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Ought Comedians Tell Rape jokes?
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There are some lines Comedians ought not cross.
Of course.
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No, nothing is sacred.
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trustedfaith



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
trustedfaith wrote:

Not to mention that you are fair game to any comedian once you heckle them at their shows. It is so unbelievably rude to talk, shout, or yell out to them while they are performing. This is also common knowledge. If you decide that you want to do this -- you deserve anything and everything that comedian says to you. You are interupting a performance and you wouldn't dare think to do this at a broadway show. A comedy show is no different. You are being disrespectful not only to the comedian but to everyone around you that paid for that show.


I dunno. I agree with this and then I think: "well what if it was some really, really racist shit? Like slavery-era racism?"

Because I don't really care if I'm being disrespectful to racists.


But see... you know what kind of comedian you're going to see. Every comedian has a schtick or type of comedy they do. A theme for a lack of a better word. Daniel Tosh's thing is that he rips on people and equally across the board. So you can't go to his shows if you don't have thick skin and can laugh at yourself.

First of all, you know what you're getting into watching their show. Second of all, you just interupted it, so now you've pissed the performer off by being rude. So you're not going to get them doing nice comedy jokes to you. You're going to get them saying nasty shit to you because you're screwing up their show. That's their job and you're ruining the experience for other people. Don't be rude and expect that they have to treat you with roses and puppies about it.

Personally, I like Daniel Tosh. I like the idea that we can laugh at everything. One of the best interviews I heard with Louis CK was when him and Patrice O'neal would get on the Opie and Anthony show with Jim Norton. Louis CK would joke around with Patrice (who was black) about how Louis could do things because he was white and Patrice couldn't. Patrice laughed. Patrice called Louis CK a wetback because Louis CK was born and raised in Mexico for the first eight years of his life. What you see as mean, I see as jokes. Those two had the utmost respect for each other but they could laugh at the bad shit too. I think it's a coping mechanism to be in a position to laugh at it. It means you're beyond any bad shit it has done to you. I dunno.

The reason why comedy has produced most of the comedians it has over the years is because it's pushed the envelope. If it was all fairy dust and kittens it would get very boring after awhile. Not everyone has to do the same type of comedy as Daniel Tosh has. However, if you go to his show you know he's going to be doing the same type of comedy he always has. And if you haven't found that out in the 2934723 shows he's done, you're an idiot and deserve whatever he says to you when you interupt him.

Comedy is subjective anyway... what I find funny, mouse doesn't. No one is ever going to agree on what's funny. Part of the reason why it makes it so great. The variety makes us have all kinds of comedic options.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The boundaries of humor are very subjective and situational, but I think I've found a good general yardstick for whether or not you should tell a joke. If you feel the need to preface it with "I don't mean to offend . . ." or some similar sentiment, then it's probably not a good idea to tell that joke at that time.

OR to put it another way:

Micky: How does every racist joke start?
Mallory: I dunno, how?
Micky: Looks behind himself over his shoulder.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since it stopped being about rape jokes and more about Tosh, I'll just say the following:

Daniel Tosh is not a groundbreaking comedian. In my opinion he's not even a good one. Being edgy and making jokes that people usually avoid is not a new things, I see comedians do it often. Tosh is just in it for the money and that's fine but let's not pretend he's some kind of hero for reinventing comedy.

If you think he's funny that's great. But if you're trying to convince me that what he's doing is good and I should love him for it, you're better off trying to teach a whale how to tapdance.

TL;DR: I don't like Tosh. As long as he keeps making shitty jokes I'll say shitty things about him. Free speech yada yada.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yinello wrote:
Since it stopped being about rape jokes and more about Tosh, I'll just say the following:

Daniel Tosh is not a groundbreaking comedian. In my opinion he's not even a good one. Being edgy and making jokes that people usually avoid is not a new things, I see comedians do it often. Tosh is just in it for the money and that's fine but let's not pretend he's some kind of hero for reinventing comedy.

If you think he's funny that's great. But if you're trying to convince me that what he's doing is good and I should love him for it, you're better off trying to teach a whale how to tapdance.

TL;DR: I don't like Tosh. As long as he keeps making shitty jokes I'll say shitty things about him. Free speech yada yada.


Who is calling him a hero or suggesting he's reinventing comedy?

