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noname223

Illuminated
Aug 18, 2020
3,764
Today I watched an old clip of a comedy show. It was rounabout 20 years old. The host of the comedy show said something which is very offending for a certain minority. I think I rather keep silent about which he talked. Even 20 years before the things he said were seen as very offending.
The people in the audience laughed loud. The Youtube comments praised him. How brave he was. And that today he would not survive doing that. (I think the person alluded to getting cancelled.)

I asked myself how to start my thoughts on it. Maybe with the observation of a paradox. In the US freedom of speech legally is a more important value than in my country. In my country if you deny Holocaust you might go to prison for it, or at least you get a big fine. There is a new court decision that if you insult a politican online you get very high fines. They already did some raides to show they take it seriously.
However in the US if you say something offending there are often bigger societal punishments than in my country. So societal there are bigger consequences like losing your job.

Personally I think the situation in my country is less toxic than in the US. Legally there are more constraints but societal the punishment some would call it the cancelling is less.

I think in the US many companies want to be seen as culturally progressive. In order to hide their capitalistic greed. I think experts say the development of the US will be future for my own country. At least when we talk about the societal punishment for saying offending things.


I think I am ambivalent when I think about it. Sometimes a politically incorrect joke can include certain wisdom. They can expose hypocrisy and unmask social problems. On the other hand I have the feeling many people don't think about this deep meaning of the joke. "The wrong people" laugh about the joke.
I think this is a common problem with policitally incorrect jokes. Often the peole laugh for the wrong reasons. Sometimes such a joke is meant to be thought provoking. Why am I laughing about this? Is this really morally right? I listened to a German speaking very controversial political incorret comedian. And she said this is not her problem who laughs about her jokes and for which reasons. I don't think she is either an anti-semite or racist even though her jokes are often kind of offending. She makes jokes about all kind of minorities. I think some jokes are not really thought through well. But I think she does not wan to harm the minorites. But in fact she might contribute to that. Some racists appreciate her jokes. And praise her.

The personal hypocrisy which I felt when I listened to her was the following. She has a child. She seems to be a loving mother. Let's say it had autism. Would she still make jokes about autistic people. (Don't know if she really makes jokes about autists). I had the feeling her family is pretty precious for her. And if someone made jokes about her on this topic I think she would be offened herself.

Personally I like if such a joke really contains a certain moral. Then I am also fine with politcial incorrect jokes. But often/sometimes they are shallow and they just should offend people, be as controversial as possible so that they get attention. Nowadays attention is more or less equal money.

I don't like controversial jokes if they are just for the sake of offending people. You can read so much of that on social media. But sometimes they can show social grievances.
Now one could debate if it was okay to hurt someone for the sake of making a deeper point. Many people would probably say words hurt in general. We have so different world views there is no way around of hurting other people. Others would reply but some people have the sole intention to hurt people and they defend themselves behind freedom of speech.

What do you think about that?
 
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W

waitingforrest

Elementalist
Dec 27, 2021
845
I myself think a good comedian is one that is able to write jokes that make people laugh with each other and not at, as well as being able to take said jokes made about them well themselves. When you make jokes, you should be able to take said jokes back. (My opinion)

Jokes that are somewhat morally ambiguous can be amusing, the problem is when bigots take a joke that is meant to not be taken seriously and internalize it into their own beliefs, not realizing the foundation of the joke is a exaggeration about how incorrect it is, incorrect being the key part.

I think with freedom of speech, you can say anything as you wish, but it doesn't defend you from how people react to it. There is a point to where in tolerating intolerance becomes the death of tolerance itself.
 
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Nolan96

Nolan96

Mage
Feb 12, 2022
506
It's obviously in danger and fucking depressing.

If it's true that Germany has more government censorship but less corporate censorship/vigilante harassment, that sounds like a tradeoff I'd be willing to make. America really is fucking toxic.

Your views are pretty politically correct though. And you've admit to being a bit of a good Prussian devotee to the establishment institutions of your country, so I'm not sure if you're a reliable source about this. (I hope this isn't a sore point for you. It didn't seem to be. If so, I'm sorry and don't mean to disparage you, since you've always been fairly nice to me.)
 
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GreyCTB

GreyCTB

Student
Aug 26, 2022
102
I think so. Often times I cannot even say what I want to say online without having to fear being cancelled, even if it's not meant to be offensive. Maybe in 10 years from now you will not be allowed to deny mainstream consensus. It's already taking place online with platforms banning anti-lgbt speech, anti-vaccine speech, etc. It does not need many more steps before legislation can get passed through where freedom of speech will be limited.

