Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wingnut humor, explained

As Atrios calls it, "the good Christian kind." Amanda's theory:
The most obvious thing about these coded messages is how thin the coding is---the wingnuts putting this together are either so dim they can’t see that these “jokes” aren’t as dense as they purport to be, or they assume their audience is so stupid that “jokes” have to be really obvious to be got. Or both. It doesn’t seem possible that they’re so dense that they think that these shirts and other non-jokes are so dense as to evade being understood by outsiders or law enforcement, and so I don’t think that’s really to point of using these codes to encourage violence against Obama.

No, I think they engage in these codes not because they’re effective protection or because they’re funny, but because they get a rise out of approximating what they think being clever might feel like. These codes may not be clever, but they feel clever to people who aren’t really used to exercising their brain cells. To understand these threats, your brain needs to take two admittedly tiny steps, but those are two more steps than these assholes are used to putting their brains through, so it feels like what they imagine it must feel like to be one of those people who are actually clever and use their brains all the time. These non-jokes also function as jargon, language that only the insiders of the wingnut tribe use, which helps create a group identity, the people Sarah Palin likes to call “Real Americans”. Which is dangerous, because we know how very little they’re willing to believe that outsiders are real people.
Be sure also to read the comments to Amanda's post.

Then of course there's also this.

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