Thursday, May 25, 2006

Promising new discoveries in the hunt to cure conservatism. Much work still ahead.

Science may yet solve the riddle of why conservatives “just don’t get it.” Studies show that conservatism may in fact result from an organic brain defect, and perhaps be curable one day.

I’ve long thought that there was a connection between adherence to conservative ideology and a lack of a sense of humor. Conservatives I have known (including those with college degrees) generally don’t understand or appreciate satire, or jokes based on subtle wordplay. They will laugh at jokes that start with “ A Priest, a stripper and a monkey enter a bar…” or at someone who has slipped on a banana peel, but they don’t have a clue as to why The Simpsons or Dilbert are considered funny.

A Canadian university study found that people with damage to the right frontal lobe of the brain have trouble getting punch lines and show a preference for slapstick humor. Sound like any of your FOX News-addicted relatives? I wonder if by “damage” that would also include a malformed or under-developed section of the frontal lobe; a birth defect, if you will.

Regardless of its cause, I believe more strongly than ever that a stunted sense of humor and conservative ideology go hand in hand. The latest empirical evidence comes from non-other than the minions of Tom “Cellmate of the Month” De Lay.

This from a posting on today’s “Think Progress:”

A good sign that Tom DeLay doesn’t have the facts on his side: the top source for his latest defense against his critics is Stephen Colbert.

This morning, DeLay’s legal defense fund sent out a mass email criticizing the movie “The Big Buy: Tom DeLay’s Stolen Congress,” by “Outfoxed” creator Robert Greenwald.

The email features a “one-pager on the truth behind Liberal Hollywood’s the Big Buy,” and the lead item is Colbert’s interview with Greenwald on Comedy Central (where Colbert plays a faux-conservative, O’Reilly-esque character). The headline of the “fact sheet”:

Hollywood pulls Michael Moore on Tom De Lay. Colbert Cracks the Story on the Real Motivations Behind the Movie

DeLay thinks Colbert is so persuasive, he’s now featuring the full video of the interview at the top of the legal fund’s website. And why not? According to the email, Greenwald “crashed and burned” under the pressure of Colbert’s hard-hitting questions, like “Who hates America more, you or Michael Moore?”

Apparently the people at DeLay’s legal fund think that Colbert is actually a conservative. Or maybe they’re just that desperate for supporters.

This could explain how Colbert got invited to speak at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. I couldn’t believe it was possible at first, but now, it may very well be that they didn’t know Colbert did satire. “He grunt and yell like us. Must be one of us.”

Conservatives are unquestionably missing something important in the cranial region that humanity needs to progress. It might just be a sense of humor.

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