Dark Humor

Slavic humor has a deserved reputation for philosophical penetration; routing around idealistic cant and crime-stop obstacles to deride totalitarianism. This recent example (via @MiriamElder, at #Russianhumor) is superb:

“Why won’t there ever be a revolution in America?”
“Because there aren’t any American embassies in America.”

December 7, 2013admin 18 Comments »
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18 Responses to this entry

  • Mike Says:

    “We already know the future; it’s the past that keeps changing” is my Soviet-bloc favourite.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    It’s going to be fun to see the Russian humor weaponized by US neocons during the Cold War meander out of control and begin taking out Cathedral indoctrination centers.

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    Posted on December 7th, 2013 at 4:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • Puzzle Pirate (@PuzzlePirate) Says:

    I realize this is OT but your comments thread is the closest thing NR has to a forum.

    I was reading in Twitter yesterday a thread in which “Duck Enlightenment” (@jokeocracy) was having a conversation about the obscure style and overall kind of writing that most NR’s do that would be difficult for a lot of people to read. It’s been said before that this is done to scare away the wrong kinds of people, and I think that’s correct, but I think it also can solve another problem. Namely the problem of O’Sullivan’s Law:

    “Any organization or enterprise that is not expressly right wing will become left wing over time.”

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=O%E2%80%99Sullivan%E2%80%99s%20Law

    I think NR’s style can be used as a barricade to leftist infiltration of the O’Sullivan style.

    Not to be gross, but in one way it makes me think of the style you see on 4chan’s /b/ board. What I mean is /b/ is styled in such a way that will scare away the straights. It’s also a style that’s hard to fake.

    I think HBD may also serve as a good barricade to O’Sullivan’s law, at least for now. There are a few left wing HBD’s like JayMan but otherwise the left overwhelmingly is horrified by it.

    So NR’s writing style, HBD and horrorism are at least three things that will make it so it won’t ratchet left.

    Wait, does that mean NR discovered something that will stop the leftward ratchet?

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    VXXC Reply:

    “NR’s writing style, HBD and horrorism are at least three things that will make it so it won’t ratchet left. ”

    Those are three things that won’t rachet left.

    I’ve been saying for awhile that the pendulum having swung out to the Left of Pluto is swinging back.

    I’d go further and say all energy now accrues to the Rightward swing.

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    admin Reply:

    To pull these metaphors a little further out, I’d compare the situation to a catapult (of the simplest kind). The key ‘task’ is to avoid releasing tension too soon (e.g. by some pitiful ‘conservative’ re-balancing), but rather to encourage maximum stretch, so that when the reaction is finally released it unwinds through massive roll-back of the progressive trend (and breaking with the “pendulum” entirely). Conservative accommodation is ultimately a greater enemy than ultra-progressivism, since it makes the latter sustainable.

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    VXXC Reply:

    Well perhaps if you mean continue to sharpen arguments yes continue..

    The problem is the only way to learn to prevail in conflict is fighting or conflict practice .

    This is why you don’t learn war no matter what training [in the US considerable training] until you’ve done war…and why martial artists get their asses kicked in street fights. Why Plunkitt practiced politics he didn’t read a book on politics, and so on…

    Don’t worry the fight comes to you already [it usually does].

    Puzzle Pirate Reply:

    “To pull these metaphors a little further out, I’d compare the situation to a catapult (of the simplest kind). The key ‘task’ is to avoid releasing tension too soon (e.g. by some pitiful ‘conservative’ re-balancing), but rather to encourage maximum stretch, so that when the reaction is finally released it unwinds through massive roll-back of the progressive trend (and breaking with the “pendulum” entirely). Conservative accommodation is ultimately a greater enemy than ultra-progressivism, since it makes the latter sustainable.”

    This comment is both so profound and such a beautiflly simple way of outlining a goal it should be a post unto itself.

    Not to be sucking your e-peen or anything, but seriously…

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    A crude version of HBD could, under the right conditions.

    The original progressives were both progressive and scientifically racist, you will recall.

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    Candide III Reply:

    Ahahaha, that’s priceless. The explanation at your urban dictionary link says

    Also, leftism is in and of itself a form of decay. It’s what happens not just to television shows but to nations, churches and universities as the energy given off by the big bang of their inception slowly ebbs away. Rather than expend vitality in originality and creation they become obsessed with introspection, popularity and lethargy. Leftism is entropy of the spirit and intellect.

    My bold. Obsessed with introspection, popularity and lethargy? Yeah, that’s NR in recent time. In particular, I am super-obsessed with lethargy.

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    Posted on December 7th, 2013 at 5:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • Artemisia Says:

    Most amusing bit is there were jokes about future Chinese supremacy going around. Things like: “Soviet schools should now be teaching two foreign languages: Yiddish for whoever will leave, and Chinese for whoever will stay.” or
    “I wonder how much a bottle of vodka will cost in the year 2000 at this rate…
    “Why, 5 yuans!”

