“Nick Danger has left the office,” the Firesign Theater website says in its tribute to Phil Austin, the comic who voiced that detective. Mr. Austin, who was a founding member of that cheeky underground group, died of an aneurysm on June 18 at his home on Fox Island, Wash., in Puget Sound. He was 74. His wife, Oona, said he had had cancer for months.
It speaks volumes about the current state of news that this sort of level-headed commentary on a complex issue appears on a comedy site.
Anyway, about the article. As per usual on cracked.com articles, they are sprinkled with irrelevance and jokes, but a bit more subdued than typical. It’s very well written, and makes his points on why these “protesters” are jackasses.
If you’re any kind of aware of what’s pissed the Internet off this past week, you probably know that a bunch of gun owners have started tromping around fast food restaurants, openly carrying AK-47s and AR-15s. In Chipotle and Chili’s and other chains across Texas, men and (a few) women have started using firearms as protest signs. Their cause? Defending the sacred right of Americans to treat every day like Tactical Halloween.
The fact that these protests kicked off just days after America’s latest horrific shooting spree may have something to do with the angry backlash these guys experienced. Some of that may have something to do with the fact that the poster boys for the “open carry” movement have an uncanny ability to look utterly absurd while carrying machine guns:
[Image in article]
In addition to prompting Chipotle and Chili’s to ban their gun-toting asses, the members of Open Carry Tarrant County made the national news by harassing Marine veteran James Henry when he recorded one of their rallies. The media treated this story like one more loud, incoherently angry battle between pro- and anti-gun control groups. But I suspected this was something more complex and altogether much, much more stupid.
So I called up Henry and started Googling. Here’s what I learned …
Funny or die. As Fenton told grist.org, the environmental movement doesn’t use popular culture effectively. An experiment designed to prove him wrong is the new Showtime series “Years of Living Dangerously,” whose creators decided it was high time that professionally trained environmental journalists stopped taking “correspondent” jobs away from hard-working celebrities like Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The series is winning praise from environmentalists but may be preaching to the choir; a 2012 study suggests that both Showtime and HBO have audiences already polarized toward polar bears. And if you think the characters on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” sound serious when they warn that “winter is coming,” just flip the channel and listen to Han Solo and the Terminator discussing climate change.
So how can celebrities, journalists, researchers, and others talk about climate change without being so blanking earnest? Here is what we have come to: kittens. Seriously.
Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America’s greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago’s Second City. When we watched his movies - from “Animal House” and “Caddyshack” to “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” - we didn’t just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold’s wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness.
Seriously, this President is one of us.
Have you seen this one?
“Basically I’m here to announce that we’re building Iron Man,” he said, drawing laughs at a White House event. “I’m going to blast off in a second.”
“Not really. Maybe. It’s classified,” he joked.
Knowing what comic books the Prez collects, I know what that suit would look like:
On the off chance that you aren’t already aware of it through our near-constant coverage, Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time is one of our favorite things in the entire universe. The show’s unique combination of action, comedy and surprisingly dark content has won over a legion of fans, and raised plenty of questions. Fortunately, San Diego brought us the chance to sit down with John DiMaggio, Olivia Olson, Jeremy Shada and Tom Kinney to talk about their roles, their interaction with fans, and how they feel about fans mashing up their songs with the work of Jay-Z.
By Glob, I love Adventure Time. It’s completely algebraic!
Lindy West writes:
Last Thursday, I went on FX’s Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and tried to explain rape culture in a few 15-second sound bytes (fun stuff—if you’ve never tried it, RUN-DON’T-WALK).
I was in a debate with comedy vet Jim Norton (who’s been thoughtful and fair throughout this whole thing, so don’t be mean to him), who essentially took the stance that comedy requires absolute freedom in order to function. Comedians joke about difficult issues because it’s a “release of tension” for people uncomfortable with those issues. It’s “catharsis.” No subject should ever be “off limits” and comedians shouldn’t be “silenced.” And anyway, language doesn’t affect culture, so how could rape jokes have an effect on actual rape? Rape is illegal! Everyone hates rape!
Well, that’s the fundamental disconnect between us. I believe that the way we speak about things and the type of media we consume profoundly influences how we think about the world.
Let me be clear: I don’t believe that previously non-raping audience members are going to take to the streets in a rape mob after hearing one rape joke. That’s an absurd and insulting mischaracterization. But I do believe that comedy’s current permissiveness around cavalier, cruel, victim-targeting rape jokes contributes to (that’s contributes—not causes) a culture of young men who don’t understand what it means to take this stuff seriously.
And how did they try and prove me wrong? How did they try to demonstrate that comedy, in general, doesn’t have issues with women? By threatening to rape and kill me, telling me I’m just bitter because I’m too fat to get raped, and suggesting that the debate would have been better if it had just been Jim raping me.
This isn’t just coming from anonymous trolls. Local comics — whom I know and work with — have told me to shut the fuck up. One hopes I’ll fall down a flight of stairs. (He later apologized—to my boyfriend, not me.)
Are rape jokes appropriate? Are Holocaust/slavery/n-word/Jew/Asian/religious jokes appropriate?
As long as they’re funny, yeah they’re appropriate. Mel Brooks does Holocaust jokes, South Park has done rape jokes. But if they are not funny, then they suck. Of course all not-funny jokes suck, but not-funny jokes based on offensive topics suck harder. Daniel Tosh and Sarah Silverman, your jokes are lame and you suck.
I put this in “humor” since it is about comedy and what is appropriate subject matter for comedy, not because I think it is funny.
Once again it is demonstrated that comedy can say things that people don’t like hearing.
Although I’m afraid I didn’t do much laughing,