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Laughter as a weapon

December 3, 2020

A few weeks ago, on a particular social media platform, I happened to suggest that progressives can neither meme nor laugh at themselves. The response was both quick and, sadly, consistent with my suggestion. I was assured in no uncertain terms, that progressives could too meme and laugh at themselves, but that things were just so serious that there was neither time nor room for humor. I was informed of how important politics are. Some noted that I was clearly a “Trumpist” (in case anyone has missed it, allow me to state it once more – I do not like Donald Trump). One of the reasons progressives weren’t making jokes about politics, I was informed, was that politics “controls our life” (a thing of which I was unaware, what with personal responsibility and accountability being kind of a thing for me). All of those sorts of responses combined to make a single point. I had done a Bad Thing.

Okay. Sue me. Not really. Please don’t sue me. I don’t want to be sued and you can’t get blood from a turnip, so…

Anyway, I read this post by Sarah Hoyt, yesterday. Her words suggest her experience has been somewhat like mine. To wit, she has experienced just how overwhelmingly seriously progressives take themselves. She offers a response that I can fully support.

“They take themselves so extremely seriously. And they live in an echo chamber where everyone tells them how smart and wonderful they are, besides having long since captured the institutions that give the outer wrappings of success and brilliance: awards, medals, etc...

“So…. make fun of them.”

As she notes just a little later

“…these self-important would-be oligarchs can hide (kind of) evidence of their crimes, shrug off insults, and scream back at those who scream at them.

They’re very good at reversing victim and aggressor.

But they can’t take a joke.”

She’s right, of course. When you’re convinced that only you and those who see things your way have the answer(s), that you and yours have them because, you know, you’re just so darn smart, and that those who disagree are stupid at best and evil at worst, it’s hard not to take yourself so very, very seriously. If we laugh at them, long, loud and repeatedly, I promise you, they’ll reveal the kind of people they are.

Mark Twain, in a different context, put it well when he said “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” So, laugh. Do it publicly. Don’t call them names. Don’t threaten. Simply laugh at them. A lot.

I don’t know about you, but as for me (and with thanks to both Serenity and Malcolm Reynolds) “I aim to misbehave.” Let the laughter begin.

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