Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Sense of Cruelty

It's official! Bush Derangement Syndrome has a new offshoot.

No, it isn't Morbid Obama Intoxication (or MOI, French for 'Little Me'), the O personality cult that has large segments of 'reality based' humanity in its grip.

The recurring theme of the current campaign appears to be 'the womb.' To that collection can now be added hysteria (click to explain), to wit Passive Aggressive Palin Hysteria, of which the acronym reads PAPH.

As the press continues to derail in the objective information department, another section - caricaturists - implode into a passive agressive displacement hole.

This vicious piece of pamphleteering is what passes for humor in the British Leftist rag The Guardian, home to unreformed Stalinists and Mao supporters.

- Caption: Guardian humor - Hat tip: EurSoc -

What is hard to fathom is the lack of introspection sufferers display. Weren't they gripped by delusion, the thought might have occurred, "Why am I - for the past eight years or so - consumed with hatred for persons I do not even know personally? Is this normal, am I healthy?" But, no.

Dr Sanity in one of her brilliant posts, titled "Not all humor is created equal" psycho-analyzes this form of humorless humor, which she says is actually symptomatic of psychopathology.

"There are important differences between mature humor and displacement or it's cousin, passive aggression. The latter are also psychological defense mechanisms, but less mature ones (neurotic), that are not quite as effective in bringing 'pleasure to others.'"

She recalls the behavior of comedian Stephen Colbert when he mocked President Bush during the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner. She quotes at length comedian and commentator Richard Cohen who had this to say about Colbert's performance:

"(...) Colbert was not just a failure as a comedian but rude. Rude is not the same as brash. It is not the same as brassy. It is not the same as gutsy or thinking outside the box. Rudeness means taking advantage of the other person's sense of decorum or tradition or civility that keeps that other person from striking back or, worse, rising in a huff and leaving. The other night, that person was George W. Bush."

The doctor continues:

"Humor is an extraordinarily mature and healthy psychological defense. It is the overt expression of ideas and feelings (especially those that are unpleasant to focus on or too terrible to talk about) in a creative manner that gives pleasure to others. (...) Read the entire piece (Cohen's), which accurately deliniates the significant differences between humor and displacement. True humor offers a catharsis for more than just the person using it; and while displacement may be funny to some, it is the childish/adolescent version of humor that is more like disguised cruelty. (...)

It was very revealing precisely because it revealed something about Colbert and any of those who found it hilarious--it revealed immaturity and intolerance. To be precise, it was just another attempt at displacement, the underlying psychological motivation of Bush Derangement Syndrome. The purpose of this kind of "humor" is to hurt. It makes very few feel pleasure except at the pain of someone else. Mostly, this kind of humor is found in children and adolescents. The "ha-ha!" shout of the character Nelson, who makes fun of everyone's pain; while blissfully unaware of his own family's psychopathology in The Simpsons is an example; or one of the three stooges beating up on another. (...)

While displacement may be a bit psychologically healthier than actually physically hitting the President over the head with a baseball bat, it is hard to see how those on the "caring and compassionate" left--so sensitized to others people's feelings-- are not exactly aware of how insensitive and loutish it was to attack someone who cannot respond. They rationalize their own behavior by making Bush a monster. This is only projection (an even more primitive psychological defense), however. (...)

Such rudeness in the name of humor is actually painful to witness (i.e., not funny) because when someone resorts to it, they are unintentionally revealing their own deepest--and darkest--soul. (...) the more immature psychological defenses--such as displacement or passive aggression-- can produce a warped type of humor that is decidedly inferior and far less effective at discharging aggression and anger in socially acceptable ways that give pleasure to everyone. Not all humor is created equal when it comes to being healthy and psychologically mature. >>>

In philosophical terms the ratio goes: "Anyone who threatens our high sense of ethics - our Common Will - is only worthy of being sacrificed to it."

- Filed on Articles in "The Political Pathology Pile" -


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