House Passes Historic Humor Reform; Republicans Vow to Have Humor Declared Unconstitutional

With a vote of 219-212, the House of Representatives has passed sweeping humor legislation which, once signed into law, will ensure that 35 million additional Americans have access to humor.

Among the wide-reaching changes to the humor industry outlined in the bill, major points include:

• Effective immediately, the 2-drink minimum mandated by greedy comedy club owners and the exorbitant fees charged for said drinks will be permanently abolished, until Republicans regain control of Congress and reverse all of the laws that the Democrats have made.

• Within 12 months, the government will have in place a National Humor Exchange (NHE), where citizens will be able to trade jokes, stories, humor e-books and comedy recordings for free online, and where they can search for and buy tickets to comedy shows, even those across state lines, without having to pay the current industry-wide average fee of 472 percent charged by such ticket outlets as Ticketmaster and StubHub. Democrats plan to subsidize this exchange by holding bake sales.

• By 2012, a nationwide network of Humor Mobiles (HMs) will be created. These HMs will bring jokes, comedians, whoopee cushions and mockery to the homeless and people in the most remote outposts of the U.S., where currently many citizens have no access to humor. One HM will be designated to make weekly stops at the Cheney residence, one of the most humor-deficient regions of the Baltimore-Maryland Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Top Republicans call the bill unconstitutional and many hold firm in the delusion that they will somehow repeal the bill. It is rumored that Sarah Palin may be brought back into the ring to lead this charge. Leading Democrats welcome a Palin comeback, stating, “There can never be too much free humor.”

Speaking on terms of anonymity, Representative Mike Pence of Indiana stated, “This bill only passed as a result of back-room deals where all kinds of nasty jokes of a highly questionable moral nature were told. You know, stuff like the old, ‘Mommy, mommy, why am I running in circles? Shut up before I nail your other foot to the floor.’ Blasphemous. Humor is a serious matter and this is not the way a democracy is supposed to be run. A democracy is supposed to operate out in the open, where every elected official has the same opportunity to be offered kickbacks, sweetheart deals, and Final Four tickets. And besides, why do we want to waste perfectly good humor on those with pre-existing conditions such as the depressed and downtrodden? Do you have any idea how much humor these people require?”

Asked why leading Republicans were left out of the back-room dealings, Speaker Pelosi answered, “They’re such a buzz kill. Would you invite them to your party? I mean, really, come on. What a bunch of stuffy, self-righteous, over-privileged dinosaurs. Plus,” she said, “they never pitch in for the keg.”

Republicans have intermittently claimed that they have their own Humor Bill, playfully nicknamed, “Joke’s on U."

“We have this incredible plan for Humor Reform,” said a leading Republican. “I can’t tell you too much about it but, essentially, it does everything good that the current bill does, it doesn’t do anything bad that the current bill does, and it does a bunch of other stuff, too, all good stuff, with absolutely no bad stuff. Republicans have been working on this bill for over 100 years because, well, humor reform is a complicated issue and you cannot rush into this sort of thing without careful planning, crafting, deliberation and condescension."

An anti-humor fringe group, calling themselves the No-Glee Party, has pledged to continue its fight to end universal humor. Small protests were held around the country today in states such as Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Idaho, where protestors held signs that read, “Repeal Humor!”, “No More Laughter,” “Kill the Bill: FumiGate HumorGate,” and “Let the People Cry.”

“This is going to kill the Democrats in the mid-term elections,” said one Noglee’er. “What fun is being happy if others, who don’t deserve it, are happy too? The whole fun about being happy is to gloat in that happiness in the face of other people’s misery, distress and oppression. Nobody wants everyone to be happy. That’s communism.”

Shaking his head as he meandered down R Street following news of the historic vote, Senator John McCain of Arizona was reported to have been heard mumbling, “Socialized humor. It’s going to be just like the Soviet Union in the 80s – nothing but jokes about bread lines, babushkas and drunken cosmonauts.”


This post first published at The Parody Files

can you Digg it?

Congress Scores Big Win for Laughter

This morning in the Rose Garden President Obama announced that one of the benefits of the healthcare reform bill would take effect immediately, even before he signs the bill into law: On the Origins of Joy Boy's Chasm, a Comic Novel, an FDA-approved cure for depression, sadness, melancholy, boredom and lethargy, will be made available to members of the public for 99 cents on their Kindles, without a prescription. John McCain vows to fight to repeal the action, stating, "Laughter and happiness have traditionally been reserved for the elite. And our country was founded on traditions. Need I say more?"


