Thursday, June 17, 2004

Some things really aren't funny

Recently, Adrianna Huffington was on Hannity's radio show and he was challenging her about her support for television ads connecting SUV drivers and terrorism. You may recall the spot, in the manner of the anti-drug ads that connect drug money to terrorism. Obvious left wing nonsense.

So, Hannity called her on it. She scrambled, and said something about "satire". Pretended the whole thing was just a joke. She was being funny, couldn't he tell? Then she tried to pass the project off as a work in the tradition of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, in which Swift proposed the selling of Irish baby meat to solve social problems in the troubled Emerald Isles.

Now Swift's piece was a hard-boiled, genuine, in-your-face piece of satire, assuring us of the culinary and nutritional benefits of a well-nursed infant. Best enjoyed over a plate of Buffalo Wings with your favourite brew. The essay, that is.

Sorry, Arianna, no sale. Thunk! Even we naïve Americans are not foolish enough to mistake your loony-left drivel for satire, and your defense is as dumb as the ads.

We live in a day where satire― the genuine article, not the pretense of Arianna Huffington― hardly exists. Have we become a nation of... what? What is the name for a group of people who seem to have lost their collective sense of humour? French? We cling so tenaciously to our established position, we forget to consider the logic of that position. If the Earth were to move, we might fail to notice. In our bacchanal of political bifurcation, we seem to dig our heels into ideological the dirt like drunken frat boys in a tug o' war.

We need more writers like Ann Coulter. Now there is a lady who can spit out barbed witticisms faster and more finely than Bill Clinton ever conjugated the verb "to be". Most important, she pulls no punches. Her critics attack her personally, not on issues of fact. The personal invective of her critics on the left signifies not only the truth of what she says, but the effect she is having.

In any case, good satire has become scarce.

Satire is a good thing. Satire makes us laugh and think. Good satire just begs to be read, even by those who don't agree with the writer's viewpoint. Since readership is what writing is all about, you would really think more writers would use satire to make their points. Getting people to laugh while slugging them in the gut is a skill that can only be admired.

Did satire die because we lost our funny bones? Or did we lose our sense of humour because we no longer have enough satire to read? Whether the chicken or the egg, satire is inevitably taken as literal meaning by the left and the writers' words thrown back at them as though the public is too stupid to realize the true intent of the words.

Well, people are not so stupid. Like political correctness, left-wing reaction to satire is a conditioning force intended to discourage its use. But as with political correctness, left wing scorn is to be mocked or ignored, never heeded. Write on!

Think about it, does anyone seriously believe Ann Coulter means for us to "...invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity"? I crack up every time a leftist writer expresses indignant outrage at such a sweet sentiment.

Let's invade their newsrooms, kill their editors...

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