I'll go back through the thread here and see if anyone has been touting how he's changed the comedy scene. But I seriously doubt I'm going to find anyone bringing that up except you just so you have something random to say about this or complain more about Tosh.

Who the eff cares about Tosh? This could have been about Louis CK making a rape joke. I still would have said the same thing. Hell, I'll pick a comedian I don't like... Dane Cook. I'll defend the chance for Dane Cook to make a rape joke and I don't even care for Dane. Like Patrice O'Neal said when he was asked about a similar situation... I'll defend their attempt to try and make it funny. They've the right to try.

If a comedian can make it funny and make you laugh at it -- they can say it. And if you can get past the idea that they're saying it so they can belittle it or cause more pain -- you just might laugh at it and realize laughter is a pretty damn good medicine. You don't have to. That's your choice. As is their choice to try and make you laugh about it.

P.S. As I stated previously.. comedy is subjective and what one person finds funny (e.g. I find Tosh funny) another person doesn't (e.g. you don't). So trying to convince someone on a subjective subject like comedy that there's some sort of scientific system to prove that someone is funny is stupid.
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trustedfaith



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh and P.S.S. My argument isn't a free speech argument. When I say they've a right to try... I'm not going back on founding fathers shit.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i don't think it all has to be fuzzy kittens. i never miss the daily show or the colbert report; they can be plenty cutting. but they cut people who deserve to be cut, not their innocent victims.

i'm with dogen here, on the difference between joking about the powerful and the powerless. it is possible to do good jokes about rape - someone gave some examples earlier in this thread, if i recall correctly. but they are jokes that make fun of the rapist - not ones that suggest it would be funny if a woman gets gang-raped for the horrible crime of interrupting a comedian.

(and by the way - there is a long history of audiences dissing performers. granted, we no longer throw rotten fruit - but someone who displeases the audience can and should expect to get booed and walked out on. some comedians make an art of dealing with hecklers....and then there's tosh.)
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trustedfaith



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
i don't think it all has to be fuzzy kittens. i never miss the daily show or the colbert report; they can be plenty cutting. but they cut people who deserve to be cut, not their innocent victims.

i'm with dogen here, on the difference between joking about the powerful and the powerless. it is possible to do good jokes about rape - someone gave some examples earlier in this thread, if i recall correctly.


You're debating what you think is funny. Comedy is subjective. There is no right or wrong answer here because of that. It all comes down to taste. What you like is what you like and what I like is what I like. Sometimes they'll overlap and sometimes they'll be night and day differences depending on the comedy. So this means nothing in an argument.

mouse wrote:
but they are jokes that make fun of the rapist - not ones that suggest it would be funny if a woman gets gang-raped for the horrible crime of interrupting a comedian.

(and by the way - there is a long history of audiences dissing performers. granted, we no longer throw rotten fruit - but someone who displeases the audience can and should expect to get booed and walked out on. some comedians make an art of dealing with hecklers....and then there's tosh.)


I know the history of throwing tomatoes at performers when they sucked. I'm well aware. But we're not in that day and age and haven't been in a long time -- etiquette has changed.

No one would dare boo or disrupt a broadway show they didn't like. They would just finish it or walk out. It would be considered rude to boo or heckle. A comedy show is no different. Ask any stand up comedian if they think hecklers are rude and let me know what they tell you. Because the ones I follow on twitter or see at their shows hate it. So if you think it's a bright idea to stop their performance and heckle them -- I'm hoping they tear into you. In fact, I know you can find videos of comedians doing just that on Youtube.

On a sidenote to this -- I am a big stand up comedy junkie. I love stand up comedy. It's something that I grew up on as a kid. My mom loved it. For whatever crazy reason (maybe she thought I wouldn't get most of the jokes) she let me watch greats like Richard Pryor and George Carlin. They're some of the funniest comedians of all time (and for Yinello -- they are the real comedy pioneers) and their sets are dirty jokes and they rip on people and situations.

Richard Pryor used to rip on all kinds of people but he would rip on white people. Lots of white people in his audience and none of them got up offended and heckled him. Because they knew his humor and could laugh at themselves.

Same thing with George Carlin... he would call people out on their stupidity and their reliance on God. Religion and religious people were the target of a lot of his jokes. He got banned for swearing on stage. He pushed the envelope. And he was one of the best.

