaugh's long-time screener African American? Who he calls Snirdley?

flenser said...

Conservatism once used to pride itself on the vigor of its intellectual heritage - now it values hypertrophic nativism & hero-worship instead



Oh, good, anoher liberal pining for the days of Barry Goldewater. Of course, if Barry was still around and opposing the Civil Rights Act, I suspect you'd find bad things to say about him as well.

As for "nativism" - you don't know what the word means, which is pretty funny considering the way you prize intelectualism.

flenser said...

he's obviously saying he's able to detect when Obama's trying to utilize black dialect which would be no less disgusting to him



You seem to be convnced that you are capable of detecting what other people are thinking. Why can't Rush have the same magical power?

I get the impression that Rush is more amused than disgusted. You, on the other hand, convey disgust. Along with anger indignation, outrage, and similar emotions. Why don't you go play with a kitten and get those troubled thoughts out of your head? Kittens are good for your mental health.

Jason said...

Do what all us cool opinionated smartasses do: read the classics.

Dostoyevsky, Diderot, Nietzsche, Kafka, Joyce, Conrad, Rabelais, Swift


Snooty little fucker aren't you?

Jason said...

This is for Jim:

Otto: Apes don't read philosophy!

Wanda: Yes they do, Otto! They just don't understand it!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5IQnQhzMSI

From Inwood said...

Snooty it is.

He's gone beyond PBS. They don't even dramatize any of his classics, so he's better than mere PBS viewers. But then anyone is more open to ideas & better informed than snob PBS only viewers.

Still, his list is, let’s say, idiosyncratic. But better than the books reviewed & recommended by the NYT. Or books by NYT columnists

From Inwood said...

Previous comment obviously meant for jayson.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"like Hertzberg — want to characterize the Democrats as the good guys about race and people like Rush as the bad guys."

And why on earth would they do that? It wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that blacks vote for Democrats by a margin of 9 to 1 now, would it?

But I'm sure that you think blacks vote for Dems because they just can't recognize what's in their own political self-interest. Which is not only condescending, but coming from the crowd that saw the "clinging to guns comment" as condescending, hypocritical.

I guess the fact that cons and the left find different things funny might have to do with the fact that they're coming from different knowledge sets.

And yet, less people on the right seem capable of doing comedy successfully.

That's probably because all humor comes from recognizing uncomfortable truths, and cons lack the stomach* for self-criticism.

*Another way of putting it would be by saying that they lack the "intestinal fortitude" for self-criticism. AKA, the "guts"** for it.

"Testicular fortitude" or "balls" is also an acceptable way of putting it.

Alex said...

The real question to ask is why is Althouse so feverishly defending Lush Limpballs?

AllenS said...

Conservative humor:

Ole is a farmer in Minnesota. He is in need of a new milk cow and hears about a nice one for sale over in Nordakota (that would be North Dakota for you non-Scandahoovians out there). He drives to Nordakota, finds the farm and looks at the cow. He reaches under to see if the cow gives milk.
When he grabs a teat and pulls....the cow farts.
Surprised, Ole looks at the farmer who's selling the cow, then reaches under to try again.
He grabs another teat, pulls, and the cow farts again.
Milk does come out however, so after some discussion with the cow's current owner, Ole decides to buy the cow.
When he gets back to Minnesota, he calls over his neighbor, Sven, and says, 'Hey, Sven, come and look at dis ere new cow I yust bought. Pull her teat, and see vat happens.'
Sven reaches under, pulls the teat...the cow farts..
Sven looks at Ole and says, You bought dis here cow over in Nordakota, didn't yah?'
Ole is very surprised since he hadn't told Sven about his trip.
Ole replies, 'Yah, dats right. But how did yah know?'
Sven says, 'My wife is from Nordakota.'

WV: emedic

You'll probably need one after you read dis yoak. Ya.

Alex said...

Rush is a big fat racist.

Alex said...

Oops I mean to say Lush is a big fat racist. Can't slip up there on my slurs.

AllenS said...

I hope nobody gets the wrong impression. Some of my best friends at work were Scandahoovians.

Jason said...

Hey, Alpha! How's that link coming along?

ken in sc said...

Dentures are not covered by any of the proposals put forward so far. It does not matter whose teeth you wear.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that liberals are deaf to Rush's humor because so much of it points out the hypocrisy of the left. Many liberals take themselves way to seriously to appreciate this.

Yes, a lot of talk show hosts on the right do this, but none do it as consistently well, which I think is why he is the king there.

