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Should anything be ‘beyond a joke’? The new comedy code of intolerant conformism.

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posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 06:01 PM
This is the title of an article on Spike Online by Mick Hume, Editor (loving this magazine, it is so thought provoking)

Comedy is suffering under a stifling atmosphere of conformism and intolerance. It appears that any joke judged to have crossed a line must be not just ignored, but condemned, censured and, if possible, censored. That, in turn, has given rise to a pathetic backlash of comedians and provocateurs trying to be offensive for the sake of it. The rest of us risk being left with the worst of both unfunny worlds.

Good jokes are generally in bad taste. They tend to mock the respectable rules and morals of society. By its nature comedy is always controversial, pushing as it must at the limits of what passes for taste and decency in any era. It is hard to think of a good joke that would not offend somebody. That is why there have long been attempts to control what is deemed ‘acceptable’ humour and to censor what is not. And why many writers and comedians have tried to subvert the rules.

However, as with other issues in the free-speech wars, the terrain has shifted. Once the complaints were about blasphemous and indecent comedy, and the censors were conservative politicians, policemen and priests. Now the protests are more often against comedians accused of breaking the new taboos – racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the other usual suspects. And the demands to shut them down tend to be led not by old-fashioned prudes but by radical online activists, the liberal media and even other comedians. Backed up in the UK by broadcast regulators, politicians and the newly PC police.

So what do you guys think? Is there a limit to acceptable humour? Should comedians and comedy artists be policed or allowed free artistic expression? Is it artistic expression?

I have mixed feelings on this. There is evidence that humour is a positive coping mechanism. Today we are continually bombarded with traumatic events in glorifying detail. I have personally seen 'emotional blunting' in family and friends, compounded by a dry, tongue-in-cheek sense of humour from several of them (maybe this is a British thing?).

One of the comments below the article caught my eye.

'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase.


posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 06:05 PM
I was blocked by Frankie Boyle on Twitter for making a joke about my own Scottish dad.

These people are all talk, but can't take it themselves.

Make a joke about Animal abuse and Ricky Gervais will flip his lid.
Make a joke about Atheism on his timeline and his following of Serfs will attack you like rabid dogs that need putting down.

Hypocrites. All of them.

Comedy died with Bill Hicks.
edit on 1-2-2016 by CharlieSpeirs because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-2-2016 by CharlieSpeirs because: Spelling.

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 06:17 PM
a reply to: Morrad

Unless it is a rant at hecklers for no reason, I don't find comedy should have these boundaries. If it is offensive, the audience will boo and end of the comic if they don't know how to connect to the audience. It is an art. they are good at at or they are not.

My favorites are Katt Williams and Dane Cook. they can certainly overstep, but they know how to.

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 06:20 PM

originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs

Comedy died with Bill Hicks.

Many would say it died with George Carlin, but I find it to be alive and well.

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 06:23 PM
No one has been funny since the 90's so it doesn't really matter.

Comedy is crap.

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 06:25 PM

This is's comedy.

From ritalin to Michael Richards to what we can learn from Flava Flav....

edit on 1-2-2016 by reldra because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 07:32 PM
I've read that a comedian is a smart person, one that knows how to blend to the people surrounding them and to find what everyone is wanting to hear. It was said earlier that it's an art, a hasn't been lost but all these online PC people just jump on board with everything. So I don't think they should stop what they do, some are funny, it's different than how it used to be.

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 07:39 PM
Good comedy is telling a story from everyday life, silly things that all of us can relate to. We picture ourselves in exactly that situation, and we are, if we're honest, laughing at ourselves, as well as the comedian.

Currently, I'm a big fan of Gabriel Iglesias aka Fluffy. He doesn't push boundaries, but he does tell stories that I can totally relate to.

I want comedy that makes me laugh, I'm not out to be shocked, or even offended. Just an evening of laughs.

