Tweet after tweet, blog after blog — this fucking shit with Daniel fucking Tosh is never going to fucking end.
Not more than a few hundred fucking people were at the fucking Laugh Factory, or else they would have been violating the fucking fire code, too, but fuckety-fuckballs doesn’t everybody want to fucking weigh in on it?
So fine. Fine.
Here’s my fucking take:
Let’s assume two fucking things that don’t seem to be in dispute in all fucking accounts, first- and secondhand, of the original fucking incident.
1) Daniel Tosh was fucking onstage (fucking here is an intensifier, not a verb, or the fucking Laugh Factory would have another fucking problem altogether) and fucking talking when a female audience member shouted, "Actually, rape jokes are never funny!"
2) Daniel Tosh responded, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, five guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her… ?”
A fucking lot of fucking people have retweeted at least two articles on the subject in the last two days: Lindy West’s “How to Make a Rape Joke" and Jim Emerson’s "What Is a Rape Joke, Anyway?”
I read both of them.
And, while doing so, I COMPLETELY LOST MY FUCKING MIND at one point.
Well, at two points.
Same point, different pieces.
Lindy West writes:
And the flip-side of that awesome microphone power you have—wow, you can seriously say whatever you want!—is that audiences get to react to your words however we want.
If people don’t want to be offended, they shouldn’t go to comedy clubs? Maybe. But if you don’t want people to react to your jokes, you shouldn’t get on stage and tell your jokes to people.
Jim Emerson writes:
[The audience member] [was] heckling — but not the kind where someone in the crowd simply calls out the comic for not being funny. She was openly challenging him on what he knew was dangerous ground.
You could also argue that if a comedian is going to provoke his audience, he shouldn’t be surprised if they push back. She could have just started booing and hissing, which anybody in the crowd has a right to do, but she openly challenged his assumptions about what was funny.
To which I say the following:
I’m fucking tired of hearing people fucking talk at the movies.
At the theater.
At concerts. Sometimes the music’s so loud, they actually TALK LOUDER. People have ENTIRE FUCKING CONVERSATIONS while I’m reelin’ in the years and stowin’ away the time.
And at fucking comedy clubs.
YOU ARE NOT IN YOUR LIVING ROOM.
YOU ARE NOT AT A TOWN HALL MEETING.
THIS IS NOT A DIALOGUE.
IT IS A MONOLOGUE, from Latin mono-, meaning “one,” and -logue, meaning “should shut the fuck up.”
Even if you’ve never fucking been to a fucking comedy club before, you’ve probably seen Leno’s monologue. Letterman’s. Fallon’s. Kimmel’s. Maher’s.
Have you ever heard a fucking audience shout shit at them?
(Well, once. And this is what happened.)
DO NOT “PUSH BACK” OR “CHALLENGE” THE PERFORMER.
DO NOT “REACT” HOWEVER YOU “WANT.”
DO NOT “CALL OUT” THE PERFORMER FOR NOT BEING FUNNY.
DO NOT “BOO” OR “HISS.”
One person fucking starts, everybody thinks the fucking dam has cracked like it’s a Michael fucking Bay movie, and so everybody paddles in and tries to catch a fucking wave.
DON’T FUCKING DO IT.
Just because a fucking group decides to do it at the same fucking time does not make it acceptable fucking behavior.
Your performer will hear the horrible fucking sound of your not fucking laughing.
That is entirely fucking sufficient to fucking communicate to her or him your fucking displeasure with his fucking material.
It is also entirely fucking sufficient for the fucking club to make a fucking value judgment as to whether to put that fucking person in front of a fucking audience again.
SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Laugh, chortle, guffaw, weep, sob, gasp — but SHUT THE FUCK UP.
If you don’t fucking like what you are fucking seeing or fucking hearing to the point where can still fucking sit there and not disintegrate into a million disappointed little pieces —
Pretty please, with sugar on top.
You’re not enjoying yourself, anyway. Why not leave?
Ask a staffperson for your money back if you feel so inclined. There are no hard and fast rules on this. The Laugh Factory may differ from the Improv, and such may differ manager to manager, and such may differ night to night.
You may talk about your experience outside, you may blog about it, you may tweet about it or post on Facebook. You may host a rally. You may call for a boycott.
That is, Lindy West and Jim Emerson are entirely correct that you have a right to react to what you see and hear in an entertainment venue — comedy, movies, theater, concerts, etc. —
BUT NOT AT THAT FUCKING MOMENT.
Lot of fucking tweets, lot of fucking blogs, lot of fucking Huffpost comments — but I’ll stick with Lindy West and Jim Emerson for simplicity’s sake.
That is, other than the remarks above, I have no complaints to lodge with either.
Both are fine and thoughtful articles about subjects that these writers care deeply about.
At first, Lindy West raises an objection to Daniel Tosh’s remarks based on an advocacy for women and their lifelong vigilance against sexual assault.
Then she proceeds to make a case for four (4) comedians whose rape jokes she likes.
So her umbrage with Daniel Tosh is not necessarily the reference to rape, then.
Jim Emerson skips over the women’s issue completely, preferring instead to discuss joke construction — and, in fact, also references a Louis CK piece cited by Lindy West.
That is, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with rape as a subject for humor per se, either.
The whole incident can be reduced to two clear calls to action.
1) Audience: SHUT THE FUCK UP.
2) Comedians: BE FUCKING FUNNIER.
And don’t get fucking confused as to which of the above you fucking are.