But he also has a way of hitting liberals where it hurts. He pokes holes in their pretenses. And that is, again, quite humorous for those on the right, esp. after having been preached at for so many years by those on the left.

Not surprisingly, I don't find leftist humor all that funny. Imagine that. I have memories of when I lived in Austin, and one sibling, spouse, and girlfriend, all with graduate degrees, would seem to be rolling on the ground after another would call (the then governor) George W. Bush "Shrub". And, not surprisingly, when he left for the Oval Office, I got innumerable Bushisms in my email.

Somehow though Bidenisms just aren't as funny to them, despite showing a remarkable, almost scary, separation from reality. (I do sometimes wonder if President Obama picked him as his VP so that everyone would be so fearful about a Biden Presidency, that no one would even contemplate trying to remove Obama from office - but then, I suspect that a lot on the left said that about Dick Cheney).

Alex said...

Bruce - and so the right is deaf to the lefty humor(Stewart, Colbert, Franken) because it skewers their sacred cows. We're all just talking/joking past each other.

Alex said...

BTW here's the link Alpha couldn't be bothered to find(took me 30 seconds):

Limbaugh calls Chelsea Clinton a dog

Jason said...

That's not a transcript, chucklehead. That's Molly Ivins spreading the same lie Alpha Liberal did.

FAIL.

Try again.

Alex said...

Jason - there is so much damning evidence of Limpballs besides the Chelsea Clinton incident that I'm shocked Ann listens to the cretin.

Jason said...

Now, now... don't try to change the subject. You clearly can't tell shit from shinola with regard to the alleged Chelsea incident. We already know you're all too willing to accept Ivins' lie at face value. We know FAIR passed on Ivins' lie without a shred of examination to see if it were even remotely accurate. (It's not.)

I think you need to operate under the assumption that whether you're assessing the Chelsea incident, or any number of others, you're just as much of an idiot.

Now come on, liberals! Where's the transcript? The video? Produce it, or admit it's a lie.

Anga2010 said...

I've listened to the clip of Obama saying what you have described as "ax" over and over (I've put it on a loop even) and have reached a completely different conclusion.
What I heard President Obama say was, "We relax" in a voice quite like Elmer Fudd would use.

DADvocate said...

Contrary to what alpaluberal says, scientific evidence suggests conservatives have a better sense of humor. Of course, a humorless liberal is the last person to be able to judge someone's sense of humor.

The liberals aren't pretending. They're incapable of grasping the joke.

Joe said...

One reason I stopped listening to Rush was because of his repeated insults of Chelsea Clinton as well as ad hominem attacks of other people, including Henry Waxman. I always found it ironic that a balding fat man (who is trimmer now) was making derogatory comments about the looks of other people.

(For those idiots who will now paint me as liberal. I'm not. I'm a solid fiscal conservative who is socially libertarian--a combination that has a lot in common with what Hayek called "classical liberal.")

Jason said...

One reason I stopped listening to Rush was because of his repeated insults of Chelsea Clinton

Specifics?

Jason said...

Hey, Alpha! any sign of that link yet?

Heh. Didn't think so.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Jesus Fucking Christ! Does everybody have to find the same thing funny?! What the fuck is wrong with you people? What kind of world should we live in where opinions are standardized and tastes are mandated? You are all fucking insane.

Many people don't find Mush Limpdick funny. Get the fuck over it. And if you can't get over it, then try asking why. Asking why means first accepting that there might be a reason the majority of your country (and the world) think differently than you do about at least a few things.

But if you did that then you might have to humanize an entire section of humanity that y'all are hell-bent on demonizing. So we're back to square #1: Mush Limpdick is funny and anyone who doesn't think so is an evil liberal with an agenda - rather than a human being who simply happens to have a different point of view than you.

Now get on to the Next Talking Point already.

And then get a theory of mind. It will help you nail down that whole humor thing.

Narcissistic hermits.

Anga2010 said...

re: Ritmo Brasileiro

Do you like fish sticks?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Show me the first right-winger willing to humorously skewer a fellow right-winger and then I'll believe that righties do humor as well.

The fact is that they're too fucking uptight and bent on "honor" and piety to do humor right. They have no capacity for self-criticism. They have sticks up their asses. They are more homophobic, more wary of foreigners, more wary of anyone who isn't exactly like them! There is a clinical description for this: Paranoia. And when mixed with a tendency for conformity, you just don't get the social lubricant that defines good humor.

