The Elusive Nature of Right Wing Humor


Posted by Bob Lord

A friend of mine forwarded me a viral email he'd received from a right-wing friend of his. I was curious, so I googled a passage and learned that this supposedly funny email actually started out on 15 or so google pages worth of right-wing sites about six months or so ago, then made its way to emails from there. And what is so hilarious? This:

Today's lesson in irony

The Food Stamp Program,
administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing
this year the greatest amount of free Meals and Food Stamps ever, to 46 million

Meanwhile, the National Park
Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us
"Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy
is because "The animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn
to take care of themselves."

Thus ends today's

So what exactly do these neanderthals find so funny?

Is it the likening of poor, jobless Americans to animals? Is it the idea that if you cut the food intake of people who are hanging on by their fingernails from $4 per day to something less, the change from hungry to starving will cause them to find a higher paying job that doesn't presently exist? Or does it work the other way — i.e., that by offering up $4 per day for food for those who have no job we've caused them to quit their jobs? Or is it the implication that our elected leaders are such morons they don't get these fundamental economic truths? 

This email and the huge reception it's received in right-wing circles show how precious little progress we've made and how backwards this "great" country of ours truly is. The mentailty embodied in the email is the same as that which existed in the Jim Crow era: that certain groups are sub-human and should be treated as such. Then, it was African Americans. Now, it's the poor, the "takers" as Paul Ryan describes them, or the 47% in Mitt Romney's narrow elitist mind. Nothing has changed. We've been expecting for centuries now that this vile group of haters would die off, or at least that their ranks would thin. Yet they remain today, as much a tea-bagging albatross as ever, darkening our days, stifling our progress, and embarassing us to the rest of the world.  


  1. hmmm… one wonders if they’ve ever read Luke 9:12-17. Or ever seen what hoops we require of mothers of young children who use WIC checks.