Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Recently, comedian Tracy Morgan made some statements during his act that were in poor taste and offensive to certain groups.
I don't like it when people say unkind things. About anyone. To anyone. Which is why I don't like a lot of what passes for comedy today.
HOWEVER, the reaction of the community that feels targeted, and all the suckers-up, alarms me. It's very McCarthy-esque, the way they are defining hate speech in this country and dictating, by social media, what is appropriate to speak in public.
The very people who look back in history and decry the accusations made by Sen. Joe McCarthy on his witch hunts for communists (or basically, people who didn't agree with him) are the same people whose very lives are protected by the backlash against McCarthy's excesses.
But if they (or we) start making the rules about what can be said in public, (they)we are no different or better than McCarthy. It is really sad to see the entertainment community go berserk over this, since their community (Hollywood) was a CHIEF target of McCarthy. They KNOW discrimination, censorship, blacklisting, and persecution.
Comedy has always been humanity's way of easing into talking about things that make us uncomfortable. The "fool" in medieval times was the safety valve for the nobility. He could say things in jest to get them out in the open, and was protected by not only the laws of the realm, but the dispensation of the religious authorities. Fools were SUPPOSED to be the ones to say difficult things, ask difficult questions.
About 10 years ago in this country, the forbidden subject was race. Now it's homosexuality. What will it be tomorrow?
Let me state again, I don't like it when people say unkind things. About anyone. To anyone. Which is why I don't like a lot of what passes for comedy today.
So I don't listen to Tracy Morgan. I won't buy his tickets, I won't go see his show. But I will defend to the death his right to say what he pleases. Because if it's not Tracy Morgan being censored by social approbation, it could be me.