I have a theory here, although it may not be the whole story: it’s about careerism. Annoying conservatives is dangerous: they take names, hold grudges, and all too often find ways to take people who annoy them down. As a result, the Kewl Kids, as Digby calls them, tread very carefully when people on the right are concerned — and they snub anyone who breaks the unwritten rule and mocks those who must not be offended.What? This does not connect with my observation of the world. What is he thinking of? Can we get some examples? A counter-example is what just happened to Rush Limbaugh (though I think Rush has taken names and will look for ways to take down the people who came after him).
Annoying liberals, on the other hand, feels transgressive but has historically been safe. The rules may be changing (as Dubner and Levitt are in the process of finding out), but it’s been that way for a long time.
I love the way Krugman is completely open about wanting to sic the liberals on Dubner and Levitt. And don't they deserve it for daring to look critically at climate change issues... and for pleasuring themselves with transgressiveness?
The “tell”, I’d suggest, is that once you get beyond those for whom the decision about whom to laugh at is a career move, people don’t, in fact, seem to find mocking liberals funnier than mocking conservatives.I can't even get beyond that sentence. Krugman is never going to with the Nobel Prize for Syntax.
But here's a humor idea if we're talking about humor ideas. How about mocking whatever deserves mockery at any given time? I'm mocking Krugman right now, for example, mainly because he doesn't make too much sense. You know, that is the tell, not making sense. You must really want to take down Dubner and Levitt, because you are blogging repeatedly and incoherently against them. Without transition, you went from a theory about annoying liberals/conservatives — by questioning their beliefs and policies — to a theory about what's funnier.
Now, the Ste[v/ph]ens, Dubner and Levitt, are about to make a ton of money with "SuperFreakonomics" — as they did with plain old "Freakonomics" — and that is, indeed, pretty annoying. I think it's pretty clear that Krugman is irked that contrarianism sells and that — in a media world where liberalism dominates — there's a temptation to veer right just to be exciting. Krugman, I think, would like to make sure that that sort of transgression is punished. It's just not fair — I picture him thinking — for people who are supposed to be liberal — to reap $$$$ by hurting liberal causes, so let's damn any liberal who doesn't toe the liberal line as a careerist.
I followed Krugman's Digby link and see "this kewl kidz and mean girls nonsense from the press has to stop." Krugman seems to have missed the "z." But he might be better off that way. I looked up "kewl kidz" and "kewl kids" in Urban Dictionary and got nothing. I looked up "kewl" and the #1 definition, by a wide margin is:
1. A stupid way of spelling "cool". Made up by morons.So, I'm thinking it's not too cool to write "kewl" — and certain it's uncool to write "kewl" and link to Digby.
"I'm a stupid whore who spells cool "kewl"