Monday, April 30, 2018

Hate Kills Comedy

There was so much flap and furor over the White House Correspondents' Association dinner that, having missed the whole spectacle, I decided to watch the entire "keynote" speaker on YouTube.

What a sad experience. I'm not going to mention her name or post any links or photos, because she was terrible. I watched, and in almost twenty minutes of her "address," I didn't even smile. Her remarks were crude, unintelligent, and completely unfunny. There was no thoughtfulness or structure to her jokes--if they even qualify as jokes. A joke has some surprise in the punchline. There were no surprises here, just an unrelenting drumbeat of hatred, vulgarity, and contempt.

True comedy has a light spirit to it. It amuses, entertains, startles one into laughter by illuminating a new, unexplored aspect of the subject in a smart, imaginative way. There's plenty of comedic material in the Trump presidency. Why not put a few minutes of thought and work into creating some clever and relevant jokes? Look at what's occurring in our current events--North Korea, Iran, the French president's visit to the White House, the Central American caravan, the tax cut, the stock market--not enough to work with?

Apparently, it's just so much easier (and sloppier, and lazier) to tell an abortion "joke" that has "get that baby out of there" as the "punchline." Wow. Hilarious.

It wasn't a total waste of my twenty minutes, watching this depressing exhibition of how far down into the dirt hatred will drive a person. It proved once again that you can't be mean-spirited and funny at the same time. You can't be hateful and comical. One trait is lightness, and one is darkness. This keynote speaker was definitely from the dark side.