Link Roundup, 8/18/15

  • Efforts at satire from the right usually suck, see Miller, Dennis. For the most part, conservatism just isn’t funny. An exception has finally emerged. Let me present to you the Edgy White Liberal, available on Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a sample:


Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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51 comments on “Link Roundup, 8/18/15
  1. flypusher says:

    I’m down with well-written/executed, biting satire, be the target liberal, conservative, or anywhere in between. But, damn, these days the lowest hanging fruit is plentiful on the conservative tree:

    It’s just lying there on the ground.

  2. pbasch says:

    I’m SO not too young for All in the Family; I watched it in the original release. But as long as we’re talking about a thought-experiment sitcom flipping the politics of AitF, there is a phenomenon (looked for a link, didn’t find it, but it’s out there) where, while the show was written by liberals, and liberal audiences saw Archie as the butt of the joke, conservative audiences saw it completely differently – to them, Archie was a truth-telling hero, and the butt of the joke was the family, not him.
    If a flipped show, with a liberal dad, and everyone else conservative around him (remember, Edith, the cowed housewife, had liberal sympathies – the flipped show should flip that too), could reproduce that effect in the audience, I’d be delighted and amazed.

    • 1mime says:

      Pbasch, Isn’t that the mark of great satire, when the opposing sides can both relate? No one cared who was the butt of the joke, it was laugh out loud funny. That, is genius. As much tension as surrounds our politics these days, we could use a sitcom like AITF, don’t you think?

      • pbasch says:

        I … yeah, I agree with that. Not so much that it is the mark of great “satire”, but certainly that it is the mark of great comedy. The satire part is what is questionable – You know comedy is great when people laugh. Satire is great is people get it, and I think that a lot of the AITF audience didn’t get what the writers intended as the satirical point. So I think it was actually weak satire, but still terrific comedy.
        But what a great show. I still laugh out loud at it. It’s too bad that Norman Lear is souring as he ages, taking credit for partners’ work.

      • 1mime says:

        Less intellectually engaging (for me than AITF) but early comedy with clever class satire was Beverly Hillbillies…would you agree?

      • pbasch says:

        Yeah, I do, actually, in the same vein as Green Acres. Urban/rural comedy was good; what they’d call “fish out of water” today. I mean, I think it was incredibly sentimental – the simple honest country folk versus the scheming machiavellian city folk… I don’t think reality bends that way. I think there are quite a lot of rural schemers and simple honest city dwellers (okay, there’s a show idea – honest city folk go to the country and are outmaneuvered at every turn). But the executives had their thumbs on the pulse of America (as they do today) and knew that was the story people wanted to hear.

    • flypusher says:

      AitF was brilliant and gutsy and if we see its like again it will probably be on something like NetFlix, HBO, etc. Network TV wouldn’t dare anymore, and that’s a pity. Also Carroll O’Conner was pure genius, and those are big shoes to fill.

      If you can cook sauce for the gander that is just as flavorable, more power to you.

  3. texan5142 says:

    Obj wrote,

    “Normally, I’d let jokes like this pass without comment, but a new video released today details the harvesting of a late-term fetus’ brain. I assume the brain was fully functional when it was dissected as the baby’s heart was still beating after the abortion.”

    From MM,

    “The seventh video from the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress (CMP) falls flat in its attempt to smear Planned Parenthood, once again showing no clear evidence that the Planned Parenthood clinics broke any laws in obtaining fetal tissue donations from consenting patients. The latest video again relies on footage already debunked as highly edited, features conversations with third-party providers who acted as the middlemen between researchers and clinics, and relies heavily on the account of a technician who did not work for Planned Parenthood and who has been accused of violating her employment agreement with a third-party provider.”

    • objv says:

      Texan, I’d urge you to actually watch the videos. (Unedited footage is supposedly available on the group’s website although I haven’t bothered to look for it.) While PP hasn’t been charged with any crime at this point, it looks like PP doctors may have altered abortion procedures in order to obtain intact specimens. This may have led to an increase in the patient’s pain during the abortion procedure as well as causing problems with future pregnancies. (See the Manny Alvarez article below.) Since no feticides were used during the procedures used to harvest organs, it is likely some of the fetuses were born alive. Unfortunately, not all of the abortions were done in the first trimester. Preference was for the organs of the more mature fetuses.

