Fuck. Shit. Bollocks. Wanker. Masturbation. Gay rights. Sexual equality.
Okay, I try not to swear on this blog very much, although I do sometimes, because I want the content to be as openly accessible to everyone as it can be. However, this particular post is going to be dealing with the very nature of “inappropriate content” so if you’re offended by buzz words or provocative ideas, please excuse me and I hope this doesn’t turn you off completely.
I love controversial humor. I laugh uproariously when a comedian lands a good joke about masturbation or sexuality that my parents would gasp at. I like HBO and R-rated movies. I love reading about controversial topics, participating in and listening to debates, and just generally trying to push the envelope of what is considered appropriate and what isn’t.
I believe it is the artist’s job to hold up a mirror to society and that involves pushing the line of acceptability. If artists followed all the rules, we wouldn’t be able to progress as a society. Look at the progression we’ve made in the last 10 years alone. Gay marriage is finally becoming acceptable. Women are getting equal opportunities they never had before. The handicapped are getting the respect they deserve. Mental illness is losing its stigma and becoming acceptable.
We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re making progress, and the artists are to thank.
THANK YOU ARTISTS 🙂
Ricky Gervais once said something about how it is his goal to make people laugh at something they didn’t think they were capable of laughing at before. He then proceeded to tell the most offensive jokes I have ever heard. But he succeeded in making me laugh at things I never thought I could laugh at before. And that made me think. It made me question why I was offended.
It didn’t necessarily make me change my mind. That’s not Ricky’s goal, or his job. His goal is to make me think.
And I did think.
Thinking led me to understanding why I was offended (or not), why I reacted the way I did, why I thought the way I did. That led me to further understanding how our society works, the problems we face, the choices we have to make, and where the future is leading us.
See, it’s not about offending you. We as artists don’t actually know that you’re going to be offended by what we say. Maybe you agree with us – we don’t know. It’s about making you think. It’s not about making you change your mind, either.
It’s not about making you change your mind.
It’s up to you to change your mind. Or to not change your mind. That’s your choice.
Our job is simply to make you question the why.
Why do you respond the way you do? Why does society stigmatize certain things? Why has it taken us so long to make the progressions we have?
Because if you understand why, then you understand why not. Then you can make an informed decision. You can have an open mind.
With open minds, comes progress.
Comedy is a great way to open minds.
Not just comedy, but all art has the potential to open minds, but I like comedy in particular.
Comedy allows us to exemplify how screwed up we can be sometimes and say, “You know what? That’s okay. We screwed up. Let’s laugh at it and move forward.”
After all, if there’s one thing we all love (I hope) it’s laughter. Everyone loves a good laugh.
Now if that laugh can bring about change, that’s even better.
Think about why humor is controversial. It’s because we’re holding up a mirror to something in society that is stigmatized. Humor doesn’t create controversy, it exploits is. Humor exposes controversy. Controversy is created by society.
Why is the word, “fuck” considered obscene?
Let’s go to dictionary.com:
verb (used with object)1.to have sexual intercourse with.
2.Slang. to treat unfairly or harshly.
It goes on for all the different uses of the word (noun, interjection, idioms, etc.)
The point is, it’s a totally normal word. Why are we offended by it?
Because society says so.
Understand, that’s completely okay. Society can stigmatize whatever it wants. Slavery is offensive to us and that’s a good thing. Offence in itself isn’t bad. It’s when we use that offence to take away from others that we have a problem.
Art, and comedy in particular, attempts to ask us why we stigmatize something in order that we may understand the effect we are having. If being offended by gay marriage was hurting no one, we wouldn’t have a problem. But being offended by gay marriage hurts a lot of people, and that’s a terrible thing. However, you can’t just ask someone to change their mind because we all know that doesn’t work. People can only change their own minds.
Our job is to make people question why.
That’s how progress works.
And that is why I love controversial humor. That’s why I laugh at inappropriate jokes. That’s why I make inappropriate jokes.
It’s why satire is my favorite thing in the world (or maybe pizza, or masturbating – see, that was a joke. Or was it?)
So don’t simply dismiss something you find offensive. Ask yourself why you find it offensive because who knows, maybe you’ll realize something about yourself that you never considered before.
At the very least, it’s worth getting some laughs out of it, isn’t it?