The Almighty Comic

November 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

As long as you offend everyone, nobody’s feelings get hurt. I find it somewhat strange that in today’s ultra politically correct society, the most offensive people get off Scott free. I don’t mean the hate speakers, I don’t mean the far left or the far right, I don’t mean homosexuals or anti homosexuals or abortion rights activists or deforestation advocates. I mean the comedians.

As far back as the middle ages, and probably farther, comedians have occupied an under-recognized but over-needed position in serious culture. From the jesters in the royal court of yesteryear to YouTube comedians of today, they make us laugh, by pointing out the strange ironies in life, poking fun at authority, and mocking everything under, above, and around the sun. And though they’re ridiculous, we listen to them, because its cathartic quality relieves us momentarily of life’s burdensome somberness.

One thing that separates comedians from the rest of society is their prerogative to be profane, crude, offensive, and blasphemous in ways that would get ordinary citizens and public figures alike chided at best and imprisoned at worst. The comic gets a 24/7 hall pass through the school of life that lets him frolic along, saying all the things we wish we could say but are under too tight of a societal grip to actually express.

No matter if you’re RayWilliamJohnson making jokes about aids or tosh.o laughing at drunk sorority girls or Stephen Colbert making fun of George Bush or even Tom Bergeron from America’s Funniest Home Videos laughing at skiers crashing into trees — they’re allowed to make jokes, to poke fun, and to mock mercilessly. We’re allowed to laugh too, but only very cautiously.

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