It has been said that homo sapiens is the only species that can laugh. To that, I would add, that only in a secure democracy is it possible to laugh. By that score, we should be having a very merry -- as in laugh out loud -- Christmas.
Sure beats the fundamentalist Arab world going ballistic over a Danish cartoon. Think about it people: the last guy to take Denmark seriously was Bill Shakespeare.
Or true believers threatening a Brit school marm with 30 lashes because her Sudanese classroom named a teddy bear "Muhammad."
And all societies are equal?
I might be late to the party to a kick-ass comedy duo who may be the Nichols and May of our era, two guys named Travis and Jonathan. They play Jackie Broyles and Dunlap, based in their native Murfreesboro, Tenn., on a YouTube series called "Red State Report.'
They appeared on CNN's first YouTube debate in July, with the Democratic presidential candidates at the Citadel, in Charleston, S.C. (talk about cross programming)!
Anderson Cooper directs the candidates' attention to the screen, and as the Nashville Scene recorded it:
Before a backdrop of equal parts trailer park rec center and hostage bunker, sit a bristly, gray-bearded old cuss in overalls and a young whippersnapper in trucker hat and red-striped T-shirt. "I'm Jackie Broyles," says the old-timer, in a gruff straight-outta-Lascassas drawl that makes his last name come out as "Brawls."
"And I'm Dunlap," pipes up his chum.
"The mainstream media seems awful interested in ol' Al Gore these days," Dunlap says. "They really wanna know if Al Gore's gonna run again." He says "Al Gore' in roughly the same way Al Gore says 'ozone depletion." In his brusque rasp, Jackie lays the cards on the table: 'What we wawna know is...does that hurt y'all's feelin's?"
Silence. Stunned silence. Suddenly, the live audience roars. John Edwards, all John Denver hair and teeth, grins that automatic foot-wide aw-shit grin. Sen. Hillary Clinton gives the clenched, inscrutable smile of a monarch waving to a homeless man from the royal limo as she reaches to raise the window.
One of their better episodes: "NASCAR tips for Democrats.'
This all stems off a Democratic campaign's directive to get its people out to the NASCAR race tracks to meet real voters. But to get your tetanus shots first.
Dunlap: "Get yer tetanus, influenza and all your major hepatitises. ..."
Jackie: "They need to protect themselves cuz they goin' somewhere they never been before."
Dunlap: "Like church."
Jackie: "Might be liable to catch themselves a case of that old time religion.'
Dunlap: "Or WalMart."
Jackie: "Might need be immunized against big savings."
Dunlap: "Or a screening of Delta Force."
Jackie: "I hear the laughter is quite contagious in there, yessir."
Here is the YouTube video.
Another winner: Al Gore won Nobel Peace Prize.
Jackie: "I learned more about the weather from Bill Hall on Channel 4 than I ever did from Al Gore ... and ol" Snowbird."
Or when Dunlap auditions for a campaign adviser position with Mike Huckabee.
Aw, what the heck, it's Christmas. Let's go to their website for a Mike Gravel kind of Christmas, yessir!
You know what? I think these guys really are conservatives but they don't mind gigging both sides. Yessir!
In that spirit, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and blessings to everyone of whatever belief, or lack thereof. Just don't forget to laugh at yourself. Yessir!