Thursday, August 14, 2008


Why let a good cheap punchline go?

This classic piece from the Onion was sent to me earlier today by a regular reader (thanks Dave B!) and had me giggling so loud in public that I thought the van from Bellevue might show up at any minute to cart me off.

(The Onion: Clinton Deploys Very Special Forces to Iraq/1.20.99)


aaron said...

...and sure enough, a few years later, the very special forces have a new mascot, the very special president!

Sayyy...any chance we could arrange a transfer where the VSP can go join up with the VSF and give the world a head start on healing the damage he's caused? We can tell him it's a very special assignment for such a very special president!

Anonymous said...

Chez, I've really enjoyed your blog until you got on this retard kick. Since you're not currently employed, why don't you volunteer a couple hours a week and learn a little about these folks who you like to point and laugh at? Having coached Special Olympics for ten years, I can guaranty it will be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.

sparksinner said...

YES. You're lucky the van didn't show up. I was almost carted off when I saw this one, nearly 2 years to the day after the Special Troops:

Chez said...

Anonymous (as usual) --

This isn't a phase or a "kick," it's a couple of mild jokes in keeping with the theme of nothing being beyond a little good-natured fun-poking around here. I actually think it's interesting that as long as I'm targeting everyone else -- everyone but your particular soft spot -- it's cool, but once I hit upon something you actually care about, then I'm going too far.

They're jokes people, nothing more. And if you feel the need to preach about how I should go volunteer, you should probably be reading something else.

b80vin said...

Anon, I'd really like to know what you base your disgust on. Is it the word? The idea that other targets of Chez' are "able" to defend themselves? That YOU need to defend these special special people? I've worked with special needs kids and adults. It was the messiest job I've ever had. And I didn't find it the least fulfilling because every day I hated myself and how I felt about these special special people.

So, yeah, I'm shallow and there are other folks out there that, in this regard, are better than me. But the one thing I know for sure: if these kids are "differently abled" the only way that "ability" is tapped is to teach them the same things over and over and over and over. That's called rote learning. It's the same way you teach tricks to animals.

Do I offend? Sorry. I'm not a better person for doing what you suggest is the path to better personhood (probably "growth"?). And by the way, retards of lesser specialness laugh at retards of greater specialness. Maybe THEY should work with coma patients?

Deacon Blue said...

Just jokes, eh?

Well, you volunteer at a comedy club...

Hmmm, wait, I lost my vehement outrage at your insensitivity somewhere along the line.

Seriously, folks (as stupid a word choice as that is when we're talking about jokes), I know there is a fine line between humor and ridicule sometimes, but that Onion article doesn't really strike me as being "mean" to the mentally retarded folks. It's more a rip on idiocy in government and in our politics abroad and use of our military than anything else.

People can tell jokes about black folks without it always being racist. People can tell jokes about homosexuals without it necessarily being homophobic. So much depends on the context and the attitude and the environment.

I mean, the story broke not so long ago that McCain was telling bigoted, racist, sexist, homophobic jokes on the regular in a bar with cronies and others all around. That says to me a lot more about cruel intentions because if that's all he has in his repetoire and he was doing it habitually, than a lot of it is probably derived from hate. (Then again, maybe it was a couple times and it doesn't mean anything, but the man does seem the type, don't he?)

Shit, Chez makes fun of Christians around here quite frequently, much more so than he's ever mentioned retardation-related jokes, and my born-again ass hasn't ripped him a new orifice. Nor do I plan to. I'll correct a glaring misrepresentation about my faith every so often, but for the most part, I can laugh at my own faith and at the way others view it.

Sensitivity IS good. Rampant political correctness is...not so much...

VOTAR said...

I have the solution. It has been suggested that using such words too much over a long time changes or removes their negative meaning.

So, of course, I therefore move that we (bloggers, commenters, mockers, miscreants, and malcontents) conclude every post and comment by calling each other retards.

We can start our own language.
"Yo, corky, that is some speshizzle retarded shit right there!"

"TARD-UNIT in da HOUSE!!!"

The term GIMP is already taken (a computer source code), so, I dunno, let's call it "Petey." Years from now, college professors will teach Petey 101 classes. Why the fuck not?

Tell all your friends and fellow bloggers. Now is the Age of the Retard! Spread the Petey.


Alex said...

Speaking of incredible Onion articles, this one was written in January of 2001. The Onion was obviously trying to come up with something so outlandish and horrible that it couldn't actually happen, thus making it funny... right?

Chez said...

That would be startling if it hadn't been so strangely predictable (although, to paraphrase W himself, I'm not sure anyone could've imagined the extent to which the Onion would've been correct).

celery said...

DAWN: I was wondering if . . . Well, I've been thinking seriously of building another clubhouse, and I wanted to know, would you be interested in being my first honorary member?

STEVE: What are you talking about?

DAWN: The "special people" club.

STEVE: Special people?

