Career ending tweets have become a thing in 2018. It began with Rosanne in May who wrote an offensive tweet toward Valerie Jarret a former Obama official comparing her looks to that of an ape. In July, James Gunn the Guardians of the Galaxy director was discovered to have made jokes about rape and pedophilia on his twitter back in 2011.
I’m not defending James Gunn’s humor or the vulgar and bad jokes that he made. I’m not going to defend a bad joke. Some jokes aren’t funny to me, but that doesn’t mean I have the right to tell others what they are allowed to laugh at. Humor doesn’t end with where my humor ends.
If people are not allowed to make offensive jokes or say offensive things then how are we going to learn and grow up? How do people learn what is right without going through the bad ideas that allow them to get to the right ones? How do you find what is culturally or comically acceptable if you don’t say something that you regret?
Some things, of course, don’t follow this logic. Murdering someone is out-of-bounds; it’s unforgivable, and there is no coming back from that. The same logic follows with other vicious crimes like rape. There is no coming back from that, and you deserve to be buried under the prison.
Threatening someone’s life goes too far. The Law’s in the United States protect against these kinds of things to make sure that people can do whatever they want and to make any mistake they want unless their mistake imposes on the rights of another person.
A bad joke doesn’t impose on the right of another person. A joke can’t harm, and will never harm anyone. You can cross all the lines that are governing society in the attempt to make a joke. The government can’t come after you for making a joke about 9/11, rape or anything else.
There are of course other things that prevent people from making the jokes they want. If your boss doesn’t like your humor he can fire you. If you’re a celebrity on Twitter you should watch out, because everything you say will be used against you in the court of social justice.
Even though private companies have the right to fire someone over their speech I still have a problem with it. Of course, a company’s goal is its bottom line, and with that being the truth it would make sense for Disney to fire both James Gunn and Rosanne.
The Pareto distribution accurately predicted the result of freedom and capitalism; according to this economic law 20% of the people will end up owning 80% of the market. Prices Law goes even farther and predicts that the majority of people end up at the bottom. With this being the case in almost every industry, including media, and with the consolidation of media. There may come a day when just having a different opinion and sharing it on your social media page can lead you to get fired. All of a sudden you have no voice on the internet because a couple of companies decided your ideas were too extreme for everyone else to hear. Then the line of what goes too far decreases, and decreases, and decreases.
I don’t believe that the government should force Disney to re-hire James Gunn and Rosanne. There is just something inherently wrong with assuming that people are bad (and then firing them for it) just based on a couple of things they said when they are not at work. Everyone has said things that they don’t mean, and we are all guilty of saying something absolutely vulgar. These mistakes are being taken away in favor of a mob that is small, but louder than everyone else around them.
I do have a problem with the mob going after people based only on their political opinions. Even though the company has the right to make that choice in firing Rosanne or James Gunn, there is something that’s instinctively wrong with pushing for more people to get fired over jokes, because in all honesty they are jokes.
Mike Cernovich is the man who went through James Gunn’s tweets and found out that he made these distasteful jokes. This is where the line was crossed in my opinion, because not only did Cernovich share to the world what James Gunn originally shared with the world. He never mentioned James Gunn apologized for these tweets in the past. Instead, Cernovich acted in bad faith and made the crazy claim that those jokes were based on truth and suggested Gunn was guilty of committing sexual acts on kids (he believes there’s truth to the humor). He claimed in the video which is in the link below that Gunn is admitting to this by writing a tweet.
At the same time when President Trump made the comments a couple of years ago that he walks up to women and grabs them by the pussy, it was just a joke in Cernovich’s eyes, while the left took those comments seriously. In both cases they are jokes and the comments mean nothing because there is no proof that either man committed an act of violence against women or children.
Can a joke go too far?
Obviously, a joke can go too far to some individuals. The kind of joke you can take depends on the sense of humor you have. Some people have an offensive sense of humor to the point that they see nothing wrong in making a joke about 9/11 or any other sensitive situation. To some, a joke making fun of fat people is beyond freedom of speech and is considered hate speech.
When people are afraid to make jokes, or someone makes the claim that a joke is going too far then there is a tyrannical element inside the system. There is something rotten in the state of Denmark. A comedian is the last person that should be attacked. College campuses are killing comedy in the name of an authoritarian political correct belief that some things shouldn’t be said.
Jerry Seinfeld who is one of the tamest comedians to ever live, and he won’t go on college campuses, because what he calls “an authoritarian PC culture” that is offended by the smallest of jokes and takes them as statements instead of something that was in jest.
Campuses have fought to make sure that comedians like Bill Maher and Bo Burnham are not allowed. This is not healthy. If you can’t understand the difference between a joke and a statement then you’re the problem; not the comedian.
Comedians like Owen Benjamin have been shunned by the industry for having opinions of his own, and for being too politically incorrect. The political correctness that’s plaguing college campuses is slowly making its way into comedy, and that’s not the only example.
Political Correctness from the Left and the Right:
Political correctness exists on both the left and the right. The left has been more repressive recently with their attacks on freedom of speech in the name of political correctness, and it depends on who makes the joke. If you’re a white male then the number of jokes you can make stretches to a Seinfeld special. Conservatives are becoming politically correct depending on who makes the joke.
James Gunn made sexual jokes about children in 2011; they are in poor taste, but some conservatives claimed that these jokes should be regulated because they believe that he actually did do things to children. The truth is that there is no proof that he did anything, and a joke doesn’t correlate to actions.
The same thing exists for Trump. There is no proof he grabbed women by the pussy.
Tracy Morgan made a joke in his set in 2013 that he if he had a gay son that he would stab him. Morgan apologized for the joke. Any thinking person knows that Morgan wouldn’t actually do that and that it’s a comedy show.
The right chooses to censor people based on their political opinions, and if a person attacks religion. The left chooses to censor people based on their political spectrum, and the color of that person’s skin, and their gender.
Either all jokes are okay or none of them are okay. Either we accept that people have a different sense of humor some of which are worse. Or we continue to shut down people and fire them over the jokes that the mob doesn’t approve of.
The future of comedy relies on one thing, and one thing only; people understanding that there are differences between jokes and statements, and that comedy is needed because it’s the best way to find what is wrong in society. Comedians are like Journalists in that they show what is wrong with society, and sometimes they stumble across some dark truths.