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 07:43 PM
Comedy is a tool, just watch any bbc comedy, it teaches people to laugh at what should make them angry!

posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 07:46 PM
a reply to: seagull

What do you call a man with seagull on his head?


posted on Feb, 1 2016 @ 07:53 PM

originally posted by: Morrad
'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase.

Ahh I recognize that. It's a Stephen Fry quote

I don't think anyone should be free from comedic ridicule. I like a lot of black comedians because their comedy is often race-centric, and I find racist jokes funny, even the ones aimed at my race (can't help what you laugh at). It's more honest than dialogue in the street in a lot of ways.

A more recent and PC example is I loved Ricky Gervais's quips about Caitlyn Jenner at the Golden Globe awards this year. A lot of people thought it controversial but the way I see it is if we can make fun of everyone else we can make fun of her too, otherwise we truly are treating her differently because of her sex-change.
edit on 1/2/2016 by BelowLowAnnouncement because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 02:39 AM
a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

Frankie is a good example of knowing your audience. He can get away with anything in a room full of his fans but lost his job on mock the week by saying stuff he knew would never make it through the edit. He wasn't fired for what he said, but threw a hissy when his material was cut.
There are jokes you would crack around your friends that you would never tell your mum. (I hope).

Bill Hicks is kind of alive. Its his voice in my head that berates me when I do something silly.
Its just a ride.

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 02:44 AM
a reply to: VoidHawk
I have a friend named Cliff. I'll have to tell him that. Thanks lol.

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 02:46 AM
I like Doug Stanhope. My mrs hates him, comedy is subjective and, if you aren't getting the joke, move on to someone you do like, rather than try and silence them.

But then again, our modern "tolerant" society is far more intolerant of anything that diverges from "the norm" than people care to admit.

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 02:48 AM
a reply to: Morrad
I've always liked Sam Kinison and George Carlin. My own sense of humor tends to offend some people. I tone it down as much as I can here but I'm basically a walking encyclopedia of dirty jokes. Really, who's to decide if humor goes too far? It's arbitrary, isn't it?

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 02:53 AM
a reply to: SprocketUK I'm a big Stanhope fan although have to post a warning if ever I post his videos. He takes no prisoners and is a great critic of religion, which I know would probably upset a lot of the Christian membership here, but as far as offensive comedians he's right up there as one of the best. I'm not aware of too many others these days. I like dark humour, but much harder to find these days

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 02:55 AM
a reply to: woodwardjnr

Yeah, I know what you mean.

I also have a guilty love of Chubby Brown. He's not cutting edge, not politically astute, just coarse and vulgar, but he does make me laugh. (That's another one the mrs wont come with me to watch)

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 03:00 AM
Someone I knew in my former church told us that she had been to a class of some kind where they had been warned against using the term "legless" as a synonym for "drunk", because it might offend people who had genuinely lost their legs. As she remarked to us (though she did not speak up at the time), her own husband, who had lost two legs from diabetes,positively loved jokes of that kind.

But this kind of concern is not new. At a time when Poland was suffering food shortages, in the era of Soviet domination, there was a sketch on British television about Polish burglars getting a safe open and triumphantly taking off the food they found there. This was criticised as offensive to the Poles. It didn't occur to the critics that the Poles themselves were making food shortage jokes, and this was because the ordinary Pole recognised these jokes as being at the expense of the authorities who created the problem.

I also read that some feminists were outraged by Woody Allen's repetition of the old chestnut; "My wife's so childish. Every time I have a bath, she comes in and sinks my boats". Apparently they didn't notice how the joke comes round at the end to attack the person telling it. The old "self-deprecation" technique.

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 03:03 AM
a reply to: SprocketUK I still watch old episodes of in the thick of it for some great Malcolm Tucker action.

Some strong language viewer discretion

edit on 2-2-2016 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 03:11 AM
a reply to: woodwardjnr

Oh man. LMAO.

If my kids knew what Dr Who was really like!

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