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I didn't fully understand what the Ayn Rand Lexicon was trying to say on the topic of humor. It contains a very grave explanation about how I would be spitting in the face of my own principles if I laughed at a person with integrity who fails. I understand what that means and I wouldn't necessarily find that funny. However, the highly anticipated video game Grand Theft Auto V, contains a whole universe within the fictional city it takes place in, often parodying much of what goes on in real life--including politicians. Spoofing off of California, the gubernatorial election within the game contains a Republican and Democrat, and they each have a campaign ad seen here. They make fun of both liberals and conservatives, and I was cracking up over both campaign ads. Watch the video and you'll understand. Am I doing something wrong by laughing at the Republican campaign ad, which goes on to state, quite humorously, that the best way to help people is to leave them alone?

asked Sep 10 '13 at 16:00

Collin1's gravatar image


edited Oct 10 '13 at 16:49

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

Both these ads present straw-men. Exaggerations. They are both funny to me, though the conservative is lampooned for his selfishness, while the liberal is lampooned for her desire to tax and spend with an "I know better than you" attitude.

Both ads play to the sensibilities of the opposing party. Liberals hate the selfishness of conservatives, and conservatives hate that liberals tax so much and pose as more intellectual.

What's interesting here is the religiousness of conservatives is not mentioned. Probably too hot a topic, even for Rockstar Games.

(Sep 13 '13 at 20:02) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image

Yes, the conservative ad makes fun of selfishness, and that's not good. But they are doing it out of a very common misconception about selfishness -- that genuinely selfish people are genuinely (in the vernacular of the ad) dicks.

It's humor based on a mistake. This is quite different from humor which assaults something which the humor's author actually supports.

Ayn Rand is genuinely opposed to laughing at yourself and your values. You may laugh at your foibles, but not at your virtues.

To make fun of your cherished values is evil.

(Sep 13 '13 at 20:11) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image

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Asked: Sep 10 '13 at 16:00

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Last updated: Oct 10 '13 at 16:49