the difference between liberals and conservatives, redux 11.21.2005

Last night I caught a small bit of George Carlin's comedy routine on HBO. I happen to like his sarcastic humor. But at one point in his routine he made a couple of jokes which struck me as illustrative of the difference today between liberals and conservatives. Paraphrasing the joke, he said something like:

"But I don't make fun of politicians. Why? ... Because politicians are the product of American schools, American education, American culture, and they are voted for by Americans. If you've got screwed up politicians, it's because you've got a screwed up public. Fuck politicians? Fuck the people! Fuck the people for voting for the politicians!"

Of course I was giggling, because one of the things I've noticed about George Carlin is that as much as he is a comedian, he's also a modern poet: his comedy routines are as much about the sounds of the words he speaks as they are the content. But his comments about politicians being no better than the public...

I also happened to have watched a few weeks ago some television routines by Blue Collar TV. Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck when..." routine is a classic, though it would never really be the same if it were delivered by anyone other than a southern boy who appears to be speaking about himself and about his own family, rather than by some angry New Yorker now living in Hawaii who would appear to be angrly denouncing another part of the country.

And therein, I believe, lies the fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals today. The Blue Collar TV folks, who represent the good ol' boys out hunting, sniffing terrible smelling things on a dare while drinking beers--their comedy is in a sense very good natured and self-deprecating. They may make fun of other people (such as the "you know you're a redneck when...") but they seem to be talking about themselves more than about anyone else. And ultimately their humor, as commentary on human nature, suggests we are all in the same boat--equal, just with different tastes, not evolving beyond where we are, and some of us devolving personally into the state of "redneck-hood."

It's the humor of modern conservatism: people are just people, doing the best they can--forever needing of cops to guard us from the bad guys and flea and tick soap to bathe in once in a while. They carry guns--their grandmother has "ammo" on her Christmas list, and often can be quite stupid and naive--such as the fellow taking a fishin' pole to Sea World.

Then we have George Carlin's acidic superior humor proclaiming "fuck the public." The public is stupid, but between him and you, you're not the really stupid one. "They" are, whoever they are.

It's the humor of liberalism today. It's the humor of the humorless, the release of pent-up frustration by people who decide that, since the public is too stupid to take care of itself, needs to be taken care of by bureaucrats and government officials who know better how to medical decisions than people do. It's the humor of the insider, the superior, the fellow who would never dream of using a toilet brush as a back scratcher, but who eyes with suspiction their fellow man who might.

And once you've convinced yourself "fuck the public", you are no longer the public--but something superior. Something that doesn't need a cop, but who needs to help those poor helpless rednecks by taking away their guns (which they may accidently shoot themselves with), giving them socialized medicine (so they can take care of their beer-induced case of the gout), pat them on the heads and get them out of harms way--until, of course, the time arrives when they've evolved to your higher level New Yorker/Los Angeles-trained superior (liberal) sensibilities.

And there it is, in all it's glory, the fundamental difference between conservatism and liberalism today. The liberal is superior, worries about a public who drinks beer and sniffs deer piss while chatting about the hooters at Hooters, and worries that they voted in mass at the last election for a War they obviously don't understand, and voted for President Chimpy W. Hilter, a fellow who seems more comfortable scratching his ass and shooting at deer over a couple of beers than he is at a formal reception of the Hollywood elite. And so they proclaim "fuck the public" who has delivered them the Hell on Earth that is the United States--not because there are problems in New York or Los Angeles, but because of all the regions in between--"fly over country", as it was called by Rush Limbaugh, who when they desperately wish we would lose in Iraq, they desperately hope for our country's defeat in order to prove those stupid asshole fucked-up midwesterners wrong, Wrong, WRONG! Fuck them!

Then we have the conservative, the fellow who does sniff deer piss on a dare while slamming back a few brewskies, whose non-working TV serves as a TV stand for their working TV, and who realize that the only difference between them and the fellows in the Mercedes Benz is the quantity of money they have. (And the wealthier of them are hopeful for the new BMW SUV's may be large enough to hold a gun-rack in the back.) They're good natured, because they are more willing to make fun of themselves, and they realize that beyond some aspects of the hoity-toity culture they don't quite trust, men generally piss standing up and put their pants on one leg at a time no matter where they are in the world.

They want to be left alone, but are willing to take up arms against those who would harm them. And they laugh at themselves when they tell themselves they could care less if you're Jewish or Muslim--so long as you're willing to share a cheeseburger and a few brewskies, you're good people.

They're a good-natured folk who basically like people, though they may distrust things they don't understand, and who will happily throw a cow carcass on the barbaque for a hundred of their closest friends--pulling the buck shot out of the hind-quarters first.

Today liberals clearly hate the public, and conservatives don't. It's so clearly reflected in today's humor, it's not even funny.

posted by William Woody at 10:08 AM

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A moderate conservative living in the left coast, surrounded by the sureal, wonders if there is a sane life living amongst those who have lost touch with reality.

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