      • flypusher says:

        If you’re going to establish cell culture lines, you by definition must use living cells. If you must have living cells, it would be counterproductive to use a feticide. If your definition of “born alive” is simply “the heart is beating”, that’s really not very sound.

        Your source has a point about practices like extra dilation could be harmful. But all the things you are being so shocked about aren’t shocking to people with clinical/ research backgrounds.

    • 1mime says:

      Ha! TX, I think the Austrians may have already developed the perfect GOP brain in a petrie dish (-: (from your link)

      In 2013, scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences revealed a lab-grown brain that had the same level of development as in a 9-week-old fetus, but was incapable of thought, according to the BBC.

      • objv says:

        So, let’s see if I get this right: According to you, mean-spirited humor involving fetal brain tissue grown in a lab and Republicans is hilarious, but mild humor directed at white liberals who consider themselves edgy is not.

        I see …

        Really, Mime?

        Normally, I’d let jokes like this pass without comment, but a new video released today details the harvesting of a late-term fetus’ brain. I assume the brain was fully functional when it was dissected as the baby’s heart was still beating after the abortion.

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, I never intended to be offensive with the post, just playing off info from TX’ link.

        But, it is good to know you’re still around. I’ve missed your postings.

      • texan5142 says:

        Reading comprehension is not your strong suit . Got your panties all in a wad for nothing.

        From the article,

        “The brain, engineered from adult human skin cells and grown in a dish for 15 weeks, is about the size of a pencil eraser, according to the university.”

      • flypusher says:

        So if we’re going to express pet peeves, objv, then you just triggered one of mine, which is scientific inaccuracy. Regular EEG wave patterns don’t start until week 25 of pregnancy. The heart beat starts around week 3/4, so your assumption of brain activity based on heartbeat is incorrect. Nor does your source list the exact developmental stage if that particular fetus. I’m willing to bet it was not 25 weeks. You have no proof that it was “late term”.

        You don’t like fetal tissue used in research? That is your right. It’s even your right to work to get it outlawed. But don’t be lying about it.

      • texan5142 says:

        “I assume the brain was fully functional when it was dissected as the baby’s heart was still beating after the abortion.”

        Heart beat is controlled by the brain stem that develops before the rest of the brain. Babies have been born alive with only a brain stem, so your assumption is just a wild guess and has no merit.

      • texan5142 says:

        Thank you fly, you explained it better than I. Also this lie,

        “mean-spirited humor involving fetal brain tissue grown in a lab”

        from the article once again,

        “The brain, engineered from adult human skin cells and grown in a dish for 15 weeks, is about the size of a pencil eraser, according to the university.”

        Read before you post people, that is my pet peeve.

      • objv says:

        Fly, what lies? According to the following article the baby was late-term: I took my information from more than one source, but Word Press only allows one link without approval, so I just posted the first link I read.

        My point was that I did not find Texan’s and Mime’s comments funny – especially after reading about the barbaric methods used to obtain organs and tissue from fetuses (dead and alive).

      • flypusher says:

        “Fly, what lies? According to the following article the baby was late-term: I took my information from more than one source, but Word Press only allows one link without approval, so I just posted the first link I read.”

        So basically I must just take this writer’s word that it was “late term”, despite the lack of specifics, like the week #? Sorry, no dice. I’ve seen too many falsehoods about human development in this never ending debate, and I give zero credence to people who use that tactic. On either side.

      • objv says:

        Fly, this is from the bio of the author, Dr. Manny Alvarez:

        “Since 1996, he has been the Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Additionally, Alvarez is Adjunct Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University School of Medicine in New York City.”

      • objv says:

        I’m assuming that Dr. Alvarez would be capable of determining gestational age a little better than most folks. 🙂

      • flypusher says:

        I still don’t see a week # to back up that “late term” claim in the article. He ought to be able to give one with those qualifications.

      • flypusher says:

        Also, the definition of “late-term” seems to be subject to interpretation. Found on Google:

        “A late-term abortion often refers to an induced abortion procedure that occurs after the 20th week of gestation. The exact point when a pregnancy becomes late-term, however, is not clearly defined. Some sources define an abortion after 16 weeks as “late”.

