The rules for comedy haven’t changed. Comedy punches up. Mean spiritedness punches down. Mocking the powerful is a normal part of comedy. But if you can’t mock the powerful, there’s a problem.

The rules for comedy haven’t changed. Comedy punches up. Mean spiritedness punches down.

Mocking the powerful is a normal part of comedy. But if you can’t mock the powerful, there’s a problem.

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George Carlin’s take is wise. He’s specifically referring to a comedian at the time known as Andrew Dice Clay but it generalizes to all “edgy comedy” (see: any Netflix special named TRIGGERED). From 1990.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8yV8xUorQ8
 
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  New school administration. New parents with new kids. School is constantly doing the same things over and over again because it’s always new people doing the same things over and over again. It’s new to them.
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  It’s not history. It’s a work of fiction among many other possible choices. What makes this book special over others?
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  I am kidding, yes. But I bring up that point because that’s so often the defense for the banning when it happens.
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 My nephew’s in theatre (9th grade). Their latest “block” I think it’s called was to do a couple of scenes from “Of Mice and Men”.He was thrilled to get Curley – or maybe it was Curley’s wife, I don’t remember, because he got to say the funny word.

That’s about the extent of his depth with it. But I do what I can to fill in the gaps now and again. My Of Mice and Men Summary is: “The American Dream is a lie” because that’s the shortest possible summary you can do of it.

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  They did a reading yesterday that was so terrible the theater teacher called them into a back room, shut the door, and let them know just how badly they did . Thankfully, my nephew’s part didn’t come up yet so he got to enjoy others getting yelled at.

The main offender was the guy doing the sad thing with shooting the dog. They used a stuffed Elmo and the kid just couldn’t say his lines straight without snickering. Calling up deep emotion while looking at a stuffed Elmo doll is probably not an easy thing for a teenager to do ,so I’d cut a little slack myself.

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