DAWN: What's the matter?

STEVE: Do you know what "special people" means?

DAWN: What?

STEVE: Special people equals retarded. Your club is for retards..

carry on.

slouchmonkey said...

Welcome to the Dollhouse! Now, that IS special. Great movie. The finger fucking is particularly funny.

I don't know, man. I'm pretty sensitive to the "special" folks because my Dad taught multiple physically and mentally handicap kids for the better part of 35 years. It takes a lot of paitence as I came to find out when I aided in some of his classes as punishment for immitating the "special" for the delight of my sister. I was physically punished, as well, if you get my drift. And, rightly so.

But, cracking a few jokes here and there is not the end of the world. It comes off a little insensitive ... but shit.

Incidentally, I would call myself Lloyd Mongol to my sister. I suck. I learned my lesson. And, I respect those less fortunate than me. Like the crack babies that are so mentally gone, they've got no shot at living, the kids in helmets with mental and physical limitations struggling just to call a square block a square block, and kids trying to utter the simple word hello.

Make jokes, but remember how damn lucky we are.

I don't think that is too much to ask.

drater said...

Hey gang, it's your new BFF, the Poster Formerly Known as Anonymous.

OK, I realize this site is all about the mockery, but I honestly can't think of any group less deserving than the mentally impaired, except maybe orphans and refugees. Nominations are now open.

B80vin, sounds like a hell of a job, I doubt that I could do it. No, they're not saints, but the "they make fun of each other so they're fair game" argument doesn't hold a lot of water.

Deacon, you're right, it's not always about ridicule. Matt Dillon's line about "working with retards" mentioned earlier is a great example. I didn't think the Onion piece was that funny, other than pointing out that we use the word "special" to have two completely opposite meanings. Once the point was made I didn't see a lot of humor there, but that's me.

BTW, if you think I ripped Chez a new one, then I hereby surrender my title as The Most Sensitive Poster on this thread.

Chez, didn't mean to be preachy, I just think you'd feel differently about poking fun at these folks if you spent some time with them, although maybe not as much as b80vin. Crap, that does sound pretty preachy. Well sue me, as you figured out, you hit a soft spot.

Sorry about posting anonymously before, just seemed easier since all the cool user names were taken.(I'm looking at you, votar!)

Suzy said...

people, i don't want to make this an onion parapost site, but c'mon folks.

look, they've been doing this for eons, and by evolution and inclusion, as a site that bills itself as making a mockery of mockery DXM should get the same pass as the onion does. in fact, i don't think chez has ever posted anything 'vile' like the onion's 1997 article on mother teresa's passing where "she would spend all eternity fucked by barbed penis-wielding hellhounds" because of a "clerical error" by the angel gabriel which sent her to the inferno instead of heaven.

i've known chez for over 20 years, but i'm not defending him or his site or his postings patently because frankly, he sometimes writes things i don't particularly agree with. what attracts me to this blog, one of only a handful i care or have time to read, is that he's wickedly intelligent, he has a conscience, he's got a shitpile of journalistic integrity and wouldn't put something on this site, even his project mayhem posts, if he hadn't considered with great honesty his audience.

the posts about retardation, about john edwards' infidelity, about any of the charged and salient topics are posted for commentary by kingmalcontent, but don't think for a second there's any malice intended. nor do we need to see peeps crackin' on each other with righteousness. hierarchies suck, so don't start that shit here... please?

: )


Chez said...

Drater --

Thanks for the comment, really. For the record though, spending time with anyone -- no matter whom -- has no bearing on whether or not I'll poke a little fun at that person. My attitude has always been that there's very little in this world beyond being made fun of. There's rarely outright hostility in what I do -- and when there is, I cop to it. We're all just, ironically, doing what most "mentally challenged" people say they want folks to do -- and that's treat them like everybody else. They get picked on too on occasion.

Anonymous said...

The Onion peace making fun of "special" forces does not bother me at all. Memories of Clinton bombing Iraq, bombing Afganistan, bombing Bosnia - and the Dems then losing twice to Bush 'cause they are pussies on national defense is what bothers me.

Eight years later we have McCain campaigning by telling Russia they have no right to invade a soveriegn nation (Iraq, Afganistan anyone), and telling them the west will kick 'em out of the G8, etc? Why do pundits call that Presidential? Isn't it presumptuous to undermine the efforts of the current Prez and State Dept.?

The whole warmonger = presidential thing is like totally retarded.

Dan Carlson said...

Holy shit, that was hilarious. Onion, what can't you do?

Also, we've been using "Tropic Thunder" as the new slang for "retarded" at my office. E.g., "Man, that guy's totally Tropic Thunder," or "Sorry I forgot to copy that for you, I'm totally Tropic Thunder."

We get bored easily.

Dave B. said...

"Comedy isn't funny unless it's offending someone." -Carlin, paraphrased.

Kinda puts things in perspective.