Recycling dark-edged humor

Did you know that you can recycle and re-use humor. Even dark humor?

I learned about this very important fact while reading a column written by senior humor statesman Dave Barry. Barry writes about the Independence Day movie and Americans being exposed to “grotesque, repulsive, inhuman creatures that would stop at nothing in their determination to dominate the earth.” He goes on to say that he is referring to the upcoming Democrat and Republic conventions.

Sounds like a good snapshot of the upcoming summer months. Conventions to select between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton who are possibly the least uninspiring candidates to run in United States’ history. Independence Day 2 was just released a few days ago.


Just a little side note though – Barry published the column in his “Dave Barry is from Mars and Venus” book published in 1997. The presidential candidates he refers to are Bill Clinton (husband of Hillary Clinton), Bob Dole, and Ross Perot. And the Independence Day movie was the original one.

I found the coincidences interesting. After all, if Republican leaders can’t warm up to Donald, they could still try to persuade the delegates to vote for someone more to their liking. Which could hurtle Donald into the role played by Ross Perot back in 1996 as the Reform Party (some might say Spoiler) candidate.

And this time Bill is cheering on his wife, and hopefully not planning any parties with cigars and interns if he gets to be First Man.

Well, I am sure we can all agree on the very troubling questions we face. Elect the first woman president with a woman who is well versed in politics but seems to have major problems with open records compliance. Ironically the book – recall it was published two decades ago – features Barry’s attempt to arrange a lunch meeting with the then First Lady. Clinton was open to the idea, he writes, but she said everything discussed would be “off the record.”

I haven’t found Donald Trump mentioned in the book which is frustrating. I believe both candidates should have equal time. That’s only fair. So I goggled both names together – that’s one of the tricks I’ve learned of 19 years of being a freelance journalist – and discovered this gem.

Barry interviewed Trump back in 1999 when Trump was making an exploratory stab at running for president. Trump said he was unimpressed with (2000 election) candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush who, unlike Trump, had failed to make “billions of dollars in a short period of time.”

Barry wrote it was hard to argue with that statement.

Well, there’s plenty of arguing going on now as voters struggle to decide which candidate is the least objectionable. Which person best fits their idea of who should be leading the U.S. through these hazardous times (no humor intended here).

I wonder if Dave Barry would be open to running for president? Think of it. A president with a sense of humor . . . . Hmmm.

Hopefully we won’t face an invasion from denizens of the outer limits of our solar system, we already have enough challenges from residents of Planet Earth. Walls that block information, walls to keep out people. Walls of frustration while trying to guess what the future holds. Hoping our varied senses of humor stay intact as the new president is sworn in next January.

© 2016 by Mary Louise Van Dyke. All Rights Reserved.