May 4, 2014

"Senator Charged with Humor Harassment"

In the news:
Senator Charged with Humor Harassment

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "Practically every evening for a month in 1978, the Senator would come into my office and close the door," tearfully recounts a former campaign worker. "He'd look me over slyly, then ask, 'What's green and skates?' I'd answer, 'I don't know, Senator.' And he'd chortle, 'Peggy Phlegm!'"  
"I was sitting on the men's room toilet," recalls another one-time staffer. "Finding me trapped there, Senator Noland stood outside my stall for 20 minutes telling me jokes like, 'What did the snail say when it climbed on the back of the tortoise? "YA-HOO!"'"  
Washington has been rocked by accusations by two dozen former employees and acquaintances that Senator Edmund Noland, (D-Alaska), who was reelected in 1998 under the slogan "Serious Times Require a Serious Senator," made unwanted humor attempts. Although Congress exempted itself from the Humor Harassment Act of 1997, the revelations have already led to demands for public hearings on the scandal involving the man previously admired as the dean of the New Earnestness.  
"It's not about humor, it's about power," explains humor harassment expert Dr. Malachi Bismarck, "The power to inflict your personality on your helpless, cringing underlings."  
One victim of the Senator's unwanted humor attempts admits, "Sure, sometimes he told good jokes. But, who can remember the funny ones? It's the painfully embarrassing stinkers that haunt you to the grave."  
A former aide reveals how his hero-worship had turned to horror. "I went to work for him because of his thought-provoking speeches against racism, the deficit, nuclear winter, global warming, and the coming ice age." But a shrouded side of his idol emerged during a routine 1994 hearing on an Air Force training program for pilots from Spain, when Senator Noland leaned over and whispered to his aide, "I hear the handbook is called 'How to Make the Spanish Fly.' . . . Get it? Spanish fly! Hnnh? Hnnh? Get it?" and heartily elbowed his aghast assistant.  
When asked about the incident, the Senator would only comment, "Some people, they just don't get it."  
"The Senator would tell me how Jesus and St. Peter are playing golf and Jesus keeps trying to hit just a 5-wedge like Arnold Palmer does on this long 240 foot par 7, but he can't hit it far enough, so he walks on the water to get his ball out of the lake, and so this golfer behind asks, 'Who does he think he is, Jesus Christ?'" recalls one time aide Nick Hill. "Sure, I laughed then, but Dr. Bismarck's Humor Victims Support Group has helped me see how degrading it was. Why is it supposed to be funny when St. Peter says, 'No, He is Jesus Christ, He just thinks He's Arnold Palmer?' I mean, who is Arnold Palmer person?"  
"The Senator relished fake dog-doo and squirting boutonnieres," recollects a Greenpeace lobbyist, a longtime political ally. "We Beltway oldtimers had to warn the younger ones not to meet with him alone on April 1st. Then, there were his dialect jokes: he'd start off with the appropriate Scottish or French accent or whatever, but would inevitably slide back to his all purpose Irish brogue, complete with 'Faith and begorrah,' by the punchline. That is, when he could remember the punchline. I don't know how many times he told me about the dyslexic agnostic who lies awake at night wondering, 'Is there a God?'"  
The Senator's friend, Washington lawyer Jack Kravits, contends, "It's not like he's the only closet cornball in Washington: there's a Supreme Court Justice, for instance, who annually tells his clerks:
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Roe v. Wade.
Roe v. Wade who?
Roe v. Wade? Who cares? As long as we cross this river somehow! 
"Which is, now that I think about it, probably the most cogent defense possible of the logic of the Court's compromise abortion decision in Reproductive Services v. Casey."  
Senator Noland's chief of staff, Mardi Ames, defends her boss: "He's only being singled out because he outreached to the humor-resistant community years before the humorless won recognition as a legally protected minority. If he had hired only humorful people, they'd have just razzed him back instead of brooding upon it for decades." Ms. Ames asks, "Is it fair to depict a man's life as if all his jokes were duds?" When asked for an example of the Senator's wanted humor attempts, she offers, "Well, let's see . . . oh, yes, there was the one about the three strings who walk into a bar and the first string says . . . Uh, well, maybe not that one . . . Look, can I get back to you on this?"  
A sense of betrayal is growing among Noland's longtime supporters. Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Nina Lindblad laments, "Repeatedly, my friends and I have celebrated some seemingly serious politician, only to be cruelly disillusioned. Are we utter fools? Do we know nothing of human nature? Well, of course not, so it must be society's fault, or maybe the media's."  
Humorism activist Bismarck sums up, "We are not against humor. Everybody wants wanted humor, but nobody wants unwanted humor. It's that simple."  
Just before presstime, Senator Noland issued a statement that he had been diagnosed as a victim of Humor Addiction Malady (HAM), and was checking himself into a clinic in order "To learn if my alleged behavior (which I deny completely but personally apologize for if it offended anyone) stems from my history of childhood sports abuse. After 50 years of repression, I have only now recovered my buried memory of how my father made me play Little League. The experts are finally realizing the terrible toll taken by 'Right Field Syndrome.' I hope my accusers can somehow find it in their hearts to forgive my Dad." 
By Steve Sailer 
Enter Stage Right, February 1993 
Reprinted in National Review, 2/23/98


