Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rape Jokes Are Funny

Do I have your attention now?

If I ever get famous, this will be the article that inevitably strikes first controversy.  I think I'm okay with that.

DISCLAIMER:  This is not actually a matter on whether the joke was funny or not.  That is exclusive to the taste of the individual hearing it.  This is a matter of free speech.

(For those unfamiliar with the Daniel Tosh "scandal", here it is.)

Nothing gets me fuming harder than a broken air conditioner in Uganda than smug self-righteousness.

Being offended makes the most ordinary of us feel somewhat important. Like we matter. People should take us seriously about certain things and listen to us because they make us sad face.

No offense, (lol) but all I can picture when typing that is an especially annoying hysterical baby.

Seriously, grow up.

These people love to "school" us on statistics about how bad things like rape are.  Yeah, we knew that.  We're not saying rape is good.  Rape is, in fact, very, very bad.  I wish it upon no one, and I condemn those convicted of it.  But we're not in school, children, we are at a comedy show, where all serious-minded musings (yes even about what you personally think of as taboo, because you're not the only human in the world) fall by the wayside in favor of laughing.  Joke doesn't make you laugh?  That's cool, happens all the time.  Don't like the comic?  Don't listen or go to their shows.  That's the free market at work.  'Murrica.

I mean, shit, you're at a Daniel Tosh show.  That's like going to P.F. Changs and complaining that the food is too Asian.  Motherfucker, that's what you ordered.  Tosh made his living on being brash, insensitive, and spitting in the face of political correctness, something upon which I greatly respect, as I believe our modern PC culture only serves to exasperate the tensions between us because no one is aloud to make serious social commentary on anything more important than seat belts without some self-aggrandizing dickwad having a BAWWWfest.

And the fact is, this sets a dangerous precedent.  Much of what popular comics are doing in places like the Laugh Factory, is testing out new material and seeing what works and what doesn't before they attempt a new special, so when a story like this becomes mainstream it tells people that any asshole with a superiority complex can stand up and tell a comedian what they can and cannot say.  Think of all the envelope-pushing classic comics we wouldn't have today if that were gospel.  Think of how less truly tolerant we would be.  Not to mention the worst part being that this whole uproar seems to be about connecting a joke about rape to instances of actual rape.

George Carlin would be ashamed of you.

One of a comedian's jobs is to make light of shitty situations, and to maybe give some collective catharsis to those who might be looking for it (remember how hard their jobs were after 9-11?).  My mother nearly died of cancer, and if Tosh pointed me out of a crowd and said, "Wouldn't it be funny if that guy's mother got cancer and died right now?", I'd laugh my balls off.  Partly because of the irony that he unwittingly picked a guy that ACTUALLY happened to, and because the joke itself is so over-the-top ridiculous that it becomes satirical, which then maybe allows me to lighten up and stop getting so worked up about the things in life I can't control.

Or, maybe it actually offends me.  In which case, I go home and keep my mouth shut, because going home is the acceptable response to not liking the show you've attended.  Free speech, free market, remember?  And no, exercising free speech for the sole purpose of telling someone that they can't have it does not count.

Not to mention, if I don't want to be singled out at a comedy show, maybe I shouldn't be heckling the comic at a comedy show.  That may just work like gangbusters ;)

Allow me to cite Jim Norton, who took on wayyyy hotter-button material in his special "Monster Rain", but because it was funny, no one said shit.  Gives me more respect for the inconspicuous fine line that comics have to walk these days:


When women make rape a mutually exclusive topic that is not okay to talk or joke about, you're practically making the case for anti-feminist assholes to tell you that you should be treated differently, which I highly doubt is the goal here.

Maybe I'm being crass, and I don't care. To the select masses who are so "offended" at Tosh's edgy remark, and are about to turn on the 700 Club or listen to the AFA to watch conservatives scream about how "god hates fags", please kindly dismount off of your high horse, and then bend over and let it rape you. Let it rape you, like five times.

And as far as him asserting power over a woman?  He responded to heckling.  And, honestly, for the time a comedian is on stage, he or she DOES have the power.  That's kind of the social contract in effect during a show when one person is on display for the world, trying to be funny, flaws and all.  Trying to make feminist connections to something like this is despicable.  This was just, at worst, a bad joke.

Guys, please, I'm always the most pro-woman, your-choice-matters, Ledbetter-supporing guy in the room, who can't stand when political hacks like Limbaugh use toxic terms like "Feminazi".

Please, don't give assholes like him any more fuel.  He needs to remain precisely what Tosh told:  

A Joke.


-VMA

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