Saturday, March 3, 2012

Five things more funny than Rush Limbaugh's satire

I caught Anderson Cooper on CNN last night and the debate over Rush Limbaugh's disgusting comments about Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke who was denied the ability to speak at Darryl Issa's all male House committee on Obama's expansion of the requirement to provide contraception coverage in health insurance.

While panelist  and former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer quickly changed the subject to terrible deeds done by liberal writers, he did acknowledge that Limbaugh's portrayal of  Fluke was insulting, and he shouldn't have done it. Conservative advisor Mary Matalin, however had a different take as she pimped the satiric nature of Rush's radio show:
 Nothing is more effective than political humor and political satire and nobody does it better than Rush."
Perhaps I'm simply comedy impaired, but I rarely find referring to a young, articulate law student, passionate about a serious issue as a slut, or a prostitute, or demanding to view her in a sex act as satirical.  Satire proceeds from humor and I'm not seeing it here or whenever Limbaugh engages in hate speech against women (or the President or any other group he has political disagreements with.)

I'm convinced Mary and Rush just don't understand what humor is, though you think she'd get it because she's been married to Carville long enough and he's always laughing at something.  So I'm going to help by offering five things more funny than Rush's satire in the hope they'll stumble across this entry and perhaps figure it out.
Colbert and Stewart at 2010's Rally for Sanity/Fear on the National Mall

1.  Let's start with the obvious.  John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are satirists and way more funny than Rush Limbaugh.  Yes, their politics tend to show up as way more to the left than Rush, but that doesn't stop them from skewering those whose political persuasion they share.  In the end, both men want an end to the unseemly marriage between money and power in American politics and they are just as happy to pillory Nancy Pelosi as John Boehner.  

2.  I confess, I'm old, and I haven't stayed up to watch Saturday Night Live in years and years.  SNL has been famous for political humor  from Dan Ackroyd's portrayal of Jimmy Carter to Fred Armisen's efforts to be Barack Obama.  They took on advertisers and politicians of all stripes and even the media as they spoofed the 70's Sixty Minutes segment called point counterpoint.  Here are Jane Curtain and Dan Ackroyd talking nuclear power in the Shana Wallace and James J. Kilpatrick roles.  This is satire and this is funny.  Mary and Rush are you taking notes?
As bad as it looks, or just too unintentionally funny to ignore. 

3.  Plan Nine from Outer Space is one of my least favorite movies of all time.  An Ed Wood movie, it's a bizarre mix of alien invasion, zombie resurrection and murder mystery.  Plan Nine was Bela Lugosi's last film, and he died in the middle of making it.  No matter, Bela's in the first half of the film while the guy who replaced him, but looks nothing like him, takes over in the second half.  Most people find Plan Nine unintentionally hilarious, despite being rated as the worst movie of all time, but I find the script ridiculously wordy and convoluted, and it gives me headache.  However, nobody calls a young student a slut or a prostitute, so I'm willing to revisit this unintentional masterpiece and laugh the night away. 

No not taken in my own bathroom, but an all too familiar situation
4.  Yes, this is an empty toilet paper roll.  If you've been married as long as I have, you too will have experienced those moments when you've sat down to take care of your business and upon completing your task realized there is no toilet paper.  Why?  Because somebody, a beloved spouse or family member has thoughtlessly not replaced it.  What's wrong with them?  The humor is in the visions going through our minds as we plan their demise, or perhaps the image of ourselves running down the hall holding up our unbelted, unbuttoned pants searching out a fresh roll.  Why is it we never check the roll status before we are unalterably engaged in our um, more vulnerable activities?  32 years, you'd think I'd learned.  While tragic, definitely more funny than Rush Limbaugh.
Kim Jong Il-A legend in his own mind.
5.  Last but not least are two men that would be unintentionally hilarious, if they weren't so damned scary: Kim Jong Il and Newt Gingrich.  Yes, it's not fair to make fun of dead North Korean dictators but Kim was such a wack job it's hard not to recount some of his views and actions and laugh.  While Kim was busy starving his people he was the world's largest importer of Hennessy brandy, he portrayed himself as the inventor of the hamburger, and claimed he was the best natural golfer in the world.  Check out his familiar  khaki tunic which he claimed made him an international trendsetter.  Bombast?  Arrogance?  Hyperbole?  Who knows.  He's dead.  But the good news is somebody with sense now seems to be in charge with announcement that North Korea is interested in dismantling their nuclear program.
Newt waxing expansively about moonbases, the president's treason, or about what Callista made for dinner. 
You'd think that Kim and Newt would have little in common, but take a closer look here.  Hyperbole, thy name is Gingrich.  Whether excoriating Mitt Romney or President Obama, or tooting his own accomplishments, nobody can tell a whopper like Newt.  My favorites are famous-President Obama's alleged "Kenyan anti-colonial behavior," or that he is "the most dangerous president in American history."  Oh, tell us how you really feel Newt.  Always willing to tout his own accomplishments as speaker, Newt always leaves out the part about how he is also responsible for the current permanent partisan warfare we find ourselves in, and that in 1998 his failure to oust Bill Clinton from office led to a loss of seats in the House and the subsequent revolt in his party led to his exit as Speaker.    Newt always reminds me of a combination of former House speaker Sam Rayburn, boxer Muhammed Ali, and science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke: someone with vision and a big mouth, but with a lot fewer accomplishments.  Newt's hilarious.  A hypocrite and a failure, but hilarious.

So Mary and Rush, these are five things that are much funnier than calling Sandra Fluke a slut and a prostitute.  There are many other items I left off the list-cholera outbreaks, some Adam Sandler movies, and the rapid exit of your sponsors.  But this was just a brainstorming session.

1 comment:

DougH said...

I believe comic Robin Williams stated: Humor is anger turned sideways. You, sir, are quite upset.
I enjoyed your rant. It is unfortunate that America is not as angry.