In my rambling way here what I'm trying to say is that comedy is subjective, if you don't like a particular comedian or their humor don't watch them. But they've every right to make anything they want funny if they can make people laugh.

And no one walks into a clean comedian's show and goes "OH MY GOD" because he's all of a sudden turned into a dirty joke tellin' comedian ripping on people. No, they stick with their theme. And you know of it before you ever go to see them. They're not going to flip the switch on you and go outside of their comedy realm. So that argument is null and void.

Like I said before... no one else is responsible for your emotions and feelings except for you. They're yours. And no one has to filter themselves to stop you from getting offended. It's your choice if you want to be offended or not.

Nothing said on any stage a comedian is on is serious. It's just jokes. You're adding the serious. Not one comedian leaves a stage and thinks they've made a difference in people's lives and have changed history. They are there to entertain and make you laugh. If they do that, they've succeeded. If they haven't, then they suck. That's it. There is no list or topic off limits to them if they can make it funny.

If you have a list of topics that are off limits -- don't go to a comedian's show that talks about those topics and makes jokes out of them. If you do -- that's not their fault. They don't have to change their jokes for you.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trustedfaith wrote:
Snorri wrote:
trustedfaith wrote:

Not to mention that you are fair game to any comedian once you heckle them at their shows. It is so unbelievably rude to talk, shout, or yell out to them while they are performing. This is also common knowledge. If you decide that you want to do this -- you deserve anything and everything that comedian says to you. You are interupting a performance and you wouldn't dare think to do this at a broadway show. A comedy show is no different. You are being disrespectful not only to the comedian but to everyone around you that paid for that show.


I dunno. I agree with this and then I think: "well what if it was some really, really racist shit? Like slavery-era racism?"

Because I don't really care if I'm being disrespectful to racists.


But see... you know what kind of comedian you're going to see. Every comedian has a schtick or type of comedy they do. A theme for a lack of a better word. Daniel Tosh's thing is that he rips on people and equally across the board. So you can't go to his shows if you don't have thick skin and can laugh at yourself.

First of all, you know what you're getting into watching their show. Second of all, you just interupted it, so now you've pissed the performer off by being rude. So you're not going to get them doing nice comedy jokes to you. You're going to get them saying nasty shit to you because you're screwing up their show. That's their job and you're ruining the experience for other people. Don't be rude and expect that they have to treat you with roses and puppies about it.


Right right but I still don't give a shit if the comedian is just being incredibly racist. I don't expect to not be attacked for it, I don't even expect the crowd to applaud me and shower me with gifts and get all the hot girls and all that.

But you seem to be saying that they're somehow in the right. And I don't agree. Because if some guy is just saying racist shit I don't see why I should care that it's his work or that the crowd paid for the racism or that they probably aren't racist but just like to hear some racism once in a while to unwind and honestly they have black friends.

What if the guy isn't a comedian. What if he just skipped the jokes and just started holding some racist speech or something. Am I supposed to keep quiet at a Klan-rally because hey these people paid money and it's disrespectful to interrupt and all that?

I'm not even seeing anything wrong with the whole Tosh thing. I don't know the situation. Maybe the woman legitimately was wrong, maybe Tosh wasn't. Maybe Tosh was, I don't really care much and it's not all that relevant. I don't really care much for Tosh. Not because I think he's sexist or whateverist or anything, I just feel that I've literally heard all his jokes already. Like that time he made a holocaust joke. Everyone seemed to be talking about whether or not that was an ok thing to do using words like insensitive and right and free speech and I was just thinking: "wait...that joke is older than Anne Frank ever was"
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I will say this again. I think it's pretty shitty that you're taking the word of the supposed woman's friend. She put it on her blog. You didn't hear the woman give her side. And there have been many people at that show (not Tosh) that have said that story her friend gave is wrong. It didn't go down like that.

So please don't blindly assume the friend is right here. It's very he said/she said and so far the majority who were there say the friend is wrong.
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trustedfaith



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
Right right but I still don't give a shit if the comedian is just being incredibly racist. I don't expect to not be attacked for it, I don't even expect the crowd to applaud me and shower me with gifts and get all the hot girls and all that.

But you seem to be saying that they're somehow in the right.


Whoa wait... what? Where did I say that a comedian is right to be racist? I don't see where I've said that anywhere. All I've done is defended the right of a comedian to attempt to try and make anything funny. If it's funny and people laugh he's succeeded. If he didn't and the joke sucked he bombed. End of story. You're adding more into this.

