Tuesday, June 06, 2017

What's So Funny?

Comedian Kathy Griffin lost her job because she made a joke that went too far. She did a photo shoot that featured her with the severed head of our "President." I looked at it initially and rolled my eyes, thinking that she had  gone too far. Apparently, so did one of her employers, CNN. The Cable News Network seemed to agree with my assessment, which caused me to reevaluate my opinion. To be clear, the folks at CNN let Ms. Griffin go from a one night a year gig co-hosting the New Year's gala in Times Square with journalist Anderson Cooper. She was the comic relief. Get it? She's a comedian. A comedian who now joins a list of funny folk who may have gone to far, too fast, too soon. I'm looking at you, Gilbert Gottfried.
So here's the other thing: There's this guy who got his job by making crude and unsubstantiated remarks, including suggesting violence. Inciting it, even. No severed heads, true, but ugly ugly ugly. And  for his conduct in front of cameras, he was awarded the highest office in the land.
Let me be clear: I was never a fan of either one of these characters. I found them both to be just a little too much, and tended to change the channel rather than give either one of them a chance to make me laugh or cry. But now they have given me a chance to think: What is too far?
If Kathy Griffin had taken the severed head bit out on the campaign trail just after Orange Julius had made his comments about Megyn Kelly, then there would have been context. It would have been more immediate and clear. Would it have played, even then? Hard to say, but then it would have been blood at the expense of the presumptive Republican candidate, not the sitting "President." Was a line crossed? As much as Ted Nugent did, and he got invited to the White House.
Ted Nugent is not a comedian. Not on purpose, anyway. Kathy Griffin is a comedian, and maybe she could know her craft better. Her timing was a problem. Then again, timing has never been an issue to the idjits currently sitting behind the big board. The comedy doesn't need to be mined, currently. It sits so very close to the surface. Of course, so is the outrage. And disgust. And anger. There was something cathartic about what Kathy Griffin did, though I would stop just short of defending it. The American  people are scared and angry and don't know how to respond to all the ridiculousness that surrounds them. A comedian made a bad joke. A "President" made a series of really poor decisions. One of them lost their job.
Not so funny, after all.

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