It’s Funny ‘Cause it’s True, by Hardscrabble Farmer

The newest rage in memes is NPCs, or non-playable characters, to depict people incapable of independent political thought. It’s being directed at liberals. From Hardscrabble Farmer at theburningplatform.com:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/us/politics/npc-twitter-ban.html

Twitter accounts using fictional personas and a common avatar to promote the idea that liberals can’t think on their own.

The first encounter I ever had with the PC movement was back in the early 90’s. I was, at that time, a stand up comic headlining a comedy club in Madison, Wisconsin and during my set I was doing a bit about men and women arguing. In the middle of the my act a table of college girls began to hiss at me- actual hissing sounds like you’d see in some Little Rascals sketch when someone demonstrates disapproval of a performer.

I remember stopping and asking them what it was that they were doing, drawing attention not only to their rude behavior in stopping a show that an entire audience had paid money to enjoy, but the manner in which they’d chosen to do it. “Are you guys actually hissing?” I asked and then mocked them by imitating it. Then I made their interruption into a bit of it’s own, I don’t remember what I said but it was pretty scathing and the audience went nuts, laughing the entire time.

When you’ve played enough dives and hell gigs you get to be very good at dealing with hecklers and as with most things women are not very effective when competing with a man, even less so when someone has thousands of hours of stage experience under their belt. They made a big deal of leaving with much complaining the entire time and the audience laughed and applauded them right out the door.

Their complaint back then was something that has become boilerplate these days- it is wrong to point out human differences and to make jokes about them is beyond the pale. Their reaction proved my point and when I turned up the rhetorical blitz by mocking them with the audience’s approval, it drove them apoplectic.

I hate that we have to walk on eggs shells all the time, that people are not only prohibited from speaking freely, but self-censor in their own minds ideas, words, phrases and other means of explaining the world we inhabit by humorless capos of the regime. I sense that the veil is beginning to lift, albeit slowly and tentatively, but that it is gives reassurance that liberty is not completely dead.

The NPC meme works effectively because it strikes at the root of the problem, that most people who espouse the PC Ideology have not arrived at their position through critical examination of ideas and a deep understanding of history, but through ignorance, conformity and a complete absence of humor in their empty lives.

I quit comedy for a variety of reasons, most of them personal, but one of the factors that weighed heavily was just how difficult it was becoming to say what I thought was funny without having to be managed and cautioned by club owners, booking agents and mouthy hecklers who didn’t know the difference between comedy and a houseplant. The funniest material isn’t based on what’s shocking or foul, but what resonates with people as a shared human experience, something true. And the truth is not in them.

 

 

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