First of all, why are you going to see someone who is racist? Do you see any of their previous shows or watch any clips of them on TV? Do your friends recommend them and tell you about some of their jokes so you have an idea about the kind of humor they have? If you've answered yes to any of that then you know the type of comedy this comedian does and if they're capable of just going up there and using the time on stage not to do a comedy show but to tout off a racist rant.

I'm sorry but you're not even making sense to me. This would be the equivalent of going into a broadway show about the Lion King and doing a double take at the beginning number when they are dressed as lions. I mean come on... YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE GOING TO SEE. So this whole idea that you've got blinders on until they're up on stage is B.S. Even if you have no idea... you go find one before you do... who doesn't? Especially with comedians?

I don't believe in racism or rape. I'm pretty sure I've said in previous posts on this forum I was the victim of rape. So don't tell me that I don't understand the extent of the issue. I do. But I know that if a performer tells a joke that rips on people because of race or about rape they're not doing it to belittle me or make fun of me. They're just trying to find humor in it.

As I've said previously -- they are jokes not propaganda and they don't take them seriously. Humor and comedy can be very therapeutic (sp?) if you don't put those types of connotations to it and link it to what it's not intended to be.

And I say this for any decent comedian... not some hack that says he's a comedian and can't make anyone laugh.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. I still luffs you Jules. <3
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

well, then forget any particular comedian or whether or not one version of a story is correct. in general: is it appropriate for a comedian to make a joke that says, essentially, it's funny for a woman to be gang-raped?

trustedfaith wrote:
Richard Pryor used to rip on all kinds of people but he would rip on white people. Lots of white people in his audience and none of them got up offended and heckled him. Because they knew his humor and could laugh at themselves.


i think you are missing the point about the powerful and the powerless.
there is a huge difference between laughing at yourself, and having other people laugh at you. as there is a difference between, say, a black comedian making fun of white people to a white audience, and a white comedian making fun of black people to that same audience. if you think there is not - try telling some racist jokes to the next few black people you meet. i think you will find that jokes can be deadly serious, and they can have a real effect on people (and i'm not just talking about putting the comedian at risk of being beaten up). jokes that denigrate people are not that different from direct bullying - they are told to humiliate people, to make them fair game for attacks.

there are two kinds of rape jokes. one makes fun of the rapist. i have no trouble with that, someone who decides to be a rapist, or thinks rape is an acceptable activity, deserves what he gets.

the other kind makes fun of the victim. they are the ones that suggest raping a woman is funny, that the victim deserves what _she_ got. those, i have problems with. i think those try to make rape acceptable, or at least justifiable. and so, in answer to the original question, yes, i think jokes like that cross a line.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

trustedfaith wrote:
Snorri wrote:
Right right but I still don't give a shit if the comedian is just being incredibly racist. I don't expect to not be attacked for it, I don't even expect the crowd to applaud me and shower me with gifts and get all the hot girls and all that.

But you seem to be saying that they're somehow in the right.


Whoa wait... what? Where did I say that a comedian is right to be racist? I don't see where I've said that anywhere. All I've done is defended the right of a comedian to attempt to try and make anything funny. If it's funny and people laugh he's succeeded. If he didn't and the joke sucked he bombed. End of story. You're adding more into this.

I didn't mean they were right to be racist, I meant right to be offended at being interrupted. Or more to the point, wrong of me to interrupt a racist when he's being racist.

I'm not actually unsympathetic to the idea of etiquette being observed even when shit is racist. But I don't believe the feelings of the racists are good enough reason.

Because that might as well apply to everything. Why should I protest racism at a political rally but not a comedy show? When can I speak up? Hurt feelings and a guy not being able to do his "art" surely can't be enough reason to keep quiet.

What makes a comedy show distinct from any other gathering?
Quote:

First of all, why are you going to see someone who is racist? Do you see any of their previous shows or watch any clips of them on TV? Do your friends recommend them and tell you about some of their jokes so you have an idea about the kind of humor they have? If you've answered yes to any of that then you know the type of comedy this comedian does and if they're capable of just going up there and using the time on stage not to do a comedy show but to tout off a racist rant.

