Saturday, February 20, 2010

Jeff Dunham

Jeff Dunham's "Dead Terrorist" act.
... I don't know, it does not actually seem all that funny to me. ?
Apart from being completely based on stereotypes (and normally I don't even care), the jokes are just not very remarkable, more like predictable.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree. I don't find Jeff Dunham all that funny and to me the dead terrorist is the best of his stuff. He actually has his own TV show and I wasn't able to sit through more than 10 minutes of the first episode. Life is too short to waste time watching rubbish.

dave nielsen said...

He's not funny. The same people who like him are, I've found, also Larry The Cable Guy fans.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

You don't "get" it, so much is clear. Eo has the significant merit of readily realizing it's a matter of POV.
I bet you hardly even travel on the Tube, Captain, am I right? And didn't feel too worried personally by the London bombings.

Being from Lebanon, I'm in a better position to understand the whole target-and-terrorism spirit. (We've had more than our fair share!)

Bill Maher is (yes, rather simplistically) displaying this fact, that religious fanatic terrorists are GROTESQUE. And, to quote Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in one Sherlock Holmes adventure revolving around the Voodoo ("a grotesque cult, Watson"), grotesque inspires laughter, but it is a fine line that separates the grotesque from the horrible.

Terrorists aim to terrorize. The extreme paranoia towards harmless photographers in public, and the liberticidal laws easily passed, illustrate that their tactics are efficient: their targeted countries ARE afraid. An irrational, unfocused fear of what you cannot seize, grasp, see. "They might be around us right now. Anybody could be one. They could hit anywhere, any time, we could be killed without warning."

What was it that Ben Franklin said? The true weapon of terrorists (as opposed, for instance, to the bona fide guerilla tactics of Hezbollah today in its combat against Israel), is to SEEK randomness, in order to make people AFRAID. "Fear attracts the fearful, the strong, the weak, the innocent. Fear... fear is my ally." -- (Darth Maul) We SHOULD fear fear itself. Because, when we play their game, when we let ourselves be terrorized, then the terrorists have reached their sick goal, and they snicker with glee in their dark caverns.

The best possible response to terrorism and terrorists (apart from obvious security measures, let's not make this easy for them!), is to destroy their very tactic by NOT being afraid. And the best antidote to fear, as any Lebanese who has physically and psychologically survived the war can confirm, is humour. I. like most Lebanese, have had many a close call. But "any drama that ALMOST happened, still did NOT happen", I always say. No point in crying over unspilled milk!

Therefore, making fun of terrorists is a goal in itself. It's not about being "timelessly funny" about it. It's just about laughing it off.
These people in the public respond to it, and enjoy it, because every laugh at this grotesque skeleton is one more nail into the coffin of their own fears that terrorists aim to breed. It's a catharsis.

This is what Achmed the Deat Terrorist is all about.

If you don't "get" it, then maybe it simply means you were fortunate enough to never be confronted to that fear. Good for you.

"We only truly laugh at ourselves. This is why most jokes revolve around sex or money. Also marriage, racism, politics... the more we can relate, the more it amuses us, by essence." -- (Hervé Nègre, preface to The Great Dictionary of Jokes.)

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Fair enough.

Anonymous said...

What a truly pathetic rationalization. He knows it's stupid, feels bad about liking it, and falls back on the old "if you don't like it, it's because you're too stupid to understand it" line. You should be spectacularly embarrassed to trot that one out, Pascal, you fucking dunce.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Sure. I would... if that was what I actually said! (And if "spectacular" or "pathetic" were within my embryonic acting abilities.)
FYI (For Your Information, as MATT would say), POV means Point of View, the gazer's eye. Humor is just like art or obscenity in that regard.

You can't even read Bill Maher's lips, because he's such a technically gifted ventriloquist.
But if you could actually read, you would've grasped that it's funny essentially to those whose life experience makes them relate to the topic. Just like Molière's theater was most fun to King Louis XIV because of his own inept Doctors.
(To throw in a random "cultural" reference that makes it vaguely sound like I know more than my flatulences do.)

BTW, I'm not a fucking dunce. I haven't got laid in WEEKS!
Next time, do your research better, Gepetto Jr.

Speaking of dunces... Did you know how the dunce cap originally came into use?
In the old days, donkeys were reputed for their endurance, their patience, and their intelligence. So the donkey cap was symbolically put on poor students to infuse them with some of the animal's qualities. To make them persevere and understand.
But, since those who don't understand donkey intelligence (hicks) think they're just stubborn and stupid, slowly it is the reputation of weak students that got stuck on the poor innocent animal.
Read Orwell: there's a good reason why donkeys live long lives. I like them. They discreetly inspire respect to those who know.

And Cicero's name was in fact a nickname, from the latin word for "chick pea", because he had a big round nose. Fact.

"Culture is like jam: the less you have, the more you'll spread it." -- (Pierre Desproges)

M.A.T.T. (Masked Acronymist The Terrible) said...

It's always nice to be remembered. :-)

ADT (Achmed the Dead Terrorist) reminds me of some videogames on the old PlayStation system, among the several which names were also acronyms:
ODT: "...Or Die Trying" (action-RPG)
MDK: "Murder Death Karnage" (first shooter to introduce a sniper rifle.)
SCARS: "Super Computer Animal Racing Simulation" (what it says: monster cars with guns)
To be honest, they were more entertaining than ADT. IMHO.
PS2's DNA also had a rather cool meaning: "Dark Native Apostle". Sounds better than "Jerry Falwell"!

"You can just call me... Ivan."

Ivan Krushes In Little Lists Your Overall Universe!