The Death of Humor

Irony did not die in a fireball of Islamic rage. It did not end on the 11th day of the 9th month of a new century. It did not expire when 19 disciples of the 7th century killed 2,977 innocents born in the 20th century. Irony died a less infamous death when politicians killed all attempts to be funny. Some politicians, at least, who did more than something. A lot of professors and students, and employers too, who made it their business—who make it their business—to silence speech. To weaponize words to stop the use of any words that may offend the most puritanical but least prayerful of souls.

Look at the Democratic candidates for president, a list that may soon exceed all members of the faculty of Harvard University and all unlisted names in the Boston telephone directory. Look at how humorless these men and women are.

Picture them trying to be funny. Picture them red-penciling every gag so as to guarantee that someone, somewhere may not be unhappy about a joke or punchline. Picture them as they are: of unsound mind because they pay no mind to their proposals for national insolvency through intellectual bankruptcy. Picture, also, their refusal to hear a joke that is popular but politically incorrect.

From Bernie Sanders, who looks his age, to Pete Buttigieg, who speaks like he is Sanders’s age, the candidates have less humor than the most unfunny Good Humor man.

Colder than any freezer full of ice cream, as they would either outlaw refrigerators or fill their freezers with vegetables, these candidates obsess over global warming while failing to win—never mind warm—the hearts of a majority of voters.

Photo credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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