For educational purposes only:
While solving all of the world's problems - well at
least that shrunken corner thereof still available to
those recalcitrant Balts - humor must not be forgotten.
Humor, and specifically political humor, has been
especially important to the Balts as they attempted
to survive all of the countless blessings brought
by the assorted "Kulturtraeger" originating in the
west as well as the east. After each such visit,
as a rule, the place unaccountably became less
civilized and now, again, the Balts are attempting
to clean their place of the offal left behind by
the latest visitors - from the east.
Anyway - I found a great article by a fellow
concerning political humor. He, of course, goes
into an analysis of the type of political humor
that is prevalent in democracies as opposed to
totalitarian systems as well as subcategories
related to cultural spheres. I will skip all that
(it is a terribly long article) and cut to the
chase - ah, jokes. Many of the jokes are
dependent on language and I will skip those
(especially since I don't understand Russian).
All material is taken from:
When Politics Is a Laughing Matter
By Alexander Rose
Just so the Russians don't come down with a
persecution complex (I know, I know) I will first
include a few jokes from the US. Please forgive
the language in places but this was taken from a
learned publication - honest:
A mid-90s joke had Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Dan
Quayle riding in a car in Kansas. A tornado suddenly appears
and hurls the car into the magical land of Oz. Gingrich says,
"Well, I'm off to see the Wizard and get myself a heart."
Quayle adds, "I'll go with you and get a brain." And
a leering Clinton asks, "Where's Dorothy?"
The last six occupants of the White House are stranded on
a listing Titanic. Ford says, "Oh, no, what do we do?"; Bush
Senior sternly orders, "Man the lifeboats!"; Reagan wakes up,
"Huh? What? Lifeboats?"; Carter decently suggests "Women
first"; Nixon growls, "Screw the women"; and, of course,
Clinton chimes in hopefully, "Do we have time?"
A telling Hillary Clinton joke has the then-first lady and the
president driving along in scenic Arkansas. When they pull
over for gas, Clinton notices his wife has jumped out of the
car, bounded over to the gas-station attendant, thrown her
arms around him, and kissed him with tears of joy. "Who was
that?" a bemused Bill asks as they drive away. "Oh," replies
Hillary somewhat wistfully, "he was an old flame I haven't
seen in years." "Well," says Slick Willie with a smirk, "I
guess if you hadn't married me, you'd be helping him pump
gas now." "I don't think so," says Hillary icily. "If I had
married him, he'd be president now."
Now we go to the other side:
As a 1960s German joke revealingly goes: Walter Ulbricht (the
Stalinist leader of East Germany) and Willy Brandt meet and
exchange pleasantries. "Do you have a hobby, Herr Brandt?"
asks Ulbricht. "Yes," replies Brandt, "I collect jokes about
myself. And you?" "I collect people who collect jokes about
me," responds Ulbricht.
As the classic Soviet joke goes, one secret policeman asks another,
"So, what do you think of the government?" His colleague looks
around before replying, "The same as you, comrade," whereupon
Policeman No. 1 declares, "In that case, it is my duty to arrest
European communists are rewarded with a trip to the
glorious Soviet Union, but only one comes back. At
work, the fellow traveler is quizzed by a colleague,
"How are living conditions in the Soviet Union?"
"Wonderful. I couldn't believe my eyes."
"And how is the housing? How is the food situation?"
"Splendid. I couldn't believe my eyes."
"But what happened to your friend?"
"Oh, he's in Siberia. He did believe his eyes."
As the joke has it, Stalin, Khruschev, and Brezhnev are travelling
on a train when it suddenly shudders to a halt. "Fix it!" orders Stalin
The engineers repair it, but still the train does not move. "Shoot
everyone!" orders Stalin. All the engineers are shot, but the train
obstinately refuses to budge. Stalin dies. "Rehabilitate everyone!"
orders Khruschev. The engineers are rehabilitated, but the train
remains stationary. Khruschev is removed. "Close the
curtains," orders Brezhnev, "and pretend we're moving!"
From the 30s:
The Soviet version described a group of rabbits who make
a run for the Russian-Polish border. Applying for admission,
the rabbits cry, "The Party has given orders to arrest every camel
in the Soviet Union!" "But you are not camels," replies the
Polish border guard. "Well, you try telling that to the Party,"
say the rabbits.
Finally one from down south:
Indeed, the joke never dies. While I (author) was in Beirut earlier in
2001, an activist associated with the anti-Syrian movement
told me its latest incarnation: The cia, mi6, and Syrian Intelligence
each send an agent to procure a camel. The cia spook accomplishes
his mission in a week. The mi6 man returns with a camel soon after.
A few months later, the Syrian secret policeman straggles
into town with a donkey. When queried by his boss, he
repeatedly strikes the beast across the face, shouting, "Say
you're a camel! Say you're a camel!"
OK - I had to do something - it is damn cold here at this
moment. Blow a little hot-house gas this way.
Best - - Henry