“Your boos are music to me!”

Cold Fury ponders the war effort, and asks whether we might get some benefit from daring to actually mock our enemies and their poisonous ideology. He links to an excellent article in the Clarion-Ledger which describes:

Back in simpler times, Americans reflexively ridiculed their enemies. In a 1940 episode of The Three Stooges, Moe did a ridiculous impression of Hitler while Larry heiled as propaganda minister, and Curly dressed as Goering with his belly and buttocks festooned with medals.

Mockery is an effective weapon, especially when you enemy is one who depends on their own image as fearsome. (They’re not “explosivists”, they’re “terrorists”.) While the modern “Ask yourselves why they hate us” philosophy has stifled this impulse, the article makes a good argument that we should start thinking this way again. Beyond the damage it can do to the opponents’ image, it’s funny, and good for our morale.

Let’s forget the Three Stooges for a moment. Am I the only person who remembers Adam Sandler on SNL during the first Gulf War as “Iraqi Joe”? He gets up in front of the audience dressed as an Iraqi soldier and starts taunting the “decadent Americans”. Soon the whole studio is booing “Joe”, and he’s dancing around yelling “Your boos are music to me!”

It was hysterical. More to the point — and I remember thinking this at the time, much less in today’s context — that it was so amazingly old-fashioned. It was very reminiscent of World War II in that it was unashamedly propogandistic and pro-America, and openly flat-out mocked our opponents. It was catharsis. Not a drop of political correctness or post-modern cynicism to be seen.

As Cold Fury also points out, al-Zarqawi’s recent home video outtakes served the purpose well. We need more if that. Where’s “Al Quaeda Joe” when we need him? Adam? Bueller? Anybody?

Correction: Adam Sandler’s character was “Iraqi Pete”, not “Iraqi Joe”. (The character can been seen on the “SNL Best of Adam Sandler” DVD.)

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