When I was a college kid in the seventies, surrounded by intellectuals of radical or wanna be radical temperament, there were a lot of Revolution jokes. Come the revolution this, come the revolution that. Come the revolution, you will no longer have to wait in line at the falafel stand. Some the revolution, we will not pay the landlord, that landlord will pay us. Knock knock. Who’s there. The revolution. The revolution who. The revolution will not be televised. No one said they were funny. But everyone said them.
Just now a buddy sent me a wikipedia article on the orientation of toilet paper. Over or under. Several hundred words that probably began as a parody but then, once wiki edited, you can’t quite be sure. Anyway, it was funny. It’s was sent via an email, you’re supposed to respond wittily. Come the revolution, I began, then stopped cold. The revolution is now a presidential election. No one gets lined up against the wall. No one gets shot for their bourgeois reactionary toilet paper orientation. An entire genre of jokes rendered instantly meaningless. A lifetime of generally unfunny come the revolution jokes I’d instinctively uttered the way a really irritating person can’t shut up with the knock knock jokes, and now no longer are they unfunny, they’re aren’t even ironic.
Though maybe “come the revolution, Bernie will….” jokes. Nah. For one thing they aren’t that funny. For another I would get angry responses from very serious people. You and your establishment humor, they’d say. It’s a shame, though, my last connection to sixties radicalism, ruined by a revival of sixties radicalism.
Knock knock. Who’s there? No, really, someone’s at the door.