Thursday, March 29, 2007

Great Moments in Conservative Humor

I'm thinking about making this a regular feature.

Conservatives attempt to actually make humor from time to time and the results are always intriguing. I might even go so far as to call them "confounding." Just not "funny."

Our first item comes compliments of Think Progress. It's a video from last night's White House Correspondent's Dinner, the annual event where our press corps and our elected representatives get together to drink and act like co-workers, even though working together is nowhere in their job description. Seriously, I know I'm not the first person to point this out, but the very notion of a chummy annual dinner between the journalists and the politicians they're supposed to be covering is inappropriate. That would be like the dudes from Price Waterhouse having lunch with all the Oscar nominees the day before the show. It's not a guarantee of impropriety, but it sends the wrong impression.

George Bush, being a deeply unfunny man, has always had kind of a tact problem at these dinners. See, Presidents are expected to kind of lightly make fun of themselves for the pleasure and giggling schoolyard delight of the White House press corps. Bill Clinton memorably made a video about goofing off aimlessly at home when Hillary is out of town. Bush, on the other hand, did a slideshow in which he pretended to look around the White House for Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Get it? Because he started a war based on them and then didn't find any! Oh, his geopolitical recklessness sure is amusing!

And then, when Stephen Colbert showed up and attemptd to do the exact same thing - turn a frank observation about the state of Bush's presidency into a joke - rightards called him incivil and refused to laugh and rode him in the press for weeks.

Anyway, Bush only appears briefly in this clip. (He still does manage to be unfunny, however. A comedian asks him if he has any funny nicknames for Karl Rove. We all know he has one really famous one - turd blossom, which either refers to a flower that grows on lumps of cow dung or the lingering aroma of a fart, depending on who you ask - but he responds with a ripping "He's fired."

Is that a joke?

"Hey, what's your favorite nickname for your long-time co-worker?"

"He's fired!"

"Um...ha ha?"

[NOTE: This is actually a good joke if you happen to be Donald Trump, provided you don't use it too often.]

Misplaced aggression is like a language with this guy. It's his most basic emotional state, Bush at equilibrium.

Instead, this bit focuses on a really really really lame freestyle rap this comedian doofus whose name I have already forgotten does with Karl Rove. Seriously. Freestyle rapping with Karl Rove. Go watch the clip.

First, he asks Turd Blossom some questions about his hobbies, a delightful bit of business that seems to stretch on for approximately eleventy bajillion years.

"So, Karl, do ya have any fun hobbies?"

"Not really."

"Nothing? Nothing you like to do?"

"I don't drink alcohol."

This conversation makes Charlie Rose's show look rousing and lively. Huell Howser watched this clip and said, "Wow, this is fucking boring!"

Then, Karl Rove starts talking about how he likes to hunt quail and rip the heads off of small animals. It all pretty much goes downhill from there. Definitely a Great Moment in Conservative Humor.

Having said that, MC Rove has nothing on this Michelle Malkin column. Tbogg linked to this, but I had to click through to Jewish World Review and read the whole thing for myself to believe it. It reads like one of those weird, militant chain e-mails you get from time to time, vaguely hostile "open letters" addressed to large groups of people that just get handed back and forth ad infinitum across the Intert00bz. (Or maybe that's just my grandmother...)

This is the most hilarious thing I have read in a while.

Dear Muslim Terrorist Plotter/Planner/Funder/Enabler/Apologist,

You do not know me. But I am on the lookout for you. You are my enemy. And I am yours.

I am John Doe.

The killer from Se7en?

Oh, no, it's just Michelle Malkin...Then why isn't it Jane Doe? Did your hypothetical alter-ego representing individuals who feel similarly to yourself about terrorism undergo gender reassignment?

(I mean, yeah, I know, it's about all these "John Doe" legal cases, wherein public-spirited citizens like Michelle reported all these Muslim Imams to authorities, causing them to be detained and harrassed even though, you know, they hadn't actually done anything.

I actually don't think you should be able to be sued for reporting suspicious behavior, mind you. But I still think Michelle's attempt to express solidarity with these unnamed informers is amusing.)

I am traveling on your plane. I am riding on your train. I am at your bus stop. I am on your street. I am in your subway car. I am on your lift.

I am your neighbor. I am your customer. I am your classmate. I am your boss.

I am John Doe.

I gotta tell ya, John, you're kind of creeping me out more than the terrorist. They just want to blow me up to make a point. But you seem really into the whole thing, you know? I mean, you're on my train, okay, that's one thing. But then you're at my same bus stop? That's kind of weird. Then, later, I see you on my street? And in my subway car? And finally my lift, supposing that we went to England for some reason? Give a fucking terrorist apologist some space, J.D. Damn!

I will never forget the example of the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 who refused to sit back on 9/11 and let themselves be murdered in the name of Islam without a fight.

You know, like in that Paul Greengrass movie...

I will never forget the passengers and crew members who tackled al Qaeda shoe-bomber Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63 before he had a chance to blow up the plane over the Atlantic Ocean.

Yeah, the idiot who failed to light his shoe on fire. Wikipedia powers, activate!

