Fred Flintstone’s Penis Champions Democracy
One can find if one looks hard enough, just about anything on the internet.
Try googling cartoons of Fred Flintstone buggering Barney and you’ll find you’re spoiled for choice.
People go to great lengths to profane the sacred and defile the innocent.
Some people choose to take offense at what’s obscene, (distinct from something that actually incites violence). This is usually misguided.
I haven’t been on the outrage side of all the controversies aimed at the non PC jokes of stand-up comedians.
When however I watched an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm featuring a holocaust survivor and contestant in the reality show Survivor arguing about who had endured harder times, I couldn’t help but feel uneasy.
I have to be honest though. A joke about an ethnic cleansing that took place well into the past probably wouldn’t irk me. Ironically, the effect is probably even more muted if the joke is at the expense of people who aren’t around to take offense, maybe because they’ve been cleansed on an ethnic basis.
As much as I want to be mad at that Curb episode, it would be selective offense. And I’m pretty sure Larry David doesn’t think genocide is unserious.
What’s obscene is relative, and sometimes, obscenity in the form of biting satire can be on the right side of history.
It’s hard to believe these days, but Monty Python actually pushed some buttons.
Some of the most controversial early episodes of South Park seem lightweight today.
One man’s porn is another man’s protest.
Freedom of speech is the freedom to say anything. Strange people on the Internet will say not just anything, but probably everything.
If you’re offended, take comfort in the knowledge that they are reinforcing one of the great privileges of living in a democratic society.
This has been the seventy-first publication of Dressing Gown, a daily blog from Ted Janet.