We who are Conservative public policy geeks are seen as a humorless lot.
We love to laugh more than anyone. It’s the massive, vast, panoramic, sweeping, galactic stupidity of the left that provides us our daily dose of desperately demanded drollery.
I share that characteristic with the great Mark Steyn. It’s why I enjoy visiting his archives whenever I desire a delightful dig at the dim-witted doofuses (doofi?) of the dominant directorate in the District of uhhh … Columbia.(1)
Here’s Steyn a tad more than a year and a half ago, at his hilarious heights. No one in the local super cluster can make stupid seem funnier than Mark Steyn.(2)
This passage alone makes it worth the read (about the fake “sign-language interpreter” at Nelson Mandela’s funeral):
But the star of the show was undoubtedly Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter who stood alongside the world’s leaders and translated their eulogies for the deaf. Unfortunately, he translated them into total gibberish, reduced by the time of President Obama’s appearance to making random hand gestures, as who has not felt the urge to do during the great man’s speeches. Mr. Jantjie has now pleaded in mitigation that he was having a sudden hallucination because he is a violent schizophrenic. It has not been established whether he is, in fact, a violent schizophrenic, or, as with his claim to be a sign-language interpreter, merely purporting to be one. Asked how often he has been violent, he replied, somewhat cryptically, “A lot.”
Still, South African officials are furiously pointing fingers (appropriately enough) to account for how he wound up onstage. “I do not think he was just picked up off the street. He was from a school for the deaf,” Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister for Persons with Disability, assured the press. But the Deaf Federation of South Africa said it had previously complained about his nonsensical signing after an event last year. Mr. Jantjie was paid a grand total of $85 for his simultaneous translation of the speeches of the U.N. secretary-general, six presidents, the head of the African Union, and a dozen other dignitaries. Ms. Bogopane-Zulu notes that the going rate for signing in South Africa is $125 to $165. So she thinks a junior official may simply have awarded the contract to the lowest bid.
That would never happen in Washington, of course. But how heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while a mere foot and a half away Mr. Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him onstage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic. In the movie version—In the Sign of Fire—grizzled maverick Clint Eastwood will be the only guy to figure it out at the last minute and hurl himself at John Malkovich, as they roll into the orchestra pit with Malkovich furiously signing “Ow!” and “Eek!” But in real life I expect they’ll just double the motorcade to 240 vehicles and order up even more expensive reflector shades.
And this one from the same column absolutely made me chuckle, guffaw, belly-laugh out loud (ChuGuBLoL? Much better, I think, than mere “LOL.”):
Speaking of enjoying themselves, back in the VIP seats President Obama, Danish prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and British prime minister David Cameron carried on like Harry, Hermione, and Ron snogging in the back row during the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup presentation. As the three leaders demonstrated their hands-on approach, Michelle Obama glowered straight ahead, as stony and merciless as the 15-foot statue of apartheid architect Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd that once stood guard outside the government offices of the Orange Free State. Eventually, weary of the trilateral smooching, the first lady switched seats and inserted herself between Barack and the vivacious Helle. How poignant that, on a day to celebrate the post-racial South Africa, the handsome young black man should have to be forcibly segregated from the cool Aryan blonde. For all the progress, as Obama himself pointed out, “our work is not yet done.”
Amidst all the jollity, one man was taking things awfully seriously. Ted Cruz ducked out of the service when Raúl Castro rose to speak. I confess I’m not quite sure about the etiquette of walking out during a funeral. Unlike Senator Cruz, whom I doubt Mandela had even heard of, the Castros were old friends. It seems a little churlish to show up at the funeral of a longtime Communist and complain that they’ve booked the president of Cuba. It would be like attending Obama’s funeral and complaining that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is officiating and Bill Ayers is singing “How Great Thou Art.” Surely Cruz could have done what Obama and Cameron did during the longueurs and found a Scandinavian prime minister to make out with.
You should understand that both Steyn and I are fans of Senator Cruz. One of us more than the other. We both, however, agree that replacing Barack Obama in the Oval Office with Ted Cruz would be like replacing a thick, plodding, dim-witted triceratops with a really bright guy.
Sit back, grab a glass of a good red, and savor a great read.
(1) – I know, I know, I know: “Codumbia” to keep the alliteration going. I thought it would seem as if I were trying too hard … which I was.
(2) – Yes, yes, yes, I know… the fact that the crashingly stupid ideas of the left are the ones that seem to carry the day, every freakin’ time is really sad! But still, one needs to laugh. It’s good for the soul(3), the health, the libido, the IQ, the heart, the waistline — it freakin’ makes you taller, and slimmer, and better-looking (if that’s even possible)(4) — It’s good for everything!(5)
(3) – This statement has not been endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration, or by my parish priest.
(4) – This statement has not been endorsed by the Food and Drug Administration. Yet!
(5) – Alright, already! This statement also has not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Yet! (Man!)