2018

28 June 2017: It’s OK to laugh a little

I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing. – H.L. Mencken

Okay, fellow libs, get a grip and get out of your funk. Yes, I know. Donald Trump is hawking the good ol’ USA to the Russians, Jon Ossoff got whopped in the Georgia special election, making that zero for five in steal attempts of those insanely red seats, and the ACA might be toast.

Let’s begin with Lyin’ Donald. To think Trump can do in America, which I once thought possible, sells the Founders short. If you haven’t gotten a deeper appreciation for Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton over the past six months, you’re not paying close attention. Sure, Trump will go nova when he flames out, going nuclear not on some poor slob of a nation like North Korea but on the good ol’ USA. But we’ve survived worse, like from the Confederacy whose progeny dominates the party that set out to destroy it. Ironic, eh?

The lessons of the Ossoff fiasco: You don’t beat Republicans with liberal platitudes. Those Boy Scout days are of yore. If you’re going to take a stand, especially when running for office, stand for something and be prepared to offend. Take the high road and you lose.

As for Obamacare, RIP. It was a 1990’s Republican bastard child, begat to insure Big Health’s viability. So, what Republicans sired dies at their hand. It’s the daddy party, after all. Old Testament rules.

True, 25 million will go without health care and the toll among them could reach Aleppo size, but, hey, like a phoenix, a Medicare-for-all plan will rise out of its ashes. Little pain, a lot of gain. Okay, maybe a whole lot of pain, so be glad you’re not one of the poor shmucks suffering and meeting the grim reaper prematurely. Unless, of course, you’re one of the 25 million.

Nonetheless, there’s some funny fecal matter happening. If we could just get over our huffiness about suffering and dying.

Okay, picture this. The POTUS steps on stage wearing his familiar fecal-eating grin. His adoring minions, though, don’t notice his smirk, but something more obvious: His fly is open. Nothing untoward is visible, which wouldn’t be likely as Little Marco Rubio, who seemed to have inside information about it during the primary, reminded us. But the thing is unzipped. Undone.

“That is so adolescent humor,” you sniff. That’s true, literal American, on its surface. But step back from that which the rightwing media cranks out as serious journalism and tell me it’s not humorously adolescent? The sophisticated conservative voices—David Brooks, George Will, Michael Gerson—have been marginalized, and in their places, a tinfoil-hat coterie droning on about “fake news” and some bizarro conspiracy called “deep state,” a mental-case concoction promulgated by the classic tinfoil-hatter: Newt Gingrich.

It’s about irony and satire, notions lost on Americans generally and Republicans in particular. It’s an essential difference between us and them. Liberals get and appreciate irony and love satire because of how we process information. They’re subtle and require expansive—liberal arts education—prior knowledge, curiosity, and an ability to associate seemingly unrelated, disparate concepts.

Come on! Prometheus is unbound, and the POTUS unzipped. Funnier than fecal matter.

More hilarious would be the rightwing media’s spin. FAKE NEWS! The POTUS’s wardrobe malfunction didn’t happen! Part of the Deep State conspiracy! And here’s a nine-step thought-education program to deprogram you from that public education gibberish, stuff like science, Shakespeare, Twain, and evolution, and move you to correct thinking.

Now, picture this: Melania Trump in a white Victorian gown adorned with an embroidered scarlet letter A embossed with gold thread. Hmm…Melania as Hester Prynne.

Offended? You haven’t gotten Nathaniel Hawthorne’s point and likely never will. Smiling, even chuckling? You have and get a scarlet A+ and gold star for your forehead.

Being outraged suggests they’ve gotten under your skin, which, if not processed properly, can lead to violence. So, if you can’t beat ‘em, at least enjoy a chuckle at their expense, for as George Santayana noted, “The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the older man who will not laugh is a fool.”

No fooling!

To be continued.

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