There’s a hacky bit of stand-up in which the comic asks questions that are supposed to elicit laughs by pointing out the various little quirks in life. You know, the “Why do we drive on parkways and park in driveways?” sort of thing. It’s often associated with Carlin, but most folks my age might link it to Arsenio Hall’s “Things That Make You Go ‘Hmm'” routine (which became a dance hit.)
Used more seriously, of course, this sort of thing can be traced to the Socratic Method or to the leading questions one might ask a hostile witness. I think Oleg Atbashian may be working both sides of the street. Atbashian fled to America from the Soviet Union, and has written a book called Shakedown Socialism. Apparently he was doing a signing in Houston when he was confronted by a couple of liberals, and their exchange led him to some interesting questions. Some of my favorites included:
Why do those who object to tampering with the environment approve of tampering with the economy? Isn’t the economy also a fragile ecosystem where a sudden change can trigger a devastating chain reaction?
Why is there never a headline that says “Government program ends as its intended goal has been achieved”?
How exactly does dependency on the government increase “people power”?
Why is experimenting on animals cruel, but experimenting on human embryos compassionate?
Why do advocates for higher taxes have accountants advising them how they can pay smaller taxes? Wouldn’t you expect them instead to seek advice on how to give away more of their income to the IRS? Or at least not to hire accountants at all?
But there are plenty more. Give it a read. And then tell me, what’s the deal with airline food? Really — what’s up with that?
H/T: Chicago Boyz.