When Did We Forget How To Take a Joke?
How Political Correctness & Today’s Outrage Culture Are Killing The Art of Stand up Comedy
The cancer that is political correctness is plaguing modern day comedy as we know it and I’ll be damned if I stand idly by while an art form needlessly dies.
It is a comedian’s job to make othe laugh. It used to be understood, everything they said was to be taken in jest. We as a people, grasped that.
We understood their intent was not malicious, in fact it was just the opposite — they were there to entertain. They weren’t a target of our exaggerated sense of outrage that was born out of our own insecurities.
It’s not that our idea of entertainment has changed, it’s just we were able to laugh at ourselves. We didn’t always take ourselves so seriously that we considered ourselves off limits.
As a society, we didn’t consider comedy a means of oppression or form of hate crime.
We just laughed at it — or didn’t — and moved on. If we didn’t like a joke, we expressed so by not laughing.
I remember being a kid and hearing a recording of George Carlin’s Doin’ It Again for the first time in my Step Father’s car. Carlin had a way of carving comedic truths out of simply observing us a society. He was a true artist.
On Doin’ It Again, he’s got a bit where he discusses how modern day comedians constantly have to deal with being told what they’re allowed to talk about but can’t joke about. How some things are just off limits and aren’t funny.
He then brings up the subject of rape which he acknowledges is not funny — but then alludes to how funny the thought of Bugs Bunny raping Porky Pig is. Hey, maybe it’s not funny. All I know is the audience laughed and so did I.
If the late great George Carlin told that joke today, he’d be chastised for it. Bloggers everywhere would rush to take his joke out of context with their trendy headlines about how funny he finds rape to be. There might not be a mention of a single Looney Tune In their entire story.
I just want to know when all of our laughter became outrage and protests?
Disgraced comedian Bill Cosby built a career off of making clean jokes. He portrayed himself as the All American family man, who didn’t need to curse in order to make a living. He was publicly critical of comedians who did otherwise — especially black comedians. It’s safe to say Bill Cosby would have never made a joke about rape.
Which is ironic considering he was “allegedly” drugging and actually raping women throughout the course of his entire career and adult life at large.
I put the word allegedly in quotes because though he has not yet been convicted or sentenced for any crimes, if you’re accused of committing the same heinous act by 50 different people, chances are it’s because you’re guilty.
To be offended by the performance art of another is absolutely preposterous. It’s become a way for people to make a name for themselves or to find five minutes of fame by picking apart the art of another — one that was never meant to be taken seriously to begin with. It all comes back to taking ourselves entirely too seriously. When did we stop laughing at ourselves?
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Tom Segura have taken a fair amount of heat for their newest respective Netflix specials. Chappelle made a joke about transgender people, more specifically — Caitlin Jenner.
Tom Segura went on to offend a whole list of entire groups of people. Apparently he found a way to offend multiple activist groups as well as the entire State of Louisiana, with some off color Cajun jokes.
I just don’t understand when a joke stopped being just that, a joke.
Do you want to know how ridiculous all of this politically correct bullshit has gotten? I couldn’t even find the “proper” way to refer to one of the groups of people Segura offended. I literally no longer know what the politically correct police find to be acceptable terms for referring to certain entire groups of people. So I instead just didn’t bother to try out of fear I’d offend someone. And yet, someone somewhere is probably still offended and unfollowed me.
Comedy is subjective. If you don’t find something funny, don’t laugh. If you’re offended by something a comedian said, find a new comedian. Apparently they’re not your brand. That doesn’t make them less funny or entertaining. You don’t get to dictate what other people who aren’t you find funny. What jokes a comedian does or does not tell, is not up to you. It never was and never will be. I just miss how things were before we went and took ourselves so damn serious.