Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rush and Bill

Successful comedians who talk politics are all left wing. There is not a single, successful standup comedian who talks conservative. In fact, even the putatively “blue collar comedians” make fun of the right wing core. You know you’re a redneck if….

It’s not like the right wingers haven’t tried. The most “successful” attempt was supposed to be the Right’s version of the Daily Show, the1/2 Hour News Hour. It was embarrassingly bad. Really painful to watch. They used unrealistic canned laughter trying to make the most witless comment seem hilarious. There was also a Youtube show called NewsBusters. Equally bad. If it wasn’t for canned laughs, they wouldn’t have no laughs at all. 
If there was a single right wing comedian in the United States who was slightly funny poking at the Left, would he not have a show on Fox? Of course. They just can’t find one.
Successful talk show pundits like Limbaugh, on the other hand, are all right wingers. The Left made an attempt with Air America, but it went bankrupt. Couldn’t even make ends meet. 
Talk shows are powered by anger. No one is angrier than a Tea Partier. 
In a way, anger and humor are the two sides of the same coin. They are both valid means of political expression. They are also ways of dealing with the emotions of politics. Yelling and laughing are both cathartic. 
Why is there no money in conservative humor? Some argue that humor tends to be an attack on the big guy. It is unseemly to attack the little guy, and therefore, not funny. Some say poking fun at the establishment is just funnier because the establishment is stuffier.
But I believe it is solely a function of readily available material. Religion. Sexual hypocrisy. Palin. Bachmann. Perry. Cain. Trump. Gingrich. Santorum. Not only does the right wing keep supplying material, they even create conspiracy theories to explain why they keep supplying material. Limbaugh got Fluked, they say, because he was set up by the Democrats. And they prove it showing her associations with Democrats. She pals around with Democrats.
I don’t have anything against anger. I think it is a rational response to much of our political system. The Left uses it too. Humor and anger are two ways to emotionally express our plight. But they are very different. Humor comes from truth. It is the recognition of a surprising connection that causes the laugh. If you do not agree with the connection, you do not laugh. 
While anger can come from the truth, it can come from lies as well. In fact, angry people will forgive lies, even when they see them. The dishonesty that comes from anger is not always intentional. One may become blind with rage. One does not become blind with laughter.
Another difference is that laughter is much harder to create. Those with no sense of humor have trouble with this distinction. Glenn Beck once bragged that he could do his show with only two writers, while Jon Stewart had 15. Really. He thought his show was comparable to The Daily Show, and he thought that the more he talked, the more he had to say. 
This is the difference between Limbaugh and Maher. Maher is making money being funny. When he directs a negative naughty word toward Palin or Bachmann, the point of the jab is not the naughty word. When he called Palin a “dumb twat,” (the audience gave a friendly groan) he was connecting to her long history of embarrassing ignorance, a characterization that was, first and foremost, established by women, Tina Fey and Katie Couric. In doing so, Maher distinguished other women, those who are laughing with him, from Palin. Those women who laughed with Maher were elevated. This is the opposite of misogyny. 
Limbaugh called Sarah Fluke a slut and a prostitute, and then he continued calling her a slut and a prostitute for three days. You do not get more laughter by repeating the same joke for three days. Thus, it was not humor. Furthermore, he was calling all women sluts if they engaged in recreational sex. And he was lying to do it. He lied about Flukes’s testimony, and he lied about his own views. So far as we know, Rush Limbaugh is either shooting blanks, or he has never engaged in procreational sex. Either way, Rush would be a slut, except there is no such thing as a male slut.
There is a very simple way to determine whether either or both are misogynists. Let the women decide. If they boycott the products advertised on Maher’s show, then he must change his ways. But women do not consider Bill Maher a misogynist. If they did, we would have heard about his abuse of women before Fox decided to defend Limbaugh by attacking Maher. The uproar against Rush was powered by social media, not the mainstream media. 
Maher does not want a feminist jihad to destroy Limbaugh with an advertiser boycott, because he knows how unfair such an effort can be. But I think he would agree that Limbaugh makes way too much money for what he does. So let’s compromise. Keep Limbaugh on the air, but let’s reduce his salary to somewhere in the 99%.
So now Louis C. K. quit the Radio & Television Congressional Correspondents Dinner, apparently because Scientologist Van Sustern started screaming he is a misogynist, too. She is not afraid for women. She is concerned about having another national showcase for humiliating humor at the expense of Fox News. She wants the media to find a conservative comedian as its representative. 
After thorough research, I suggest Fox favorite, Brad Stine. Look him up on Youtube. Try to watch 10 minutes. You will be begging for few “twats” and “bimbos.”