Sunday, May 7, 2017

The FCC, Stephen Colbert's "cock holster" joke, and taking offense

Oh, where to start here?

Apparently, everyone now hates Stephen Colbert.  Conservatives hate him because he picks on Dear Leader.  A segment of the left hates him because the particular form of a joke he made was "homophobic" (Trump's mouth is only fit to be Putin's "cock holster").  The FCC is going after him because that joke may have crossed some imaginary line that "society" has deemed uncrossable because the precious, little fucking snowflakes of America are horribly, horribly wounded if they ever hear anything through their precious, little earholes that doesn't comport with their delicate sensibilities.

I have had my own... problems over the years with people who don't share my view of language.  I will never use racial slurs, or anything of the kind.  Why not?  Because I'm not a fucking racist.  A racial slur is an attack on an entire group of people based on racial stereotypes with a threat either implied or sometimes made explicit.  There are times in comedy when a slur can be used.  The n-word got used in Blazing Saddles, and it was both appropriate and funny.  Co-written by Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor, yeah, they can do that.  But I'm not gonna use racial slurs.  But, fuck yeah, I'll say, "fuck" all I fucking well please because nobody has ever been able to present me with a similarly compelling reason not to do so.  And when people have tried, I have often told them to go fuck themselves since their reasoning always fell back on "because society says so," which I don't find compelling.

I also have a very dark sense of humor, and tell jokes that many people think cross the line of good taste, whatever that means.  Every semester, at some point, I look across the faces of my students and ask, "was that the most offensive joke I've told all semester?"  The students agree that, yes, that one was the most cold-blooded, heartless, tasteless and all-around off-putting thing I have said.

From now on, I'm going to write down these jokes for a cross-semester comparison.  I would like a written record, for my own benefit.  I'm going to see if I can up my game from semester to semester.  One needs to set goals for one's self.

Let's get into this, though.  If you're reading this pretentious, little blog, you already know what I think of "profanity."  In short, I fucking love it.  I was raised on George Carlin!  Let's start with the FCC and rules on "decency."  Note the quotation marks, because I don't buy this despicable fucking bullshit.

Yeah, I use a lot of words derived from the Germanic.  "Shit," for example is rooted in Germanic.  "Feces," in contrast, is rooted in Latin.  "Shit" is the "obscene" word, whereas "feces" is the "scientific" word.

THAT IS NOT A FUCKING COINCIDENCE!  That is exactly how the history of language worked.  English came about as a hybrid of Germanic and Latin-rooted languages, which is why it is such a fucking mess.  However, Latin was the language that the upper-class learned.  The rabble?  Nope.  No school for them.  Now, combine that with taboos on bodily functions and sexuality and you've got a problem.  You can't purge the language entirely of all references to these things, 'cuz, well, you gotta reference 'em, but the upper-class wanted to distinguish themselves from the lower-class.  They did it by using the Latin-based terms, which the lower-class never learned.  So, "shit" becomes a lower-class identifier because the lower-class never learns Latin, and doesn't pick up the highfalutin versions of the concepts that everyone will, at some point, need to reference.  Over time, the taboo turns into an absolute societal ban on the word, rooted in economic class.

"Fuck."  Germanic.  "Cunt."  Germanic.  There's your big three in terms of taboo words that aren't racial slurs.  "Vulgarity" exists in other languages, of course, but within English, avoiding it is generally about economic class and talking like a rich person when using a synonym for the same damned concept (and trying to find a highfalutin word for a bodily function or something having to do with sex).

Now, what does this have to do with taking offense?  If you are offended by one of the taboo words, you are offended only because people told you that you are supposed to get offended.  "Shit" and "feces" are synonyms.  Period.  If you are offended by one and not the other, it is because you were told to get offended by one of them, and like a mindless fucking automaton, you have done so.  If so, something is very wrong with your thought processes.

And that brings us to the general concept of taking offense, because Colbert's "offense" wasn't precisely the Germanic word in his joke, although "cock," as used here, is probably rooted in Germanic.  The etymology of "cock" as a word for penis isn't clear (fortunately, I need to use a VPN to search the Oxford English Dictionary anyway...), but it is probably Germanic.  Still, Colbert is getting DP-ed here* only partly because of that.  He made a joke that Trumpists don't like because they can't take jokes about Dear Leader any more than he can take jokes about himself (which is, obviously, not at all).  So, they focus on the word, "cock," feigning injury as a way to get at the guy ripping into their hero.  Then, you've got a smaller cadre of lefties who don't like the joke because they don't actually have a real sense of humor.  They like to laugh at their enemies, but there's nothing certain lefties like more than policing one of their own for violations of political correctness.

