Jeff Foxworthy’s a pretty decent stand-up comic.  I wouldn’t put him on the same level as George Carlin, Richard Pryor, or Bill Hicks, but Foxworthy’s consistently a little bit funny in a gently self-mocking sort of way.  Pretty much every act he’s ever done can be summed up by this lead-in:

Y’see, I don’t think you should make fun of rednecks unless you are one, and well, I are one.

Foxworthy’s gimmick is absurd one-liners that end with “…you might be a redneck.”  You-might-be-a jokes, most of them stupid, were a meme back when the only people who used “meme” were voracious Richard Dawkins readers.  Generally speaking, the further these jokes get from Foxworthy, the more dreadfully unfunny they become.  Here are a few from the source:

If you think the last words to The Star Spangled Banner are “Gentlemen, start your engines”… you might be a redneck.

If a full tank of gas doubles the value of your truck… you might be a redneck.

If any of your hobbies require dogs and a lantern… you might be a redneck.

Here are a few of rather niche appeal, where the (admittedly rather mild) humour of the above trope has almost completely departed save for the in-group:

If your relatives all have you on speed dial, and every conversation begins with, “I was trying to…”… you might be a sysadmin.

If you find yourself at parties hiding in the same room as the doctors who are trying to avoid the, “what does this look like to you?” questions… you might be a sysadmin.

If you have an irrational fear of ringing phones… you might be a sysadmin.

(Aside: the pain doesn’t end when the sysadmin gig does.  There’s a good damn reason I keep my phone off most of the time.)

But every once in a while, someone tries a little too hard, and ends up with dreadfully unfunny you-might-be-a jokes.  In this case, it’s the Department of Homeland Security.

These are both (a) awful and (b) official policy decisions:

If you’re either a pro- or anti-abortion activist in Wisconsin… you might be a terrorist.

If you’re an environmental activist or Tea Party demonstrator in Pennsylvania… you might be a terrorist.

If you’ve expressed anti-death penalty and/or anti-war opinion in Maryland… you might be a terrorist.

If you’ve voted third-party or supported Ron Paul in Missouri… you might be a terrorist.

David Rittgers has all the dismal details.

Did I wake up in 2004 this morning?

Update: David Post adds:

If you’re aggregating internet content about the Super Bowl… you might be a terrorist.

And via Peter the Bayou Renaissance Man we discover that Great Britain has taken unfunny you-might-be-a jokes well past their logical conclusion:

If your immigration-officer husband doesn’t like you… you might be a terrorist.


2 Responses to “Fox-unworthy”

  1. February 2, 2011 at 19:10

    Now that the keywords “superbowl” and “aggregator” have appeared on your blog, do you think DHS will be stopping by?

    • February 2, 2011 at 19:13

      Looks like they only go after Spanish-language websites — they get seizure warrants from ICE — so I’m probably white enough to be safe.

      Not that I’d ever suggest that a Federal law enforcement agency might be racist, mind you. I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

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