July 16, 2012
I’ve Had Enough Of You People
I have done my best to ignore all the online arguments concerning the “Tosh situation.” In my opinion, it’s the complete opposite of a situation and warrants nothing more than passing remarks from those who were at the show in question. Yet the longer this gets drawn out, the more I find myself physically shaking with anger. Normally I would refrain from writing anything on a subject that has me so worked up, but as you can see this time I found it impossible not to say something.
I should make it clear that I am in no way referring to the comments of those outside the comedy world. If I spent my days pissed off about what squares say and do I wouldn’t have time for anything else. My concern is with those who are working comics, and who appear to have no idea on how our industry actually works.
In the interest of time, I’ll just go ahead and point out that I don’t give a shit what Tosh said. I don’t care about his words anymore than I cared about what Tracy Morgan said or any other mystical controversy conjured up by a weak gene’d idiot with a keyboard. What I do care about, are the comments of their so-called peers. Peers who made public statements against comedians using comments about how hurtful the words were, how the joke in question made them feel, and what is and isn’t acceptable.
Again, to save a bit of time I’ll comment on everything at once and say to all of you,
GO FUCK YOURSELVES.
No one says anything that effects your feelings unless you allow it. You choose how to feel. You choose how to react. You choose to be offended. Words are not instigators, and their context is irrelevant because once they are spoken no one cares about why. As a comedian if you don’t understand these things, then you don’t belong.
You include yourself in the industry that you are either too lazy to study, or too stupid to understand the significance of the struggles of those before you. Ten years after Lenny Bruce’s last arrest George Carlin was arrested for a bit that contained the word “Motherfucker.” A man was put behind bars for using a word that today rests comfortably in the vocabulary of most English speakers over the age of eight. As you read the previous sentence, you may have thought to yourself that you don’t find the word Motherfucker offensive. If you’re a comic, the thought shouldn’t even enter your mind. You should have no opinion of the offensiveness of other people’s words because unless they are in your act they are none of your business.
The people you see fit to “publicly” judge are not elected officials. They aren’t corporate management of publicly traded companies and they don’t parent your children. They are artists, and what they say during any performance is art simply because they deem it so. Artists deserve support from their peers, not judgement. The market alone judges the mainstream success of an artist. When crowds stop buying tickets the artist will adapt, fade away, or be relegated to the streets where most of you wouldn’t care about them anyway. Feel free to test my theory by asking Stanhope to give you a list of places he can’t sell tickets. Have a few old timers explain how hard it was for Hicks to find support in the US when he was a rockstar in the UK. Drive to Alabama and drop a few jokes about Baptists or Republicans and then ask for a rebooking.
While not every comedian will earn your support, simply being in the game with you makes them deserving of your respect. Forgetting that for even a second is nothing less than spitting in the face of those who came before you, and poisonous to the futures of those that will come after.