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Ricochet Editor Jon Gabriel attended a humor panel at the progressive conference Netroots Nation 2014 a few weeks back which he documented in a short but brilliantly insightful piece into the mind of the perpetually angry, titled ‘Creating Oneness’ through Progressive Comedy’. As Gabriel notes in his piece:
“The Left is supposed to be funnier than the Right, damn it,” the panel description stated. “So why do we so often sound in public like we’re stiltedly reading from a non-profit grant proposal?”
This defensive tone was apparent throughout the hour-plus session, brought up repeatedly by speakers and audience members. Much like a co-worker who doesn’t get anyone’s jokes but insists, “I have a great sense of humor!”
To expand on Gabriel’s observations a little more and take it a step further, it’s impossible for the culturally left in this country to be humorous because humor at it’s core is the innate ability to laugh at oneself first. It is impossible for the progressive left to be truly capable of humor because of the delicate triggers they place on themselves and in turn inflict onto others.
It’s a good thing George Carlin and Richard Pryor checked out when they did because the modern-day culture of hypersensitive progressives would render them lepers. They’ve been replaced by Sarah Silverman auctioning off vagina napkins and a barrage of social media apologies. Can anyone today imagine Lenny Bruce apologizing for offending in 140 characters?
Carlin was no fan of conservatives and especially no fan of Ronald Reagan, but here’s the thing about modern conservatives that’s lost on the new wave of shock web comedians: we don’t care that you joke about our presidents. We encourage it. Comedians like Louis CK, Lewis Black, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle understand this. Conservatives can sit through an hour of George W. Bush bashing with ease if the delivery is right. The reaction isn’t the same with progressives and Dennis Miller or Jim Norton.
Progressives aren’t funny and they know it. But like most things with modern liberalism, they can’t be responsible for their complete lack of sense of humor, so they turn to the only thing they know; shock value. They can’t humorously engage people of opposing ideologies so their goal becomes to purposely offend.
The left routinely relies more and more on the ability to offend because they know striking at the moralities people hold is easy, and morals aren’t something progressives understand. Morality to progressives is like a laser pointer on the wall. When they see it, their pupils dilate and they being whapping at it with their paws. Targeting it releases brief endorphins but ultimately only plays to their peanut gallery.
But most importantly, they rely on shock value because they know they won’t be held accountable.
A perfect example of this came in the form of a tweet from an official White House account last week. Jesse Lee, one of the Obama administration’s social media marmots, suggested Michelle Bachmann had just finished performing sexual acts on Rep. Steve King after the House called themselves back to vote on late-night border legislation. Remember, this is an official White House Twitter account, not Funny or Die. Ironically, Lee’s wife is the activist who led a charge to get George Will fired for his free opinion on college rape culture — a culture guys like Lee claim belongs to their base.
Bachmann is an easy target for members of an administration obsessed with liberating America from religion as well as late-night comedians who offer double entendres about her effeminate husband. The problem for someone like Jesse Lee is that jabs like this at Bachmann are largely ineffective and dated. It’s just lazy. One would think a guy who enlisted Obama’s favorite Skeksis, Valerie Jarrett, to help in proposing to his girlfriend would have a better sense of humor than this.
The South Park wing of the counterculture conservative movement is unimpressed by Bachmann as well. Not because of her private parts or sex life, but because of her policy stances. It’s one of the reasons she didn’t last long in the presidential primaries.
Lee’s tweet was an attempt at using shock disguised as humor to show that he can break his own side’s standards with impunity. Someone in Lee’s position can get away with it while holding his opposition to a standard of social perfection. Barack Obama claims conservatives wage a war on women while simultaneously tossing his precious Smeagol a fish head for his Twitter cheap shots.
I would love to reverse roles on Lee and play the “if a Republican president’s operative ever suggested…” but I honestly can’t.
Not because I’m shocked or outraged. Furthest from it. It’s just that I can’t bring myself to imagining a single woman on the left getting intimate with me without a little bit of chunky taco vomit floating up to the back of my throat, followed by an almost instinctual desire to throw myself out a seven-story window.
Is there actually a single alpha male on the left who wants to envision a late night game of cowboy with Diane Feinstein? The women in congress with a (D) after their name are more likely to challenge you (and beat you) to an arm-wrestling contest than a fun game of Doctor, especially after the Obamacare premium increases coming later this year.
If I found myself cornered in a late-night rendezvous with Nancy Pelosi I would have to close my eyes and pretend it was just Chuck Schumer in a wig to get through it. And I’m not gay.
This leads me into another point. Men on the left like Jesse Lee desire women on the right like Bachmaan. It’s an undisputed fact of science. This is what drives much of their self-loathing over Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin or Megyn Kelly and 50 other congresswomen and pundits. It’s an unattainable fantasy for them and they hate themselves for it. They’ll no doubt attempt to laugh off this scientifically proven fact but get enough drinks in them and they’ll begin sobbing uncontrollably about the bad dream they had involving Janet Napolitano and a bathtub full of mayonnaise.
Looking at Kristi Noem, they are struck by the incredible way her hair looks, as if she just got off the back of a motorcycle. When they bump into Rep. Rosa DeLauro in the hall, they mistakenly ask for Perry Ferrell’s autograph.
Young liberal men have been reduced to Tumblr memes of Ruth Bader Ginsburg lecturing about birth control for their quick fix. I get that they are trying to pop-culturize her like Betty White but the last point in history Ruth Bader Ginsburg was around any kind of birth control it involved a foot pedal and animal pelts.
It’s easy for progressive shock bombers to lampoon Rick Perry eating a corn dog at a state fair (Because gay! Get it?) just as easy as it is to say the word “Santorum” while snickering at the Urban Dictionary. Adult Swim managed to troll Bryan Fischer and the American Family Association with a new show called “Black Jesus,” centering on Christ coming back to earth as an African American dishing out Bible wisdom while smoking pot and downing forties in South Central LA. Without airing a single episode, “Black Jesus” accomplished what it already set out to do.
The religious right, a favorite target of progressive media, took the bait so cheap shots at everyone else’s religion and sexuality will continue. Unless it’s not Christianity.
But disarm liberals of both and what are they left with?
This is why the recent rise of libertarian and counterculture conservatives pose such a threat, and why attempts to shock and awe will only increase, especially as 2016 draws closer and Grandma Clinton gets older. As morality scolds on the left like the ones Gabriel witnessed clamp down further on jokes about sex, race, class, sports logos and religion, the culture will naturally shift and resist against them. Sarah Silverman will continue trying to make money off her menstral cycle and Bill Maher off homosexual Jesus but it won’t matter.
We control our own collective reaction and eventually it just gets old, no different than MTV’s annual scripted VMA shock stunts. How we react to their antics is completely up to us.
The response shouldn’t be to demand apologies, it should be to demand they be funnier.
The need to shock social conservatives will be drowned out by a younger generation tired of scowling leftists commanding to them what is funny and what isn’t. We don’t need to outshock progressive hall monitors but we can turn this game around on them. Ann Coulter, love her or hate her is a Jedi Master at doing this. Humor is always better than outrage. Whether you’re making a joke or the target of one. This is something leftists don’t understand. Never have.
As the glory days of Hope & Change & LOL give way to obvious incompetence — which they try to mask with boring screams of racism — it will be all that’s left for them to hang on to.
Bitter clingers to the end.