BamaBeerBelly54 and the World Economic Crisis: The Future of Journalism?

The year is 2016. Anderson Cooper has bought out the rights to his 360 show and started his own channel, AC 24/7. The channel features 1,000 lifelike Anderson Cooper Avatars (ACAs*), stationed around the globe, reading tweets to @AC247, IMs to AC247@gmail, wall posts to the AC247 Facebook Fan page, follower comments from the AC247 blog, and introducing, then airing, viewer comment videos posted to the AC247 YouTube channel.

ACA#213 stands in front of a newly formed pile of debris somewhere in the world, puts his right hand to his ear, looks away from the camera to the ground and issues an expression of . . . surprise . . . disquiet . . . apprehension . . . look at that perfectly chiseled bicep, viewer . . . he fiddles with the earpiece, flashes looks to the camera and then back to the ground with worried concentration . . . concern . . . expectancy . . . what in the world is happening, where in the world IS that AC avatar, anyway . . . and . . . no, no . . .yes, but wait, ACA#213 looks to the ground, back to the camera, bicep trembling, lips parting, mouth opening, here it comes, the next big thing and you are hearing it here first, on the AC24/7 channel, straight from the mouth of ACA#213 and POW!:

“In breaking news on the world economic front,” speaks ACA#213, “’BamaBeerBelly54 has offered a solution. ‘We solve this mess EZ:,’ tweeted ‘Bama, ‘just conquer China and take all the stuff – we know it's all there, because that's where they make it. Then we sell it on eBay!’”

“To this,” reports ACA#213, “NYDem2008 has replied, ‘Yeah, sure, we just march right into Tienanmen Square and put up Old Glory. Good one, hick. ‘”

“This," ACA#213 says as he plays with the earpiece, "prompted a reply from Freebird’74: ‘Yeah, NYDem, that’s how we do, yo! Impeerialism rulz!’”

“Meanwhile, GonnaPartayAllNight69 wondered, ‘Am I on TV?’” before ‘BamaBeerBelly54 concluded, ‘Goooo freebird, you tell him! And stop bein’ soft NYDem, you probly pink-o don’t u know USA ownz! Hey Gonnapartay – u near Birmingham?’”

Is this the future of journalism? Actually, it is the present. Do you know how I know? Because I saw it the other night on television. You may have seen it too. In fact, it happens every day. CNN anchors read viewer tweets. Headline News anchors read Facebook friend comments. And viewer comments regularly flash in real time across the bottom of the screen in countless other newscasts.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear what ‘BamaBeerBelly54 has to say about the world economic crisis. And I don't want to party with him either. I've seen Deliverance.

Does this mean that I am anti Web 2.0? Of course not, I am all for it; in fact, as you know, I am Web 2.0-ing right now by writing this blog post, and I hope that you all will Web 2.0 me back with a comment. But do we really need, or want, Headline News 2.0? CNN 2.0? TV 2.0? No, we don't , and I am here to say that I am very anti TV2.0.

The purpose of the television is not to be an interactive tool. The purpose of the television, from its beginnings, has been clear: provide an excuse for absolutely no interaction -- no family interaction, no interaction between the brain and any kind of effort, and certainly no interaction between the viewer and the TV.

I am not tuning in to the news to hear analysis from armchair secretaries of state. That's what Thanksgiving dinner is for. Just give me the facts, presented by chiseled, Roman God-like male anchors and exotic, statuesque, Eastern European model-like female anchors. And please, don't ask me any questions. Because I'm not paying attention. I am thinking about nachos.


*No ACAs were harmed in the blogging of this post.

Read me as the Inaugural LJL post at The Parody Files

Origins, God and Counterfeiting Picasso: A Solution to the World's Economic Crisis (plus some other stuff)

In breaking news, On the Origins of Joy Boy's Chasm has successfully made it through Round One of the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA). Round One narrowed the field of 5,000 entries down to 1,000, leaving an 80 percent wake of what the ABNA Administrators are referring to as "collateral damage" in its path.

