Rape In Comedy and Entertainment

Louis CK

Can rape be funny? What about child rape specifically? Does rape serve a useful function in the visual medium that is television?

There are others with better “hot takes,” or insight on two recent issues that seem to be stirring the passions of people, but I felt compelled to offer my two cents: First, there’s Louis C.K.’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) monologue and then Game of Thrones’ rape scene.

Here’s the former’s routine, note the child molestation joke around 5:30, if you don’t want to watch the full clip:

I’m very familiar with CK’s work, as I’ve been following it since my high school days seven years ago. He’s by far my favorite living comedian because he does not give a fuck. If this is you’re first time listening to him, his style probably is jarring and seems raunchy, but this is very, very tame compared to his specials and other non-televised stand-up routines. Nevertheless, it’s always going to be ballsy when you do a child molestation joke on network television and a long-running show like SNL.

There are two thoughts I have about Louis C.K. and this monologue beyond remarking on him as a comedian, however. I don’t think there is any subject off-limits to a comedian able to convey it and broach the barriers to that subject while still introducing at least some elements of comedy (as that’s their job). And I think there’s a certain need in culture for disruption. Additionally, I think it’s worth not over-intellectualizing the issue on either side of this; that is, specifically, grand pronouncements about what CK’s small stand-up says about the culture at large or the decline in morality or whatever else would be over-intellectualizing the routine in my view.

I thought it was a funny routine. It made me laugh because of the way CK does the joke and the little nuances he adds to it.

Now, as for GoT, I can’t link to the clip of the rape scene in question and I don’t have a whole lot to say on the matter. But I do find people’s pronouncements that they are done with the show five seasons in because of this one rape season to be pretty comical. As if the previous rape scenes, sex scenes and violence wasn’t enough. Five seasons in, this scene is what did it. Ooookay. Most’ll be be back next Sunday.

The scene itself wasn’t gratuitous. It was bad because rape is bad, but it wasn’t in-your-face bad. The camera panned away from the act itself to focus on a third-party character, Theon, and most occurred beyond that view, mostly with audio. But it serves a function for that character and bigger picture, it’s befitting the time period in which Game of Thrones is set. Women were raped and treated like shit sometimes — most times, really. This is tame, to be honest, compared to what the historical record actually represents.

Nobody wants to make light of those that have experienced child sexual assault or other manner of sexual assault, but I also think we can go too far in having an outcry about everything. People can watch whatever the fuck they want, of course, and to my knowledge, nobody is calling for Louis CK to be fined by NBC or for HBO to take GoT off of the air, but it’s important to have these cultural discussions about where our boundaries are.

Sansa

One thought

  1. What I find funny is that book readers are usually more open-minded than average people watching television shows. It’s why I’m not surprised that the Game of Thrones show was watered and dumbed down. Because the books that are based off Game of Thrones were a lot more violent, rapey, horrifying, intellectual, etc. Characters’ I.Q.s from Game of Thrones were decreased for the masses. There is a lack of nerdiness in Game of Thrones from political correctness. Ramsay Bolton was dumbed down and less scary in Game of Thrones for a sensitive audience. Game of Thrones is a joke compared to the books that inspired its existence. Also, Hollywoodisation and woketivism really made female characters be ridiculous in Game of Thrones. Tyrion Lannister was much less handsome and more intelligent in the books, but he became Hollywoodised on Game of Thrones.

    The problem is closed-minded herd mentality is strong in society that makes it harder for black comedy to become normalised. Because society is not comprised of mostly intellectuals. Introverted intellectuals are actually outcasts that don’t fit in with society when they’re brutally honest with everyone. Which is why Nikola Tesla, William Sidis, underestimated women in the intellectual community, brutally honest people that haven’t become sellouts, people who are interested in advancing humanity with controversial technology, and other types of people usually don’t influence society most of the time until many decades or centuries later because they were/are ostracised. Religion, emotions, traditions, conventional logic, money, and power influence most people more than free-thinking because most people are groomed to be conventionally obedient workers that get paid less than rich and powerful people with limited freedom and limited opportunities in all countries. This is why Louis C.K. got controversial because he was doing what the rich and powerful people were afraid of. They don’t want most people reaching their intellectual potential and laughing instead of being dumbed down by societal expectations. And this is why I prefer Louis C.K., George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Frank Zappa, the creators of South Park, etc. China’s brainwashing politicians already banned South Park from Chinese entertainment and those brainwashing politicians are influencing the American government already because the American owners are simping to Chinese terrorists for money and power rather than protecting intellectual freedom.

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