This community sees itself as a little different because being on-line offers a veil, perpetuating the illusion of community when in fact there is no guarantee at all that any two of you would actually get along in real life. There are no deep discussions, just pleasantries. Nothing substantive. The humor is similarly shallow, but I'm glad it gives y'all the impression that your heroes have advanced to the point that actual, real, paid, well-known comedians have.

If you can't laugh at one of your own then you just don't have a very real sense of humor. And that's it. I'll make fun of and laugh at a good joke made of nearly anyone on the left or the right who merits it. But you won't. Being ok with an equal opportunity for offense is the proof in the pudding. Capisce?

Of course you don't.

But I tried.

You can bring a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

You can bring a whore to culture but you can't make her think.

Enjoy your peanut gallery.

rhhardin said...

You can bring a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

If you don't shut the barn door, you won't have a horse.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Ritmo @ 11:51: Jesus Fucking Christ! What the hell is wrong with you people? ...Does everyone have to find the same things funny? Mush Limpdick is funny and anyone who doesn't think so is an evil liberal with an agenda - rather than a human being who simply happens to have a different point of view than you.



Compare and contrast with Ritmo @ 12:05: Show me the first right-winger willing to humorously skewer a fellow right-winger and then I'll believe that righties do humor as well.

The fact is that they're too fucking uptight and bent on "honor" and piety to do humor right. They have no capacity for self-criticism. They have sticks up their asses. They are more homophobic, more wary of foreigners, more wary of anyone who isn't exactly like them! There is a clinical description for this: Paranoia. And when mixed with a tendency for conformity, you just don't get the social lubricant that defines good humor.


Comedy gold!!!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Who even knows if that's your true reaction, Jason? I mean, if you have to disingenuously splice my remarks together so that you make a sarcastic comment of mine appear to be in disagreement with one that wasn't sarcastic, then you're too dishonest to understand comedy. What you did was obvious, agenda-oriented, and dishonest - elements that don't tend to contribute to comedy.

Comedy comes from honesty and openness. Who knows what attempts at comedy built on a lie should be called. But they're not really comedy.

Now getting back to the point, if you show me a right-winger who is capable of taking (or, God forbid, leveling) a joke at Limbaugh, and then I'll see reason to discard the stereotype regarding right-wingers and humor.

The fact that different people find different things funny has nothing to do with capacity for humor and appropriateness. If someone only laughs at petty things involving other people, then humor is no longer the point. Pettiness and sadism is the point. When those things overwhelm your humor, you might yet fancy defining that as "funny", and it I suppose it would be. To petty, sadistic sociopaths.

Humor without humanity is not a sort of humor that you can expect many others to enjoy. If you want to chalk that up to a mere difference in taste, that's fine. But don't take it personally if a lot of other people see something a lot less respectable than merely differences in taste to be at play.

Try laughing at that.

Jason said...

Reminds me of the old joke:

How many feminists does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: THAT'S NOT FUNNY, DAMMIT!!!!

Jason said...

Now getting back to the point, if you show me a right-winger who is capable of taking (or, God forbid, leveling) a joke at Limbaugh

Easy. Limbaugh himself.

Now, try the decaf.

Jason said...

Where's that link, Alpha? Did you post it and I missed it by mistake? Did blogger eat your post?

I just know you weren't totally talking out of your ass in your first post on the thread. I just KNOW IT!!

You wouldn't do something like that, would you?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And what about the jokes made of Limbaugh that he, personally, did not approve of beforehand?

He is a propagandist, you know. As anyone who's alert (regardless of whether they've had a morning coffee) will tell you.

former law student said...

scientific evidence suggests conservatives have a better sense of humor.

Nope. From the link, on the average, conservatives think things are 17% funnier than they are.

Using a scale from 1 to 9, in which 1 indicated "not at all funny" and 9 was "hilarious," conservatives gave an average rating of 5 and liberals gave an average rating of 4.32 to three religious jokes Ariely told them, Tierney writes

Jason said...

"He's a propagandist, you know."

Egads! The deuce you say!!!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So this link, which looks a bit tongue in cheek anyway, seems to say that cons have an inappropriate or shallower sense of humor.

If someone has an easier time laughing at something as over-simplified as cartoons, they might be lacking for sufficient humor in their lives. Also, the "study" could have chosen a wider series of topics or media for available testing subject matter. There is no way the range is wide enough to make anything meaningful of that. Hiding from more sociable outlets for humor and snickering to oneself at pictures on a paper doesn't sound like a very well-shared, unrehearsed way to express humor.

Whatever. Getting back to the gluttonous, three-time divorced, sex tourism-seeking Limbaugh, I have a feeling that if your relationships are that broken and shallow, you might not be in a good position to determine what's funny in life. But this person might be.

