Good taste is largely a matter of opinion. The humor in this (mostly) light-hearted column has quite a lot of wiggle room. I keep “good taste” in mind, but that doesn’t stop me from using blonde jokes, lawyer jokes, or little kid jokes.
Blondes, lawyers, and little kids seldom write me letters of complaint, so my “good taste” regarding those topics must be pretty close to that of our readers.
But I can’t rely on my own taste when politics enters the column. Something I consider hilarious can yank the annoyance chain of too many people. Sometimes I do it anyway, but I always know what’s likely to show up in the mailbox later.
There’s a good reason that professional humorist Al Franken hasn’t cracked a joke since being confirmed as the junior Senator from Minnesota.
But one of America’s greatest writers never held back. I’m talking about a personal hero of mine, Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, 1835-1910. He didn’t think highly of politicians in general. So, since his stuff is out of copyright, I’m free to quote him left and right.
“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning…politics, a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”
“The new political gospel: public office is private graft.”
“An honest man in politics shines more there than he would elsewhere.”
“All large political doctrines are rich in difficult problems–problems that are quite above the average citizen’s reach. And that is not strange, since they are also above the reach of the ablest minds in the country; after all the fuss and all the talk, not one of those doctrines has been conclusively proven to be the right one and the best.”
Mark also said…
“In … politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.”
“I shall not often meddle with politics, because we have a political Editor who is already excellent and only needs to serve a term or two in the penitentiary to be perfect.”
Three blondes are in an elevator when the elevator suddenly stops and the lights go out. They try using their cell phones to get help but have no luck. Even the phones are out.
After a few hours of being stuck with no help in sight, one blonde says to the others, “I think the best way to call for help is by yelling together.”
The others agree with the first, so they all inhale deeply and begin to yell loudly “Together, together, together.”
If any of the above…
If you object to blonde jokes, please complain to the Rockford Squire.
If you find any of Mark Twain’s comments about politics to be offensive, please write your letters of complaint directly to him.