Passengers on flight 63 complained of a smoke smell in the cabin shortly after a meal service. One flight attendant, Hermis Moutardier, walked the aisles of the plane, trying to assess the source. She found Reid, who was sitting alone near a window and attempting to light a match. Moutardier warned him that smoking was not allowed on the airplane; Reid promised to stop. A few minutes later, Moutardier found Reid leaned over in his seat; her attempts to get his attention failed. After asking "What are you doing?" Reid grabbed at her, revealing one shoe in his lap, a fuse which led into the shoe, and a lit match. She tried grabbing Reid twice, but he pushed her to the floor each time, and she screamed for help. When another flight attendant, Cristina Jones, arrived to try to subdue him, he fought her and bit her thumb. The 6 foot 4 inch (193 cm) Reid was eventually subdued by other passengers on the airliner, using plastic handcuffs, seatbelt extensions, and headphone cords.

Yes, let's never forget the sad tale of Richard Reid, the al-Qaida wannabe who somehow got his hands on an ACME catalogue. Back to Meesh-Meesh:

I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods, who notified a stewardess that several Arab men sitting in his first-class cabin on an August 2001 flight were behaving strangely. The men turned out to be 9/11 hijackers on a test run.

And I will never forget the alertness of actor James Woods in all those movies where he's playing a cokehead, which is at least 80% of them.

I will act when homeland security officials ask me to "report suspicious activity."

I will embrace my local police department's admonition: "If you see something, say something."

I am John Doe.

She'll act...even when she doesn't see any suspicious activity. She'll do something suspicious and then report herself. That's Mich John's level of commitment to the vague concept of "homeland security."

I will protest your Jew-hating, America-bashing "scholars."

If there's one thing Michelle Malkin hates, it's fake scholars! Unfortunately, we don't get any names of actual Jew-haters. I think it was Professor Plum who expressed anti-Zionist sentiments in the conservatory...but I can't prove it yet. It could have been the lounge.

I will raise my voice against your subjugation of women and religious minorities.

But only in other countries. All you home-grown women-subjugators and atheist-haters are still cool.

I will challenge your attempts to indoctrinate my children in our schools.

"Sayin' we comes descended from monkeys...That's not my cultured heritage!"

I will oppose all attempts to undermine our borders and immigration laws.

I will resist the imposition of sharia principles and sharia law in my taxi cab, my restaurant, my community pool, the halls of Congress, our national monuments, the radio and television airwaves, and all public spaces.

This shit is really offensive. That first part implies that the major aim of immigration laws proposed by Michelle and other hard-line Republicans is terrorism prevention. The vast majority of people who are impacted by increasingly strict border and immigration policies are not terrorists, they are poor people. Trying to gloss over that fact with platitudes about being "John Doe" and standing guard against jihadis is cowardly in the extreme, an indication that Michelle knows deep-down her beliefs are motivated by racism and xenophobia, requiring her to disguise her true intentions beneath rhetoric.

And that second part...I mean, where to begin.

(1) Why start with taxi cabs? You couldn't at least pretend not to operate entirely based on stereotypes?

(2) Has anyone in America ever once reported an attempted imposition of sharia law at a national monument? I've gotta tell you, pretty much every American monument I've ever been to, there's a guy selling pork hot dogs somewhere right around there. So that's a violation of sharia law right there. Ever been to the Philadelphia Art Museum? There's probably eight, ten violations of sharia law going on on those front steps at any given moment of the day, and that's not even counting the bums loitering around the premises and whatever the hell they get up to. The only time I've ever been to Washington D.C., a guy came up to me right in front of the National Archives and tried to sell me a shirt featuring a huge pot leaf covering the White House and reading, "Washington: Keep Off the Grass." (Obviously I bought one.) If this doesn't represent a healthy respect for non-sharia American law, I don't know what does.

(3) As far as restaurants and radio stations go, if they want to run on sharia law...more power to them. It's not any of my business how you want to run your restaurant. I think it's probably a bad idea, at least for the restaurant, because a burqa will catch fire really quickly if you get hot peanut oil on it. (And in the case of the radio station, KLOS could start operating under sharia control tomorrow and you wouldn't notice a difference).

(4) Why go on? This is really really stupid.

I will not be censored in the name of tolerance.

No, apparently you won't be censored. You wrote it, I'm reading it. End of transaction.

I will not be cowed by your Beltway lobbying groups in moderates' clothing. I will not cringe when you shriek about "profiling" or "Islamophobia."

Well, no one's shrieking anything, and no one's expecting Michelle to cringe, I wouldn't think. But it is strange she can't fathom how this very piece she has just written could be viewed as "Islamophobic." A fear of Muslims is, in fact, the entire theme of the article. She writes of an imposition of Islamic law on our sacred national and social institutions, and cautions us all to be eternally vigilant against the Muslim menace. Then she turns around a few stanzas (verses? lines?) later and scoffs at the notion of Islamophobia. What else is there to call it? Islamo-concernia? "A Slight Case of the Arab Willies?"

I will put my family's safety above sensitivity. I will put my country above multiculturalism.

I will not submit to your will. I will not be intimidated.

I am John Doe.

Stunning. A stunning ability to miss the point. Michelle, you have already been intimidated. That's what this is all about! The John Does were intimidated! That is their defining characteristic! They saw suspicious looking Muslims, felt afraid and intimidated and reported them!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have a stroke.

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