Thursday, December 14, 2023

Hopefully This Is My Last Post This Year

 About the owl.  Old White Lady.  Ann Althouse.  I find a lot of things about her, and particularly what she says (all I know about her, really,) flat out bananas.  Such as her, as I would call it, pathological drive to defend bozo.  My term for that ex potus running again for that office.  Turns out the part I (really did not) miss is that she gets him!   Seriously lady.  I get you get him.  I don't.  

As a NYC area native, and lifetime North East resident, I have seen his descent over the decades from odious, nouveau riche, mildly white supremacist, to a full blown, toxic narcissist, white supremacist, wanna be dictator.  So I get what he is, even if I don't "get him."

Moving on, she posted something from some article comparing professional comedian Chris Rock to bozo.  Here is what she said:

 "What separates Chris Rock from Donald Trump" — I'd say — is that we are all equally "clued in" to what Chris Rock is doing — because he's plainly and clearly a comedian — and we are differently clued in about Donald Trump. Some of us feel that we get him, and we can deal with the mix of humor and seriousness. It's even quite brilliant. Others hear the odd things as crazy and threatening, and they can't relax and enjoy it. And taking Trump's words seriously makes them useful to his antagonists. He said he'd be a dictator on Day 1! 

You do you, boo.  But.  And I am a snob.  That whole having a Theatre degree, and having had a sho biz career.  I have high standards, and reality TV people are not "talent," to me,  but for in that part of the industry, "talent" is anything or anyone that is critical to the story who is on camera.  A puppet can be the talent. So no, bozo's TV career does not count to me as for making him some kind of entertainer.  So the rule applies.

What is the rule?  Actually, the second part of the rule applies to people who have been paid money specifically to tell jokes (or otherwise do comedy deliberately.)  But the first part is to ask yourself if anyone has ever paid money to you specifically to tell jokes, or other wise do comedy deliberately?  If the answer is no?  Take that as a clue.  Beyond that.  Anyone attempting to do comedy is doing that at their own risk.  Among the risks are:

Just plain failing at it,

Partially failing at it,

Being accused of being mean and hateful,

Generally being misunderstood,

Being misunderstood, by some, but not others.

And whenever you attempt comedy, you should approach it from this default.  It never is someone's fault for not finding you or your act funny.  it is always your fucking fault.

As far as we the people, who don't get bozo are concerned?  Not our fault.  He just isn't broadly funny. He has no real talent for it.  However.  He is capable of the non laudable trick, when and where someone says stupid, mean shit to an audience who doesn't disagree with the attack.  That is not comedy.  That is pandering.  And in the case of bozo, it is a sub, sub flavor.  Own the libs!  If you hate libs, you are the intended audience!

Why back in the day,  when I still watched "The Simpsons,"  there was a bit, that perfectly illustrated that level of not really funny, attempted "humor." Homer is watching something on TV, and something unpleasant happens to the person he is watching on TV.  And Homer says something like:

"Something bad happened to that person I don't like, so it's funny." 

I argue that the writer of that joke has a much better understanding about what is funny, than the owl.

A less judgmental example is the (it once was, at least) funny  Steve Martin plumber's joke.  This is from his stand up, pre movie star days.  He brilliantly illustrated  the absurdity of inside jokes by telling some plumber's joke, where the humor of the punchline was entirely based on the difference between a socket and a sprocket.  That routine dates back to the mid to late 1970s.  And to me, it still has it instructive use.  Inside joke are cheap.  They are not universally funny.  Outside of the inside audience, they fail as jokes.

I think I will end there.  But wait.  There's more!  I will link an essay by someone with better creds than me, on this ballpark of topic.

Don't Punch Down!

From the article.   He doesn't attack the kind of people who get off on that shit, much.  But yeah.  There is something unseemly for people who ape Homer Simpson's delight in watching suffering people suffer.

There’s one rule in comedy so universal that it connects comics of every background, genre and skill level: Never punch down.

These three simple words can be the difference between being a headliner or being hated.

Punching down” is more than being mean, rude, or vulgar. It’s the intentional act of attacking those in powerless positions. Going after the people who are most vulnerable. A specific type of cruelty and cowardice.


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