Monday, May 07, 2007

Great Moments in Conservative Humor

Wow...I don't even know what to say about this Weekly Standard "parody" piece. It's such a miserable, disgusting failure in the Humor Department, I actually kind of feel bad for the editorial board of the Weekly Standard. It's not so much that I'm embarrassed for them, because anyone who would publish this thing is clearly beyond shame. No, it's more a feeling of pity, really. Somewhere out there, someone thought this thing was funny. And not just funny, but funny enough to warrant publication in an actual old-fashioned paper magazine. Not a blog! The kind of thing that actually costs money to produce!

It's a response to former NJ Gov. Jim McGreevey's decision to enter the priesthood. McGreevey, of course, resigned from office and then admitted to having a homosexual affair with a staffer. Get it? He's a ghey and he wants to enter the priesthood! Because there certainly aren't any priests who like boys! What a ridiculous notion.

Already a thin premise for a joke, no? I'm not sure if Episcopalian priests have to maintain a celibate lifestyle (I'm assuming not), but regardless, it's not like your personal sexual preferences have a lot to do with the job description. As long as you generally look down on it, that is.

But even so, gay priests are hardly the far-out stuff of comic fantasy. Rather, they're an everyday reality. And I'm not just talking about the Diddler Priests! There are plenty of non-pedophile gay guys who become priests, just like there are gay men in every conceivable occupation. (Yes, gay mechanics! And construction workers! Get the fuck over it!)

But, okay, we're talking about The Weekly Standard here, not The Onion. Got to lower one's standards from the beginning. Still, they managed to underwhelm.

The joke is, McGreevey is a gayer and thus woefully inappropriate for the priesthood (that's TWS' take, not mine). So let's think up a lot of other, similarly "inappropriate" situations.

Idi Amin Enrolls in Culinary Class
Former Ugandan Strongman Wants to 'Humanize Cooking'

Believe it or not, they're actually leading with the A material. Idi Amin-cannibal jokes. Hi-larious.

The comic premise here is actually sort of difficult to discern. Idi Amin enrolling in a cooking class is certainly inappropriate. He's a mass murderer, so it would be morally improper for him to have a lot of free, liesure, enjoyment time to take a cooking class. What's more, he is rumored to have eaten people, and I suppose a cooking class could theoretically give him ideas on how to make humans more appealing and flavorful. But still...a long way to go for a joke. It does manage to shit on equate homosexuality with cannibalism (Idi Amin eating people and Jim McGreevey fucking dudes are roughly comparable negative qualities in the joke).

But there's no direct connection. Idi Amin enrolling in a cooking class isn't really anything like Jim McGreevey going to seminary. Also, I don't understand the concept of encasing all of the jokes inside mock newspaper clippings. Why would Idi Amin enrolling in a cooking class be newsworthy? Because he's dead? But wouldn't the headline then read: "Zombie Idi Amin rises from dead, enrolls in cooking class"?

I say, yes.

America's Most Wanted Names O.J. Simpson Co-Host
Ex-Football Star's Comments Sure to be Incisive

Again with a '90s reference. That's 2 in the first 2 jokes. These guys publish a news magazine. Is it to much to ask that they be aware of something that has happened in the past decade?

Anyway, the only way this joke makes logical sense is if you think homosexuality is off-putting in the same fashion as double-homicide. O.J. is not, actually, an inappropriate host for a show about wanted criminals. He has, in fact, been a wanted criminal. TWS editors are kidding, but they are actually correct - O.J.'s comments about evading the law in the aftermath of committing a horrible crime would probably be insightful.

Having him host "America's Most Wanted" would not be inappropriate, it would be in poor taste. So the only way the comparison here makes any sense is if you think James McGreevey showing his face in public and leading a normal life is in poor taste.


Kim Jong-Il to co-chair U.N. Commission on Human Rights
Priorities Include Population Control, Loyalty

Maybe this would work for me if it weren't being written by the Weekly Standard guys, pundits who actually endorse things like torture and therefore have no moral authority to attack Kim Jong-Il, in jest or otherwise.

At least they got their basic comic premise right for the first time! Just as Jim McGreevey, an openly gay man, would be an awkward fit as a priest in the eyes of bigots everywhere, Kim Jong-Il would be an awkward fit at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. As would George W. Bush, for the record.

Joseph Goebbels Tapped to Head Radio Free Europe
Will Focus on Minority Rights, Living Space

So, thus far in our "parody" newspaper, we've had homosexuality equated to (1) cannibalism, (2) double murder and (3) ruthless authoritarian rule. Where else is there to go but National Socialism?

Seriously, Goebbels? You guys really want to equate Jim McGreevey's attempt to move on with his life and find religion with the Nazis rounding up European Jews? What the fuck has got to be wrong with someone for them to even come up with this?

And no, that's not a rhetorical question. I really want to know, medically, what has to happen to a human brain in order for it to forge a connection between a gay guy who's all about Jesus and the Nazi propaganda minister. Someone call House.

Bill Clinton to Serve as Judge for National Cheerleading Competition
Former President to Present "Spirit Stick"

Two points about this one, then I'll wrap up this week's GMCH.

(1) This joke totally violates the comic premise of the entire page. Bill Clinton, known horndog and lover of all women, would be an ideal judge for a cheerleading competition. That would not be an awkward fit. The only reason the Weekly Standard guys threw this in is their continuing obsession with Bill Clinton and his engorged member, even though he has not held public office in 7 years.

(2) The editors of a national news magazine running a dick joke on the last page strikes me as inappropriate and potentially offensive. ("Spirit Stick"? Old white guys are gross...) Why is it okay for them to inject frat-boy sexuality into the culture but not okay for Bill Clinton? He was a perv and a psychotic who degraded the office of the President. But to my knowledge, he never used a position of power in the mass media to distribute bad dick jokes. To my knowledge, anyway...

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Sean said...
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