They Must Be Joking
By: Mark W Adams

Monty Python - History of the Joke

Truly inspired thoughts come from all over, more often than not from the lips what Mel Brooks describes as Stand-up Philosophers. That's the job, thinking of the absurdities of life pointing it out in the most devastating way ... while not pissing their audience off (too much).  Laughter is a bonus reaction, the signal that they've hit on something profound startling funny enough to be repeated next time they do their act.

Marc Maron
is one such sage, and I've been enjoying his WTF podcasts for some time now. While entertainingly funny the podcasts are profound in that they are not an "act," but a forum where Marc and his fellow comedians discuss the craft of comedy, where it comes from, how it develops.  Like Chris Hardwick's Nerdist podcast (which I also highly recommend), what works and what doesn't is what drives the program, but Maron's WTF is a level all its own.

Where political bloggers and activist Tweeters analyze and advocate in often heroic efforts to spread the message of where our society needs to go, and some are even podcasting to great effect (and here I must plug the Best of the Left aggregator podcast and Mr. and Mrs. Driftglass/Bluegal's Professional Left as personal favorites), let's face it -- they mostly are preaching to the choir.

So, when the nature of GOP nihilism is expounded on at some lefty blog in trying to get a grip on the suicide pact conservatives are using to blackmail the nation into accepting their theocratic policy prescriptions -- or else, "we" know what's up. But "we" are folks who care, sometimes too much, about politics.
Republican hue and cry about the current budget "crisis" is intended to force Americans to embrace their vision for the future whether voters like it or not. Their argument at its essence is, you may not like our vision but at this point you don't have any choice.
But when you hear something that on the surface is not political at all, but is so very applicable to the state of the nation even when it's entirely intended for another audience and merely describing an individual's personality, it gives pause. Maybe it's more about what's in my head and this says more about me than the art of the joke, but take this exchange between Marc Maron and Anthony Jeselnik last week on WTF about Jeselnik's experience playing sports in high school and Marc's introspective reaction and see it you too find it perfectly descriptive of how the leading conservatives of the GOP are operating:
Maron: Did you get shit from the football guys?
Jeselnik: Nah, it wasn't like that. No one cared, no one cared about lacross at all. I think it might be better there at my high school now than at the time.
Maron: ... I always think about that in myself. That if someone had tought me some sense of healthy competition I would be better off in life. Like to me losing, is just, like I'm, if I'm losing I would rather ruin the game ... than lose.
Sure, call me PollyAnna, say it's just wishful thinking, but in the long run the extremism of the right stinks of desperation.  They're losing, and they know it.

They're losing at life, and their attempt to destroy the game, our government, our democracy, our economy, our way of life is a symptom of their last gasp attempt to stop what cannot be stopped. Progress. Progress towards social justice, towards fairness and equality cannot be stopped no matter how many road blocks the conservative cry babies throw at us.

It's all they got. And it works to a degree, but only for so long my friends. Tricks and fear mongering only work for so long.  Face it. No matter how some douchebag like Jim DeMint holds his breath and stomps his feet, Barack Obama is our President. An insanely articulate, extremely well educated, urban black man from a northern state is President, and Jim DeMint never, ever will hold that title. That alone is progress.

We will always need more progress and they will always try to slow it down, but generation by generation, we win, they lose, and life goes on.  Our society will advance and even if they try to destroy it from within, "we" will always be "We the People," (even if we have to include corporations or even androids and zombies as "people" too).


Fearguth said...

It's always bracing to hear from a REAL optimist every now and again.

Mark W Adams said...

Half-full / half-empty? Hey!!! WE GOT GLASSES!!!

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