Right No Longer Laughing: The Real Big Switch Part 1

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right no longer laughing

Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Never has this been truer than in the dichotomy of Left/Right politics. Especially now that pundits on the American Right have taken to adopting a tactic that’s been recognized as belonging to the American Left for the past decade: targeting people’s jobs to silence political opponents.

OAN Correspondent Jack Posobiec and controversial journalist Mike Cernovich went on to target Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn for offensive jokes he had made in the past. Most of the jokes are from as far back as 8 years ago. The majority of the jokes are about Gunn committing pedophilic acts. Now, looking through the tweets, I personally don’t find anything funny about them. The topic is one where if you’re going to joke about it, you’d better be damn funny, or the result may be dire.

Here’s the catch. James Gunn was making a film for Marvel, who are owned by Disney. Disney also owns ABC, which recently fired Roseanne Barr for a racially charged joke. In New York Hip Hop Culture there’s a phrase, “Keep That Same Energy”, and Disney followed through here. They could not ignore Jame Gunn’s tweets after having just let go of Roseanne, especially when Gunn has many tweets compared to Barr’s singular tweet. Jack Posobiec claims that there are “10,000” Jokes”.

Now I bring this story to you not to show that the Right is becoming the social media joke police. That’s just the swaying back and forth of bilateral political hypocrisy that’s exhibited by political pundits, something with a decades-long history of happening. I bring this story to start a discussion. I’m personally not for calling for the termination of someone for a joke that offends me. I think it’s weak to destroy something or someone you don’t like when it takes more energy to do so versus ignoring them. Its why all forms of social media come with ways to block and mute undesirables. At the same time, I am all for a private company choosing to protect itself from association with ideas they don’t want to be attached to.

Be that as it may, I’m personally troubled that not too long ago, the American Right or at least some portions of it were championing the fight against targeting people’s jobs as a form of censorship. They instead preached about the need for people to either ignore the asinine behavior or confront an opposing idea with proper critique. That is something I still genuinely believe.

It seems that at least some actors have decided to become their enemy. In doing so they participate in the continual fight of Right V. Left by using the same tactics and expecting their wins to mean anything when they get angry with the “enemy team” for doing the same to them. It’s like a game where 2 teams play by the same rules but then cry to the referee for playing by the rules they set. What will change doing this? If you guessed nothing, you’re on the mark.

Now when it comes to dark and offensive jokes, I am a huge fan as a familiar name on this website can attest to. I’d throw Bill Hicks, the late Patrice O’Neal and Doug Stanhope as some of my favourite comedians of all time. In fact, Patrice O’Neal said something in a Fox News interview that stuck with me to this day. “Funny jokes and unfunny jokes come out of the same birth.” What he meant by that is that a joke is made with the attempt to entice humor, not to be a general statement.

This is why I’m not a fan of using someone’s offensive jokes to target their career in a negative manner. Especially in this case where it comes off solely as a political attack with very low merit. It also makes people like Jack Posobiec and Mike Cernovich no different than those on the American Left that do the same to actors who tangentially make good targets for pundits to go after.

Now, something interesting is going on. Many American Celebrities that have been seen publicly shaming others for very offensive humor are now defending such humor. It’s not to say that the Left side of the aisle has never defended or made offensive comedy. The Overton Lens may be shifting, as is has before, when it comes to which political pundits are the joke police and which ones are the much needed dark jesters of our times. I’ll speak more about that aspect of the situation soon.

You can read more by Malcolm on Think Liberty here.