I'm sorry but you're not even making sense to me. This would be the equivalent of going into a broadway show about the Lion King and doing a double take at the beginning number when they are dressed as lions. I mean come on... YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE GOING TO SEE. So this whole idea that you've got blinders on until they're up on stage is B.S. Even if you have no idea... you go find one before you do... who doesn't? Especially with comedians?


Well it would be more equivalent to going to a broadway show of the Lion King and doing a double take when the first half hour is actually racist speeches.

Again, knowing who I'm going to see and knowing what he's going to say can't be a good enough reason not to speak up. If Hitler was going to hold a speech right now on a square near you you wouldn't object to protests against it right there. It would be silly to say that people shouldn't go there if they didn't agree with him.

I'm not talking about people who object to shit because their own feelings are hurt. I don't actually get offended, I'm a rich white male. I'm talking about when the ideas in a show/rally/speech are themselves actually objectively objectionable. I use racism because it's easy, but it could be St Paul's ideas on women or praises of pedophilia or whatever.

Quote:
I don't believe in racism or rape. I'm pretty sure I've said in previous posts on this forum I was the victim of rape. So don't tell me that I don't understand the extent of the issue. I do. But I know that if a performer tells a joke that rips on people because of race or about rape they're not doing it to belittle me or make fun of me. They're just trying to find humor in it.

As I've said previously -- they are jokes not propaganda and they don't take them seriously. Humor and comedy can be very therapeutic (sp?) if you don't put those types of connotations to it and link it to what it's not intended to be.


I absolutely agree with you. But my point is a larger one in that I'm addressing not the jokes but the message. I don't believe Tosh for example actually believes rape is a good thing, so in that sense I don't think he was in the wrong. But the woman who protested did think Tosh was advocating rape, and though I don't believe she was right I do wonder What If? What if someone does straight up advocate rape on stage. What if a comedian's message behind is joke is in fact that rape is a good thing? What if someone advocates on stage the idea that black people are inferior?

It seems that saying comedy is just jokes is sufficient to protect it from legitimate disagreement, but we all know that jokes can also serve an agenda.

(there is also an idea somewhere here about the legitimacy comedians have. Over time certain comedians earn the right to say certain things, aside from what they already could say. For example, Louis CK can use the word "nigger" while some 2-bit comedian from the south can't. Not just because he's an established comedian, it has to do with what he has said and how it connects. In that same vein there is a debate about whether Tosh can make jokes about rape and the holocaust and all that. It's not that he's a bad guy, it's just that he has given us much of a reason to assume he knows the proper irony of it. Sure he attacks everything, but does he really? When he makes a joke about rape can we know that he understands rape is a really bad thing?

Louis CK made a joke about rape. It was something like: "Don't rape. Rape is bad. You shouldn't rape anyone. Unless of course the person doesn't want to have sex with you because then what else are you going to do?"

It's a brilliant joke. It's not just "hurr, rape". It highlights the issue and points out the fucked up idea behind it. It sets up and turns around in less than a second and boils down the thing to it's essential core. And within the context of the show it works because it's clear that he doesn't actually think rape is funny.

I think that's really what the whole Tosh thing is about. There is no reason to think he is being ironic or highlighting a truth about the human condition or anything. )
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
well, then forget any particular comedian or whether or not one version of a story is correct. in general: is it appropriate for a comedian to make a joke that says, essentially, it's funny for a woman to be gang-raped?

I'm not sure "appropriate" and "comedy" actually go together, any longer; they probably haven't since Lenny Bruce (hey, some folks thought he was funny.)

I think, for comedy, one has to use a different measure. For my tastes, good comedy makes me think, makes me laugh, and may just shock the hell out of me. But, there's definitely a line that can be crossed, after which, it's no longer comedy. Quite often, these days, when that line is crossed, all that's left is repetitive vulgarity.

So, if a comedian can tell a thought-provoking, amusing joke that essentially says gang-rape is funny, then hey, let's hear it. Sacred cows do make the best hamburgers, after all, right?

But I harbor significant doubts that even a comic genius like Robin Williams could come up with a thought-provoking, amusing way to say that victimizing a woman in such a manner is cool, and Daniel Tosh sure as hell ain't no Robin Williams.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I haven't read all the recent posts in this thread, because I got the answer right first time.

Mr Gary wrote:
Yes.

They ought have only two constraints - honesty and humour


Are people being not funny or dishonest up in here?
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