That is because any belief, religious, scientific, economic, ANY BELIEF that would claim the allegiance of the whole of humanity must be tested and tested and tested. It must be able to withstand jokes and knocks and above all argument.Indeed so, and as the essay, which focuses on the Excessively Earnest Environmentalists, there is much to make mock of. And she mentions, passim, Andropov's Evil Empire, which gave President Reagan much material for jokes, as well as other, one-time scarier ideologies that also offered material for comic relief.
The formula has to be re-discovered every few years. Consider an editorial in the 27 May, 1971 Badger Herald. The paper was an improbable venture to introduce conservative thought into the People's Republic of Madison, where the university-funded Daily Cardinal provided training for future Nation correspondents.
For too long on this campus the Left held a monopoly on student expression, more by default than by design. We've proved, we hope, that conservatives don't come old, grey, dull, reactionary, and filthy rich. They come young, green, sprite, poor, and constantly laughing the rabid Left into impotence. The heart beat of our editorial page is the simple assertion of the basic goodness and value of the individual in American society, as opposed to the retarding features in the guilt-ridden sheep who follow the collectivist impulse.Each generation, collegians have to rediscover the formula: consider the Dartmouth Review at which Laura Ingraham and Dinesh D'Souza broke into media. There was no Vietnam War to galvanize the left; there were plenty of excessively earnest professors and administrators well worth laughing to scorn.
The argument generalizes to other guilt-ridden sheep, perhaps sheep coerced by the Perpetually Aggrieved on campus, or perhaps at gun-point by the Sillies. Before the Sillies were the Nazzies, who had a lot more going for them, organizationally and culturally, than the Sillies could ever hope for. And yet in the middle of a titanic existential crisis, there were resources to mock the Nazzies.
Listen to the audio carefully, the singers deliberately mis-pronounce führer. And Winston Churchill said "Nazzies." And President Bush the elder always said "Sadum." Bombs they can take. Economic privation they can take. Mockery, whether it's applied to Hitler or the Evil Empire or the Perpetually Aggrieved on campus, or the Sillies ... that, they can neither take, nor in their excessively rigid mind-sets, can they easily respond to.
Charles Krauthammer may be right that defeating jihadism is generational.
Today jihadism is global, its religious and financial institutions ubiquitous and its roots deeply sunk in a world religion of more than a billion people. We are on a path -- long, difficult, sober, undoubtedly painful -- of long-term, low intensity rollback/containment.Our President gets trash-talking. All basketball players learn it along with the crossover. I'm not convinced he has the touch to apply it to the sillies.
Containment-plus. It's the best of our available strategies. Obama must now demonstrate the steel to carry it through.
But hell, Emma Watson gives an excessively earnest speech about feminism in front of the United Nations, and the Federalist goes all mockus disappearus, choosing to respond to earnestness with earnestness.
Undermine Emma Watson for practice. Then develop a new Spike Jones to mock the Sillies.