11A012 ROTFLOL by Jim Davies, 1/12/2011    

He must be! bin Ladin, I mean. Assuming he has a sense of humor. He and his fellow freaks have watched the FedGov do their work for them these last ten years, destroying the remnants of the freedom they are said to hate, and most of what they've had to do is to sit in a cave and roll on the floor laughing out loud.

How safe is that assumption? - I'm not sure. Do serious Muslims actually have a sense of humor? It's not easy to tell, though in fairness I've not known many Muslims. In fact the only one I got to know reasonably well was a fellow student many years ago, a most courteous gentleman and a scholar. He was from a very well-heeled family so might have been a prince, I never asked; and he was entirely pleasant but not much given to laughter.

So I Googled "Muslim humor" and found some jokes. Judge for yourself; they are often scatological, but that can be said of many an infidel comedian's repertoire. It was compiled, though, by someone called "Bernie," who seems to be an atheist Jew. So I still don't know whether Muslims can laugh at themselves. Then I found in rajuabju this gem: "How many Muslims does it take to change a light bulb? None!  They sit in the dark forever and blame the Jews for it!" but somehow felt that that too might not have been grown at home. (You heard how many Libertarians it takes to change one? - "None. The market will take care of it.")

I did come across some video clips, though only this one tickled my funny bone:
"I went to my Grandma's for dinner, but she put some pork on my plate. I said, 'Grandma, I can't eat this! I'm Muslim!'"
"You are not!"
"I am, too! Why'd you say that?"
"Because you ain't never been to jail."

So my lead assumption is alas in peril. Certainly, Muslim reaction to this very reasonable cartoon in the Danish Jyllands-Posten suggested they badly need to lighten up. (That's lighten, not light.)

For all that, Osama has a great deal to laugh about, if he does know how. He's had only to keep out of drone-sight and publish a tape recording now and again, and the US government has done all his work for him, and then some. It has prolonged a war in two countries so as to aggravate almost all Muslim sentiment against Americans, not just that of the fundamentalists. It has imposed surveillance on Americans and all traveling to the Land of the Free to a degree that would have had Göbbels drooling in admiration. And it has helped fracture Pakistan, that partly secular Muslim land, giving its theocrats a new lease on life.

Laughing in triumph is not, of course, the same as self-deprecation. It's to scorn one's enemies, rather than to acknowledge one's shortcomings; a very different style of humor. But government people (meaning all who, like him, do anything to impose their will on someone else) must have a really hard time admitting that they fall short, for part of the deception is to pretend they have some special right to rule, that they are equipped with qualities ordinary folk don't have. When they do succeed, it's memorable; JFK got it right with his "best of both worlds: a Harvard education and a Yale degree" as did Reagan with his "I hope you're all Republicans" to the surgeons about to repair his gunshot wounds. G W Bush made a brave attempt a few years ago, when he joked to a supportive audience about the curiously elusive Iraqi WMDs; but as this clip shows, he couldn't quite pull it off.

No surprise, really. Deliberately to violate someone's right to run his own life just isn't funny.

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