Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Even numbers are not funny. Not all odd numbers are funny. Smaller prime numbers tend to be funny. The first funny number is eleven, but it's marginal -- the two ones make it too simple, visually, but the three syllables can make it work. Thirteen is not funny. Neither is 15 -- easy multiples are not funny. Seventeen is the first purely funny number ... funny looking, a funny age to be, with hindsight ... all that teenage angst and highschool drama. Nineteen is also funny. No number in the 20s is funny, except 29.

Almost all emotions are funny. Involuntary bodily functions are funny, especially those involving noise or smells, as are the spastic convulsions of great passion. Physical deformities, handicaps and diseases that involve bodily fluids are funny. Weakness and vulnerability is funny. All cultural habiliments, and all characteristic racial differences, are funny. Rudeness and insensitivity, ignorance and bigotry, are funny.

It's important to understand the uses and meaning of laughter. It is primarily a method of communicating scorn or ridicule. As an emotional weapon its power is almost unmatched -- commonly, only sexual molestation surpasses its destructive force. Loud, coarse or angry laughter is best, with titters and snide chuckles playing a more subtle role. In comparison, spreading malicious rumors is a blunt tool indeed.

Thus we must find it very amusing indeed, that the Westboro Baptist Church has won its Supreme Court case, defending their right of free speech, to picket the funerals of slain soldiers, calling them "fags" whom "god" "hates". Well? The standard cliche is that we must protect the right of free speech ... it's what America is about.

Well. Sadly, the cliche is right. The Constitution is about our institutions, which exist to not oppress us. The Judicial System is not about justice. Please. It's about process. Rule of law after all is what makes systems work. So where is justice, actual justice, to be found, in this instance? Well, again we find the answer in looking at law. The law does not recognize the concept of fighting words. But human beings intuitively do understand its reality.

So someone uses appropriate non-lethal retributive force against these antichrist picketers, who is then charged with assault, and a jury of his peers acquits him. The trauma and pragmatic injustice of having to bear the expense and ordeal and threat of the trial is punishment enough. And putting a real fear of the real God into the withered evil hearts of the cultists may have a palliative effect.

Meantime, in Great Britain a Christian couple is no longer allowed to be foster parents, because they believe and teach that homosexual behavior is sinful. See? We must, must, must protect our institutions. Not Canada, maybe Australia, but probably only America is left, where government does not habitually attack freedom of conscience. So the eight to one decision of the Supreme Court is frustrating, but correct.

True justice is sometimes found only at the harsh end of a horse whip. Sometimes justice is about tar and feathers.


No comments: