NOW Magazine editor: only lesbians can make jokes about lesbians
UPDATE: You can watch the video by clicking here and scrolling down.
UPDATE 2: See below.
Congratulations to CHCH TV out of Hamilton. They had me on a show today, along with a comedian, debating the decision by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to put a comedian on trial for unfunny jokes about lesbian hecklers. I say congratulations, because the CHCH editors managed to find someone in Canada who was willing to defend the BCHRT's decision to have the trial. That's impressive.
They found this support in the personage of Susan Cole, the senior entertainment editor of Toronto's NOW Magazine, pictured at left. She's smiling -- I think -- which is odd, because Cole has a very particular definition of what's funny.
She called the remarks by the comedian in question "hate speech" and "discrimination", and said they "weren't funny". That's pretty impressive, given that there hasn't been a trial yet. But I think Cole understands the human rights industry just fine -- everyone's guilty; it's just a matter of who's unlucky enough to be charged.
Until now, HRCs have tried to dress up their political censorship as something else -- not as political hygiene, but as eradicating "hate". That's a neat trick, given that hate, like love, is an innate human emotion, and can't really be eradicated through laws -- though hate can surely be exacerbated by them. But now HRCs -- with Cole's delighted support -- are now taking it upon themselves to determine what is or isn't "funny", even at a comedy night.
Finally, we have some top talent looking into the matter of what is or isn't funny. Forget about Jerry Seinfeld or Jay Leno; we've got the dour sourpusses at the HRCs on the file. Once they come up with the magic recipe, wannabe comedians around the world will simply have to follow the instructions of the HRCs, and -- presto! -- the laughs will follow. At least that's the logic of a government agency that seeks to be the arbiter of what is or isn't funny.
I was asked by the host how this would affect Vancouver; I said I doubt the Just For Laughs Festival would be visiting anytime soon -- talk about a frenzy of hate crimes! And I asked if Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock, both of whom use the word n*gger the same way you and I use the words "and" and "the", would be allowed into town.
Cole had a quick answer: yes they would. Because they're allowed to make Black jokes, even using the word n*gger. But Whites can't. I'd have to read the transcript to be sure, but I think Cole implied that not only would the same joke told by a White comedian be illegal, it wouldn't even be funny. This, from the "senior entertainment editor" of an arts magazine.
That's nuts, of course. But, from a "human rights" "law" point of view, Cole is actually spot on. Under our "human rights" "jurisprudence", Mark Steyn and Maclean's were subjected to a five-day "hate speech" trial for "Islamophobia" in Vancouver for quoting radical Muslims. The radical Muslims who made the offensive remarks weren't charged (though the BCHRT asserts its jurisdiction not only nationally, but internationally); but Steyn and Maclean's were charged for repeating them. That's actually Cole's logic: a lesbian can crack a joke about lesbians. But a straight woman, or a man, can't. Same joke; but only a special victim group is allowed to tell it.
That's perfect politically correct logic for you -- and it's why, for example, Canada's feminists have been largely silent about the Muslim honour killings, polygamy and even female genital mutilation in Canada. Because Cole is merely a white woman; her poker hand is trumped by women of colour; and nothing beats the full house of a foreign-born, visible minority, Muslim. So traditional liberal values like free speech, the equality of men and women, and non-violence towards women, take a back seat to the politically correct value of not insulting "the other".
Cole was genuinely excited about this comedian being charged with "hate speech" for making fun of lesbians -- all the while acknowledging that the same jokes would be fine if the joke-teller was lesbian. What a horrid world Cole wants us to live in.
It got me thinking, though. What kind of jokes could Barack Obama tell? His mom was White; is he Black enough to tell Black jokes? How about someone who is one quarter Black? One eighth? Are they only allowed to tell gentle Black jokes, but the really tough ones are reserved for very black-skinned Blacks?
Could a straight woman pretend to be a lesbian in order to tell jokes about lesbians? How would Susan Cole propose to check her bona fides? And how about bi-sexuals?
Could a transexual -- a man who "became" a woman -- tell jokes about women? Even if he was still six feet tall, and looked pretty masculine?
Can anyone tell a joke that begins "a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar", or would you need two people to tell that one?
Can you convert to Islam, tell some Muslim jokes, and then convert back when the show is done (provided you're not executed for apostasy)?
If a lesbian tells a joke about lesbians, and it's not funny, do you still have to laugh? If you don't, is that discrimination?
There are so many rules about the "new comedy". All of which are lustily supported by a very angry woman named Susan Cole, and soul mates on the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. I'm sure that the comedians of the world will be hanging on their every word, and following their position papers on what jokes are funny and what jokes aren't.
Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel Prize-winning writer, was sentenced by a troika to eight years in a labour camp for writing a joke about Joseph Stalin -- he made fun of Stalin's moustache, calling him "the whiskered one". An estimated 200,000 Russians were sent to the Gulag for making jokes.
It is a mistake to think that freedom only grows; that once achieved, it always remains. The malign human instinct to control one's neighbours, to silence one's foes, is eternal. There are Stalins in every generation; they must be met with Solzhenitsyns in every generation.
UPDATE 2: Susan Cole said in the clip that George Carlin never said anything hateful. Uh, okay. A commenter provides this clip of him responding to a heckler. I'm not saying it's pretty; I'm just saying Cole is clueless.