I think we need to take a step back and restructure society instead of banning certain opinions. People should be taught in school on how to form their own opinion and find correct information, rather than telling them what to believe and what not to believe. And society should be made a place where people are incentivised to be kind to each other.
 
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GrumpyFrog

GrumpyFrog

Exhausted
Aug 23, 2020
1,913
This is a really complicated topic of discussion. I find it hard to process in the context of comedians because I don't "get" standup comedy in general, my understanding of it makes me think of that scene in "Joker" where the protagonist was watching standup and trying to analyze the jokes and imitate them, to a horrendous result. I think it is a complicated matter, because on one hand it should be understood that when someone is making a joke things they say shouldn't be taken at a face value by definition, and are expected to be an extreme hyperbole and a generalisation for the sake of comedic effect. Most people don't go to standup shows or turn on a comedy movie/TV show to explore their ethical beliefs, they understand that they are dealing with comedic exaggerations. But on the other hand, words can hurt and comedy does have a potential for letting people say and do really mean-spirited things for their own amusement and then hide behind "oh, but that was just a joke!" - remember the infestation of the horrendous "dude, it's a prank!" genre on YouTube a few years ago, that contained all kinds of horrible crap, from sexual harassment to child abuse, under the guise of "harmless funny content made for the lulz". So, I think there should be a limit to comedy and freedom of speech where the "jokester" is held accountable for their words and actions if they are really mean-spirited.

I think the fundamental problem is that the current approach comes to limiting subjects of the jokes and the circle of "potential targets", so it is not okay to make ANY jokes about minorities, but if you go out there and laugh at the expense of "acceptable targets", for example, the majority - you can make extremely mean-spirited jokes and will probably even get praised for it. I do not believe it is healthy and I hope our society will grow out of this phase of overcompensating for past discrimination at some point. I think the limits of comedy shouldn't be about who or what is okay or not okay to make a subject of your joke, but about what kind of jokes you're making and whether you're putting minimal effort into being careful with really sensitive subjects, or if you're deliberately trying to make your jokes hurt. Oh, and also it is problematic when a comedian makes a significant percentage of their jokes at the expense of a singular social group, unless that's self-irony, that would be quite hostile. But that's not rocket science, I think I even saw this profound idea explored in a Spongebob episode at some point.
 
Unhirable

Unhirable

Proud member of the FBI and CIA.
Sep 14, 2022
109
It never even existed.
 
makethepainstop

makethepainstop

Visionary
Sep 16, 2022
2,030
Oh we have some type of thought police, yes we do. Try creating a forum with an unpopular subject. Better still some forums will not allow you to speak your mind, because someone's Little feelings might get hurt. God I remember when people had some scales on em. They didn't cry like little girls at every perceived slight. No matter who you are someone will hate you. It's just human nature.
 
Angst Filled Fuck Up

Angst Filled Fuck Up

Visionary
Sep 9, 2018
2,510
Freedom of speech doesn't mean what a lot of people think it does. If there's cultural pressure to not say something offensive, that's different from not having freedom of speech. North Korea's probably the only place where people legitimately don't have it.
 
J

Julgran

-
Dec 15, 2021
1,429
Freedom of speech doesn't mean what a lot of people think it does. If there's cultural pressure to not say something offensive, that's different from not having freedom of speech. North Korea's probably the only place where people legitimately don't have it.

The Canadian trucker protesters, and also the anti-vaxers, beg to differ.
 
synthcadia

synthcadia

dissociated angel.
Jul 8, 2023
154
Freedom of speech doesn't mean what a lot of people think it does. If there's cultural pressure to not say something offensive, that's different from not having freedom of speech. North Korea's probably the only place where people legitimately don't have it.
other countries: china, iran, afghanistan, pretty much any authoritarian country.

in america, i do the freedom of speech is threatened in 2 ways. 1) promotion of discrimination or discrimination being allowed because of the 1st amendment. (recent supreme court case.) 2) the removal of topics in school and whitewashing of history, and preventing certain things to be taught in school.

maybe that doesnā€™t necessarily count but thatā€™s how it starts, right? a bit of censorship, and then it grows.
 
K

kevinj430

Member
Sep 9, 2023
24
1984 is a great book with room 101 about the topic
 
Jezzibell

Jezzibell

On my way out. Yayyyyy
Apr 21, 2023
668
Thought police = society. Cancel culture and snowflakes