Political&co

March 20, 2019

 

DISCLAIMER:   I've put my glasses on for this sleepless morning shot, so you know I mean business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like now, it was March, just a couple of years back.

Like now, it was raining.

I felt frustrated, disenchanted and willing to settle once for all that nonsense around 'being offended', 'joke censorship' and 'safe-space culture.'

So I sat at my laptop, lit up a smoke and began typing and venting.

The piece was 'You can't say that', dated 2017.

Beginning of 2018 'the Indipendent' would publish an article titled 'Is the snowflake generation really about to kill off comedy?' [1]

You see, for me, it all started with comedy.

As for many other things.

It must be that certain kind of comedy has the striking power to set off emotions and conceptual discussions within ourselves.

And I say this, because I think is a necessary preliminary requisite to better understand and judge the way we live - or at least should.

Comedy, whether dark, satirical or observational, has its foundation on the ability of bringing people to laugh about a shared feeling or idea or known fact told in a smart funny manner.

Not all jokes are obviously gravitating around the same topic or subject, if anything my most favourite form of comedy is the one that leaves me a bitter aftertaste afterwards and forces me to reconsider the things I listened to the night before in a more serious and intellectually-open manner.

Moreover, I've always loved provocateurs, and never hidden that.

 

 

What I'm referring to, it's the ancient, yet still very actual power of collective catharsis that comedy represents as an artistic act. when it's well done, as for anything else in life it's not always the case, and the trick pulled out nicely, anything can be said and laughed at. [2]

The more I dug into this form of art, the more I realized my actual ability of joke within certain groups of people decreased.

For instance, what I could make fun of as a kid, or that was then considered to be socially acceptable, has now fallen in many cases under the increasingly oppressive regime or political correctness.

Things I've always given for granted, and assumed universally shared and accepted, as 'common sense' or 'good education' just to mention a few, seemed to be relegated to the role of 'old fashioned' - or better, out of fashion - thinking.

 

So as you'd think that the more we progress as a species, and the more our rational thinking process should improve too, and yet, that's not necessarily the case throughout human history.

Swinging and waving, up and down at the same time though in different spaces, it's undeniable that our ability to deploy brain power is entangled with sociological and cultural rules.

And so the circle of subjects you could joke about shrunk more and more in the last few decades.

As more and more 'rules' emerged.

Identity policy. Gender identity. Racism.

New concepts have been created, old concepts have changed their meaning.

One of the few things that still stayed the same, it's the idea of “Free speech”, that made the first amendment known world wide.

And ESPECIALLY when it comes to comedy, that should be the only rule applied. [3]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Political correctness now more than ever, poses a real, serious threat not just to the comedy world, but to the (mostly Western) society we live in.

The gender pronouns issue, one for all, sums up brilliantly the dangerous level of annihilation of any critical thinking pressed down by authority – as clearly exposed in the case of Professor Jordan Peterson and the University of Toronto [4].

Political thinkers as Ben Shapiro, or social provocateur as Milo Yiannopoulos, to mention another couple of relevant names, have tackled the same issue quite extensively - and in similar, and also sometimes quite radically different, way.  

 

I ended the May 2017 piece I wrote under the title  "The lies that we tell ourselves"  saying  [5]

 

 

If by any chance at one point I managed to offend any of you, don't worry.

It's alright.

You'll be fine.

You'll survive.

Getting offended is a natural reaction to things we don't like or we don't understand.

No need to make a fuss about it, always be honest with yourself and live your life fully.

 

Peace out, folks

 

 

 

 

 

A few year afterwards, seeing how extreme and widespread this whole victimhood culture has grown, to the point where "mainstream culture [which] has become cautious, sanitized, scared of its own shadow" because of "the watchful eye of the p.c. police" [6], I can't help but feel that perhaps we have not seen the worst of it yet. 

I gathered some of these fears in 'Connections' [7], a work that began late in 2016 but covered on and off most of 2017 and 2018. 

Gender and sexuality, body positivity and parenthood, group and religious identity,  are just some of the issues I focused.

The solution one of the main characters offers, that's not going to be a pleasure. 

 

 

“Not just one specific group, or culture.

“All at once, us included.”

“You mean...” and I want to say something but the words die in my mouth.

“I mean putting the whole damn word in cyber quarantine.

“Fixing our rotten roots.

“Erasing mistakes and flows. Off-line.”

I tell her, “That's going to require time.

“What do you think people are gonna do, just sit and wait?

“The strategy, where's the catch?” I say.

“There's none,” she replies shortly.

“That's why it's going to work. Mothers and fathers of any country will be the first to pull the plug when the vision will be executed.

“You will see, it will be like a huge sigh of relief, whether people realize it right away, like letting everything go, all the heavyweight we've been carrying for the last couple of centuries.

“It will be unexpected joy, like a rush of sugars spiking endorphins in your blood.

“It'll be a new renaissance. Purely amazing.

“Stretching us for what's going to come.” [8]

 

 

 

 

[PART 1/2]

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

[1] 'Is the snowflake generation really about to kill off comedy?' - https://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/comedy-snowflakes-millennials-over-sensitive-jokes-political-correctness-pc-a8129756.html 

 

[2] I've talked more extensivly of the importance of comedy and free speech in one of my previous post 'You can't say that' -

https://www.exphilo.com/single-post/2017/03/27/Whatever-happened-to-language

 

[3] 'George Carlin, The 1st Amendment' -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Q8RwTEod24

 

'Comic Database: Steve Hughes... Offended?' -

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHMoDt3nSHs

 

 

[4] THE FULL STORY OF THE UNIVERSITY INCIDENT - Jordan Peterson | London Real - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osM4bJfBwoM

.

[5] “The lies that we tell ourselvs' -

https://www.exphilo.com/single-post/2017/05/26/The-lies-we-tell-ourselves

 

[6]  Wilson, John. 1995. The Myth of Political Correctness: The Conservative Attack on High Education. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press. p. 7 ISBN 978-0822317135

 

[7] 'Connections', Gian Andrea, 2019 -  https://www.amazon.com/Connections-Gian-Andrea-ebook/dp/B07MY8STJD


[8] 'Connections', Gian Andrea, 2019 -  https://www.amazon.com/Connections-Gian-Andrea-ebook/dp/B07MY8STJD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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