Dog Bites Man, Sun Comes Up…

I was wondering if any bloggers would rise to Garry Trudeau’s bait. No, scratch that. I was sure some would. Sure enough. (found this via 11d)

Just as a sort of sideline, I’d say that young right-wingers are in serious danger of losing the so-called “South Park Republicans”, who really only sounded conservative because some liberals seemed more humorlessly establishment. Go back and watch “Stripes”: that energy will go against whatever seems like the stupidly authoritarian, hypocritical, humorless, self-important attitude of the moment is. And man, I’d say that there’s a certain flavor of right-wing blogging (and politics) that took no time at all becoming about ten times as humor-impaired as the worst liberal schoolmarm you ever encountered.

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Dog Bites Man, Sun Comes Up…

  1. joeo says:

    Garry Trudeau hasn’t been funny for a long time. The targets of his “satire” are now often people with significantly less status than Trudeau has. Not really what you want from a liberal humorist.

    He seems especially disturbed by young people. Where his characters used to be based on close observation of cultural types, they are now based on stereotypes. The interactions between the older charaters that Trudeau cares about and the younger characters that Trudeau doesn’t care about often gets ugly. It’s like the baby boomer matrix.

    On the other hand, those “day by day” comics that the right wing bloggers are always linking to are spectacularly bad.

  2. Timothy Burke says:

    I still think he can be funny, but I think you have a point about younger characters in the strip. I suppose I take it for granted that the strip is fundamentally framed from a Boomer point-of-view–but this of course means that the sharpness of Trudeau’s satirical insight has already degraded and will continue to do so. But this particular strip–at the least one could shrug it off, eh? Anybody stung by it, you have to wonder if it doesn’t hit a nerve of sorts.

  3. joeo says:

    Right wing bloggers often have some weird utopian zeal for blogging. They really think that they are changing the world. I am not suprised that they wouldn’t shrug it off.

    I wouldn’t say that it hit a nerve. The point of the strip seems to be that bloggers don’t make as much money as Trudeau’s wife and journalist friends and are thus lazy or losers. The torture-loving jackasses at Powerline are a lot of bad things but they aren’t lazy or poor.

  4. DougLathrop says:

    I must admit, that was the first time I’ve read Doonesbury in years. Trudeau’s increasing lack of humor and inept handling of younger characters were already becoming apparent to me by the time I stopped reading him regularly. (Those weren’t the reasons I stopped reading, mind you–it was more because (a) I moved from L.A. to San Diego and the conservative “newspaper” here doesn’t carry it, (b) I started to get most of my news from online sources, and (c) I never got the hang of reading comics onscreen.) With the aforementioned strip, and its “These kids today with their big pants and their hip-hop music!” tone, I think we can safely conclude that Trudeau’s long journey to the land of Cranky Old Fartdom is now complete.

    That said, with regards to blogging, I think he has the faint vestiges of a point. My political blog-reading is quite limited–I don’t like the echo-chamber aspects of it, and few of them have much to offer me either as entertainment or in terms of helping me understand big issues. The ones I do read regularly, I read for any number of reasons–because I know the blogger personally, or he or she has some demonstrated expertise, or writes well, or possesses a good sense of humor–but they all boil down to the same question: “Who the hell is this person, and why exactly should I give a damn what he or she thinks?” And even if I like them, I have no illusions that they’re going to change the world.

  5. Timothy Burke says:

    See, I guess that’s another reason I wouldn’t bristle. This particular strip may not be an especially funny or amusing comic. It may not be especially sharply observed in terms of satire, either. But there’s a little teeny grain of truth to it, I think. There are people blogging who are really just untalented echoes of the already somewhat untalented punditocracy. Just as the entire online world has lots of attention-starved people who have nothing but banality to share with others. I don’t think that’s really what blogging is, or online communication, but neither is Trudeau wholly baseless. Not especially hilarious or subtle, either, of course.

  6. DougLathrop says:

    Oh, and regarding this:

    “I’d say that there’s a certain flavor of right-wing blogging (and politics) that took no time at all becoming about ten times as humor-impaired as the worst liberal schoolmarm you ever encountered.”

    I’ve always believed that being an ideologue precludes having a sense of humor. For much of my adult life, especially in college, the most prominent cases in point were on the left (i.e., some feminists and various other identity-politics-driven types) and in the 1980s, when they still had some influence on public debate, it was good sport for young conservatives and apolitical comedians to poke fun at them and watch them overreact. Now that the left has been largely driven out of the arena, quite a few middle-aged folks on the right are showing that they can’t take the sort of ridicule that they used to dish out.

    OTOH, liberal humorlessness hasn’t really gone away, either. we’ve already discussed Trudeau. And while it depresses me to say so, I think Al Franken has gotten steadily less funny the more politically engaged he’s become. The old SNL and Comedy Central gag writer still makes me laugh, but the new would-be senatorial candidate and standard-bearer for embattled liberalism? Not so much.

  7. Timothy Burke says:

    Yeah, I agree on Franken, and the reason for it. It’s a reason why I’d like to shake off the heavy clammy blanket of superego that seems to have settled over my political imagination at times, but I think that there’s plenty of people out there who have it much worse than I do in that department. I think the really bad slide begins when you stop being able to laugh at yourself.

Comments are closed.