    Or even this: Jimmy Carter and Andrey Gromyko step out of opposite doors and come to face each other.
    “We have finally been completely disarmed!”, says Carter.
    “Yes, we can now trust each other completely!”, Gromyko responds.
    “No more talking, back to your cells!”, says the Chinese jailer.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Extremely interesting. (Does anyone have a sense of exactly how, mechanically, this takeover is supposed to happen? I can see why it seems inevitable, but not at all how it would actually work.)

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    Artemisia Reply:

    Uh…I’m afraid I can only give you the familiar line – “fate!”
    But seriously though – the Soviet population has always viewed its system as a massive screw-up (and they laughed at it, modern Russians still view it as a screw-up, and get angry at it, which is so much more unhealthy). Next to them, however, an efficient and ruthless power was rising, and one whose population actually took things seriously (instead of doing the entire “our employers only pretend to pay us money…but we only pretend to work!” thing or shrugging and saying “meh, fate”). So back in Soviet times when these jokes circulated the takeover was pretty intuitive, I suppose (although there’s this Eastern European joke in which a Czech fisherman catches a magical goldfish that promises to grant him three wishes if he lets it go. The fisherman promptly asks for China to attack Czechoslovakia three times – because then it would have to “walk three times through them)

    How the takeover is supposed to happen mechanically now – I have no idea, actually, but millions of Chinese people “invade” our far Eastern corners. They are willing to live in dying Russian villages whose inhabitants are leaving or dying of alcoholism (say what you might about Chinese supremacy and all – this is a shame, really. Shame on us, obviously) and they are willing to work there. There is land, there is timber, there are natural resources and there is underpopulation. Mechanically, if it happens (yes, stupid little Russian girl has hopes for her stupid big country) it will happen via a slow, steady trickle, I suppose.

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    spandrell Reply:

    They won’t be willing to live there much longer. Young Chinese refuse to live in their own warm villages.

    Candide III Reply:

    @spandrell Are you saying they prefer to move to the cities, live in company dormitories and work for peanuts?

    Artemisia Reply:

    @ spandrell – well, they are mostly there illegally (which is why the trickle is slow – occasionally they get sent back in large numbers. But I suspect they are not the kind of people who feverishly desire to live in villages of any kind. Anyway – I know very little about how China works and I haven’t even lived in Russia for years now, so my word does not have much authoritative value.

    nydwracu Reply:

    A Pole walking along the road happens to spy a lamp. He picks it up, and as it is covered in rust he gives it quick rub. Out comes a genie. “I’m the genie of the lamp and I can grant you three wishes,” the genie says. “OK,” says the Pole. “I want the Chinese Army to invade Poland.” Odd choice, the genie thinks, but nevertheless he grants the wish, and the Chinese Army comes all the way from China, invades, and goes back home. “Right, second wish. Maybe something more positive,” says the genie. “No,” replies the Pole, “I want the Chinese Army to invade again.” So the Chinese come all the way from China, lay waste to more of Poland, and then go home. “Listen,” says the genie. “You have one last wish. I can make Poland the most beautiful and prosperous place on earth.” “If you don’t mind, I want the Chinese army to invade one more time.” So the Chinese army comes again, destroys what’s left of Poland, and then goes home for the last time. “I don’t understand,” says the genie. “Why did you want the Chinese army to invade Poland three times?”. “Well,” replies the Pole, “they had to go through Russia six times.”

    A Yankee walking along the road happens to spy a lamp. He picks it up, and as it is covered in rust he gives it quick rub. Out comes a genie. “I’m the genie of the lamp and I can grant you three wishes,” the genie says. “OK,” says the Yankee. “I want the underclass to riot.” Odd choice, the genie thinks, but nevertheless he grants the wish, and the underclass crosses town, riots, and goes back home. “Right, second wish. Maybe something more positive,” says the genie. “No,” replies the Yankee, “I want the underclass to riot again.” So the underclass come all the way from the projects, lay waste to more of the city, and then go home. “Listen,” says the genie. “You have one last wish. I can make your city the most beautiful and prosperous place on earth.” “If you don’t mind, I want the underclass one more time.” So the underclass comes again, destroys what’s left of the city, and then goes home for the last time. “I don’t understand,” says the genie. “Why did you want the underclass to destroy your city three times?”. “Well,” replies the Yankee, “the crackers got it worse.” Then the Yankee packed up and moved.

    Posted on December 8th, 2013 at 2:18 am Reply | Quote
  • spandrell Says:

    @Candide

    Yup, that sort of massive factories aren’t as popular as they used to, but yeah they prefer that to getting their hands dirty, let alone in Siberia.

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 8th, 2013 at 3:26 pm Reply | Quote
  • VXXC Says:

    @nydwracu

    Yankees moving—They’re out of places to run in the world they’ve made, rather like everyone else.

    [Actually…south of mason/dixon hasn’t had it worse the last 50 years]

    [Reply]

    Posted on December 8th, 2013 at 11:01 pm Reply | Quote

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