Apparently the humor potential of Ralph Nader's violent death wasn't exhausted during the campaign. It's still funny! Just listen to what author and journalist Stephen Pizzo had to say on Alternet:
"Calm down Ralph, I'm not referring to you. For you I prescribe a long vacation – a road trip in a vintage Ford Pinto."
Ha ha ha! Do you get it? It's like this: "vintage" Ford Pintos used to explode in rear end collisions. So if Ralph Nader took a long road trip in one, he could be immolated in a fiery crash. See, Pizzo apparently disagreed with Nader's electoral strategy this time around--so Nader's painful death has become a source of humor to him! And what's even better is that there's irony here too, because according to Ford's own estimates, Nader's actions in exposing the dangers of the Pinto saved 180 people per year from burn deaths, and that many more each year from serious burn injuries. So for him to die that way would be really funny! It makes you wonder if Stephen Pizzo (or anyone dear to him) was ever in a Pinto that was rear-ended, but which didn't explode because of Nader's selfless actions. Boy, wouldn't that be a twist? Even funnier!
This echoes the chuckles Bob Harris offered us all when he ran a poll just before the election that humorously asked (he's a funny guy, you see--he writes for TV and movies), "What would you like to contribute most to Ralph Nader's campaign?" Among his suggested answers:
- A seat belt, air bag, and fire hood equipped ice floe
- A shiny new '65 Chevy Corvair
Ha ha ha! Get it? The Corvair bit? It's just like the Pinto joke. See, Bob Harris agrees with nearly everything Ralph Nader has to say, but he wanted John Kerry to win this election, and he thought Ralph Nader might affect Kerry's vote totals. So he used the suggestion of Nader's death as a punch line in his humorous survey. It's funny!
Go ahead and do some Google searches--I bet you can find plenty more examples of your own. You'd be amazed to discover just how many Kerry voters get a kick out of imagining a painful death for Nader. Take Robin Supak, a loving parent and self-described "Poke-mom" (Pokemon+mom, just in case you were wondering) who wrote in her "Song for Ralph Nader": "Please stop these dreams where you perish in a Pinto!" (that's her exclamation point, not mine).
Still not getting it? Well, maybe you could think of it this way: it's like 2004 is really 1984, Nader is Emmanuel Goldstein ("the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies"), and Kerry voters are living out one big Two Minutes Hate--only instead of lasting two minutes, it seems to have no end. And that's funny. Isn't it...?
You know what? Maybe you're right. Actually, that's not funny. It's not funny at all.