clap clap blog: we have moved

Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Matthew Yglesias gives us a good example of a statement that is basically not right but still very funny:

"If the government doesn't have any better way of assessing the threat than watching CNN to see if anyone's been blown up lately, then I think we all have reason to worry."

Clearly not true, but still pretty good for what it is. So lemme ask the question: is this what the left needs, maybe? Matt was taken to task for an entry which seemed to be praising the Communists but I think was probably more meant to make the Greens look stupid, and this is a decent example of the kind of ironic (as opposed to sarcastic, which we have a lot of) humor you see in Rush Limbaugh but not much in any other leftist commentators outside of, weirdly, Dan Savage (and a few others). Yes, yes, Rush is a Big Fat etc., but as I've often said, looking back on his 90's stuff with the benefit of hindsight, a lot of that FAIR / "you say feminazi!" stuff was sort of missing the joke. And it's even kind of funny in retrospect. I think leftists are quick to jump on their own when they see them saying something "wrong," but sometimes you have to be willing to say something that's wrong in order to make a point and trust your audience enough to know that you know. Does that make any sense? I just think we have a bit too much faith in the blinding power of The Truth, and a bit of ironic humor and a nose-thumbing response to criticism of same (see the Blumenthal quote below) might be good for us. Like I say, the Fox News slogan is mind-bendingly cynical, but anything that gets the opposition that apoplectic can't be all bad. Too often the jabs we take at the opposition are half-hearted, self-congratulatory, and putting waaaaaay too much stock in the idea that we're being "subversive." I think you all know what I talk about--think about leftists who say things that you agree with in ways that make you want to slap them (i.e., Michael Moore at his worst). Well, I guess I'm just rambling on at this point, so maybe I should just try bein' funny like that myself, but maybe this will raise some thoughts in others.