Tuesday, October 06, 2009

TOUGH CROWD. Ladies and germs, says the MC, please welcome to the Pajamas Media stage Mr. Dan Miller:
The Obama administration is destroying many things intrinsic to the United States.
[Crowd mills restlessly as Miller details the crimes of Obama. Simpsons reference fails to relieve tension. Is he pulling an Andy Kaufman?]
The loss of national pride and national direction are bad enough, but we are also losing our sense of humor.
[Ah, he's doing Kaufman. Crowd waits for it.]
I can’t seem to recall any time during the past sixty or so years when bitterness and seriousness were so deeply rooted and laughter so restrained. Even the “gallows humor” which prevailed during our wars seems to have been lost.
[Crowd leans expectantly, hoping for examples of "gallows humor"; gets more Obama crimes instead. ]
I’m waiting for some congresscritter, a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, to offer legislation replacing the eagle with the dodo bird as the country’s national emblem.
[Delayed reaction: was that a joke? A few barks. At least he's trying.]
In his later years, [Bertrand] Russell came to be regarded by many as “a very intelligent old silly.” Still, he has much to offer; he had a grand sense of humor and was able to laugh not only at those with different views but at himself.
["Tell one of his jokes!" someone yells. Laughter in the back.]
True, comedians still exist and some make lots of money. The jokes about Governor Palin during the recent presidential campaign produced laughter, and those about former President Bush and Vice President Cheney did as well. However, they and the laughter they produced were largely grounded in — and promoted — bitterness and the associated hatred. The few jokes directed at President Obama were much the same; there were then and there are now very few, because of the racism charges almost certain to be thrown at those making and laughing at them. Those accused, even wrongly, of racism are generally punished severely. “Code words” are found, and even unspoken and unintended words are heard subliminally and apologies must be forthcoming, even though they are not generally accepted.
[Even Kaufman couldn't have gotten away with this. Is he going to take us out for ice cream?]
Political correctness, from which all suffer to some extent in the United States and in Europe, has played a major role in this. It teaches us not only to avoid giving, but to take offense. More of us are easily offended than at any time I can remember.
At this point Miller is drowned out by hecklers and removed by the hook, but Pajamas Media provides a full transcript of his routine. You will not be surprised to learn that Miller mentions a former law associate who "was nearly always able to break the tension in a negotiation" with jokes, but declines to repeat any of them.

You can't blame Miller much; most of his crowd were out heckling Letterman. Only their complaint was that Letterman is funny, which is not their primary qualification for a comic.

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