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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Comedy, comedy, comedy, last night ...

Well, I went to the Comics for Freedom Rally at the Comedy Bar (945B Bloor Street West) last night. The formula (40 comics, one minute each) works very well - after all, if you can't be funny in one minute, dragging it out to five is unlikely to help. But I would gladly have heard the talented comics longer.

Guy Earle, readying himself to face the BC Human Rights Tribunal, was in fine form (celebrating his 40th birthday, I gather).

Still, I went away thoughtful, for two reasons:

Many attendees wore black tee shirts proclaiming their right to "be an [ice]hole." I was curious as to whether they understood clearly that they were actually making a profound statement, not a silly one. It goes to the heart of the fundamental difference between two styles of government - limited vs. totalitarian. A limited government exists for certain agreed purposes. It's not the government's business to change your thinking to match the preferences of social engineers.

Limited government is based on the idea that there is an indelible core in you that is you, and a similar core in me that is me. Traditionally, that was called a soul. See, I warned you. We are in deep waters here.

Totalitarian government - to which Canada's "human rights" commissions are rapidly taking us - takes a different view. You are a robot. The purpose of government is to fix everything social engineers identify as wrong with you. That includes punishing thoughtcrimes by whatever means necessary. Thoughtcrimes, after all, lead to facecrimes and speechcrimes - and remember, the government is responsible for absolutely everything, including everyone's feelings at all times.

At one time, you might hear a clergyman condemn your lifestyle or a comic mock it and - well, so? No longer. A government with totalitarian responsibilities must silence both the clergyman and the comic. Move over, Rev. Boissoin, to make room for Guy Earle.

Restoring limited government to Canada will not be easy, and I have no master plan. But I do have one suggestion, aimed at comics: Start talking about political issues more in your routines.

I acknowledge that by even showing up and letting your names appear on a list, you are taking a risk, even if you didn't talk about sensitive issues. Grievance mongers are everywhere nowadays and who knows what they will make a grievance out of next year or the year after, even if it hasn't yet occurred to them? And even if they pick the fight themselves ....

But there is plenty of material out there. Has anyone noticed, for example how food faddists have morphed into food fascists, anxious to force tofu and soy down everyone's throats? And what about the recent perfume-free zones? (I am glad to attend a church where clouds of incense rise periodically during the service. Our "perfume-free zone" is the Great Outdoors.)

A few weeks ago in the subway, the guy who was dumping all the garbage together that people had separately sorted into three different types of bins explicitly told me that it all just gets trashed together, period. So did you think you were being righteous by carefully segregating your trash? You were just wasting your time. The city is gaming you.

And while we are here, what about the new buses, whose left turn momentum is better suited to the space shuttle - where there isn't nearly enough room for two people to pass each other in the elevated back, without aggravated assault? What engineering genius agreed to pay for that?

And how about the Toronto "Catholic" school trustees? My parish priest announced in the bulletin recently that Catholic adults' applications to teach catechism would be considered - unless they came from school board trustees. And that's the only laugh at those self-absorbed nits' expense that I have personally heard since the scandal broke. And Father isn't even well known for his sense of humour ...

Just a few random examples, these. I am not trying to tell anyone what is and isn't funny - I leave that to the appropriate authorities: human rights commissions and alternative* magazine entertainment editors.

I want to say only this: Toronto right now - like so many places - is chock full of crackpottery, hypocrisy, and corruption that are solemnly and uncritically fronted as "good causes" that everybody should believe in. I would love to hear more of it sent up to the moon, to Moon Bat City where it belongs.

*alternative .... I LOVE it! Just what the country needs right now - an alternative form of fascism, in case we ever get tired of mainstream fascism.

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