Blurfing all over the place

Blurf is now all uppity and official as the Henrietta blogger for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. You should click over there, because they like it when you do that. And Pete is a really good guy.

Of course, right of the bat, I have to disagree with Pete about the Lisa Lampanelli brouhaha. (Go read the article, then come back.) I’m not a huge fan of hers, but I do appreciate ironic and satiric comedy a great deal. I love All in the Family and South Park. Stephen Colbert is my hero.

One of the funniest things ever written is Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the publick:

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricasie, or a ragoust.

The problem is that there’s a fine line between satire, sarcasm and wit and just plain mean. For example, I can’t stand Howard Stern. He may be doing satire, or he may just be appealing to the lowest common denominator. Doesn’t matter. It doesn’t come off well in my ears.

Lisa Lampanelli is kinda like that. I don’t get the sense that she’s more concerned with changing the minds of bigots than with getting a cheap laugh. That may be due to my lack of paying attention, or it may just be the way it strikes my ear. In any case, I don’t think that getting over-excited about a comedian’s act–no matter how it strikes you–is worth hauling out the “ban” word.

Save it for the offensive speech of people who aren’t (theoretically) in it for the laughs…

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2 Responses to Blurfing all over the place

  1. shelley says:

    Swift is an acquired taste; I did *not* enjoy reading him in college. I didn’t get the sarcasm until I was *much* older.

  2. Ric The Schmuck says:

    Lisa Lampanelli does go too far, quite often. She is most certainly should be considered Adult-Only. And sometimes she can be hysterically funny, just as she can also be too mean-spirited.

    Comedy, especially the stand-up business, has that infamous “fine line”. And it’s a cut-throat business. Lisa has her act, and her audience, and people coming to see her that don’t know what she’s about are certainly in for a surprise. That goes for a lot of other comics, too.

    As for Howard Stern, I am often amused by the reaction he gets. Usually from people that haven’t listened to him very much. And to “get” him, you do have to listen for a few weeks, to get a feel for the cast of characters, and the rhythm of the show. Before satelite, I heard him once every year or so, since his show never was broadcast up here in the sticks. I didn’t exactly understand what all the fuss was about, either the bad or the good. I’ve found it takes some regular listening to understand what’s going on.

    “Lowest common denominator”, yes, many times. “Mean”, not so much. In my eyes, or ears. Occasionally, yes, but usually to his own crew. But when he’s interviewing someone, he’s fantastic. And I think he’s probably less “mean” now that he’s on satelite radio. Just from what I’ve heard of his older shows that they replay (too often) compared to nowadays…

    It’s especially funny when people scream about how awful Howard is without ever having heard him. Now that’s ironic.

    What’s your take on Vote For The I shuddered at the thought when I first heard about it, just as much as I avoided American Idol in the first place. But after going to their website (courtesy of Howard, again) and reading the responses from the p-o’d Idol fanatics, I’m hooked. But then again, maybe that just makes me low-brow, mean-spirited, and lowest common denominator. I’m good with that, I guess. 🙂

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