Anonymous said...

The humor gene is not much in evidence across the shallow state. I mean, these people think Stephen Colbert and SNL are edginess incarnate.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the dyslexic agnostic lie awake wondering if there is a Dog?

Auntie Analogue said...

Since the 1960's upheaval that sparked the decline of Western Civilization, humor has died a cruel death at the lips of those who mistake resentment, anti-white and anti-Western racist bile, destruction, moral turpitude, ugliness, adolescent potty mouth (which they think makes them "grown up"), indulgence in moral superiority-preening snottiness, snobbery, perversity, and spite - what they love to call "edginess" - for humor.

Which reminds me:

Did I ever tell you about my uncle who worked in an eyeglass factory?

Poor guy fell in the machine and made a spectacle of himself.

Afghanistan is game to you? said...

P.J. O'Rourke wrote about post-post-invasion Kabul in the Weekly Standard a couple years back and he concluded it with what he claimed was a joke he'd heard from a local imam. When I see an Islamo-nationalist desperado telling that joke at Ramadan Open Mic Nite and no vibrant crowd response then I'll believe Muslim humor is possible.

Ed Said said...

If you want to see a comical film with Middle Eastern themes I recommend the "Wishmaster" series

MC said...

I know this is supposed to be a parody of sexual harassment, but I clerked for a federal judge who was constantly making bad puns, and this is pretty much exactly how it felt.

Steve Sailer said...

Who said it was a parody?

Anonymous said...


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ysv_rao said...

"Humor harassment expert"? LOLLL

Roderick Spode said...

Did the Guardian get bought by The Chive while no one was looking? Cocteau kissing up to the Vichy regime doesn't make him "right wing," meanwhile, how is Degas's view of Jewish merchants so different from that of Malcolm X or the Baader-Meinhof Gang? Not to mention Proudhon. Get back to me once you've discovered some real barbarian conservative artists.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the insomniac dyslexic agnostic lie awake wondering if there is a Dog?

Missing word added

Conatus said...

Sen.Packwood resigned when he was threatened with expulsion from the Senate because he tied to smooch some uninterested women.
Sure he was boorish but expulsion?
If you check out the prior expulees? they were expelled for treason or at least a corruption of a higher magnitude.
Different offenses for different times. The Zeitgeist has turned extremely prickly(or anti-prickly?)

Gene Berman said...

Auntie Analogue:

Sorry about your uncle.

My uncle worked in a cannery and got his finger caught in one of the pickle-slicers. They both got fired.

I know--not early as serious as what became of your uncle, but--anyway.

Gene Berman said...

Anonymous: "the humor gene is not much in evidence across the shallow state."

You don't get it! It's because, in the shallow state, you can just Wade.

Gene Berman said...

Afghanistanis game to you:

You're all wrong. They (Muslims) simply have responses that are the diametric opposite of ours.

We eat hams and laugh at Jews (especially Jewish hams (Jerry Lewis, Rodney Dangerfield, etc.) and recoil in horror at mass killing. They simply reverse the responses; but it's not fsir to say they've got no sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you should read the new book, Žižek's Jokes, from MIT Press.

The Slovenian celebrity philosopher appears to provoke much befuddlement among the clerisy with his sometimes very un PC jokes.

A man who believes himself to be a grain of seed is taken to the mental institution where the doctors do their best to finally convince him that he is not a grain but a man; however, when he is cured (convinced that he is not a grain of seed but a man) and allowed to leave the hospital, he immediately comes back very trembling of scare - there is a chicken outside the door and that he is afraid that it would eat him. "Dear fellow," says his doctor, "you know very well that you are not a grain of seed but a man". "Of course I know that," replies the patient, "but does the chicken know it?"

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Jameis Wilson was not being shellfish when he walked out of the Publix store without paying for the crab legs. An ESPN guy has said that he took the fall for his teammates because Publix regularly give free food to stoodent athleets in violation of NCAA rules.