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Rape is a cultural phenomenon. Standup is at its best when it deals frankly and honestly with people and the things they do. I'm not really a huge fan of Daniel Tosh; his standup is arrogant and his show is america's funniest home videos plus swearing, but, like every other comic, he is actually performing a service by forcing us to explore these things that make us uncomfortable. I'll always be a firm believer that a comic's job is to make us think, and that making us laugh is a means to that end. This article, the "How to Make a Rape Joke" that you link to, all of the discussion caused by a single off-handed comment while dealing with a heckler (something that comics have to do all the time. Imagine if, while you were writing this article, a few thousand people were allowed to shout editing suggestions at you, and most of them had been drinking.). Rape jokes don't make rape acceptable. They only exist because rape is horrible and unacceptable. What they do is force us to think about the ways we deal with rape as a society.
You seem to believe that since you can't make certain types of humor illegal, you need to at least make sure people feel bad for laughing. I'm reminded of Jim Jeffries talking about, I believe terminally ill suicide bombers as a more efficient way of killing people. He gets heckled by someone who decided that, much like the woman at Tosh's show, they are the final authority on what is "edgy humor" versus what is "over the line". Jim takes a moment to explain to her that this terminally ill suicide bomber only exists in their collective heads, much like the rapists you're railing against. If you are uncomfortable talking about this, that is your issue, not ours.This is standup, and we are adults. Sacred cow is best served medium-rare.
2 years, 8 months ago on Rape, Still Not Funny