Sunday, February 15, 2015

Liberal, Conservative, Humor, Jon Stewart

Why There's No Conservative Jon Stewart - The Atlantic:

I love articles like this. A couple underlying "liberal" assumptions come through quickly:

1). I'm a liberal, therefore I'm "better" -- smarter, more in tune, "in the know", etc, etc.

2). I'm very modern -- and the latest information is ALWAYS best (therefore, there is no such thing as "truth", because tomorrow's truth will always trump todays!

A good working definition of Philosophy is "footnotes to Plato" ... something that a "liberal" can't subscribe to because of their underlying assumptions -- it's more modern now, Plato MUST be wrong!

But again, Plato calls the ball perfectly and they even quote it in the article!
Theorists have been trying to explain humor as far back as Plato. The ancient Greek philosopher said humor got its power from the pleasure people get when they feel superior over others, laughing at their foibles and flaws.
"Search your heart Luke, you know it to be true!" So given the assumptions of liberals that I just listed above, and Plato's words, it is easy to understand why "liberals" are a better market for political humor!

Political humor, in particular, might have an inherently liberal bias. Alison Dagnes spent years looking into this question for her 2012 book.  It does have a liberal bias, but she didn't get it.  If she had managed to understand Plato, she would understand that people want to FEEL superior to SOME group. Feeling is definitely not related to any objective reality, and it is irrespective of your actual power state. Satire makes fun of a group you CONSIDER yourself superior to, there is no requirement at all for you to actually be more powerful than that group in any objective way.

I'm pretty sure the British made fun of the Americans during the Revolutionary war, soldiers make fun of officers, prisoners make fun of jail keepers, southern whites made fun of southern blacks prior to "1968", and as evidenced by Jon Stewart, the dominant political and media evidenced by "The Party (D)" makes fun of conservatives today. Americans were objectively FAR less powerful than Britain during the revolution (they quit because we weren't worth the fight), certainly blacks in the south were less powerful that whites, ditto conservatives in the US today. Humor is an equal opportunity thing -- it depends on perspective, but ALL people like to feel superior! 

Seinfeld apparently understood Plato, as have many black comedians -- people LOVE to laugh at groups that they feel superior to -- down through time, Jews, Italians, Blacks, etc. When you are REALLY dominant, as whites were in the south, or liberals are today, you get to make fun of the other group, rather than having to BE one of the less powerful groups to be allowed to make the jokes, as blacks are today in comedy. In this wonderful Seinfeld sketch about a guy that converted to Judaism so he could do Jewish jokes, Jerry isn't offended as a Jew, he is offended as a COMEDIAN!

Certainly, if you are "with your own folks", one can make fun of the allegedly more powerful -- again, it is about FEELING superior, not any actual reality.
Young began to wonder whether this might explain why liberals were attracted in greater numbers to TV shows that employ irony. Stephen Colbert, for example, may say that he’s looking forward to the sunny weather that global warming will bring, and the audience members know this isn’t what he really means. But they have to wonder: Is he making fun of the kind of conservative who would say something so egregious? Or is he making fun of arrogant liberals who think that conservatives hold such extreme views? As Young noticed, this is a kind of ambiguity that liberals tend to find more satisfying and culturally familiar than conservatives do. In fact, a study out of Ohio State University found that a surprising number of conservatives who were shown Colbert clips were oblivious to the fact that he was joking.
"Irony" and "ambiguity" are in the eye of the beholder -- or maybe in this case, they are just uncomfortable cover for the truth.  When audiences felt inherently and securely superior to Blacks or Jews and that was allowable, the jokes were funny to them. When that superiority started to be called into question, the laughs became uncomfortable, then disappeared, and then the jokes became hate speech.

Anyone watching Colbert KNOWS that he is making fun of conservatives, that is the role he plays on the show! There is no "ambiguity" there at all -- to claim it exists is incredible. When people do not clearly "get the joke", they are not amused -- they are confused!   Conservatives, don't laugh for the inverse of the reason that liberals laugh --  conservatives know EXACTLY what he is saying/being.
He is playing the part of a "stupid obnoxious conservative"  --  and the Colbert CHARACTER is "joking" -- AS a conservative. He poking fun AS a conservative (character)!

Real conservatives who are skeptical about Global Warming  DO use the "won't warmer weather be grand"  line, typically during unseasonably cold weather.  Liberals HATE that -- and they consider it to be a sign of stupidity. No matter how cold it is, or how long a "pause" there is in warming, they must believe -- and feel superior to the conservative using the line. So they laugh at the Colbert character -- either naturally because they are real warmist believers, or they laugh because they know they are supposed to. To not laugh would not be appropriate to maintain standing in their belief system.

 Conservatives have yet a further reaction -- they know that humans in reality DO prefer warmer weather!  Given a choice between it being 2 degrees warmer in a winter 100 years from now and it being two degrees colder, humans ACTUALLY prefer the warmer.  BUT, liberals find themselves in a situation similar to people forcing themselves to not laugh at a racial joke, even though everything in the "humor program" of their brain might be firing.

Strangely, "suppressing the natural" is a major part of "liberal" behavior -- most liberals find gay sex disgusting too, it is naturally wired into our brains to react that way -- but they are forced to act like they don't to stay in good graces with their peers.

Conservatives know that the liberals are actually lying -- they are still human, they actually DO prefer slightly warmer to slightly colder temperatures. The scary part is that conservatives also know that "liberals" MUST NOT admit that they actually prefer warmth in order to stay in their group! They are forced to do their best to laugh "heartily and naturally" even though their very being is in disagreement with the position they espouse to stay in the dominant group!

 This is where this fairly simple thing gets more than a little spooky and conjures images of religious zealotry, Nazism, ethnic hatred, etc.  -- covered in a lot more detail in "The Righteous Mind". I won't go to ground on this here -- it comes up quite a bit in this blog. Human nature has a whole set of elements that all have "light and dark" sides --  say "greed / envy". Capitalism works to use greed to achieve good things, socialism uses envy to try to make things "equal".

Part of "civilization" is the channeling of our basic drives and weaknesses -- lust to monogamous marriage, competitiveness to sports, material comparison, wars, ... the list is long. For a couple thousand years, in the West, the Christian religion was the overarching set of morals / values that gave a broad agreement on many of these. We accepted human nature as fixed and imperfect, needing to be moulded by the Holy Spirit on the right hand, and by the state from the left. 

That balance is now gone. The State, and it's party -- TP, seek to cow the masses into following ONLY the authority of TP. THOU SHALT bow before Global Warming, "Gay Marriage", "Government Healthcare", "Government Education" ... and ultimately GOVERNMENT!!   Making fun of people that don't agree with that might lead eventually to some "mirrorish"  image of what happened to Blacks::

 free --> slave -> oppressed minority -> kept minority voting bloc --> ??? free someday ???

Productive free working Christian majority --> productive working Christian minority --> regulated Christian voting bloc --> oppressed minority --> slaves ???? 

In case you need a laugh after all that seriousness, here is some fairly equal opportunity political satire that at least OUGHT to be funny to both sides! (but likely isn't)

'via Blog this'

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