June 29, 2004

to be happy must seem monstrous...

I think this is dead-on. Orin Judd, writing about William Buckley's retirement, says:

...Mr. Wieseltier has--quite unintentionally--put his finger on one of the key reasons why: Mr. Buckley made conservatism not just respectable but fun. Conservatism, which proceeds from the correct understanding of Man's nature as revealed in the Fall, can be rather a dark business. It is also, however, the source of all comedy. Liberals like Mr. Wieseltier--with their mistaken belief that men are basically good and that the world is therefore perfectable--are necessarily "troubled" by its rather parlous state. To be untroubled, even happy, as Mr. Buckley unquestionably was, despite the myriad causes for unhappiness all around us, must be monstrous in the eyes of the Left. One corollary of the great truth that to a liberal life is a tragedy but to a conservative a comedy is that conservatives find liberals amusing while liberals find conservatives appalling....
I get upset when Ultras portray Rush Limbaugh as some sort of brownshirt who tortures people at Abu Ghraib, but actually, the whole situation is pretty funny. Liberals were perfectly correct to say that Rush's famous Abu Ghraib remark was improper, (and hypocritical phonies to show no interest in what Rush actually thought). But at the same time they are like stiff and pompous straight-men in a Three Stooges movie, who can't even see the jokes. Same with Ann Coulter. Of course it was in disgusting bad-taste for her to say we should conquer Arab countries and convert them to Christianity. But so is a pie in the fat lady's face, or a poke in the eye...

I have this mental picture of some weedy Chomskyite from Berkeley solemnly announcing that eye-injuries are no laughing matter, and that a twisted nose can take years to heal— and even worse, the Stooges are damaging people's self-esteem...

Posted by John Weidner at June 29, 2004 9:16 AM
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