Also, that jab at Michael J. Fox? Hilarious!

There is no way someone that focused, ideological, single-minded and ignorant could be funny, let alone a reliable judge of humor. There are just too damn many competing interests in that crowded mind of his. They are obviously getting in the way of a spontaneous laugh (at anyone's expense other than his own).

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And before the brainiac Jason goes misinterpreting that last sentence of mine, I'm not saying that Limbaugh isn't capable of recognizing that he, himself, is a joke. Just that he might be good at suppressing the pathetic magnitude of just how much of a joke he knows he really is, and letting out only a few, select, pre-approved, rehearsed shots at himself in order to let off some steam every now and then and go against stereotype. A very well-deserved stereotype.

It's kind of like when you hold in a massive fart for long enough, and decide to only let a strategic, slight stream of wind when you're just momentarily far enough away from others to allow yourself the subtlest sense of relief.

Such are Limbaugh's attempts at self-deprecating humor.

See? That was funny!

Jason said...

No, what's funny is you, of all people, writing treatises on comedy.

It's like reading a relationship advice column by O.J.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Looks like someone's getting offended.

Anyone who thinks that Limbaugh is a popular representation of any kind of sentiment, let alone humor, is either a dumbass or delusional. He's in the same bubble that Jason and Co. is in!

How much has your humor accomplished for you IRL, Jason? How often have people who disagree with you politically enjoyed a laugh with you?

Thought so.

Just because you mistake this blog for real life, doesn't mean that you're in a position to judge humor, me, social patterns, or (really) anything else under the sun.

But at least you got in a hackneyed reference to O.J. Simpson. Did you make that up all by yourself? What a big boy! And here I was, trying to figure out precisely which comedian from 15 years ago you ripped that line off of!

Your mother must be so very proud of you!

Listen, Jason... You're not funny and your insights suck. Jealousy will warp your perceptions in an awful way, so you have my best wishes at overcoming that problem. I know it's hard to be a proud conservative when you fail arguments this badly, but maybe you'll find a way around it.

Perhaps some cartoons will help get your mind off of things. Or maybe an old O.J. joke that's been recycled an infinite number of times.

And I thought cons were against recycling?

See? Another joke!

Unlike you, I can actually write my own material. Maybe there are some activities you can try out in order to help cultivate a much needed sense of creativity on your part. It would do you and your buddies a lot of good. Because although Rush Limbaugh must be a very inspiring role model, I'm sure he doesn't appreciate having to be the only (partially) original conservative out there!

From Inwood said...

Watching Al Franken, David Letterman, Keith Olberman, Joy Behar, & Jon Stewart making sad attempts at schoolboy humor about people on the Right is my definition of "torture"!

I mean how many repetitive, purportedly funny references to Rush Limbaugh out of context are too many? Liberal Response; Too much of a good thing is never enough. Hey, that worked for Mae West in describing something else, but not for would-be wit.

And, no comedian could top the real life stories of the allegedly medically poor produced by The Dems at the Summit, which was immensely, unintentionally to be sure, a field guide to "funny".

I mean, being able to use someone else's dentures? As John McEnroe says: you can't be serious. One size fits all? Hey, why do they use dental records to identify people?

And. more important, did these fools not realize that dentures are not covered under Obamacare as is, as proposed, or as imagined. Now that's funny.

I would say that most of the establishment comedic crew have gotten lazy & use too much sledgehammer humor against Republicans, which their audience, being mentally lazy, lap up. And that the serious comments of non-establishment humorists, like Rush, are dismissed as silly & immature by those who praise the seriously immature comics listed above while, on the other hand, the intentionally humorous comments of non-establishment humorists, like Rush, are treated seriously & fact checked by the meiosis-impaired.

Jon Stewart was on O'Reilly recently & O'R asked him about Israel & why 85% of Jewish Americans vote Democratic. Stewart did one of his silly smirks & said "Who told you I was Jewish?" He then, repeating his trademarked smirk, screamed at some of his people offstage, who were laughing on cue: "Who told him I was Jewish?" Funny? Not really. Evasive? Really. Avoiding the issue? Absolutely. Weasel-ly? You tell me.

Jason said...

Damn, Ritmo... you're easier to play than a jukebox.

But while we're on the subject of wit, here's another essential ingredient.

Brevity.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Anyone can be brief. Especially if they've got nothing to say.

Not everyone can be original, though.

And you're about as canned, Jason, as a soup kitchen ham.

Mikio said...

