You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

April 23, 2004

Why This Is Called "A Tiny Revolution"

This site's name is a reference to something George Orwell wrote in a 1945 essay called "Funny but not Vulgar":

A thing is funny when it upsets the established order. Every joke is a tiny revolution.

If you're interested in the intersection of comedy and politics, you should read all of the essay; it's still very relevant. In fact, it's alarmingly relevant. Here's another excerpt:

It would seem that you cannot be funny without being vulgar, that is, vulgar by the standards of the people at whom English humorous writing in our own day seems mostly to be aimed. For it is not only sex that is "vulgar." So are death, childbirth and poverty... and respect for the intellect and strong political feeling, if not actually vulgar, are looked upon as being in doubtful taste. You cannot be really funny if your main aim is to flatter the comfortable classes: it means leaving out too much. To be funny, indeed, you have got to be serious.

Orwell also says that "A willingness to make extremely obscene jokes can co-exist with very strict moral standards."

This website may or may not have strict moral standards, but it definitely has a willingness to make extremely obscene jokes.

Posted at April 23, 2004 02:27 PM

"tiny revolution"?! What a marvelous concept! Keep up the good work, and I'll do my part.

Swear to God!

Sooner or later, I'm sure, I'll be found out. The word will be out that I went around via Google to the various anti-Bush weblogs, and much like a busy little bee, deposited a comment in those weblogs that allow for such.

Anyway, below the line of asterisks, you should, but you won't, find the entire comment, appended to the Friday, April 23, 2004 entry in the Hammerdown weblog with the U.R.L, and I copy and paste,

To be frank, I'm going this route to avoid the slings and arrows of outraged wowsers, the vast majority of whom seem to be pro-Bush partisans. Anyway, please do read the "permissible" part of the comment.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

. . . I'd like you to consider reading the text for a "state of the union" address that I believe is imperative for this country of ours. To get to it, all you need do is click on the below enclosed U.R.L

By the way, the proprietors of the website have provided a couple ways for you to leave your comments.

Posted by: A Alexander Stella at April 24, 2004 03:03 PM

Hey Jon -- first time here. Congrats & good luck. I'll be surfing in often.

Posted by: Dennis Perrin at April 26, 2004 04:27 PM

Anti-Bush blogs? Count me in! Mine's at Jonathan, I read "Business as Usual" on Tom Paine. I wonder about the same things; see "Slicker than Teflon" and "Undigestable Rice" at my site.

Posted by: Steve Horowitz at April 28, 2004 12:17 AM

speaking of extremely obscene jokes, i've read recently of a documentary film that has a series of comedians all telling the same joke:

a performing troupe goes to a theatrical agent, in order to get booked to do vaudeville shows

when asked to describe what they do on stage, various sex acts are described - this is where the creativity of the teller comes in

and when asked, "what do you call yourselves?", they reply, "the aristocrats"

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. at January 28, 2005 02:41 PM

Ha! Good name of your blog.

The assumption that the conservatives are now the established order is amusing, to them at least. Few of them would agree.

It's intriguing that both sides feel themselves as the outsiders, the underdogs.

For two post-war generations, nearly every conservative politician thought that the only choice to get mass approval was to hew to an ever more liberal/progressive line... that conservativism simply meant slowing the rate of movement to the left.

Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher changed that.

We've seen the obvious results with the presidencies of Bill Clinton (D) and premiership of Tony Blair (Labour). These are men that slowed the rate of movement to the right rather than move to the left!

But the Bush (43) presidency creates some confusion. This is not conservatism. It may be good, it may be bad (yes I know you all think it's bad!), but it's pretty darn radical.

Democracy via force (and it's somewhat effective) to the middle east? Pull troops out of Saudi? Arms to nuclear India to support her democracy?

Massive deficits that could cripple or handcuff the US in the future? Subsidies to Armstrong Williams!? (And no the Gannon thing is crap, who cares).

I can say this much. Whatever's in the ascendancy in the US, the established order, it ain't conservatism.

Please feel free to disagree with me, but please don't simply assume I'm some random Freeper/crazed troll.

For all I disagree, some great opinions and views on this blog.

Thanks Jonathan,

Posted by: Holmwood at April 19, 2005 09:06 AM

It completely agree with Orwell. I think - obscene jokes do not break public morals, this reflection of public morals.

Posted by: Bruce at December 9, 2005 05:01 PM

Very good, but what I really wanted to know was--whence the cute picture of the panda?

Posted by: Saheli at December 11, 2005 02:32 AM