I Guess Its Funny Even How Trump Isn’t Worthy Of Censure?
How does the acrimony sowed, the disrespect wielded, the lies spewed, and the indecorous conduct displayed not warrant even a modest rebuke?
If Trump’s Supreme Court Judicial Nominee Brett Kavanaugh is approved by the Senate, despite his utter intemperance and unadulterated partiality, then we have given into a psychopathy of callousness that is unbecoming of any civilized nation.
Are we simply just kidding (around) ourselves?
You should not have to wonder whether Judge Kavanaugh is a jerk or not. The judge has already enlightened us with this answer in his testimony, in his admission to the Wall Street Journal , and by his very own definition of what a jerk is as it applies to jurisprudence.
To be a good judge and a good umpire, it’s important to have the proper demeanor. Really important, I think. To walk in the others’ shoes, whether it be the other litigants, the litigants in the case, the other judges. To understand them. To keep our emotions in check. To be calm amidst the storm. On the bench, to put it in the vernacular, don’t be a jerk. I think that’s important. To be a good umpire and a good judge, don’t be a jerk. In your opinions, to demonstrate civility — I think that’s important as well. To show, to help display, that you are trying to make the decision impartially and dispassionately based on the law and not based on your emotions. That we’re not the bigger than the game…There’s a danger of arrogance, as for umpires and referees, but also for judges. And I would say that danger grows the more time you’re on the bench. As one of my colleagues puts it, you become more like yourself — and that can be a problem.
The judge drew laughter with his remarks here. I did not find it funny. I found it obvious.
Many in the political punditry will ponder before us, through the lens of the political media complex, whether the attitudes and beliefs before us is enough though to disqualify elite white males in particular from what appears to be their privilege and entitlement. In the Trump era this is a resounding NO.
We have essentially bought into this awkwardly convenient conjecture that we are all are jerks at one point or another. This is simply a gullible misconception in seeking refuge in the sinful precondition of human nature.
Au contraire mon frère
Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts absolutely
As noted by biophilosopher and social science researcher Jeremy Sherman, Ph.D., in his useful thoughts on ambigamy…
“Tends to” applies to buttheadedness too. It only tends to corrupt. Absolute buttheadedness is what needs to be identified, how people or creatures with language anywhere in the universe become absolute assholes.
There’s another butthead theory that has run its course by now, the belief that no one is a butthead and therefore that everyone should be treated with respect and receptivity. Not the case. Respect and receptivity will get you worse than nowhere with complete buttheads. It will get you beat or worse, dead, the innocent victim of unjustified crime.
A conservative stance with a liberal approach towards exculpating buttheads indeed surely falls short of critical thinking and reasoning here.
Dr. Sherman goes on to make one more indelible point.
In our diverse cultures we can’t, shouldn’t, and don’t want to tell people how they have to live, but we still have to put a leash on the total jerks. If we don’t, we are very unlikely to survive.
Which brings me to this conclusion; the standards upheld today are just double standards. They diminish any standard of civility and progress that we have come to expect from historically motivated ignorance and depravity. Mr. Trump has run amok of any standard that we can progressively stand above.
How is this funny to you?
When the president is seen mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, he is entitled to and expected to keep women in check under this patriarchal society. This makes America great again and it also provides humor. The Atlantic reported this vividly.
“I had one beer,” the president, imitating Ford, said, thrusting his index finger upward to emphasize the number. He kept the digit upraised. “I had one beer!”
The president then added another character to his routine: an anonymous interrogator of Ford. “Well, do you think it was — ” he began to ask.
“Nope!” he said, gleefully interrupting himself and his fictional questioner. “It was one beer.” The joke built speed. “How did you get home? I don’t remember.How did you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember.How many years ago was it? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Trump’s rally speeches or comedy routines are about winners and losers, and ostentatiously the winners all look and act like a bunch of losers laughing amongst and about themselves.
The Guardian like myself was dumbfounded and suspiciously curious about this phenomena during Trump’s rallies as a presidential candidate.
Holding his hands out wide like a preacher, the second finger of his right hand pointed to the heavens for added purpose, he reduces his audience within minutes to fits of laughter. It could be any comedy store on a Monday night, except you then realize that there’s something odd about what he’s inviting the crowd to find so funny.
Most standup comics mine gags out of their own weaknesses and inadequacies. Trump produces belly-laughs out of the vulnerabilities of others, in a relentless stream of mockery and disparagement.
But Charlie Houpert put it best when he essentially explained how effective this psychological trait is that Trump unconsciously yet narcissistically uses to manipulate the entire world.
“So that is the power of laughter. It is a pattern interrupt[ion]. You can’t stay booing and upset and angry when somebody makes you uncontrollably laugh. It also makes you more receptive to whatever comes next that somebody has to say because they’ve already started to lead you emotionally. So what Donald Trump is doing is using laughter to take control of situations where he’s starting to lose control. And what that does for him is it effectively helps him dodge any points that you make against him because he can almost erase them with a laughing crowd.“
Herein lies the problems with all of Trump’s seemingly funny jokes. They are as thoughtless as the very script being presented is. A recurrent theme in these jokes is the apparent violation — in this case its the alleged sexual assault by a powerful member of the community whose inherited windfall of social capital was granted by institutional callousness — and while the punchline remains open-ended and leads to no end it is widely seen as merely a joke.
When is a joke not a joke at all, when is it just provocation? As cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems puts it potently.
It’s easy to call anything a joke. A key ingredient for all humor is surprise or violation, but that alone doesn’t make something funny. If I hide behind a door and yell “Booo!” when you walk in the room, that may be surprising, but it’s not humor. It’s being a jerk.
There is a higher concentration of jerks, both male and female holding powerful positions of governance and influence on our culture and livelihood and among the more rational among us we find it to be no laughing matter.