Posts tagged ‘comedy’

Happy Warriors!

The idea of electing comedians and comedy teams to office is very attractive to the Italian national character. I have praised them for this before. It shows a maturity of understanding rare in the annals of modern democracy. Given the omnipresence today of po-faced progressive parties, the alternative cannot be po-faced “conservatives,” whom the po-faced Leftist media will methodically smear and slander, as for instance in Canada and USA. They accept that verdict, and agree to lose. Rather one needs people with a sense of humour and no political past. I suppose this is the argument for Trump; though I would argue that he takes himself quite seriously, and doesn’t see the joke at all.

For vulgarity is not the same thing as humour. It is a dimension of comedy, but the full commedia dell-arte requires more. It must be spontaneous on several theatrical levels to occasion real surprise, and catch the po-faced off their leaden balance. It requires masks and good costumage. It requires stock gli immorati, ridiculously in love as much with themselves as with their sweethearts; fine silk dresses or alternatively the patched clothing of an impudent Colombina, with her weaponized tambourine. It requires confusions of identity, in the spirit of old Terence, and Plautus. It needs fantesche and servette (maids and serving wenches); Smerildas, Nespolas, Diamantinas.

. . .

Plus, men who make jokes that are genuinely funny, such as some untranslatable remark Beppe Grillo tried the other day about the new Muslim mayor of London, which made all the po-faced heads explode. He has been called, repeatedly, “the most dangerous man in Europe,” for his ability to attract audiences, and make them laugh, despite being banned from Italian state television and so forth. He does not run himself, but is content with his position as backstage producer, out of his conviction that criminals should not aspire to political office. (Almost everyone in the Italian Parliament has a criminal record, many in the first degree.)

Among his most dangerous notions is that citizens should be permitted free speech, and that the power of politicians should be curtailed. This goes considerably beyond the “Brexit” position, that British politicians should be re-empowered at the expense of European ones.

Five stars

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State of the Union 2013


Oh yeah, all those mean, nasty horrible, drastic cuts to the federal budget.

Our Moral Preener in Chief thinks (almost) all of us are rubes.


text here

But if the proprietor of the most open and transparent and clean-smelling administration of all time wants to make some real news, he might speak honestly to the segment of the American electorate that he is screwing over six ways to Sunday: Young voters between the ages of 18 and 29. Listen up, kids! Your parents are robbing your futures blind and you’re chumps enough not only to go along but to say – like the adorable title orphan in the classic baby boomer musical Oliver! – please, sir, I want some more.

From virtually every possible angle, Obama is helping to diminish the prospects for today’s younger generation. First and foremost, his response to the Great Recession – stimulus and the massive piling up of debt – is slowing the recovery. Ginormous regulatory schemes such as Dodd-Frank and the creation of huge new soul-and-bucks-sucking programs such as Obamacare weigh heavily on the economy now and in the future too. His refusal to discuss seriously old-age entitlement reform – Medicare and Social Security and the 40 percent of Medicaid that goes to old folks – is a massive storm front on the economic horizon. His preference for secrecy and overreach when it comes to executive power won’t screw young people as obviously as his economic policies, but when he leaves office in 2017, he will have created far more terrorists than he needed to.

State of the Union: Will Obama Tell Young People He’s Screwing Them Big Time?

Actually, given Obama’s history of banal greenjobsenergy- education infrastructure- makingstuff SOTU boosterism, it’ll probably be none of the above.

Another non-surprise is what we’re virtually certain not to hear: a big new plan to reduce the $16.4 trillion federal debt — roughly $5.8 trillion of which arrived between Obama’s first big address to the joint Congress (technically not a SOTU!) and this one.

Yet while the state of the union may be sobering, the good news is that you don’t have to be.

As President Obama drones on in his State of the Union address tonight, follow along with Reason’s 2013 SOTU drinking guide. Take a drink, and click a link, if the president…

The False Choice Between A Shot Or A Beer: Follow Along With Reason’s 2013 SOTU Drinking Game

Expect a lot of moral preening from our First Comedian, our Moral Preener in Chief.

On February 17, 2009, in remarks at the signing the $787 billion Stimulus bill, Pres. Obama promised it would lift two million people out of poverty.

However, according to the latest available Census Bureau data, quite the opposite occurred. In fact, there are now 2.6 million more people living below poverty.

Obama ’09: Stimulus Will Lift 2 Million Out of Poverty; Today: 2.6 Million More in Poverty


The Ds and Rs deserve each other. And because we elected these people, we deserve what we get, good and hard.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken

North Korea’s third nuclear test since 2006 must be seen as a major embarrassment for Obama, coming on the eve of his biggest speech of the year (after his second Inaugural Address, of course). From the earliest days of his presidency, Obama has made nuclear nonproliferation a key goal, and his advisers have said he had wanted to revive this as a major “legacy” item in his second term. But North Korea’s act of open defiance only illustrates how little progress there has been on several fronts.

The administration’s early policy of “strategic patience”–refusing to negotiate until Pyongyang unilaterally agreed to suspend its program—appeared to provoke only more defiance from North Korea. Last week, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rebuffed a U.S. offer to negotiate directly over its covert nuclear program, despite multilateral agreement to impose the harshest sanctions yet on Tehran. And last fall, Russia abruptly announced it was dropping out of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which since 1991 has helped Moscow destroy or safely store nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons left over after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It’s not a pretty picture to present to the world at the start of Obama’s second term.

[Moral Preener in Chief] Obama must confront an embarrassing failure of his nonproliferation policies on the eve of his big speech.

Thomas Jefferson considered it “kingly” to deliver his State of the Union report as a speech, so he sent the Senate and the House some written comments instead. Woodrow Wilson, never reluctant to play king, brought back the speechifying in 1913, and the modern custom of addressing a joint session of Congress was born.

The state of the actual union has improved in many ways in the century since then, but State of the Union addresses have kept heading downhill. Calvin Coolidge reversed many of Wilson’s kingly policies, eventually including the oral address; before then, though, he made the mistake of broadcasting it on the radio, expanding the crown’s audience even further. (*) FDR brought back the speech (and the broadcast), the show came to TV in the Truman years, and under LBJ the other party started airing a response right afterward, an innovation that may sound even-handed and democratic but in practice just amplified the kingliness.

State of the Union Addresses: Going Downhill for 100 Years

When it comes to political lies that cannot and will not be met “It won’t cost a dime” is right at the top of the list. Not unexpectedly, that was the central thesis of numerous Fantasyland projections in Obama’s State of the Union Address Tuesday Evening.

Hot Air and No Substance; Obama’s Plan to Destroy Jobs “Won’t Cost a Dime”

Go ahead, enjoy the decline!

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