My first appearance here at disinfo.com happened shortly before I became a contributor, when Thad came across one of my articles and reposted it here as Nope, Your Edgy Comedy Isn’t Edgy Anymore. Because that generated so much conversation I continued to come across similar opposing viewpoints. As I thought more about the whole thing and considered the feedback, I became able to more clearly articulate precisely why I no longer find certain types of comedic approaches conducive to the spirit of artistic rebellion against social norms. Art that doesn’t do that does not hold much importance or relevancy in my estimation. Perhaps my insistence that art be genuinely challenging and not just compulsively confrontational is a bit severe for your tastes, but without progress and principle art just becomes entertainment, an opiate for the modern masses.
So with that in mind, let’s play…
Is It Offensive or Is It Just Being A Butthole?
There is an entire ocean of nuance between offending social norms and just being a mean-spirited predator who replaces meaningful rebellion with shocking cliches.
We need to protect offensiveness from censorship because only by
offending normative sensibilities can we make ideological progress.
The thing is that I agree with that statement. Where I part ways is the standard definition for what qualifies as offensive.
When Katt Williams made a misogynistic remark, that was not offensive. Misogyny is itself a normative sensibility. It is a part of the status quo. To make misogynistic remarks is not to offend the normative sensibilities of the status quo, it actually does the opposite and upholds them.
Here is a good example of a working comedian who is absolutely hilarious without having to resort to edgy, shock schlock, which in and of itself is a valid offense against current comedic norms. In fact, his clever but lighthearted mockery of contrived outrage is a valid artistic rebuttal to many of the most entrenched cultural norms of our time.
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