Jon Stewart was on O'Reilly recently & O'R asked him about Israel & why 85% of Jewish Americans vote Democratic...

That Jews vote overwhelmingly Dem perplexes the hell out of conservatives/Repubs because it clashes with their false worldview. Stewart knows this I'm sure and rather than tell O'Reilly the answer chose to let his & their befuddlement continue.

flenser said...

Show me the first right-winger willing to humorously skewer a fellow right-winger and then I'll believe that righties do humor as well.



I can't say that I've ever noticed your humorously skewering a fellow left-winger, so WTF are you talking about? In general it's safe to say that the lefty commenters are a dull and humrless lot. And you, Ritmo, are the archtypical dull and humorless lefty.


Mush Limpdick


Ha ha ha! He said "Mush Limpdick"!

Among a certain category of twelve-year-olds, that's considered roll-on-the-ground funny.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

85% of Jews vote Democratic? Really? I'm shocked!!!

So a fan of O'Reilly falls for Rove's tactic and wonders aloud at why Jews couldn't be seduced into voting for the party that loudly beats its chest for not just arbitrary military adventures executed on behalf of America, but Israel?

Well, you've got me stumped, Inwood.

But maybe if they didn't have such a bad experience worshiping a golden calf, they might be more easily seduced by just one more of the many stupid Republican ideas.

Until that changes, O'Reilly can take his amateur sociologist/political demographer gig and put a "cap" in it, so to speak.

And you might want to make sure you get approval from Sarah Palin before using such knee-slappers as "meiosis-impaired".

Jason said...

Anyone who thinks that Limbaugh is a popular representation of any kind of sentiment, let alone humor, is either a dumbass or delusional.

Sure, Colonel Custer. And there are no Indians in the woodline behind that village, either.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I appreciate that insight, flenser. It's about as sharp and witty as your spelling and reading abilities. NOT!

(Does that count as "double"-sarcasm? Hmmm).

The Onion is not a right-wing rag, and I was the one who linked to it, at 12:05 AM. You know, the link to Joe Biden washing his Trans Am without a shirt in the White House driveway. The link you would have clicked on if your forensic skills surpassed those on display in a Nancy Drew novel.

But you're such a passionate con that your emotions must have overwhelmed you. It's ok.

By the way, do you know the difference between "lefty" and Lockean?

Well, even if you don't (and you probably don't), I'm sure that won't stop you from trying to convince me that the distinction doesn't matter.

It's funny. You'd think the party of tradition wouldn't parade around such an overwhelming ignorance of history.

You should read up on Locke sometime, flenser. Those superheroes known as "The Founders" certainly did.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Then why don't you take Taibbi's advice, Jason? Go ahead! Put Limbaugh up as the public, political face of the Republican leadership.

Let me know how well that works out for you.

Jason said...

Pretty full of yourself, aren't you?

Ritmo. The Neidermayer of the Left.

Jason said...

Where's Alpha with that link, anyway? I'm beginning to think he's an intellectually unserious cad and a liar.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warren said...

Ann, after reading your initial post and the subsequent follow-up it is hard for me to imagine you are not being willfully obtuse. But I suppose this attitude is informed by where I was raised. You see, I grew up down in Georgia. I was lucky to have been blessed with a father who abandoned the racist trappings of his childhood. But his two brothers most certainly did not. To this day they are as honestly, unrepentedly racist as the day is long. And this is before either of them slurps down a drink or two.

I only mention this because the "axe" riff is a tired trope for some of us who've heard it an awful lot. Speaking from experience, it is quite clear that they mean these "jokes" to be demeaning to black folks and that, furthermore, they are not nearly as funny as they seem to think.

In reading all you've written about this mini-kerfluffle (incl. on the linguistics site) and it really reads as though you think "racism" and "satire" are mutually exclusive terms. This is not the case.

I have no way of knowing if Mr. Limbaugh is a racist or whether he's just another in a long line of entertainers who've realized how much money can be harvested via explotation of people's outrage/indignance. Ozzy Osbourne wasn't really a Satanist after all.

I do think, however, that Mr. Limbaugh's schtick is corrosive to our society. With his reach and influence I simply can't accept that his rhetoric is of no consequence. Or believe that certain linguistic constructions are meant for ears like those of my uncles (aka the 'dog whistle' theory). This I know because I am told so. In so many words. BY THEM.

So defend him. That's fine. You've certainly got a well-festooned echo chamber here. And everyone just completely talks past each other these days anyway so I've no expectations of this comment other than to be pilloried.

But for this Southern boy, your protestations are weak sauce.