Thursday, November 04, 2021

When Comedians Push Back

When I see leadership like this against the authoritarian idiocy that is cancel culture, part of me truly wishes comedians had an official role in government — with the force of law — as Speech Police. 

Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Burr, John Cleese and more on Cancel Culture:

There should be no need for such a thing, of course — but since we already have an unelected de facto Speech Police in the form of the many people dividing words and thoughts into categories they helpfully designate as Approved and Unapproved, serving as judge, jury, and executioner — the only people I trust to lead us right now are comedians.

And no, I’m not kidding. What other group of people insists on the freedom to criticize everyone? Whose livelihood depends on it? Whose values are consistent with the intent of our Bill of Rights, and understand that the only way to counter speech you don’t like is more speech?

Comedians, that’s who. Are there others? I literally cannot think of anyone else.

John Cleese says in this video that “all comedy is critical” and he’s exactly right. It’s part of the deal and assumes the audience is tough enough to laugh at themselves. Societies that adopt “that’s not funny” as their official motto are on the road to authoritarianism. 

Comedians are the canary in the coal mine for freedom of expression, and today that trend is not up. 

Americans are far too casual with their hard-won freedoms — they don’t appreciate them enough or understand what life would be like without them. The best time to recognize and respond to threats is yesterday, and the next best time is right now.