Monday, October 17, 2016

Tiny suppressions

George Orwell on humor:
A thing is funny when — in some way that is not actually offensive or frightening — it upsets the established order. Every joke is a tiny revolution. If you had to define humour in a single phrase, you might define it as dignity sitting on a tin-tack. Whatever destroys dignity, and brings down the mighty from their seats, preferably with a bump, is funny. And the bigger they fall, the bigger the joke. It would be better fun to throw a custard pie at a bishop than at a curate.
And now every "tiny revolution" has to be put down
By Monday morning, however, the satirist’s joy at confusing enraged conservatives reached new heights when his tweet was reported as genuine by the right-wing blogger Jim Hoft, who demanded to know if someone in a position of authority would “follow up on this.” It apparently never occurred to Hoft that he could have followed up himself, by attempting to contact the Californian who posted the tweet, or by scanning the rest of his Twitter feed, which is devoted to political comedy.

After Hoft’s post was linked to from the home page of the Drudge Report, it was shared more than 90,000 times on Facebook and Twitter.

Within hours, the fictional story had also been discussed, as fact, by Rush Limbaugh, and prompted investigations from both the United States Postal Service and the Secretary of State of Ohio, Jon Husted.
Something is going on here beyond just elites and authorities being stupid or having no sense of humor. It's more insidious. The new thing is a pose. Every joke or piece of satire is taken at face value.. not by accident.. but specifically with an eye toward suppressing dissent. And it's not strictly a right-wing phenomenon. It's also well-practiced by Hillary wing Democrats. Whining about "the tone" is the last refuge of every scumbag. But the scumbags are in charge. And this affected humorless passive aggression is their m/o.

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