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Old 11-28-2005, 09:15 AM   #1
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When Does Comedy Go Too Far?

I've been reading quite a bit about Sarah Silverman lately and her movie, I guess her whole "schtick" is to be as outrageous as possible (not just about 9/11 but about many other subjects)..but who would find any humor in this? Where do you draw the line? Like it says in that article most comedians still view Sept 11th as a taboo subject -yet as the writer states, the First Amendment allows people that freedom.

http://news.bostonherald.com/localRe...07&format=text

"For comedian Sarah Silverman, Sept. 11, 2001, the worst day in this country’s history, could be twisted into a business coup for American Airlines.

If only the company would use her suggested slogan: “American Airlines: First Through the Towers.”

After all, 9-11 was “devastating” for the New Hampshire-born comic. But not because of the murders of the 2,986 people who died that terrible day.

In the movie “Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic” the 34-year-old jokester quips in the big-screen version of her one-woman show that it was doubly tragic “because it happened to be the exact same day I found out that a soy chai latte was, like, 900 calories.”
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:22 AM   #2
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Yeah...not funny...
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:27 AM   #3
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More and more I'm coming to realize that Americans really need to change the first amendment.

I don't think trivializing the most tragic day in American history (and the death of thousands of people) is what the founding fathers meant by free speach.

In fact, I think the Americans should re-read the entire constitution and adapt it more to today's world and circumstances rather than the 1700's when the worst thing Americans had to deal with was a high tax on tea......

As for the subject, unfortunately there isn't anything to be done about it under the first amendment. She has a right to say what she wants - as inflammatory as her statements are.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:29 AM   #4
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I have to disagree there...I would not want that right taken away. She can say whatever the hell she wants, no matter how stupid. It's a great right to have.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:39 AM   #5
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she jokes about rape too..also I read in another article that she jokes about AIDS and the Holocaust

http://news.yahoo.com/s/pagesix/2005...E0BHNlYwN0bWE-

Q: Is there any topic you won't go near in your comedy?

A: I don't think people should make fun of Jews. My people have been through a lot. No, I'm kidding. I can only use my very distorted personal gauge of what's funny, but if it's funny enough, I don't think anything's off limits.

Q: When you're writing, is whether it will confound mainstream sensibilities a barometer for whether to go with a joke?

A: No. Not at all. I'm not setting out to offend anyone, truly I'm not, but you just have to accept that people are watching you in the context of their own lives and experience and not cater to that.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:43 AM   #6
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Well we all have our own individual senses of humor and what we think is funny...hers is just twisted. I don't know what her motives are, could she be saying this for the attention? To push buttons? Or does she genuinely find it funny and doesn't care whether or not she gets attention? I dunno
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:46 AM   #7
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She uses topics like this because she's not funny.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2democrat
I have to disagree there...I would not want that right taken away. She can say whatever the hell she wants, no matter how stupid. It's a great right to have.

I'm sorry if I implied that the first amendment should be taken away - thats not what I meant.

Granted, free speach is the fundamental right of any free society HOWEVER I do believe that certain limitations can be applied in certain circumstances....like this one.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:52 AM   #9
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It is tough to craft a limitation, as you suggest AB, that would capture this incidence of poor taste and not other more substantive, if not controversial, comments.

As for why she does it...

She may or may not find it funny but surely there are some others who do. Because of that, her 'business model', for I feel that is really the way she is operating, will reap nice rewards in the short term as she 'shocks' us.
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:54 AM   #10
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I'm not easily offended, but I think Sarah Silverman goes too far. It's one thing to be edgy, but quite another to be joking about a national tragedy. I read that one joke she said was something along the lines of American Airline's new slogan should be 1st through the towers.
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:49 AM   #11
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The usual measuring stick is this: Comedy goes to far when it falls outside one's political framework.

The sad part is that many eat up this shock based humor. Just look at the success of Howard Stern (who some would consider mainstream today).
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:11 PM   #12
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while i do find some of her bits offensive, i also think Sara Silverman is rather brilliant at what she does.

Slate has this to say about her:

[q] Silverman's work is a natural byproduct of the high-stakes game of contemporary American identity politics—the emotionally volatile generalizing about our moral right to generalize. But she's not just a critic of PC culture: She's a connoisseur. She handles the complex algorithms of taboo—who's allowed to joke about what, to whom, using what terminology—with instant precision: "Everybody blames the Jews for killing Christ, and then the Jews try to pass it off on the Romans. I'm one of the few people that believe it was the blacks." (The joke exposes not the ancient perfidy of any particular race but the absurdity of blaming entire races for anything.) Her best jokes are thought experiments in the internal logic of political correctness: "I want to get an abortion, but my boyfriend and I are having trouble conceiving." A Playboy interviewer, probing for something salacious, once asked Silverman if she had a nickname for her vagina. She answered "Faggot"—a throwaway joke that manages to kink sexual identity into such an ingenious pretzel it could fuel a doctoral dissertation.

Silverman began her career as an immediately discarded Saturday Night Live writer, fired after a year or so for her controversial jokes ("Quite frankly, I think it's a good law," she wrote about a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for abortions. "I was going to get an abortion the other day. I totally wanted an abortion—and it turns out I was just thirsty.")

[...]

Through her stand-up, however, Silverman has become an important member of a guerrilla vanguard in the culture wars that we might call the "meta-bigots"—other members include the South Park kids, Sacha Baron Cohen's "Ali G", and the now-AWOL Dave Chappelle. The meta-bigots work at social problems indirectly; instead of discussing race, rape, abortion, incest, or mass starvation, they parody our discussions of them. They manipulate stereotypes about stereotypes. It's a dangerous game: If you're humorless, distracted, or even just inordinately history-conscious, meta-bigotry can look suspiciously like actual bigotry.

Silverman is particularly vulnerable to such confusion because, unlike other meta-bigots, she doesn't insulate herself with fictional characters: Her persona—an incestuous, genital-obsessed, racist narcissist—looks and sounds exactly like Silverman herself. She delivers even the most taboo punch lines with almost pathological sincerity. It looks like her face isn't in on her own jokes: Her nostrils flare, her mouth cocks meaningfully to one side, her teeth (of which there seem to be a few extra) hide and reveal themselves in strategically earnest formations. It's like a Juilliard exercise; you'd need stop-motion film to track all of her expressions. Deadpan is nothing new, of course, but Silverman's deadpan is extra dead: She stretches the distance between delivery and message almost as far as it will go. While she neutralizes mass death with self-help wordplay ("When God gives you AIDS, make lemon-AIDS!") or relinks the historically unfunny tandem of sexual assault and anti-Semitism ("I was raped by a doctor, which is a bittersweet experience for a Jewish girl"), her body language suggests she's just a concerned citizen talking about property taxes at a city council meeting.

"I don't care if you think I'm racist," Silverman says in her act. "I just want you to think I'm thin."

http://www.slate.com/id/2130006/

[/q]
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:30 PM   #13
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This thread exists for the exact reason she tells these kinds of jokes. If she didn't, we never would have heard of her, and she would not have a career.
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:36 PM   #14
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If only the company would use her suggested slogan: “American Airlines: First Through the Towers

ironic
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Old 11-28-2005, 12:42 PM   #15
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Sarah Silverman is about as funny as a stroke. Give me Margaret Cho anyday.
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