I am not usually a funny writer. Bitter and cranky, yes; funny, sometimes. But I do like to read funny, smart bloggers, if for no other reason than it relieves the feelings of depression one experiences being a passenger on the USS America with a crew of drunks and fools steering us at the rocks, at full speed. But during my recent researches into the squalid waterfront bars and seaman's whorehouses known as the right side of the blog world, the question hit me: Why is it there are so few funny conservative bloggers?
On the left side, there are probably a half-dozen top bloggers who are consistently funny and provide excellent commentary and criticism. In no particular order, and just off the top of my head, we have Fafblog!, The Rude Pundit, World O' Crap, Alicublog, Fanatical Apathy, Sadly, No!, Tbogg, The Poor Man, and James Wolcott. All consistently funny - often brilliantly so - without devolving completely into the silly. (Occasional diversions into the silly are fine.)
In addition, many top bloggers who don't write humorously all the time often display brilliant flashes of it - just for example, the farmer at Corrente with The Devil is Dead. Me and Pete Killed the Devil, Belle Waring's If Wishes Were Horses, Beggars Would Ride ... A Pony!, and Michael Berube starring in Blogging From The Republican National Convention.
I am sure there are others that I am missing, but that's the point. It's a pretty substantial bunch.
On the right, though, there is a noticeable absence. There are IMAO, Scrappleface and, I suppose, Lileks. Outside of them, it's all self-righteousness and persecution complex, all the time. And outside of the three listed above, when a conservative blogger does employ humor, I find that usually it's in retelling a joke they read somewhere else.
Is there a genetic link between humor and political outlook? Is there just some birth defect that prevents right-wingers from being funny? In my apology yesterday, I sarcastically asserted there was such a connection, but now I think I may have been right at that. Perhaps people who are born with a natural disposition to see the humor in life, and to be able to laugh at themselves, may develop a sense of empathy and compassion that leads them to liberalism. The key to successful humor, after all, is to be able to see things from other people's perspectives - a liberal trait that conservatives deride variously as "relativism" or "objectively pro-terrorist". So conservatives may have a genetic makeup that makes them less able to appreciate what's funny, and consequently take themselves very seriously and see the world as a dour, threatening place, with all these other people having a good time and laughing - sometimes at them. This explains a lot, I think, and deserves further research.