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Old 04-22-2011, 03:56 PM   #16
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The issue isn't so much his right as a performance artist to say offensive things as his right to direct them at particular individuals; whether and when that becomes a kind of criminal harassment. But heckling is so routine a part of standup comedy that I'm finding it difficult to see much merit in the plaintiffs' argument. Does it matter if a comedian appears to have stopped trying to be humorous and descended into (arguably) flat-out verbal harassment for noncomedic purposes at some point? Or is he automatically covered throughout the event by its being billed as an artistic performance, and that designation is not to be questioned.

Surely there must have been eyewitnesses, other attendees, waitstaff etc. It can't literally be he-said, she-said.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:16 PM   #17
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The issue isn't so much his right as a performance artist to say offensive things as his right to direct them at particular individuals; whether and when that becomes a kind of criminal harassment. But heckling is so routine a part of standup comedy that I'm finding it difficult to see much merit in the plaintiffs' argument. Does it matter if a comedian appears to have stopped trying to be humorous and descended into (arguably) flat-out verbal harassment for noncomedic purposes at some point? Or is he automatically covered throughout the event by its being billed as an artistic performance, and that designation is not to be questioned.

Surely there must have been eyewitnesses, other attendees, waitstaff etc. It can't literally be he-said, she-said.
Exactly!

I just can't imagine anyone saying "it's obvious" just by hearing someone's personal account of the situation.

This case will be a he said, she said until we hear eyewitnesses' accounts. To my knowledge no one in the media has reported those.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:28 AM   #18
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What if he said to some African Americans "you're sitting at the n word table" and started to describe them in certain terms? Is there a line and what is it? I assume he wouldn't do that (maybe I'm wrong) so why is "dyke table" ok?

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:30 AM   #19
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there are public venues where one can say hateful things against gays, religions and other minorities without fear of recourse

it's called "church."
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:35 AM   #20
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Well actually that case pertains to this. He was involved in an artistic performance. Just like Christian Bale. When you are accessing your brain on that level sometimes bad shit comes out.

But serioulsy, their should be one outlet in society that allows the artist to speak fully and truthfully without censorship.
Michael Richards was offensive, and he reaped the whirlwind.

At the same time, comedy by its nature is supposed to push buttons, tweak noses, and sacrifice sacred cows. South Park, Family Guy, The Office, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Sam Kinison, SNL, ... all of these (and many more) have been ruled "offensive" at one point or another. I don't like the idea of getting fined for being offensive; is it illegal to offend someone? Who defines that?
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #21
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it's called "church."
Or, at times, "talk radio." Or "cable news."
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:56 AM   #22
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Or, at times, "talk radio." Or "cable news."


agreed.

sometimes, that's where people from "church" go to preach to people who they don't see on Sundays. but they use the "my religion tells me it's cool to view some groups as subhuman" excuse which seems to also apply on "talk radio" and "cable news" -- as these formats present them as totally reasonable counterpoints and not at all representatives from hate groups.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:55 PM   #23
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There should be fines for not being funny as a comedian. Jay Leno could have paid off half of the deficit by now.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:40 PM   #24
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between him and letterman you'd be an economic powerhouse.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:09 PM   #25
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agreed.

sometimes, that's where people from "church" go to preach to people who they don't see on Sundays. but they use the "my religion tells me it's cool to view some groups as subhuman" excuse
To be fair, religion is not the only bludgeon that can be used to rule someone sub-human. Almost any political issue can be framed in such a context as to dehumanize the other side. But your point is well-made.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:44 PM   #26
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To be fair, religion is not the only bludgeon that can be used to rule someone sub-human. Almost any political issue can be framed in such a context as to dehumanize the other side. But your point is well-made.


i totally agree, but what makes religion unique is that it pretends to have unique access to cosmic, eternal, unquestionable rules and dictates that cannot ever be appealed to a higher authority, because all this comes from the highest authority.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:52 PM   #27
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I doubt a man who repeatedly and publically yells abuse like "fucking cunts," "stupid cunts," "stupid dykes," "fucking dyke cunts," "stupid fucking bitches," and "fucking stupid dykes" at a lesbian couple, then for good measure grabs and breaks one of their sunglasses, learned that routine in church. He might or might not have originally imbibed those attitudes from people who happened to be religious, but this is straight-up macho-asshole behavior; the way a certain kind of very, very small man reacts when he feels his authority is threatened. (He sure shut them up good!!) To be straight, or male, or white in our culture is to be aware on some level that you always have these weapons at your disposal, not without some risk to your reputation as Michael Richards discovered, but they do have their applications.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:18 PM   #28
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I doubt a man who repeatedly and publically yells abuse like "fucking cunts," "stupid cunts," "stupid dykes," "fucking dyke cunts," "stupid fucking bitches," and "fucking stupid dykes" at a lesbian couple, then for good measure grabs and breaks one of their sunglasses, learned that routine in church. He might or might not have originally imbibed those attitudes from people who happened to be religious, but this is straight-up macho-asshole behavior; the way a certain kind of very, very small man reacts when he feels his authority is threatened. (He sure shut them up good!!) To be straight, or male, or white in our culture is to be aware on some level that you always have these weapons at your disposal, not without some risk to your reputation as Michael Richards discovered, but they do have their applications.
It's tough being a stand-up comic. If he can't handle getting heckled, and must resort to such behavior, then perhaps he should look into another line of work. Grave-digging, for example -- he's certainly dug his own.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:31 PM   #29
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this is straight-up macho-asshole behavior; the way a certain kind of very, very small man reacts when he feels his authority is threatened.


agreed. the church comment was an aside to this discussion.

really, what we're dealing with is the fact that homophobia is always really misogyny.
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:33 PM   #30
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really, what we're dealing with is the fact that homophobia is always really misogyny.
Can't quite make that jump (misogyny is its own unique beast, I think), but this activity (like Michael Richards' before it) feels like an expression of intense self-hatred and self-loathing, for which stand-up comics are particularly notorious.
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