Dear People Who Can’t Take a JOKE!
This one is for all the people out there who can’t take a joke. Share if you know that person! Comment below with your angry messages if you ARE that person! I’d love the opportunity to not care 😉
Welcome to the New America. Dubbed ‘God’s Comic’ by the New Yorker, for 16-years, Brad Stine has been the comedic trailblazer of politically incorrect, Christian and Conservative comedy. His new show, ‘Brad Stine Has Issues’, covers cultural issues with his signature brand of comedic sarcasm and satire with insight that will be appreciated by everyone who loves laughter, liberty, and the freedom to tell the truth without fear.
Why is joking about people important? How else would we be able to tell we are better than them! Not funny? C’mon in and find out!
Let me ask you a question: What kind of a country would you prefer to live in – A society where no one gets their feelings hurt, no one is joked about, and no one ever has to learn to not take a joke personally; so as to not live by feelings but instead by taking turns laughing at our unique idiosyncrasies? Or, would you prefer a country that guarantees you free speech, no matter what that might entail; but the trade off is people will have to be able to take turns being the punchline of a joke?
By the way, I want to make clear that even though I want there to be no topic off limits in speech, that doesn’t mean to say I don’t believe there is inappropriate or hurtful speech and jokes. There are. But, there is a difference between a “joke” that is malicious and ad hominem – “you’re ugly” – and a joke equalizing differences.
Let me give an example from a stand up routine I performed a while back…
So now ask yourself: How did you interpret that joke? Because it provoked you to feel something based on how you have been trained to interpret a joke. You either found it funny in context, or found it demeaning and off limits and should be censored.
I did a joke that included a fictional armless individual which meant if they were offended at least they “can’t hit” me. Some of you might have interpreted that joke as trivializing and demeaning a disability, others see it as empowering by joking about a physical reality in the exact same manner as someone without the disability, thus being egalitarian in your jesting.
So, what topic should be off limits when it comes to a stand-up comedy joke?
The answer is: Do you want to live in a free society that treasures liberty, free speech and free thought as well as the right to live out these ideas in public and private without fear of government intrusion? Or do you want a society of laws that dictate what you can say, what words you can use, what is acceptable behavior and what is forbidden to think, feel and act upon?
Most people would say they prefer the former. Yet, when pressed as to should there be limitations on what people can say, they often will amend their preference to include, “…but we can’t go around hurting people’s feelings or diminishing them”. So therein lies the dilemma. This is a reality that is virtually impossible for a leftist to grasp because they have been trained to judge circumstances not by existential truth but by their feelings. They say your free speech goes only as far as it doesn’t hurt someone else.
The problem is: What if someone else is hurt by some words that someone else isn’t hurt by? Who gets to decide what words are hurtful? Have you ever heard the phrase “the truth hurts”?
If I am an alcoholic and have no intentions of quitting and someone I care deeply about tells me that I have a problem and that if I don’t get help they will cut off their relationship with me, guess what… those are hurtful words. I don’t want to hear them and I don’t want you to utter them. Nevertheless, if I was forbidden that luxury, I would be unable to distribute information that is not only true, but helpful, healing and potentially lifesaving.
Now does THAT category of free speech correlate to the free speech within a comedy routine where someone is “making fun” of someone else? The answer is: Believe it or not, YES. The only way free speech works, the only way speech is, in fact, sacrosanct is if there are zero limitations on it.
Now, the Supreme Court has ruled at times that free speech doesn’t mean that you can use your speech to lie, for example. It’s free speech for me to lie to you; but in a court of law that is known as perjury and is illegal speech. Why? Because speech can actually be existentially harmful if it isn’t correlating to reality and is being manipulated to harm you by deception.
You see, If I deny you equal access to reality, I am not communicating at all. I’m speaking. I’m not communicating. So, if I am using propaganda, for example, as representing an idea or some facts; but am actually lying to you so as to control you, then that speech becomes harmful. Because it is a purposeful LIE to manipulate and deceive, which is a far cry from a truth that you don’t want to hear.
That’s where false advertising comes in, for example. I can say this car gets 1,000 miles to the gallon in order to make a sale. So, you bought it, trusting that information which was deceptive. By lying, I stole from you something I said was there – that you paid for but it wasn’t there at all.
Another classic example is yelling, “FIRE” in a crowded theatre. But, once again, that is simply another way to describe using lies to create havoc and/or endangering others. Remember: the use of lies as forbidden was actually set in stone, literally by the ultimate Lawgiver in the Ten Commandments when God Himself said, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against your neighbor”.
So, the issue we often find ourselves in is when someone believes that speech that might make a marginalized group uncomfortable or insulted is forbidden.
But keep in mind that this is also a legitimate way to discern if some form of restrictions on human autonomy are used equally across the board.
Let me give you an example through a joke.
There are men that say that if they identify as a woman, they actually are a woman. Their male body hasn’t changed, their male chromosomes haven’t changed. Only their own self perspective and identity that is subjective to them has changed. Now, if simply uttering the words, “I identify”, magically transforms the subject into that which they have decided is true, then wouldn’t it have to work across the board? For example, if I say “ I believe you are still a man” you can say you are mis-gendering me and thus you don’t have the free speech to utter such a claim. Couldn’t I then say “ But I identify as someone who is right about their perspective that you’re still a man?” So we now have two separate autonomous agents, claiming an existential reality based on how they identify. So, if one subject is given the right to such a perspective and the other isn’t then we aren’t talking about free speech at all but instead we are looking at one group of humans subjugating and enslaving another as to how they may think, believe and live their lives.
I could have sworn the left said slavery was wrong. And yet, here it is in all its glory raising its tyrannical head and controlling a group of people they disagree with and have decided are less human and so don’t deserve equal rights.
Keep in mind, though, that the champions of slavery during the Civil War were Democrats. Once the Civil War ended and a large swath of Americans did not want to cede freedom and autonomy to blacks, the Ku Klux Klan was created. Created, I might add, by Democrats. Yet, whenever the slanderous usage of KKK is tossed around and ascribed to a group it is always leftists Democrats, who ascribe it to Republicans.
So there is a real time example of free speech manipulated to purposefully attack, malign, slander and marginalize a group of people and the entire concept is a lie.
That is why we put restraints on speech if it is literally used as a cudgel against others.
Again, big difference between information I don’t like, don’t want to hear, and information that is FALSE.
As the famous author Tom Wolfe once said in regards to postmodernism, “Language is merely one beast using words as tools to get power over another beast”.
Now in regards to comedy, there is another element at play. Sometimes we use stereotypes to find funny in others. If I say women love to shop, for example, that would be true for the most part. Clearly there are women that don’t love to shop and there are men that do; but by having this innocuous placeholder to establish a premise allows us to examine funny things that may have happened to you and your wife.
You see, part of what makes comedy work is its based on truth. That’s why the funniest stuff usually comes with someone saying “That’s happened to me” or “I’ve thought of that”. That’s what makes comedy beautiful – the laughs come from us delineating certain genders or ages or groups as having certain traits, and yet when others hear this they relate to it because they know someone like that or they are like that. The irony is if I joke that white people do this and black people do that and woman do this it actually is giving us permission to laugh at OURSELVES; and suddenly, we realize we all have one thing in common. We are human!!
So the next time you want to be offended by a joke that seems to demean another, why don’t you instead be grateful we live in a country that finds freedom and liberty to be sacred and if you don’t like a joke don’t censor it, just don’t laugh. If you want that freedom, you’ll have to have the courage and maturity to give it to others as well.
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