A Comedy of Errors

There are countless varieties of humor in the world, but it seems most can be boiled down to two broad categories–that which is intended and that which is unintended. An example of the former is sophomore Aaron Schlosser’s delightfully satirical website Fartlog, which, as you may guess from its eponymous name, is a spoof of this website and The Dartmouth Review. The humor is sharp and the rhetoric witty–though it doesn’t touch the time the Harvard Lampoon, back in the ’90s, I think, published a perfect replica of TDR and distributed it in Hanover. (If anyone can hunt that issue down in the archives, you’ll be rolling on the floor for quite a while.)

And then there’s the unintended type of humor, which Abe Clayman ’07 so graciously offers up in today’s D. Some of you may have noticed I lit into Kapil Kale ’07 a few days ago for publishing an editorial that was pretty lame, at best. But Kapil had one thing working in his favor: I could at least understand his argument, even if it was anodyne, muddled, and, well, flat out wrong. (He’s since backtracked, grasped for straws, and come up short–but I’ll leave that for another day.)

Anywho, as I read Abe’s editorial I kept trying to figure out if he suffered from some malignancy that caused his synapses to fire out of order, thus creating the strange amalgam of sentence fragments intended, I think, to make an anti-Bush argument. Nathaniel mentioned below that he was speechless while reading the column. So was I–because I was laughing too hard.

If you want a wholesale destruction of the piece, check Emmett’s bit in the comments section under Nat’s post. But I think Emmett has erred by responding. People like Abe shouldn’t be taken seriously–not, at least, until he has a rudimentary understanding of the subjects he addresses, and can figure out how the English language works. People like Abe should instead be laughed off the stage.

Since the subject of this post is humor, perhaps a contest is in order. I recall a good one to come up with the best, by which I meant worst, headline from the D. Let’s do something similar: In two sentences or less, what was the D‘s op-ed editor thinking when he decided to publish Abe’s piece? Post in comments, and the winner, as determined by me, can try to convince TDR president Kevin Hudak or editor in chief Michael Ellis to give him an Indian T-shirt.

I’ll kick it off:

“Well, I’d really like to publish the next installment in R. Lance Martin’s incisive series entitled “Mock Conversations You Might Have Heard on Saturday Night at the Fro-Yo Machine,” but I’m afraid his second part is just a little weaker than the first–oh, wait, what’s this on the floor? It looks like it’s in English…”

(Does anyone recall what we crowned winner in the D headline contest?)