The next round, strangely enough, will be called, "Round Two." In this cryptically titled round, the remaining 1,000 entries will be quartered to 250, leaving a wake of destruction not seen since the now fabled "Round One."

Not since the dawn of time (you know, like a few thousand years ago, when God made all those dinosaur fossils and then put them under all those sedimentary layers of the earth and then created science and radiometric dating and universities with archaeology departments and people with a passion for that kind of stuff so that he could trick people into believing there were dinosaurs 60 million years ago to separate the "faithful" (aka those who are offended by facts) from the "blasphemers" (aka those who so self-righteously claim that God would never act in such a deceitful and manipulative fashion) and, actually, since even before then, has a book with the words "origins" and "chasm" made it through Round One of any ABNA. Ever. Please join me in a moment of celebration for this historic moment. I did not crawl out of the ocean. I did not crawl out of the ocean. I flopped out of the ocean.

In other exciting news, I have been collaborating over the past couple of months with four other writers, four of whom are immensely more talented than yours truly, to launch a new humor website, The Parody Files. We went live today with the Inaugural Post, and you can catch us all writing there weekly beginning next week. Until then, you will find us at the Inaugural Ball being held for the Inaugural Post at the Inaugural Mansion. Blasphemers welcome.


Driving Like Crazy, P.J. O'Rourke

Here are two things we know for sure about New Hampshire: (1) Approximately 20 percent of the state’s population can trace its family roots back to Ireland, and (2) in a state that has adopted the motto, “Live Free or Die,” one can be confident that a Libertarian or two will cross his or her path on the way to the granite quarry. Or the primary. (Okay, that’s four, er, five things we know about New Hampshire.) Yet even taking these astonishing facts together, there still is only one Irish-American Libertarian hailing from New Hampshire who bears the distinction of having his Wikipedia page come up as the second Google hit for the search string “new hampshire irish libertarian.” It is none other than the “Master of Metaphor” and author of Driving Like Crazy: Thirty Years of Vehicular Hell-Bending Celebrating the Way It’s Supposed to Be – With a Cadillac Escalade in Every Carport, and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Mowing Our Lawn, P.J. O’Rourke.

Driving Like Crazy is a collection of O’Rourke’s car journalism pieces published throughout the years in magazines such as Car and Driver, Automobile, Esquire and National Lampoon. The book opens (following his Introduction, “The Death of the American Car”) with his gonzo-style How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink, first published in National Lampoon in 1977. In the article, O’Rourke talks about the benefits, or the courageousness, of, among other things, driving fast. While he is celebrating one of his American heroes, the American car, one could argue that he is equally celebrating those other American heroes . . . the ones who live fast and wild and free like the American cars of yore, those whom Kerouac spoke of as “the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!””

One of the hazards of driving fast is the increased risk of having an accident. While most may see this as a hazard, O’Rourke offers a different perspective:

“You know, it’s a shame, but a lot of people have the wrong idea about accidents. For one thing, they don’t hurt nearly as much as you’d think. That’s because you’re in shock and can’t feel the pain or, if you aren’t in shock, you’re dead, and that doesn’t hurt at all so far as we know. Another thing is that they make great stories. I’ve got this friend . . .”

From this introductory article, which sets the tone for what is to follow: lots of cars and lots of speed, O’Rourke takes us on a 700-mile jaunt across Indiana on three “mechanically primitive” Harley-Davidson motorcycles and one Suzuki GS1100 with his Car & Driver boss, a Fiat executive, and a crash test engineer; a 1000 mile trek through the “mountains, lava fields, arid barrens, sand flats, cactus forests, and leviathan rock piles” of Mexico’s Baja peninsula with Michael Nesmith’s (of Monkees fame) race team; and a run from the streets of Islamabad to Calcutta, to name just a few.

While I have completely different views than O’Rourke on so many political and social issues, no matter what he is writing about, even when he is deriding my political views and heroes (“Goodbye to all that, fellow car nuts. Barack Obama has been elected, Congress is overrun with Democrats like cooties on a spelling bee winner, and the Supreme Court will be next to go . . . When Roberts is impeached Al Gore will be named to replace him and the Fun Suckers will be fully in charge”), he has me laughing hysterically. This is one of the reasons why I love reading P.J. O’Rourke so much – P.J., please tell the Fed to flood our economy with humor – it may be our only hope.