Sunday, March 16, 2014

Right Wing World: Obama Doesn't Wear "Mom Jeans," Conservatives Don't Get Humor

Right Wing humor is an odd thing. No, strike that, it's practically a unicorn, because I'm not sure it exists. I should maybe say, Right Wing attempts at humor are an odd thing, a very, very odd thing. For the rest of us, humor has to have an element of truth to it. It has to grow out of something that exists, and
Not Mom Jeans
then is exaggerated to humorous effect. Conservative humor seems to start with an exaggeration or misconception, and the gets more exaggerated and more distorted in the telling and retelling of the joke. It then gets repeated endlessly, as though it's as hilarious in the 3,000th telling as it was the first time. Then, inevitably, Sarah Palin works it into her word salad.

Of course, if you're not conservative, the first telling is a head scratcher, and on the umpteenth retelling, you get so irritated about the lack of humor, you can't hold your tongue anymore. If it's your Republican Uncle Ralph, this can start a family fight. If it's on the interwebz, you might dive into the viper's pit that is NewsBusters.  

NewsBusters is a "liberal media" (hah!) watchdog site, run by Brent Bozell, he of the "put my byline on columns written by others for years at a stretch" infamy. They'll
Still not Mom Jeans.
rail about The NBC Nightly News with the same fervor as Kathy Griffin or Bill Maher, so their idea of news media is rather loose. And if you're a liberal, you'll scroll through their "outrage" headlines, and kind of wonder why any of the headlines is particularly outrageous. My response to most of them is, "yeah, so?" But their comments section is among the most poisonous on the internet. You could point out the correct spelling of the president's name and be called the stupidest, filthiest, most worthless person on the planet.  It's that kind of place.

So, I happened by one day, and caught the repetitive joke that was bugging me one too many times, and couldn't hold my tongue. The joke was about "mom jeans," a reference to a Saturday Night Live faux commercial from several years ago. "Mom Jeans" are those high-waisted pants that seemed to be on every mom in the 1980s and 90s, which made women's rear ends look longer, lower and flatter. They were characterized by a very long rise and fly, which gave seemingly acres of denim from crotch to waist on both the back and front side. It was funny because it was instantly recognizable, and for the tag line that said, "I'm not a woman anymore, I'm a mom."  [Story continues below]

None of the pictures of Obama supposedly wearing mom jeans have these features. None of them. They might look dorky.* They might be ill-fitting. But none fits the joke. In many cases, the funny looking part of the picture is the president's pose (throwing a baseball, riding a bike) or something else he's wearing (like a bike helmet). In no case does the photo match the joke. And yet, they'll insist that it does. And they'll get  vicious to anyone who points out this fact! I even started my entry into this realm by showing the picture (shown here) of the SNL original ladies in mom jeans, and picture of Willard Mitt Romney in similar pants. Because, you know, I'm a helper. Didn't work. They still fail to get the joke, still have no ability to see where they're wrong, and still treat me (even though I'm unfailingly civil, if snarky) like vermin.

Now these are mom jeans!
I don't know why I bother. The commenters at NewsBusters-like those of any conservative site that even allows non-member comments--are instantly hostile to almost any contrary comment. Hostile in a very different way from those you might see to a conservative on a left-wing site.  In Right Wing World, it seems the default response to an "interloper" is to heap on the derision and venom, in an out-of-scale, bazooka-style blast. If you enter into it with a sincere, inquisitive mindset, you'll be crushed. If you go in with the foreknowledge that they're knee-jerk assholes, it's kind of fun.

But somebody who is on their side should really explain humor to them. Because the mom jeans thing is missing the mark, but it's far from their only humor blind spot. I tell you though, if you want to see what Right Wing World--at the base--is really all about, go take a gander at NewsBusters' comments section, and see if you can suss out what they think is funny (such as calling Rachel Maddow, "Ray," "Mad Cow" and "he" or "it," EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.). Here's a link to where I had my latest kerfuffle with them. Note also that this "watchdog" site that allegedly only exists in reaction to the crassness of "liberal media" has no problem calling Maddow "surly" in their headline!

It's here: Newsbusters

*It should be pointed out that at the root of this joke--even though they're not applying it right--is that the president is feminine, girly, not a man. NewsBusters is only a hop and skip from World Net Daily, after all, where they come right out and say that the president is gay. That's why this joke delights them so much, and why they desperately want to make the evidence fit the joke. But it still doesn't.


  1. Sorry but Obama brought it up this last time. He didn't have tot talk about how good he looked in his jeans and he didn't have to bring up mom jeans.
    Conservatives may have brought it up initially, but Obama brought it up himself this past week.

  2. He brought it up because it became a "thing" in Right Wing World. It's still not a good joke, but it sure is one that gets flogged over there at Newsbusters.


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