JOKES AND LAUGHTER
Why is it that a lot of our friends on the right seem to think that when a lefty doesn't have a lot of filters and just says what comes into his or her head, it's a bad thing? Especially if it is something said under the guise (or within the actual mantle) of humor? Why are such instances usually made out by right-wingers to be some sort of punishable offense, or worse? Could it be due to jealousy? The right wing has finally started to catch up with the use of internet technology for staying in the game, but they still seem to be light-years behind the left when it comes to the use of humor.
I think what Bill Maher said about Donald Trump's ancestry was pretty rude, enough so that I don't believe I need to repeat it here. But I also think it was a statement based on gut feelings many lefties have about Donald Trump, so in a sense Maher was expressing what I consider popular opinion.
Thus, if Trump is going to sue, then he should not just sue Bill Maher, but he should also sue you, sue me, and sue every American who laughed out loud at what Maher said. And by now we all should know Trump is the kind of man who would do just that, if he could.
How about when a right-winger doesn't have a lot of filters and says whatever comes into his or her head? Many on the right have no problem with that, and don't bother to police such inflammatory statements because the person saying it has spoken to the heart of what many of them seem to think. It seems to be kind of a "Well, somebody had to say it" thing. But what really seems to make righties angry is when a filter-challenged lefty says something a lot of people believe is funny about one of them, something a lot of people laugh at and start repeating. Then those who are ideologically similar to the offended person band together like policemen against a cop-killer.
It seems to me those on the left who push this envelope in public statements are basically comedians, like Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The ones who do it on the right are people whose purpose is to be serious and to be taken seriously; they are ones who often run for office nowadays, or they are talling on the radio, or they are busy trying to write books.
From my view, this begs a question: If FOX "News" is so popular among conservative television viewers, why are there not also some popular right wing comedy shows on the tube? The right wing does have Dennis Miller on board, but honestly, does he really count, with all his obscurity and his off-the-wall references? I mean, I think he's far too cerebral to be an "everyman" comedian for "Joe Six-Pack".
So, "why aren't conservatives funny?" The following linked article is interesting, and worth a read. It examines Dennis Miller's slow decline, talks about how comedians may be replacing the media when it comes to being our nation's "watchdogs", and discusses how certain political ideologies/philosophies may not be compatible with comedy:
Do we on the left have better senses of humor than many of our right-wing counterparts do? One-to-one and among friends, I don't believe this is necessary true at all. The differences I see are more on a national level.
In partial fairness, I think a lot of things the angry conservatives say ARE flat-out funny... but unintentionally so, which makes the uber-seriousness of right-wing politics far more worrisome to me than entertaining. It seems to me a lot of right-wing public figures don't know how to be funny on purpose, unless they are Herman Cain (who does have a sense of humor, but whose views are so far to the right that I believe he would not have been elected president even had he been totally serious about it). Anyway, when someone like Maher or Stewart cracks a joke about conservatives, particularly one that really calls them out on something, they don't tend to tolerate it well.
Kudos to Bill Maher in general, even if he does have a tendency to let himself run unchecked at times. I don't really find him any worse in that regard than, say, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Allen West, or any number of right-wing pundits and/or politicians. Both sides generally have their cranks and makers of wild statements. But the left tends to do it far more often with a smile or a laugh.
I don't see Ann Coulter running around suing people over jokes from lefties about her Adam's apple. Nor do I see Barack Obama running around suing people over the derogatory jokes and memes (maybe numbering into the millions by now) circulated around the internet by those who dislike him.
This is because Coulter and Obama have at least the following in common: they realize that a certain level of recognition, or "celebrity" if you will, elevates them into what is basically "public domain". Trump has elevated himself to that level, but I do not believe he has really grown up enough to accept what goes along with his celebrity status. So, grow up, Donald. Take it like a man. Bill Maher may have overstepped his bounds and may not have been within the realm of common decency with his comment, but you need to suck it up. Deal with it.
And besides, I could care a lot less about Donald Trump's ancestry. What I really want to know (and what the nation really wants to know) about The Donald is known only to him... and to his hairdresser.