A Bit of a Laugh

The Right is notoriously short of clever humourists but Canadian RWDB – if that’s not oxymoronic – Mark Steyn can be very funny. This piece of his from the UK Telegraph – which I beg you to believe I’m not posting in search of a political debate – is really, very funny. Link via Andrew Sullivan, whose own link to the Telegraph came up, interestingly, as

“Andrew Sullivan’s a genius Telegraph”

But we already knew that didn’t we?

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cs
cs
2022 years ago

A good piss-take Geoff … particularly on Mr Foucault. I needed some flagellation today … in readiness for a certain event scheduled to occur at the Sydney Stadium tonight.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

I thought, “I’m leaning on a lamp post at the corner of the street in case a certain little duce swings by,” was quite inspired.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

A question that meeds a Phd thesis is why can’t the right produce any decent comics/comedians?

Is life that serious or is it that the public loves to laugh at ‘rightish’ figures and ideology?

Robert
2022 years ago

Dexter Pinion (on the ill-fated Backberner) was a hilarious right-winger.

Robert
2022 years ago

Here’s a transcript of his spot on the last episode:DEXTER’S LAST STAND

BB:
In this time of nostalgia, we invited our correspondent for government reconciliation, Dexter Pinion, to review his time with the show.

DEXTER:
Yes, thank you Peter. Ah, how those words have stuck in my throat as I fought to keep the rising bile firmly in it’s customary southerly position. “Yes, thank you Peter”, as if it were somehow only through your munificence that I were allowed to reveal the truth. Regular viewers of this program will know that I have long been the only good thing on television. I have been the lone voice of sanity, the shining beacon of true liberal values, illuminating the self-serving socialist shit-sifting so-called satire, and revealing it for the winging waffle of the Whitlamite wankerism that it was. But it’s over now Peter, you proletariat puppet. You precocious poxy pre-rapheliate poonce prancing parasitically point to point, pontificating piece of pumped up…

BB:
Are you alright Dexter?

DEXTER:
Shut up Peter! Let me finish my alliteration damn you, you pinko peacenikking pile of pungent poop! Ooh boy, that feels better. Anyway, as you will have seen from today’s papers I have been elected to the ABC board and my first action was to cancel Backberner. That’s right tree huggers, it was me! And I loved it! I’m even thinking of re-commissioning the show just so I can cancel it again.

Now I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but there was a lot of crap on this show. A lot of lefty crap in particular. Happily it will be replaced next week by a new programme “AfterBurner”, a thoughtful discussion program for right-thinking people chaired by me. In the first week, I, Richard Alston and special overseas guest G. Gordon Liddy will beat the crap out of some nuns using only our feet. And trust me Peter, it will rate! Oh I’m sorry, we at the ABC don’t care about ratings do we? So I guess this show was cancelled because it was shit.

Goodbye Peter. Goodbye Louise. I think I speak on behalf the whole ABC board when I say don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out.

Dexter Pinion, free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I’m free at last from the AB friggin’ C!!Thankfully, Richard Alston has taken over the act.

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Priceless Robert, I’m still laughing.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Amusing as it is Robert, that’s of course left wing humour, not right wing. Screamin’ Sam Keckovich from ‘The Fat’ – modelled fairly obviously on Screamin’ Stan Zemanek – is a similar lefty caricature of the populist right.

mark
2022 years ago

Andrew Sullivan a genius? You’re joking, surely?

(Making you one of the Right’s better humourists.)

It’s rather odd. The Right is known for having mostly unfunny shit-stirrers as their jokers, and the Left is known for taking everything too seriously, because you just don’t joke about things like that.

Maybe whenever politics enters the equation, all attempts at real humour go out the window. And by “real humour” I don’t mean “lefties are stupid, hur hur hur” of Tim Blair or “Bush is stupid, hur hur hur” of those lefties who break from the mould and try to be funny.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Irony, Mark. Irony – at least in my case. Can’t speak for Andrew. I don’t consider myself to be ‘Right’ BTW, a position strongly endorsed by Fred Nile I’d wager.

