Sunday, April 5, 2015

Why comedy clubs are the modern day Alamo

   I repeatedly made fun of Chinese drivers this weekend in a public setting and everyone laughed.  The Oriental people in the room might have laughed the loudest.  I know that sounds crazy in these "enlightened" times, but I was operating in the relative safety of the last bastion of political incorrectness: the comedy club. 
   Comedy clubs are the 21st century speakeasies of free speech.  What goes on there hasn't been formally prohibited, but a lot of what's said would never fly in any other public forum.  The comedy club is a refreshing oasis of edgy wit in a barren intellectual wasteland where honesty, truth and individual thought and expression are actively suppressed.  Off stage, especially in social media arenas like Twitter, the high priests of progressive groupthink hold comedians to the same standards of intolerance that they try to impose on everyone else. (See Noah, Trevor and Gottfried, Gilbert.)
   The comedy club setting alone doesn't make it open season for ethnic slurs, misogyny, homophobia or any other form of hate speech.  However, the best comedians will embrace the most socially and culturally sensitive topics and transform them into well-crafted routines that allow us to come together and laugh at things that otherwise divide us.  Audience members who don't like or don't get a joke are free to boo or leave, although the worst punishment for a comedian is stone-faced silence.  Booing or walking out at least gives them something else to work with.  Either way, at the end of the night, the audience only remembers the jokes that made them laugh, because no one - or at least no one in their right mind - comes to a comedy club looking for a reason to be offended.  Not yet, anyway.  The day they do will be the last stand for relevant social satire on race relations, gay weddings and making deals on nuclear technology with people who wipe their ass with their bare hand.  
   

2 comments:

  1. Hold up the Fort and keep the jokes coming in that arena (club). I have a friend who makes ethnic references right to people's faces. And they love it. They know and understand his angle. I can never do that. Could never get away with it. delivery is such an art.

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  2. Reminds me of a story of conforming out of fear of being different...the story of the crab:The fishermen drop a large cage into the water with bait and there is a hole in the top of the cage. As the crab swim by, they go into the cage to eat the bait. One by one, the crab continue to pile into the trap and eventually the bait is all gone but, crabs continue to go into the hole because other crabs are there. After a while, the trap is full. Now, if a crab attempts to crawl out of the trap by clawing its way up the side of the cage. When the other crabs see this, they pull it back down. If it attempts again, they pull it back down. Sometimes they break off the claws to prevent the crab from leaving the trap. Other times, the crabs will kill the ones trying to get away to keep them in.
    ...People are fearful of anything outside the norm and to your repeated point in many of your posts...this is a reflection on them and their fears and not on the people they are trying to have conform.

    Another great post.

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