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Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Bailout for the post-election comedy deficit

Fluff, Politics

After years of giddy humor brought on by easy targets in the White House and on the campaign trail, the inflated political comedy bubble burst on November 5, 2008.

What will we do for amusement now that Sarah Palin has been released back into the wilds of Alaska?

John Stewart, Daily Show host, called political comedians “carrion birds. . .sitting up there saying ‘Does he seem weak? Is he dehydrated yet? Let’s attack.’ ” Then we elected a president who’s graceful, dignified, and well-spoken. He doesn’t seem weak, and he’s not even thirsty yet. But the vultures on Saturday Night Live and the late-night talk shows might soon be starving.

About the only way people have found to make fun of president-elect Barack Hussein Obama is to write his whole name, which amuses them for mysterious reasons. If I were Black, I could do a riff on how his real name, the name on his secret, unrevealed certificate of live birth, is “Jamal,” but I’m not, so I can’t.

America’s not the only place that thinks there’s nothing funny about our elegant next president. When Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi Berlusconi told President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia that president-elect Obama “has all the qualities to get along well with you: he’s young, handsome and suntanned, so I think you can develop a good working relationship,” reporters went wild. This “miserable, vulgar, and racist” comment, commentators said, was “ the last straw” for Berscolini.

If you ask me, the boorish Berscolini was making fun of Medvedev. It sounds more like a gay joke than a race joke. Either way it’s tacky, but international incident? Give me a break. Berscolini apparently is something of a nutjob, which makes life a lot more fun for reporters and humorists, and saves Italy from sharing equally in our nation's comedic downturn.

But there’s light on the comedy horizon, thanks to Skinny Black Guy Colson Whitehead, who points out with relief that fellow Skinny Black Guy Obama looks like he’d be stuffed after a cup of minestrone.

Skinny jokes. Can we all agree that that is one Skinny Guy? And that the time for jokes about Skinny People is long overdue?

From Colson:

On the right, there’s been much anxiety over what a Skinny Black Guy administration will look like. Will he paint the White House a warm, Cablinasian caramel, lop off the East Wing for a more svelte profile? Pack his cabinet with Garrett Morris, Dave Chappelle and Jimmie Walker? Such talk is ridiculous, although Mr. Obama doesn’t hide the fact that he keeps Urkel on speed-dial “because you never know.” I’m confident he’ll reach across the aisle to Skinny White Guys, Haven’t Been Able to Get to the Gym White Guys, and If They Were Women They’d Be Called Zaftig White Guys.

As a member of the long-oppressed Chubby Middle-Aged Gals, I have to admit I’m looking forward to the chance to consider the silly side of slimness.  We’ve been waiting a long time for this day to come.

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