The Morning Briefing: A Glimpse Into Our Gulag Future — Feds Are Cracking Down on Humor

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Happy Thursday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Ultencio was known to bring tears to the eyes of even the soberest people with his Serbian/xylophone rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.” 


Those who have been reading me, watching me, or tapping my phone for a while know that I’m all about handling life’s vicissitudes with humor. I didn’t opt for a career in stand-up because I thought it offered the most stability, I wanted to give myself and my audiences an outlet for having fun while working through some of the darker stuff in life. 

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I also think that people should have fun just for the sake of fun. I’m very pro-fun. 

Because everyone on the American Left traffics in fear mongering, the brand tends to be rather pinched, sour, and bitter. It’s difficult to be lighthearted when engaged in a quest to find grievances every waking moment of every day. The humorlessness has really taken root in the younger generations. I’ve noted on many occasions that today’s 20-somethings are the crankiest “Get off my lawn!” types in America.

Now, I know that not everyone on the left is like this in real life. I’ve been in the entertainment industry since my late twenties, so I’ve been surrounded by leftists for most of my adult life. I’ve had a lot of good times with them. As I said though, the political brand is an angry one. Once they get online or in a political discussion, they all look and act as if they’d just downed a mug of vinegar.  

The self-righteous, “saving the world” joy suck attitude gets even worse when leftists get into government. The federal bureaucracy can drain the sunshine out of anyone’s psyche, and it begins to affect even non-leftists in government after a while. The malaise so afflicts them that they begin looking for ways to mandate their misery. 


Athena wrote a story yesterday about the latest bout of federal morosity: 

God forbid anyone enjoy a light-hearted laugh as they trudge along on the daily treadmill of life. When you’re driving down the highway in late October, say, why should you enjoy a chuckle at a sign reminding you to “Make mummy happy, buckle up,” when you can instead be bleakly chided, “UNBUCKLED SEAT BELTS FINE + POINTS.”

Here comes the government to fix more problems we didn’t know we had. Policy wonks have been busy updating the rules, and now funny variable message signs (VMS) such as these must go from the wayside:

I’ve long admired lighthearted VMS messaging. Many times, whilst stuck in Los Angeles traffic, a clever message on a freeway sign may have been the one thing that saved me from a road rage incident. OK, that’s a stretch, but better a bad joke on a sign than a finger-wagging. 

Given my rather unflattering view of bureaucrats at any level, I was always surprised to find that there were some with a sense of humor. I wonder if they’ll all be fired now. 

Athena’s post is filled with examples of these highway humor breaks. Looking at them, you would be hard-pressed to find fault with the messages or how they’re conveyed, which means you wouldn’t be fit for government work. 

Here’s a little more from the post:

The AP listed more examples of roadside groaners that will soon be illegal:

  • “Use Yah Blinkah” in Massachusetts
  • “Visiting in-laws? Slow down, get there late,” from Ohio
  • “Don’t drive Star Spangled Hammered,” from Pennsylvania
  • “Hocus pocus, drive with focus” from New Jersey
  • “Hands on the wheel, not your meal” from Arizona.

This latest exercise in state-mandated buzzkill comes to us courtesy of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a division of Pete Buttigieg’s U.S. Dept. of Transportation. These humorless busybodies have taken time out from correcting racist roads to crack down on entertaining roadside signage. They’ve given officials two years to get with the program and stop programming laughs for passing motorists.


Some may think I’m making a big deal out of this just because I’ve been in the joke business for a long time. That’s partly true. There’s a lot more that bothers me here though. 

It’s important to remember that little things can turn into big things in a hurry when the leftists are in charge. They’re particularly offended by anyone who won’t join them in their wallowing. Every day, there are armies of progressive minions scouring social media for that one post that they can use to launch a career assassination attempt. They love it when they can find an obviously flippant attempt at humor that they can use to try and ruin the life of someone they don’t even know. 

The FHWA’s justification for the change is classic leftist “government knows best” stuff. The hoi polloi in the vehicles might struggle with figuring out what the witticisms mean, after all. Your bureaucratic overlords are just trying to make things easier for you, dummy! A little gratitude would be nice. 

A big part of the Left’s fundamental transformation of society is to try and ruin any good time that they can get their hands on. Beloved Disney movies are being disavowed or come with trigger warnings. The holiday tune, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” is a rape song according to them. The humor in “Friends” is an ongoing acute emotional trauma event for the American Left. 

Given the chance, the leftists would love to regulate and destroy real entertainment and replace it with state-approved and mandated fare. Why? They can’t abide joyful people. As Athena asks, “When was the last time you saw a leftist actually laugh?”


OK, that Kamala Harris cackle doesn’t count. 

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