If I had a philosophy regarding humor (which I don’t), it would be: Explain it, you drain it.
There is no accounting for what makes us laugh seeing as we live in a world where there are actually people who find Carlos Mencia or Dane Cook worthy of anything better than being pelted with poo. But laughs are where you find them even if sometimes we have to explain the finer points to people for whom a stick in the butt is not a bug, but a way of life.
Take Donald Douglas, for example, who attempts to dowse the undercurrents of David Horsey’s cartoon looking to understand teh funny.
First the cartoon:
As explained by the "pro-victory Associate Professor of Political Science":
The New Yorker is a literary magazine in its essence, whereas the National Review is the founding journal of opinion of American conservatism. The respective audiences, while overlapping on the liberal/conservative divide, are likely different in orientation toward activism and praxis. Had the Obama fist bump first appeared at the American Prospect or Harpers, then, well, perhaps … (and I can’t think of a conservative analogue to the New Yorker).
Further, take a look at what Horsey hopes to satirize: McCain in a wheelchair? I can’t see how this is an effective lampoon. One of the most amazing elements of the GOP primaries this year was McCain’s resurrection from near dead politically, and images of the Arizona Senator lugging his own bags while huffing to catch a plane at the airport powerfully showcased the man’s vigorous drive to victory.
Well I think there is something to be said for the image of a drooling oldster who isn’t exactly at the top of his game and can’t remember what he said from moment to moment anymore than he can remember what he had for breakfast until he has reviewed and inventoried his stool. Infirmity can come in many unappetizing packages.
How about Cindy McCain’s overflowing pharmaceuticals? Well, unlike Barack Obama’s patriotism or his ties to ex-domestic terrorists, Mrs. McCain speaks openly about her past struggles with drug abuse and she’s used her own imperfections as a model for personal and social improvement.
I must have missed Cindy McCain’s confessional where she stood up and said, "My name is Cindy (dreary "Hi Cindy" response) and I stole donated drugs intended for poor people in Africa and later fired Tom Gosinski who snitched me out just like I fired that intern I blamed when I was caught stealing recipes and passing them off as my own. Now who wants some Passion Fruit Mousse?"
As for McCain’s humorous repartee found in lines like "Bomb, Bomb, Iran," well, there’s been a lot less analytical attention to McCain’s off-colorness than that of Obama’s elitist put-downs, like those of the bittergate controversy. Supply does not create its own demand.
Not so much any more.
And Dick Cheney’s portrait on the wall, with a copy of the Constitution in the fire? Well, polls have shown the nation evenly divided on balance between protecting the national security versus protection civil liberties; and for the most part, the "evil" Richard Cheney is a figment of the hard-left’s imagination.
Um, dude. 18%? Eighteen-fucking-percent? Mike Tyson could get better than an 18% approval rating. Granted he only bit somebody’s ears off as opposed to shooting an old man in the face.
In contrast, large numbers of Americans believe Barack Obama to be Muslim:
…and those people would be idiots and if you feel that you have to use them in your defense, well: Fail.
Next time, show work.
(Added) : I see that John Cole is on the same track and shares my antipathy towards Mencia. As should you, if you know what’s good for you…