“Cancel Culture Part-2″
In light of the controversy over Dave Chappelle’s Netflix comedy special, and the flurry of attacks on him by the left and the media; I would like to try and unpack a few things here. Just for the record, Dave Chappelle is a comedian who does what comedians do. Nothing more, nothing less. He merely asserted his opinion on a few issues to an audience who voluntarily availed themselves as willing participants; remember that. No one was forced to listen to him or accept his ideas. We can’t exactly say that about liberal academia though. But I digress.
For the sake of this exercise I would like to open up here by asking for your voluntary participation. If you will indulge me, I want you all to take a brief moment and grab one distinct memory from your past that was either controversial or devastating at the time it occurred, but one you can actually laugh and joke about today, being removed from it. I myself can think of two such memories. Now that you’ve done that, I want you to ask yourself this question. How and why are you now able to find humor in a memory that once caused you pain, ridicule, discomfort, or anguish? The answer lies within our resiliency as human beings, and also in the confirmation that we survived whatever that terrible experience was. As the adage goes: -“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This my friends is the essence of what comedy is made of. This in part is what validates the comedian’s schtick.
The reason that I’m framing this in this way is because I want to illuminate the left’s’ faux outrage over this. They’re not surprised at all, but they do play the game well. They’re going after Chappelle’s content and delivery, citing its insensitive nature. Yes it’s offensive. Yes it’s inflammatory; It’s even controversial. That’s the point. Above everything that they’re offended by in this comedy special, pales in comparison to their disdain for Chappelle’s exposing of the “Cancel Culture.” That’s because it exposes their own hypocrisy, their bias, and their loss of power which to bully others with as they go after them selectively. What are they really offended by? Dave Chappelle is what happens when the lefts’ dishonesty is confronted with an inconvenient truth.
To characterize how I see this present dynamic as it plays out in public view is this. Dave Chappelle is an actual comedian. The left and the media is playing the role of the pesky drunk heckler in the audience. We all know exactly what the heckler does. They’re the distraction and the disruption that angers those who payed to be entertained. These hecklers clearly have an issue with either the comedian, his act, or both. We’re just trying to enjoy the show. That leads me to my next point.
Comedy is entertainment, and basically escapism. For the most part we know exactly what we’re walking into, and what we’re getting. There are a few expectations involved in comedy as a medium, as well as some basic ground rules that are at best ambiguous. First of all, we go in with the idea of suspending our offense meter. Why do we do that? Because inherently we understand that comedy is primarily effective because it holds elements of truth to it. It’s colored with shades of familiarity that we can relate to. At the same time it is also awkward, cringe-worthy, and uncomfortable because it’s playfully irreverent. So much so that what we end up reacting to, and laughing about is ourselves. The absurd, the profane, and the taboo all intermingle, and we partake of it in reluctant delight. The situational nature of comedy becomes familiar and inviting. That takes me back to my original point earlier about pain and resiliency. Humor is pleasure, and pleasure balances pain and discomfort in an odd and ironic way. We end up suspending and compartmentalizing our offense for the sake of the experience to enjoy the pleasure. The left is being dishonest and hypocritical in regards to their outrage over this. As if they don’t have comedians and entertainers on that side of the aisle who aren’t offensive, profane, and irreverent. I certainly don’t need these people dictating to me what constitutes offensive in America. In this respect they’re once again trying to control the speech, the language, and us along with those. I say never.
After reading through a few articles and listening to commentaries about Chappelle’s performance and content, I now realize that he’s managed to successfully start a discussion about political correctness in America, selective censorship, and the politics of leftist outrage mobs. In this week we’ve seen actress Debra Messing of “Will and Grace” call for the blacklisting of conservatives in Hollywood over a fundraiser for the president. This is why Chappelle instantly becomes a lightening rod to the left. They’re shamelessly targeting anybody who doesn’t agree with their view of the world. Debra Messing is part of the “Cancel Culture” that Chappelle attacked head on. He used his privileged platform to push back against this culture and the left wasn’t ready to have this discussion because they’re benefitting from the control that it provides them to shut others down. He only said what many others are already thinking but don’t dare say openly and boldly. Silence is surrender, and political correctness is bondage. Dave Chappelle just liberated millions of captives on the right and the left. He also made himself public enemy #1 to some.
I’ll leave you with this thought. The left and democrats only like conversations on their terms to control the exchange. They only want to talk about “gun control,” but not mental illness or safety and security measures. They only want to talk about boundless abortion rights, but refuse to talk about prevention and alternatives. They only want to talk about immigration and helping illegal aliens, but won’t even discuss the adverse affects of these on America. Oh, they’re far from outraged. It’s we the American people who are being burdened by the lefts’ extremism, who should be outrage and offended. Dave Chappelle just single-handedly did this country a favor.
Cover Photo Credit: Pilot Boy Productions/Mathieu Bitton