So he did this PC build for a liberal youtuber (with whom I'm not familiar so I'm not sure where exactly on the left side he lands) in which he mocked his liberal stance. I thought some jokes landed, like he removed two legs so the PC would always lean to the left.
But he also put a hammer and sickle on the case, and made it so that it would play the USSR (or Russian?) anthem every time it booted.
He's been resistant to criticism about these jokes, insisting they were funny and that it is people like me who didn't get it.
Linus makes two critical mistakes in his attempt at humor:
1. He makes definitional errors about what exactly socialism means.
2. He fails to understand that the propaganda he is mocking has become so severe in this country that it is beyond mocking.
Let's start with point 1. He insists he is aware of these definitional differences, and goes so far as to claim that these differences are the entire point of his joke. However he utterly misses that the joke only works if you adopt his definition.
Here's a critisism:
"Tell that to people just like me where socialists killed thousands of people."
"No, socialism is not a system of beliefs that has anything to do with killing people. Don't buy into the branding."
Linus later goes on to say that what socialism is actually about is things like Canadian socialized medicine.
This is what I meant by the joke only working if you agree with Linus' definition of "socialism".
For me personally, this is why I NEVER use "socialism" to describe socialized infrastructure. Because I do know that people experienced massive suffering under things called "socialism". People like @Kasparov63.
If this was all about being pedantic about definitions though, I wouldn't wast my time. The second point is the more important one. Linus doesn't seem to realize how common the extreme belief is now in this country that all liberals are soviet-style communists bent on a coup.
And Linus doesn't seem to realize that these beliefs — which he attempted to mock but really just repeated and strengthened — have already led to a lot of violence here in the past year. Nearly all of the people who invaded our Capitol on 1/6 certainly believed this.
I would imagine it quite likely that there were a lot of people in pre-war Germany who tried to make fun of Jew haters through mockery, because they thought the propaganda was so ridiculous that it was worthy of mocking.
Such people would not be "evil", but they were out of touch and insensitive to how extreme the beliefs of those around them had become. And this lack of sensitivity led them to promote extreme propaganda in their misguided effort to mock it.
We can't know if our way of life is on the brink of collapse due to the number of people who believe that liberals are all soviet-style communists bent on destroying the nation.
But there's a lot of historians and political experts saying we're closer than we've ever been.
Repeating authoritarian propaganda in a way that you think or hope is exaggerated enough to be funny will never work, because authoritarian propaganda knows no limits, and any parody of it rapidly becomes indistinguishable from that propaganda, and then becomes part of it.
So OK, Linus is Canadian. And even the majority of Americans are still in disbelief of how powerful and extreme the beliefs of the far right have become, so maybe we can't expect Linus to really get this.
But I'm not going to sit still while he insists that he's above it all, that he gets it, that I don't it, that it was funny, and that I was just too entrenched in my position to understand.
Look in a mirror Linus.