I’m a huge fan of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, which usually churns out eccentric, clever satire. (See, for example, “Our Daughter isn’t a Selfish Brat; Your Son Just Hasn’t Read Atlas Shrugged,” or “A Tibetan Buddhist Monk Tries to Figure Out Who Stole a Rock From His Zen Garden.”) Alas, today’s bit on the origin story of right-wing Robin Hood is neither clever nor nearly as eccentric as its author clearly presumes it to be — it’s pretty much just a rote regurgitation of the well-worn fairy tale the left constantly retells itself in order to A) feel superior and B) never have to deal with the moral issues associated with preferring to order society through coercive political means rather than consensual economic ones.
Here’s an excerpt to show you what I’m talking about:
When Robin was a man of forty-eight, large of stomach and of mouth, he grew restless. And the restlessness grew and grew until one day bold Robin stopped paying his taxes completely, because he was weary of his money going to the government and not into his own bank account, where it would sit forever. Instead, Robin gave this money to the rich, and told them “Invest it in your businesses!” and the rich took the money and put it in their bank accounts, where it sat forever. But everyone felt good about themselves, and Robin assumed the poor did too, because they did not say anything.
I’m fully aware that no political affinity group spends a whole lot of time worrying about intellectual honesty, but it really is too bad the people who love to play the haughty my-politics-don’t-fit-on-a-bumper-sticker game rarely engage the arguments of their opponents at a level higher than this.