Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Results Will Count for Fifty Percent of Your Final Grade

Someone posted this on Facebook today, and I thought it mildly amusing.  It's marginally wittier than most of the political invective that floods the Internet.

But then someone posted this as a comment, remarking "what's sauce for the goose..."

A bit sloppy (there were two Clintons in White House in those days, for example), but I think it's as fair (or "fair") as the Trump meme.  Some of the replies were revealing, though, I thought.
See, the problem is that it implies that Mrs. Clinton's reason for being was to have sex with President Clinton. Now, even if you accept that's true, and I surely hope you don't, Bill Clinton had something to do with it; Mrs. Clinton did not delegate the blow jobs to Monica. And it completely negates Mrs. Clinton's actual responsibilities as first lady, and her rather significant contributions to public life since. So no, not "sauce for the goose." Logically void, misogynistic.
I don't think this works at all.  I don't think the HRC meme does imply that her "reason for being was to have sex with President Clinton."  True, as the commenter says, Mrs. Clinton did have other jobs -- she particularly infuriated Republicans for not being a mere Lady Bountiful as a First Lady should be -- but maybe the commenter meant "her reason for being in the White House" or something like that.  As for "Bill Clinton had something to do with it," that would seem to be true of Donald Trump and his immigrant wives as well.  (We needn't dally with "her rather significant contributions to public life since," which have mainly been corporate toadying and war crimes.)  "Logically void," maybe, but this is a joke, after all.  "Misogynistic"?  Also arguably true, but no more so than the Trump meme, which doesn't appear to have bothered this person.

The next comment:
Seriously, F-- T--?! Have some class. And, btw, there's a difference between a joke at one specific person's expense and a joke that's basis is misogyny.
I can't see that the Trump meme has any more "class" than this one, and again, it evidently didn't bother this commenter.  Appeals to "class," especially with respect to satire, are almost always a sign of intellectual and moral bankruptcy.  The joke in the Trump meme was not only "at one specific person's expense" but also at the expense of his immigrant wives, who seem not to have been the empty-headed trophies the meme assumes -- they got out of their marriages to him, after all. Like Mrs. Clinton, they rebelled against being relegated merely to providing service to their husband.  The Clinton meme is certainly at Bill Clinton's expense no less than Hillary's.  Neither one is sublime satire, but they seem to be about on a par with each other.

So once again, I find that Ellen Willis's law of humor applies: “Humorless is what you are if you do not find the following subjects funny: rape, big breasts, sex with little girls. It carries no imputation of humorlessness if you do not find the following subjects funny: castration, impotence, vaginas with teeth.”  Satire is funny if it's directed at someone you hate; tasteless and unfunny if it's directed at someone you like.  I personally think that if satire doesn't make you wince at the same time it makes you laugh, if it doesn't make you recognize yourself in the target, it's not very good satire.  Once again, liberals show they're not all that different from their conservative opposite numbers.