Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trevor Noah

I watched some of Trevor Noah's stand-up, and I was impressed.  He has a sort of sophistication mixed with crudeness that typifies the Daily Show's take on comedy.

Then this happened.

Comedians are - or at least should be - held to a somewhat different standard than other public figures.  They aren't moral leaders or politically powerful.  Their job is to poke and prod and discomfort.  They point out what's wrong with the world and make us laugh at it.

Noah made some jokes about Jews on Twitter that are probably at worst unfunny.  And, I would argue, probably not controversial coming from a Jew.  I've heard several different variations of jokes about Jewish girls not performing oral sex, but all of them were (I think) made by Jews.  Still, that's a dangerous are in which to tread.  These aren't terrible, terrible jokes, but they aren't funny, they aren't creative and they don't add anything.

The jokes about women - to me - really didn't seem that bad.  They are crude, but not crudely nor cruelly done.  One of the offensive jokes is really about whether or not he - Noah - has a small penis.  And THAT'S too offensive?  Here is the tweet:

So I must make my woman fear my penis? RT @UberFacts: The more you fear something, the bigger it appears.

To me, that isn't a joke about women.  I get that mixing fear and sex is a little edgy, but comedy should be a little edgy.  Good comedy goes right up to the edge of tasteless.

Then there's this Tweet:
A hot white woman with ass is like a unicorn. Even if you do see one, you'll probably never get to ride it.

I think that's kind of funny.  Crude, sure, a little.  But are we so sensitive to every little slight that we have to react to this as misogyny.

Has anyone actually watched the Daily Show?

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