I think humour and politics has to be non-partisan to work well. Patrick Cook in the Bulletin does it effectively and Richard Glover has a decent go in the SMH on Saturdays – and he’s an ABC radio presenter, and everything.

Predictability kills humour and idelogical zealotry is always predictable.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

I assume the challenge is to find comedians/humourists who actually use right-wing ideas in their work, rather than regular comedians who vote Republican (Like Adam Sandler and Dave Letterman)…Dave Barry, Dennis Miller, Jonah Goldberg, P.J. O’Rourke, Charles Krauthammer etc etc. These are just the ones I have read on the web. I didn’t count any bloggers…

I’m not sure I agree with Chris about Sam Kekovich either. His ranting is the same no matter where he appears. Maybe he’s just always in character.

Geoff’s assertion “Predictability kills humour and idelogical zealotry is always predictable.” would seem to apply to Dennis Miller in the last year or so.

In any case, whether or not you find something funny depends on your personal point of view. Seemingly, none of the Ozblogging lefties find Tim Blair funny. At least he’s trying, I guess. Are there any lefty bloggers even trying to be funny?

Tim
Tim
2022 years ago

What about Barry Humphries? Or perhaps the right don’t claim him anymore?

mark
2022 years ago

Charles Krauthammer’s a comedian? All this time…

As for lefty ‘bloggers going for humour, Gummo occasionally tries his hand, and of course there’s John Howard. In addition, I’ve always had my suspicions that Jon Ray is a lefty caricature…

cs
cs
2022 years ago

I’ll go with Tim on Barry … he’s the only one I’ll concede is so good I actually wish he was on our side, dammitt.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
2022 years ago

Adam Sandler (comedian), as my computer would say “does not compute”

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Tim – I think Barry Humphries is a social and cultural satirist primarily, and maybe because of that ‘distance ‘ his political statements can be all the more powerful as a result?

Sam – Tim Blair used to make me laugh, but his recent venture into comments turns his contribution into self-parody a lot of the time.
Some of his commenters are actually beyond parody.
Some dude recently on one of his greenie-killing threads announced an intention to get his pickup and his guns and spend the weekend shootin’ and drinkin’ and runnin’ small furry creatures over on the two-lane blacktop kind of thing. I felt an irrepressible urge to respond with “Dammit! You’re one remarkable woman and no mistake.!” But I thought it might be too inflammatory ;)

Chris – Dave Barry is good though I’d see him more as a social/cultural satirist also.

Mark – Charles Krauthammer?!! Jeez….

Maybe part of this is the ability to take the piss out of yourself and your own views as much as anything else?

James Russell
2022 years ago

Seemingly, none of the Ozblogging lefties find Tim Blair funny. At least he’s trying, I guess.

Very trying indeed :) Actually I do find brother Blair amusing from time to time, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to read his stuff.

Are there any lefty bloggers even trying to be funny?

I try to be funny peculiar if not funny ha-ha… does that count?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

James,

I think you’re funny ha ha as well as funny peculiar. However, I don’t regard you as a leftie blogger (nor Bright Cold Matt either, for that matter). I know Tim Blair thinks you’re a leftie, but almost anyone is from his standpoint.

Ron Mead
Ron Mead
2022 years ago

Mark’s transcript of Dexter, above, reminded me of a letter to the SMH just after the last Federal election that went:

“Ahh, the “elites”. Poisonous, patronising, pompous, pontificating, petulant, pious, partisan, predictable, poncing, presumptuous, pretentious, plaintive, polarising, petty, piscine, pernicious, plutocratic, persistent, phrenetic, pathetic and pink!

Howard won. Accept it and move on!

Inglis Howe Synnott, Armidale, December 1.”

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

A preoccupation perfectly pilloried Ron.

