Somehow you just know there’s a monumental disconnect (and far too many hypersensitive folks out there) when the predominant meme throughout the media and blogosphere the last several days is the nature of satire.
How far can we go in mocking Obama? Can we get away with mocking McCain more brutally or is he just running a clownish campaign? Can we explain why McCain and Bush just aren’t funny when they try (too hard, too often), but they offer a goldmine of comic material? As Brad and Gavin try to document, the wingnuttosphere has been a study of parody itself lately.
Here’s the deal folks. McCain is a bumbling buffoon who wants to succeed a complete idiot. It’s not that we aren’t allowed to make fun of Obama. It’s that he’s not an asshole.
If a mentally disabled person acted the way the leaders of the GOP do, it would be tasteless to make fun of them. But since they act like “tards,” yet insist they aren’t and likewise are not cynically treating the American public like they’re mentally challenged, all bets are off.
That said, I’ll leave you with one I heard bar-tending the other night. Warning: this is tasteless, includes a casual racist attitude and all sorts of other bad stuff, but I’m sharing anyway. One of my customers said the economy is so badly “nigger-rigged,” Obama is probably the only one who can fix it.
I told him to take it back, that he knew better, but even the black guy with him giggled, then groaned.
Humor is in the ear of the beholder, and so much of it depends on knowing the intent (if possible) of the person telling the so-called joke. The joke-teller must also have a keen appreciation for audience sensibilities. One thing that helps is not caring.
Politicians care a great deal how they are perceived. A comic is not so restrained, which is why George Carlin could and Carlos Mencia still does walk up to that line and dance across it. Their attitude is of course, “screw ’em if they can’t take a joke.” Their audience knows that, expects it, and everyone knows that there’s room enough for everyone to be offended.