Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Forgetting How To Laugh

I stumbled across a hilarious Tweet yesterday, at least I thought it was hilarious. It offered this bit of first class snark:

If the Huffington Post and Salon had been around in 1942, they would have been writing about the gender gap at Auschwitz.

Of course, to be fair to my progressive/statist friends, I suppose if National Review had been around in the time of King David, they would have been describing the tithe as an oppressive wealth redistribution scheme.

See what I did there? That's called bi-partisan snark, and it is sorely missing in today's hyper political culture. We are great at zinging our political opponents, but almost completely unwilling to tolerate jokes at our own expense. It's a short trip from not being able to laugh at yourself to wanting to shout people down. Very short. Which brings me to the Julius Caesar kerfuffle...

The Shakespeare in the Park people up in New York City are currently staging a production of the famous play about political intrigue and skullduggery which features Julius as a Trump-like figure. Throughout the play extra effort is made to disparage this Trump stand in. When the climatic assassination scene comes, it's quite brutal. Trump supporters are apoplectic, demanding that sponsors pull their support and now some of them have taken to storming the stage in protest. Liberals are suddenly scandalized at this blatant attempt to silence voices of dissent and have employed fascist/Goebbles comparisons to describe the stage rushers in Central Park. It's all quite hilarious. Honestly? Have these scandalized progressives been living in a cave for the past five years? Have they not seen the tender reeds in Ivy League schools demanding safe spaces and shouting down any voice contrary to their own? And what to make of these stage rushing idiots? Aren't these the same people who constantly malign these college fascists with the tag, snowflake? So, which is it? Are these offended souls trying to shout down Julius Caesar...snowflakes???

Tribalism has taken root in the black soil of politics. It has blinded us to our own hypocrisy. When the other side shouts down a conservative voice, it's an outrage. When our side tries to silence a liberal voice it's called fighting back. The air is now thick with this accusation: They can dish it out, but they can't take it. Neither is true. Neither side even knows how to dish it out with anything approaching civility and fairness. Neither side thinks they should ever be forced to take anything. We can't even define hypocrisy anymore.

And it's all because we have forgotten how to laugh...at ourselves.