Thursday, March 21, 2019

James Gunn's sense of humor back in the day

Ricky Gervais tells a naughty joke:


Self-test: did you laugh, or were you too horrified to laugh? Further question: why hasn't this video been removed by YouTube? This is exactly the style of joke that James Gunn trafficked in ten years ago, when he was trying to be, as he put it, "edgy." Given how in-lockstep the big online platforms and movie studios are these days, you'd think YouTube would view Gervais's joke with the same distaste that Disney reserved for Gunn's sense of humor. Gunn got fired by Disney (so they say); Gervais gets away scot-free? Either Gunn should never have been fired, or Gervais ought to have been banned from YouTube. Guess which way I'm voting.

As I mentioned when writing about Gunn and his twisted humor, I had a laugh when I read his old tweets. They were nasty and transgressive; you can't get much more transgressive than "pedo" humor. The dirtiest joke I ever heard, told to me by my old buddy John of the now-defunct blog The Nameless Blog, was also a species of pedo humor. So of course I laughed at Gervais's joke. Does this make me fond of (a fondler of) little children? Not on your life. Intelligent people with a sense of humor know the difference between jokes/fantasies and reality, which is why I can laugh at a joke about an exploding puppy while recoiling in horror at a video of a real puppy being hurt in some way.

As something close to a free-speech absolutist, I affirm everyone's right both to have a sense of humor and to share it with others. Free speech means, by the way, that you don't have a legal right to be offended. In some vague, abstract, cosmic sense, you certainly have the right to react however you want to any joke you hear, but this doesn't mean you can legally repress such humor in a public space. Be as repressive as you want in private.



1 comment:

John John McCrarey said...

Well, I laughed. I didn't see the punchline coming, or cumming as it were.

Yep, one of the saddest aspects of life in the USA today is that much of the left has lost its sense of humor. Want surprise me to see them go all Lenny Bruce and start locking people up for words they use (that's already happening in the UK if you "misgender" someone). A bunch of fuckin' prudes!