Enough with the "rape" thing, already!
Posted on Jul 12 2012 at 11:29:55 AM in Performing Arts
I was going to do this yesterday, but I thought it best to calm down first. In the last month, all I've heard about is "rape" and frankly, I'm getting sick of it. I wish it was about the issue of rape in and on itself, some thesis that would make me more socially aware, but no; all we've been dealing with is the approach of "rape", HOW we should talk about rape instead of what we say about it and, lest we forget, how we should never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever joke about it!
Three days ago, some comedian Daniel Tosh made a rape joke during his stand-up act. A member of the audience felt so offended, she thought it a good idea to heckle him and then he transferred the joke on to her. She relayed her account of this on her Tumblr upon returning home and then the shit hit the fan.
At first I brushed it off, as I genuinely didn't give a fuck. I didn't even know who Tosh was and, by extension, I was not familiar with his work or his flavor of humor. But soon enough, just by following my feed I had the complete picture. By the end of the first day, the subject had changed from "Daniel Tosh sucks" to "rape jokes are evil".
First and foremost, people who get offended by anything at all, have the decency (assuming you remember what that word means) to attack the joke and the comedian. They can take it and you're well-within your rights to do that. But don't go out and demand your being offended should matter to the universe.
You are for censorship (and pretending otherwise is just a very, very condescending form of rationalization) and, worse, you're trying to regulate free thought. You're making subjects arbitrarily sacred and holy and hammer into public psyche that even considering a different approach to them makes one inherently evil. You are scum. Worse, you're counter-productive to your own cause.
But even worse than this, since when did any subject, however big or small, become "off-limits material" to comedy? When the hell did that change? I'd like to say it became a thing after Carlin died, to try and explain this vacuum of comedy we've been living in since, but I'm fairly positive it goes way back.
Comedy isn't an art form, it's a reality of the human condition. It's our most genuine and immediate form of expression. Long-winded speeches can't communicate their message nearly as well as a good five-word joke. Your understanding of this is to come out and regulate it? Try and ban joking about certain subjects?
Before you bother arguing that this reaction isn't aimed at "banning" anything, let me just point out that currently there is at least one petition out there to pull Tosh's show on Comedy Central off the air, for making this TYPE of joke.
What's that? You made a joke that offended ME? ME, THE SUPERULTIMATE MEGAKING OF THE MULTIVERSE? Time to lose your job, you... insignificant worm!
Of course it's not going to happen, but it's the mentality that I find ranging from nauseating to outright terrifying.
It's because of the nature of comedy that no subject is off-limits and especially the big ones. It's why in the last several years we've seen comedy become plastic, detached from human nature.We are consistently conditioned to laugh at stupidity, because we've grown afraid of laughing at things that actually matter.
This will go on until... what? All of western society has become a like-minded hive of drones, boring fucking sub-human creatures incapable of independent thought, because having one of those may be "trivializing" a subject that some arbitrary authority has defined as sacred?
The irony is that, once you raise something to the status of a trend, an ideal, a principle, it becomes untouchable. How the flying fuck are you supposed to resolve an issue you can't even fucking touch?! You're actively attempting to remove the human factor from them and turn them into an ill-defined religion, an unquestionable dogma for the masses. And you expect to find solutions?
Are you really that dense? Or has your gigantic ego, your hopeless existence that begs for nobility in this fucking meaningless world gotten so big, you can actually rationalize your self-centered need for a a "pat on the back" whenever you open your stupid pie-holes and spout yet another condemnation at something you are incapable of understanding?
Yes, let's pretend that joking about rape means glorifying the act of rape and enforces "rape culture" (a rhetoric favored and consistently spouted by feminists). It's a wholly original thought that may actually bring some fundamental change and eradicate the problem!!
The difference between drama and comedy isn't the weight they put on the subjects they approach. The difference is that drama is manipulative, it needs to employ a million different techniques to get you to feel. Comedy is honest, it hits you right in the face with what it has to say. You can dismiss it, you can even take offense, but you cannot deny the reason it had an effect on you and further, you cannot deny its importance in doing that.
And you certainly can't demand that it's regulated.
Many people argue that George Carlin wasn't really a comic, but rather a modern philosopher. These people are wrong; Carlin never said anything that couldn't have been said by anyone with enough brain power to put two and two together.
But he was a great comedian, one of the best that ever lived, because he joked about things important, things that connect to the deepest level of our human (and social) nature. He took ideas that everybody had at the back of their heads and turned them into grade-A material, then shared them with the public.
It wasn't about the ideas, it was about the sharing in such an honest form. They were abstract notions and he made them matter.
That's why the man was a legend.
If you want to resolve modern society's problems, you better make damned sure there is at least one person on the face of this planet that can still joke about them. If your perfect society is a thought-policing state of unqualified nobodies regulating the issues that matter, like some higher, god-like authority that the public drones can't touch, in fear they will awaken the angry mob, the volcano-god's followers, then let me know while there's still time. Because, honestly, I'd rather see the world burn.
Seriously, if that's the best we can do on our way to the future, fuck mankind. We've outlived our usefulness and squandered our potential.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to rape the flag, while reading from the Bible, getting jacked off by my secretary, Ramon and fantasizing about Jesus taking it up the ass from all twelve of his homeboys. BECAUSE I'M A MULTI-TASKER.