In the three-plus decades that I have been a professional stand-up comic, the one thing I never worried about was an existential threat to comedy itself.
Sure the humorless always have been and always will be among us, but they have usually been on the fringes of society, especially in a free speech-loving republic like the United States of America.
Along came political correctness, which at first seemed innocuous enough. After all, liberals are forever coming up with ways to ruin seemingly innocent things, and we’ve managed to keep their lunacy contained. Things outside of government, that is.
It seemed unlikely, if not unthinkable, that they would try to institutionalize this PC nonsense and begin legislating against things like…words.
In the past six or seven years we’ve seen the perpetually aggrieved take over college campuses and–to borrow an oft-used phrase of theirs–normalize the demonization of anyone who runs afoul of the ever growing “you can’t say this” list of the poor dears.
Life moves more quickly all around in the digital age, and it would seem that the wussification of youth is taking hold, not just here, but abroad as well.
The classic American sitcom “Friends” recently made it to Netflix in the UK and The Independent reports that British millennials expressed “shock” about some of the story lines.
They found them “transphobic, homophobic and sexist.” Of course, those words get tossed around by millennial social justice warriors with such frequency that they begin to be so much background noise after a while. “Transphobic” is such a new word that WordPress spell check doesn’t even recognize it.
We may be used to the millennials blathering on like this, but then you stop and think, “Wait, the dimwits are talking about ‘Friends’ here.” Have things really changed that much in 20 years?
Lest you think this is just some British thing, there’s this gem from the Cosmo website last year that’s chock-full of so much SJW drivel it might soon be graduate level reading on many campuses. This is the same Cosmo that also has other posts like “5 Essential Sex Positions You Can Do Without Leaving The Couch,” which is subtitled “Get off without getting up.”
Fat jokes (really funny ones too) on old episodes of “Friends” are super offensive though.
That, by the way, was one of the tamer headlines I could share with our polite readers.
What this all boils down to is that SJW millennials have an ingrained selective outrage instinct that seems pretty strong. Of course, had “Friends” done nothing but make fun of Christians or conservatives, this little batch of Brits would be hailing it as the greatest sitcom of all time.
I don’t get as worked up about this stuff since my daughter has been in college. We talk about these things a lot. She insists that the antics of the whack-job social justice warriors are blown out of proportion in the MSM and on social media. There was a SJW protest going on at her school last year that I’d been seeing on social media and she hadn’t even heard about until I texted and asked about it.
She’s seen the entire “Friends” series on Netflix and loves it.
It would be nice to think that this is only a phase with youth, but the media loves every one of these stories and does seem to have a vested interest in keeping their anger front and center. That gives it added shelf life.
This would be a good time to tune them all out and binge-watch “Friends” again.