Perhaps a More Appropriate Name for Them Would Be an Angry Exclamation of “That’s Not Funny!”

by Frank J. | July 30, 2007 4:14 pm

Cross-posted from[1]

Usually IMAO flies under the radar of left-wing blogs. They want stuff to be angry about, but who could be angry at fun-loving IMAO? We only want to nuke the moon[2] — there aren’t even people there to hurt. Still, we’ve had our run ins with some of them such as when some guy named digby criticized us for our “hostile” humor[3] and Amanda Marcotte and her commenters once spent about 500 pages in a horribly pedantic analysis[4] of whether a post of mine was technically “satire.”

Now, Sadly, No! — a left-wing humor site — has latched on to our Fred Thompson Facts[5]. By itself, it’s not that notable. It seems to be a lashing out at how the left-wing blogs’ favorite candidate Edwards is perceived as being “swishy,” and now they must be further frustrated on that count since Edwards took time out of the last debate to criticize Hillary Clinton’s outfit. The humor seems borne more out of being angry than being clever, but their audience seems to like it so I can’t really criticize.

Anyway, what was interesting to me was the monologue preceding the humor where this bit caught my eye:

Not that we don’t have a begrudging sort of respect for the I.M.A.O.s of the world. After all, it’s sort of mulishly courageous to tackle humor as they do, from the opposite end of what is actually funny. Very few humorists can find comedy in the violent victimization of the marginalized by the overclass, largely because there isn’t any. But points to I.M.A.O. for trying. And even if their output isn’t — how shall we put it? — ‘funny in the slightest,’ at the very least it makes for a nice sort of homage to the Golden Age of Beer Hall comedy. . .a kind of living monument to the jackbooted stylings of those brownshirted stand-ups who, once upon a time, quite literally ‘killed’ at venues across Europe.

Now, if this was meant in jest, it’s exceptionally clever. Basically they’re poking fun at their own side and how many have an overwrought hatred of any one with a different political viewpoint. It’s much more self-aware than you’d find anywhere on DailyKos. If it’s meant even partly serious, though, then it’s rather sad.

And that’s the problem with a humor site with politics like that of the popular left-wing blogs. If you handed me something written by Glenn Greenwald and said, “Here’s this hilarious parody of a left-winger I wrote!” I’d think it was some genius satire and admire the work you put in it (“Wow. You kept it up for like five pages.”). When I first read Amanda Marcotte, I thought she was joking as she preached a kind of feminism I had long thought was made up by the older conservatives to scare us. So, when a left-wing site is sometimes trying to be funny, how can you tell when it’s saying something in jest or when it’s saying something ridiculous with a hilarious though somewhat sad earnestness? When many on that side honestly believe the government is behind 9/11 and that President Bush is going to establish a dictatorship before leaving office, how can you tell when they’re joking about something?

If I were to guess, I’d say who wrote that at Sadly, No! meant it seriously. That’s because it’s extremely rare to see left-wingers use self-deprecating humor about their own politics. I could write a whole paper on the reasons why for that, but just think about: How often do right-wingers make jokes using the left-wing’s stereotypes of them? We here at IMAO do it about every other post; it’s fun to pretend to be a mindless warmonger who hates the poor. Now how often have you seen a left-winger make a jokes using the right-wings stereotypes of them. I can’t think of very many instances; they really hate those perceptions of them and don’t find anything about them funny.

So, if I’m wrong and that statement from Sadly, No! was completely in jest, it was all the more exceptional.

What do you think? Do you think they were joking, or do they really think our humor makes us like Nazis? If so, then which posts are the Nazi ones? Maybe it was the one where I drew Kos with exaggerated Jewish features[6].

  2. nuke the moon:
  3. digby criticized us for our “hostile” humor:
  4. a horribly pedantic analysis:
  5. Sadly, No! — a left-wing humor site — has latched on to our Fred Thompson Facts:
  6. drew Kos with exaggerated Jewish features:

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