Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why conservative jokes suck

The Irony of Irony (Ironic!)

Literally unbelievable!

For some of you who see me comment on MetaFilter, you'll know that I'm generally annoyed at the lazy reductionism of people of faith as credulous rubes (seen in its most patronizing in the "Santa Claus" construction).

But that's because the vast majority of the people I know who are people of faith don't take the faith too literally. They understand that conceiving of the world as a battle between God and Satan is both simplistic and, well, magical in a bad way. If I believe that it is literally the antithesis of all that is good and holy that motivates your actions, then sure, $8 billion Abortionplex.

Likewise, the feeling of "Fuck you, nah just kidding," that pervades conservative humor (including a "Tiger Woods vs. Obama: Who's more diverse?" gag) comes from the sense that everyone is using the pretense of humor as a way to cover up the ostensibly unpopular or impolitic opinions they really hold (hence believing that Colbert is really a conservative, and that his jokiness is only a play on Bill O'Reilly), and an antipathy toward critical examinations of those opinions — which is when humor is invoked as a defense.

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