I was quietly surfing the internet when I saw the article Netflix special could revolutionize stand-up Comedy. You know what, I'm going to check that out. I could use a good laugh.
So as I read the synopsis in the USA Today, I quickly changed my mind.
Let's grab some quotes from the article about Hannah Gadsby:
"Gadsby, 40, goes on to discuss the morals of stand-up, art history, President Donald Trump, society's lack of empathy and her own trauma, while repeatedly saying she needs to quit comedy. When serious, she's riveting, with the oratorical powers of great political leaders as she eviscerates her targets." - USA Today
"Gadsby presents comedy as a kind of self-abuse, in which her worst life experiences were frozen in the moment of trauma so she could mine them for laughs." - USA Today
Okay, okay, that's enough, I'm not watching that. Apparently she is revolutionizing comedy by not being funny, but being political with funny moments. Which is basically what everyone is doing. But she's considering quitting comedy because of its exploitative nature. She's at the edge because society is a horrible, mean place for marginalized populations and she's willing to chuck it all away...
Needing a palete cleanser, FROM COMEDY, I went over to the Daily Mail. Ugghh.
What was I thinking?
And for one of the few times in my life, I was reflective. As I scrolled down the series of horrifying images, I came across this one from the Ukraine in 1933.
The boy in that picture is probably about my son's age now. And, ironically, about the same age as my Grandfather who lived in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933. Again, the Daily Mail is NOT the best sourcing material, so I spent the morning reading about the Holodomor.
Survival was a moral as well as a physical struggle. A woman doctor wrote to a friend in June 1933 that she had not yet become a cannibal, but was "not sure that I shall not be one by the time my letter reaches you." The good people died first. Those who refused to steal or to prostitute themselves died. Those who gave food to others died. Those who refused to eat corpses died. Those who refused to kill their fellow man died. Parents who resisted cannibalism died before their children did. -Bloodlines: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.
My Grandfather and my (deceased) Grandmother would talk about the harshness of the Great Depression once in a great while, but strictly how everything was severely rationed here in America. There's a big leap between going to bed hungry and tripping over a starving person in the streets. The Old World was a much more brutal place than the New World. Between the Nazis killing Jews and the Marginalized and the Communists starving their own people, it's hard to believe that anyone romanticizes putting someone from the Far Left or the Far Right in power today.
1933 was 85 years ago. Not a millennium ago. Not a century ago. 85 years. It is feasible (but very doubtful) that the boy from the picture is actually alive today. We are not all that far removed from some of the greatest evils of our time.
Let's say that Global Warming is 100% Man Made, just for argument's sake. And let's say that's it's irreversible, again, just for argument's sake. So when the global warming really ramps up and there's nothing we can do about it, what is the plan for the future of humanity?
As the great deserts expand and the water wars begin, are we still debating the exploitative nature of comedy? Seriously. If global warming is here, we need to have a plan to clean up the polluted oceans, construct water desalination plants, create colonies on other planets, we need to be brain-storming to solve these very pressing issues.
The human race needs real options to ensure the viability of the species. People assume that the 21st century is moving forward, but I'm going to ask you a question and you can answer it silently for yourself. What happens when the water shortages hit in:
Iran? (Too late. Water Crises Spurs Protests in Iran.)
History shows us that governments may not be up for holding the best interests of the people at heart in times of crisis. Do you think the governments above are not above a targeted genocide today? And, if you do believe in Global Warming to the extent theorized above, are you looking for comedy as an escape, or as a place to get your geopolitical solutions.
You know, for a Free Speech site, you're awful critical of LGBTQIA+ voices. That's a good point, and let me address that point right here, right now, because it cuts to the crux of what I'm trying to say. Back in 1989, Cleveland's first Gay Pride Festival began. Nearly 30 years on, it has grown to a full Gay Pride Month. The Hannah Gadsbys of the world would argue "Gay Pride Month? Every day should be gay pride day!" Hannah Gadsby has a special on Neflix and is being covered in the USA Today, she is on the cusp of going mainstream by speaking up for marginalized populations.
I would argue that 50, 30, hell, even 10 years ago she couldn't have the success that she's having today. Gadsby is the recipient of hard fought free speech battles on the left. What bothers me is the attitude that today is the WORST time to be LGBTQIA+. That simply isn't the case. Like there was a magical time in the past and NOW is the dark ages. What's happening now is that you're starting to get some push back from the right on the free speech battles.
Religion also has Freedom of Speech, and many religions consider the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle to be a sin. Don't take it personally, my religion teaches now that I'm "barren" every time I have marital relations, it's a sin. I don't consider it hate speech that my own religion condemns me. If it bothered me, I just wouldn't go anymore. But in a big, big world, there's lots of voices out there, just because the other voices disagree, doesn't make it hate speech.
Yesterday, my kid's favorite artist (Brandon Urie) came out as pansexual and the nation shrugged.
The marginalized have their rights to free speech. What everyone needs to understand is society needs to get along to move forward, even with those you disagree with. It is easy to rule when no one has rights, it's hard to rule when everyone has rights. If the global drought is coming, real Nazis and real Communists will start to return to power through fear. Just because you stopped the Nazis, doesn't mean you've stopped the Communists, and vice versa. Those are the problems that free speech seeks to prevent. When Hannah Gadsby is arrested for her speech, or she is put in a labor camp, then we've got some real problems. I'll be the first one to jump on the FREE HANNAH GADSBY bandwagon. Right now, her comedy is at the mercy of the marketplace. If you want to check it out, great. If you want to ignore it, you have a thousand other options for your entertainment dollar.
As a general rule of thumb, don't look to comedians to solve problems.
"Life sucks, get a helmet."- Dr. Denis Leary
Yeah, it's 4 a.m. I can't sleep, that kid is haunting me.