<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5529474\x26blogName\x3dDimmy+Karras\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2234159095245132931', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Gallows Humor

It's rather difficult to joke about politics today, given how angry everyone seems and how screwed we are with this whole terrorism thing, so when I come across articles that manage to get me to laugh on these subjects, I pass them along. A few people have linked to P.J. O'Rourke in the Atlantic Monthly, so I finally checked it out. In the subheading, he asks, "When was the last time a conservative talk show changed a mind?"

This is an argument I have with my father-in-law, an avid fan of such programs. Although again, I don't actually argue, because I usually agree with my father-in-law. Also, he's a retired FBI agent, and at seventy-eight is still a licensed private investigator with a concealed-weapon permit. But I say to him, "What do you get out of these shows? You already agree with everything they say."

"They bring up some good points," he says.

O'Rourke does some research by reading a few of the best-selling books in the genre, noting, "Ann Coulter, on the cover of Treason, has the look of a soon-to-be-ex wife who has just finished shouting." I like his summary of Bill O'Reilly's "Who's Looking out for You?"

The answer to O'Reilly's title question could be condensed in the following manner: "Nobody, that's who. The fat cats aren't. The bigwigs aren't. The politicos aren't. Nobody's looking out for you except me, and I can't be everywhere. You've got to look out for yourself. How do you do that? You look out for your friends and family. That's how. And they look out for you. And that's the truth, Bud."

His conclusion is wonderful too:

I believe I know why this shouting is popular. Today's Americans are working harder than ever, trying to balance increasing personal, family, and career demands. We just don't have time to make ourselves obnoxious. We need professional help.

As InstaPundit says, read the whole thing. I'm sorry Elias Nugator couldn't get past O'Rourke's pithy jabs at liberals. Pops liked it, though.

Brian Doherty's Reason column is funny too--or maybe just to me. He recounts seeing a speech by David Frum and it's hard to convey the humor in a brief excerpt. Anyway, here's a bit from the end:

Where is this terrorist threat? Maybe there really isn't that severe of a terrorist threat? (Frum posits that since 9/11 our terrorist foes are afraid to try anything less earth shaking for fear of seeming to be backing down or something. Maybe, but if so they are complete idiots--a strategy of death by a thousand small cuts would likely be quite effective in breaking the Great Satan's will, and would be a lot easier to pull then a well-coordinated megacatastrophe.)

But it will apparently never again be acceptable to suggest that we aren't facing a constant and imminent danger from terror. Remember 9/11! And so long as there are 50 people with a grudge against the U.S. and some spending cash, we can never realistically say the war on terror is won, can we? No amount of Americans with Disabilities Acts in Syria and court decisions in favor of gay marriage in Saudi Arabia will really end the threat of terror anyway. The scenario that Frum and his ideological friends present is one that truly guarantees eternal war-crisis footing.

It is funny, I swear.

I've also noticed the last two days that the Boston Herald doesn't seem to read the Gadflyer--who would've guessed that one. The malpractice issue is one I need to educate myself on, actually; I know it's a hobby-horse of Marc Levitt, but he's out running the John Kerry campaign right now.