        That’s a whole lot of wiggle room, and still as much as 9 weeks prior to the EEG point.

      • texan5142 says:

        “My point was that I did not find Texan’s and Mime’s comments funny – especially after reading about the barbaric methods used to obtain organs and tissue from fetuses (dead and alive).”

        That is your problem, not mine or Mime’s. The article you read has nothing what so ever to do with the article I posted. Apples and oranges. You read an abortion article from faux news and got the vapors over a joke I made about brains being grown from adult skin cells( you did not read it because you assumed it was fetal brain tissue) that might help some conservatives cognitive ability. How you can conflate the two is disturbing.

      • objv says:

        Texan, the cure for you Democrats is to have lab-grown (9-week-old fetus equivalent) brain cells transplanted under your craniums.

        There, there. Did you think that was funny? No? Well, neither did I when you made the joke about the GOP. (To tell you the truth, I didn’t think anything was funny after reading of the organ harvesting going at PP.)

      • 1mime says:

        Ob, at the risk of extending this highly personal discussion, let me just say that liberals’ jokes at the expense of conservatives cannot compare to the many, many crude jokes made at the expense of President Obama.

        We were all distraught over the PP disclosures, and it was very poorly handled by PP staff, but nothing has been proven as illegal in the highly edited videos. It is clear that this issue and topic is very important to you, and I respect that. Let’s move on and get back on topic.

      • dowripple says:

        “Texan, the cure for you Democrats is to have lab-grown (9-week-old fetus equivalent) brain cells transplanted under your craniums.”

        That made me lol. Does that make me a bad person ? 🙂

  4. BigWilly says:

    Working class bigot and a Trump Tower bigot? Such a well played, and complicated, role deserves better treatment from history. Don’t you think that the writes of the show were ridiculing any and all dissenters by presenting Archie Bunker as such a bete noir (spell check suggests Renoir)?

    Does spell check suggest a Chickasaw Renoir? Yes, it must.

    Liberals are complicated people, yet because of Archie I’m going to have to think about how they could be portrayed in the same light. You’d have to love them and despise them in the same moment, and also totally treat them as an object. Edith would have to be an emasculating liberal, rather than a cowed housewife. This could be interesting.

    Scene dissolves into smoke.

  5. 1mime says:

    I have to confess I have never viewed Portlandia. Do you think it compares well with All In the Family in quality of humor?

  6. Let’s see, “recorded history” accounts for ~0.06% of human history. Yawn. Or ~0.0000026% of geologic history. Double yawn.

    But, dang, it sure is hot out. Then again, on the plus side, I wan’t trampled by a Woolly Rhinoceros whilst riding the scoot into work. 😉

  7. “Today’s painful irony: We waited too long to implement Trump’s immigration plan. Trump’s plan would have barred his own grandfather, thus rescuing the free world.”


  8. 1mime says:

    Gosh, Lifer, I’d like to see conservatives succeed at SOMETHINK (-: but, even their satire is pretty bad….I’m a Doonesbury kinda person….like Borowitz too.

  9. Rob Ambrose says:

    Those Chinese are a cunning lot…..

  10. Crogged says:

    It’s funny, and as the author noted-who else other than PJ O’Rourke?

  11. rightonrush says:

    Most likely it’s just my age but I found nothing even vaguely amusing about it.

    • Rob Ambrose says:

      There were a few clever bits. Mostly falls flat.

      The thing is, the characters theyre skewering (the mid life crisis guy who leaves his family to travel the world and help out ppl on poverty for example) both don’t really exist in any real numbers and would also represent the extreme flank of the left.

      Satire falls flat when you make fun of extreme positions, because extreme positions are easy to make fun of and are inherently silly. They satire themselves.

      The best satire takes a well accepted concept, one that may seem on the surface reasonable (like, say, the right to bear arms) and flips it in a way that exposes it as something that maybe we should take a closer look at.

      Nothing overly hilarious about making fun of extreme positions because theyre so obviously silly.

      My opinion (and I’m obviously biased here) is that there’s far more satire covering the right then the left because the right has far more positions in their “mainstream platform” that are skewerable.