Let's be clear here-- this isn't all of the left, but do a quick search for "Stephen Colbert homophobic joke," and you'll get a bunch of stuff because there is a segment of the left whining about the "cock holster" joke claiming homophobia.

Yup, we're getting into Trump's attacks now.  Trump is a racist, misogynistic piece of fucking shit.  When called on it, he derides the criticism as "political correctness," and the problem with what's going on with Colbert now is that it lends credence to Trump because the left is so concerned with policing its own side for any minor violation of their rules that for someone not paying close attention, it really would be credible to conclude that any given attack on Trump is just a bunch of precious little fucking snowflakes who can't take a joke because... well... there are people on the left who can't take a fucking joke.

Otherwise, they wouldn't be going after one of their own-- namely, Stephen Fucking Colbert.  He told a joke.  A quick perusal of Stephen Colbert's record of jokes on LGBTQ issues shows that he is very staunchly on the side of the LGBTQ community.  One of his regular bits on The Colbert Report was to pretend to be an anti-gay social conservative, and then drool over shirtless photos of Matthew McConaughey.  The implication?  Anti-gay social conservatives, like the character he was playing, are just in the closet and in denial.  This was a regular thing for him, and that's just a small piece of his record.  Go through the guy's record.  Anyone offended by the cock holster joke-- he's on your fucking side!  If you can't take that kind of joke, then you are exactly what gives Trump the credence to make the comments he does about political correctness to get away with his actual racist, misogynistic vileness.

And this isn't even the first time for Colbert.  Back when he was doing The Colbert Report, he had a bit making fun of racism and how racists would do fake, pseudo-apologies.  The trouble is, how do you do that without making the racist comment first?  Colbert did it brilliantly.  He would never do the racist bit in the first place.  He would pretend that the bit had happened, and then just do the fake apology.  So, he pretended that he had a character he did-- Ching Chong Ding Dong-- a really offensive Chinese stereotype.  He would never actually do a bit as Ching Chong Ding Dong.  Instead, he would pretend that he had done the character (and pre-record something as CCDD), and then on the show, do an apology for the bit that never actually aired in the first place.  Brilliant!  That way, he gets to make fun of fake apologies without having to put on a racist bit, unaccompanied by the apology.  The all-time best?  Making fun of the Washington Redskins not changing their name, and the owner creating a charity with the name, "Redskins" in it.  Colbert pretended to create the "Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation For Sensitivity To Orientals, Or, Whatever" as an apology for an un-aired bit.

Some precious little fucking snowflake idiot caught wind of the "Foundation" without checking into the full bit and started a "cancel Colbert" effort because she thought he was racist, without realizing that the whole thing was making fun of racists and their pseudo-apologies.  And she didn't back down when she found out what the joke was.

Then, there's Ani DiFranco.  Great musician.  She wanted to put together a music camp thing.  She lives in New Orleans.  Everything near New Orleans has some connection to slavery.  It's the fucking South.  Someone complained about the location.  She decided to add an event about songwriting to deal with issues of social injustice.  She's Ani Fucking DiFranco!  That still didn't satisfy the precious, little snowflakes who forced her to cancel the event.

This is a normal thing with a segment of the left.  When they go after people like Stephen Colbert and Ani DiFranco because they are so interested in policing their own allies, they don't even know what their goals are.

As I have said many times before, my real heroes are people like George Carlin and Frank Zappa.  Colbert told a joke.  That's it.  Rant over.  People should stop worrying about their precious, little earholes, but I'll leave you with this today.





*No, I'm not apologizing for this.  Like Colbert's line, it's a joke.

2 comments:

  1. *Yes, but it's not a very good joke. (Yours, not Colbert's. His is good)

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    Replies
    1. 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiuiM4cn-2Y
      2. I write these over my morning coffee, unlike Colbert and his staff, so either pay me or bite me
      3. Gotta disagree, and it isn't just that I don't pay any attention to Colbert anymore. I just didn't think the cock holster line was funny. Haven't we heard enough Trump-blows-Putin jokes by now? Lazy joke.

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