Anthony
Anthony
2022 years ago

Pick a random letter of the alphabet, find some negative words that start with it, and then apply them to your target. Then sit back, confident that the right-wing humour barrier has finally been broken. “Ha! The ‘elites’ thought that the letter P was on their side, but I showed them, and now they won’t have their super-powers any more. Take that!”

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Who are you suggesting isn’t elite Anthony?

Ken Parish
Ken Parish
2022 years ago

I’m puzzled why the Right wants to turn “elite” into a term of abuse. Is it because many of them have been labelled that way since their GPS schooldays, and they’re keen to fix it on their perceived persecutors as an act of effete revenge? Seeing people like Peter Costello, Alexander Downer or even Tony Abbott accusing anyone of being “elite” is a lot less than convincing IMO.

Personally, I’ve always aspired to be seen as truly elite, but the big end of town see through me in a flash, recognising me as just a plodding, pedestrian, plebeian purveyor of ponderous perhaps putrescent pap and piffle. What can I do?

[Signed]
Desperate Wannabe Elite
Darwin

mark
2022 years ago

I’m flattered that you thought me capable of unleashing such a hyperactive hills-hoist’s-worth of humour upon y’all (y’can tell I need practice at this), Ron, but it was Rob Corr who deserves the credit.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

You are a Leet Ken (as Kath would say)

cs
cs
2022 years ago

Yeah, it’s pretty curious Ken when you take it literally. Maybe they figure that those on the Left won’t buy the term (equality and all that), and therefore they can work up a shit-storm of an argument in which nobody will argue back. In due course they will claim a mighty victory!

A bit more sensibly, it’s an argument between liberals and neo-conservatives in-hitch to the ‘people’. Social democrats and others to the left are not recognised in this barney … and trad conservatives and old Tories are completely confused … along with everyone else to the right.

Stephen Hill
Stephen Hill
2022 years ago

This piece on elitism, was very amusing, considering how many times the world ‘elite’ was used in the context of the last election. As Ken points out, it was strangely, used be many of this country’s most influential people (Tony Abbott, Alan Jones).

http://old.smh.com.au/news/0201/09/opinion/opinion1.html

Unfortunately, the Boxing Kangaroo and Gloriana, the use of the word ‘elite’ as a pejorative has yet to be recognised by the dictionaries I consulted. I still cannot see how this term can actually be useful for those who attempt to use it.

Arts& Letters Daily recently linked to this ridiculous piece in the EveningStandard, which I guess was attempting to counter the criticism of Bush’s lack of intellect. (I still think it is scary that in the 2000 election debates, Bush did not have a clue who the leaders of India and Pakistan were).

The article misrepresents an array of intellects. Sure the brightest people can be as a bigger cad as anyone else, if you look at the personal lives of many intellectuals, artists, leaders, entrepreneurs etc, noone is denying that. That doesn’t mean I want the average reader of ‘Picture’ magazine running the country.

Reading the article it was embarrassing that I could pick out several obvious errors at a casual glance. The article even had a couple of corrections at the bottom, (e.g. Steven Speilberg never made the alleged comments on Cuba, they were made by the Cuban press, which of course is so renown for its factual integrity (IRONY ALERT)

The writer also made an array of simplistic assertions, like that Peter Singer had advocated the murder of the disabled. In ‘Personal Ethics’ Singer suggested that parents (not the state) should be allowed to terminate (while inside the womb, or within the first 28 days of birth) a severely disabled person. I’m somewhat uncomfortable with this idea but think it does deserves consideration, And I think it proves that such elites as Singer are not blinded by supposed PC considerations. This is a very difficult area; I have a severely disabled brother myself who is an extraordinary person and who I love to death. But if I had a partner who was carrying a severely disabled child, I would have to consider terminating the pregnancy. I asked my mother recently the same question, and she is of the same opinion.

I just thought these sort of articles, are not even entering into a level of debate, where complex issues are considered. It is like attempting to counter Heidegger’s philosophy by mentioning that he joined the Nazi party, or Rousseau’s ‘Social Contract’ by mentioning his failings as a father. You actually have to argue these things on an epistemological level.