  12. pbasch says:

    About the Edgy White Liberal thing – this sample (I haven’t seen anything else) is not actually all that funny. I’d be more interested in a conservative who makes fun of conservatives, a Portlandia of the right. And, no, Jeff Foxworthy doesn’t count. First, because (subjective opinion here) he isn’t funny, but mainly the whole You Might Be a Redneck thing is actually rather self-congratulatory, while Portlandia is pretty vicious. PJ O’Rourke? Maybe a little, but the rich, martini-swilling hunter is retro – but he may be closest.

    • unarmedandunafraid says:

      I would be interesting to see a poll of who thinks it’s funny. Do the more conservative commenters think it is funny?

      The interesting thing is that at a company I worked for, there was an executive that sent out emails worded like this excerpt from Edgy White Liberal – “Leveraged incentivized innovation service-delivery fluencies to optimize pivot-enabled cross-pollinated hackerspace collaboratoria for undersuccessed families in neighborhoods with robust revitalization potential.” My workmates and I would take turns reading and then for real ROTFL’ing. But I think what was funny was that the executive was serious and most of the humor of the situation was our own inability to understand what was written.

      Maybe it would grow on me. Maybe it’s because I don’t have many liberal friends. Maybe it’s because I don’t have many friends, period.

      • pbasch says:

        Sure, business gibberish can be hilarious. Scott Adams (Dilbert) nails this sort of thing daily. Here’s a link to a Mission Statement Generator – I thought it was Scott Adams’s, but I guess it isn’t:
        Note that “business humor” is rarely right- or left-wing. Democratic and Republican executives all read the HBR and pick up goofy management trends.
        I will give this to Edgy White Liberal – at least he isn’t mocking (in this sample) the poor and non-white for their poverty and non-whiteness, like the Half-Hour News Hour did. Not that you can’t be both rude and funny – rudeness is a big part of funny, but it’s not sufficient by itself.
        Again, though, Portlandia covers this ground well and sets a bar this guy doesn’t even begin to meet.

      • 1mime says:

        I can’t imagine you not rolling in friends, Unarmed! But, if it’s liberal friends you need, come on over to TX – We could use a few more blue friends (-:

    • johngalt says:

      I didn’t really find the brief sample I read to be funny. It was just gibberish to me. I’m sure that was part of the point, but a little of that goes a long way.

    • goplifer says:

      The company I work for is based in downtown San Francisco with its other major office in NYC. The Edgy White Liberal is a feature of my life.

      • pbasch says:

        I don’t doubt that for a second. I’m from NY, and I live in LA. I know this creature. It’s not that it’s not well observed, it’s that the observation isn’t funny, at least any more than the person himself is funny. There’s no incongruity, no surprise. It amounts (in this very small sample) to, Look! Look at the funny guy! He carries a purse! (old when Seinfeld did it, and not very many guys do that) It doesn’t go anywhere past that. Yes, there’s some exaggeration, indicating the comic’s disapproval. The comic is disapproving silly attempts to save the world, at the expense of the guy’s actual family? Okay, I guess that’s fair, though not very (again) funny… and again, who does that? Is it the fashionable look that’s supposed to be funny? An expensive haircut… tats… the guy is fit…
        I tell you what would be funny. Give him Google Glass. That’s funny. Too bad that’s not a Thing any more.
        So… to sum up. To the extent that we like to point at people and laugh at them and disapprove, this is certainly funny. And that brings us back… to the Half-Hour News Hour, making fun of brown people. Haw haw! I’d like to see this same writer do something about sullen urban conservatives. Just like Seinfeld and Portlandia make fun of themselves, we need a conservative willing to take on their own shibboleths.

      • 1mime says:

        Living in LA, you have a wealth of topics and people to parody – give it a shot! After Jindal, the people of LA need a little humor. You may be too young to have watched the 1970s tv series, All In the Family, starring the one and only Archie Bunker, a working class bigoted conservative. Regardless of your political affiliation, you laughed – out loud.

        Come to think of it, Lifer, All In the Family written and produced by Norman Lear, would be my all time favorite humorous conservative satire.

      • Well, 1mime, from Meathead to Portlandia in just two generations. Now, that’s an interesting cultural evolution.

        And from Archie to the Donald… Hmm.

      • 1mime says:

        Not much difference between a working class bigot and a Trump Tower bigot, is there? (except maybe the comb over…guess that hairdo isn’t in a working man’s budget …)

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