Tuesday, August 09, 2005

JUST A LITTLE JOKE AMONG FRIENDS. Mithras is teasing the bears again. He allowed himself this bagatelle a few days back, and you could hear the screams a mile away. Now he wonders aloud "Where Are All the Funny Conservative Bloggers," and the switchboard's lighting up.

I feel compelled to state for the record that no sensible person, including Mithras I'm sure, thinks conservatives are incapable of humor. The same goes for liberals, of course (the fact that morons disagree only underlines the point). But I will admit that I don't laugh much at allegedly humorous authors of conservative blogs, and I am always surprised (pleasantly and gratefully, but still) on those very rare occasions when a conservative tells me he has found humor in mine.

I think this is only right and natural. You may be the most scrupulously fair person imaginable -- the sort of person who admits that the other fella makes a damn good point even if it kills you. But if someone's making fun of that which you hold dear (like, say, your Mom), you may be forgiven a disinclination to laugh, no matter how well-played the jest. You can't find something funny on principle. Either you are physically tickled by a joke, or you are not.

It's hard to find a class clown on either side of the political aisle who can rock the whole house. The greats, of course, transcend politics, though trace elements of it may be found clinging to their outlines. Evelyn Waugh was a High Tory, but if you think Scoop is funny because it is a "satire" on the press suitable for shaking at New York Times reporters, I think you must be a very dull fellow indeed. It is really the story of a fellow who would rather be writing prose poems about small animals, and eventually gets to return to it, but only after much heedless, unnecessary, and hilarious anguish, including an African war. Restoration of equilibrium -- that's entertainment! Especially when the scale of the absurdity preceding the restoration rivals that of life itself.

Maybe someone can work at that level, I gotta say, it ain't any of us blog clowns -- at least, not in our current incarnations. But who knows? Don DeLillo used to write ad copy.

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