Reconstructing a Deconstruction

There’s this fairly common joke construct. Goes like this. “I thought ___A__ was OK, until I found out ___B___.”

In the formula, “A” is something people pretty much universally agree is horrible, and “B” is something that is relatively trivial. The bigger the disparity, the greater the irony, the funnier the joke.

The point is never to trivialize the evil of A, it is always to trivialize “B” as an offense.

Might go something like this….

“I thought Hiltler was OK until I found out he was a vegetarian.”

The irony being, of course, who really gives a damn if someone is a vegetarian? (Unless they’re constantly in your face about it, at which point they’re Vegetarian Nazis  😉 )

“B” doesn’t even have to be true for the joke to work, but “A” must be universally perceived to be *very* bad, or the joke won’t work.

“I thought Mother Theresa was OK until I found out she treated people for leprosy.”

Doesn’t work for 2 reasons. Most people admire Mother Theresa, and pretty much nobody thinks treating people for leprosy is bad on any level.

But this one might work …

“I thought Charles Manson was OK until I found out he liked the Teletubbies.”

A lot of people think the Teletubbies are weird and don’t like them. But it’s certainly not anywhere near the evil that Manson wrought. You could replace “Teletubbies” with “Jersey Shore”, or any other TV show many people don’t like.

And so another one might go like this…

“I thought the KKK was OK until I found out they smoked pot.”

Which a joke Jeff Sessions told 30 years ago that seemed to be the crux of the case *against* him.

One of the most insidious things about the NewSpeak nature of Political Correctness is that it that it doesn’t just make words mean things they don’t mean, but that it can actually go so far as to make words mean the exact opposite of what they mean if it suits the person engaging in Political Correctness.

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About philmon

Part mountain junkie, part decent amateur photographer, part survivalist, part not-so-decent amateur musician, part sysadmin. Husband, step-dad, grandpa, and music freak who digs mechanical clocks, barometers, and Gil Elvgren pinups. Studied Meteorolgy & Computer Science. And the U.S. Constitution.

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