We Need More Offensive Comics and Less Cancel Culture

I was watching Blazing Saddles the other day, just minding my own business, when I was assaulted by one of worst takes I’ve ever seen. A Jezebel article (so I mean, right there was my first clue to stop reading) titled “It’s Time to Cancel Comedians Who Whine About Cancel Culture” by Esther Wang, part of Jezebel’s Cancel Bowl 2019.

Things are going well for The Great Dipshit Voting Show, they’ve decided that Ivanka Trump’s Nazi Dog, which is a dog Ivanka Trump got her kid, is worse than Joe Biden, a presidential candidate who likes to give unwanted back rubs and is probably going to end up calling Elizabeth Warren “Sugar Tits” in the next debate. Seriously, it’s just a white dog with blue eyes and Jezebel readers are like “yeah, f**k that dog, way worse the dude who goes around smelling little girls’ hair.”

Only a few of the 64 entrants got articles making the case that they should be cancelled, and this article was the same rant we’ve heard before: blah blah blah punching down, blah blah blah mediocre men, blah blah blah Ghostbusters.

So I decided to see what was going on with Michelle Wolf’s new stand-up special Joke Show since she’s a favorite of the woke crowd. “Oh, here it comes, Eric’s going to s**t on Michelle Wolf, he’ll probably call her an SJW or something!” No. Wrong. Incorrect. Michelle Wolf’s special is really funny and you should watch it.

Here’s what struck me, though. Wolf starts with a five minute bit about rape and throws in some jokes about bestiality, suicide and incest, things I’ve been told it’s not okay to joke about at all, ever, under any circumstances. And she killed with them because they were really funny jokes.

And it got me thinking that cancel culture isn’t so much about offensive content or punishing people for being offensive as it about some sort of forced, homogenized cultural hegemony.

It’s not enough to like or not like something, everyone has to agree and anything you don’t like has to go away forever. It’s good that there are comics that make you uncomfortable. All the best comics made the establishment uncomfortable, and no matter how much you try to portray yourself as the helpless oppressed minority, if you tell NBC to fire someone from a TV show that’s been running for nearly 50 years because you didn’t like something they said on a podcast a few years ago, I have news for you: you’re the establishment.

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2 years ago

100% on point

2 years ago

I agree with your article, but she is not funny. I couldn’t get through 15 minutes. Dave Chapelle…he is funny. Nothing really mean spirited about his comedy.

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