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Ricky Gervais in the New Humanist

You’ve probably heard already that Gervais was interviewed by the New Humanist — he does give a great interview, stuffed full of juicy quotes. I like this one:

I always expect some people to be offended. I know I ruffle feathers but some people’s feathers need a little ruffling. And remember: just because someone is offended doesn’t mean they’re in the right. Some people are offended by multiculturalism, homosexuality, abortion, atheism – what should we do? Ban all those things? You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you. But no one has the right to never be offended.

I don’t know about this, though. This is just showing off.

Comments

  1. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I don’t know about this, though. This is just showing off.

    You’re just jealous because you didn’t think of it first, for the book cover. ;)

  2. Carlie says

    I think it’s trite and narcissistic. No Ricky, you’re not the atheist Jesus. No, you’re not the first person to think to pose that way. No, you’re not nearly as edgy as you think you are. He annoys me because at least half of his comedy is making fun of traditionally stereotyped groups – it’s lazy and old. Bah.

  3. says

    Ricky Gervais is awesome — and if you haven’t seen the deconstruction he did of the Noah’s Ark story on the “Science” tour (it’s available in the usual place), you have missed a treat.

  4. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Huh, reading those articles about Gervais is really enlightening. I guess I haven’t listened to him enough to stumble upon the assholishness.

  5. Matt says

    @4 I’ve never heard Ricky Gervais joke about rape, and just what is ‘slut-shaming’? He does rip on fat people a lot though, and I think its needed. Britain is now one of the most obese countries in Europe, our levels of child obesity in particular are alarming. People in the public eye need to do more to say that getting sickeningly fat is NOT ok, it is very unhealthy and it might kill you.

  6. says

    He seems to have a fondness for rape jokes, from what I have seen. Like the invention of lying “LOL I can trick women into fucking me! They never would if I didn’t deceive them ha ha!”, or his role as a doctor on louis ck’s show (he assaults a patient during a prostate exam, it is supposed to be funny). I guess he is good proof that atheists can be as backwards and stupid as any religious person. Puke.

  7. ajb47 says

    I like some of his stuff (Talking Funny, the HBO special with Seinfeld, Rock, and Louis CK was great), don’t find other stuff of his funny. But he was on the Daily Show at one point and said that some people tell him he shouldn’t be allowed to even say the word “Christmas” and he said with a puzzled tone, “But I can say ‘Wednesday’.” That struck me as funny.

  8. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    He does rip on fat people a lot though, and I think its needed. Britain is now one of the most obese countries in Europe, our levels of child obesity in particular are alarming.

    Oh, that’s brilliant! I wonder how no one has thought about it before – if you mock and shame fat people they’ll lose weight. It’s brilliant in its simplicity!

    \sarcasm

  9. PlayMp1 says

    Skeptifem, I think you missed the point… the point is the characters are *supposed* to be assholes. I understand if you don’t find it funny, but there’s no reason to hate the guy over it.

  10. says

    I have a sort of love / hate relationship with Gervais. Love some of his stuff… but honestly some of his schtick (rape jokes, fat shaming… really?) I find trite and low-brow. It’s not even offensive… just… lazy, low-hanging fruit.

    But this:

    just because someone is offended doesn’t mean they’re in the right

    can not be said enough…

  11. Mr. Fire says

    Matt @8: Fuck off and die.

    Mocking obese people is not correlated with them being inspired to get treatment. You must surely be aware that it will most likely have the opposite effect.

    It really is because you consider them lesser people, and are just looking for an excuse to say so.

  12. Jessie says

    No matter what he does or says, all I see is a massive ego and a man who relies on cheap laughs at the expense of others. Any concern he states for any cause just looks like a publicity stunt, so the picture really doesn’t surprise me.

  13. says

    matt #8

    He does rip on fat people a lot though, and I think its needed.

    Seriously with that?

    Real issues with childhood obesity and poor lifestyle habits leading to adult obesity are certainly worth addressing… but considering that many of these issues have some root in psychology (poor self-esteem, etc), do you really think fat-shaming low-brow humor is the way to address them? I think you should re-think that position carefully.

  14. Olav says

    Matt:

    He does rip on fat people a lot though, and I think its needed.

    I’m overweight, and I really don’t need to be told by some arrogant prick that I am therefore stupid, lazy or whatever. Because I am not. Mr. Gervais can just close his eyes, temporarily or permanently I don’t care, if he doesn’t want to look at people like me.

  15. Nate says

    I get the feeling some of you people are big fans of Jeff Dunham and his ever so funny puppets.

  16. muscular n handsome says

    I think fat jokes are hilarious. Billy Connolly acting out fat sex is one of the funniest things ever. Everything is open for comedy. If someone isn’t offended, it probably isn’t funny. Seriously, lighten the fuck up. You’ll enjoy life more.

  17. Blueaussi says


    I think fat jokes are hilarious. Billy Connolly acting out fat sex is one of the funniest things ever. Everything is open for comedy. If someone isn’t offended, it probably isn’t funny. Seriously, lighten the fuck up. You’ll enjoy life more.

    *sniff*

    Folks, check your shoes. I smell troll poo.

  18. Carlie says

    just because someone is offended doesn’t mean they’re in the right

    And on the other side of that, just because you’re being offensive doesn’t mean you’re speaking truth to power, or even being edgy. Or funny.

  19. Carlie says

    There’s also a big difference between being offended and being bored. Really, there’s nothing new in saying “fat people are gross” or “tricking women to violate them is fun”. I don’t think there’s a single joke that Gervais has made in that realm that hasn’t been made for the last few hundred years already.

  20. =8)-DX says

    Um, personally, I think the best comedy out there is full of trully offensive material. Any proper standup comedian realises the offense he is going to cause. The question is not whether or not a specific joke is offensive due to religion (the right reason), brutality (depends), stereotyping (depends). The question is how well put it is, how the comedian integrates it into the act.

    For instance we all know racism is bad. But we will all life like heck if presented by a comedian PRETENDING to be a racist, to make fun of them.

    With Ricky Gervais I think people make the dumb mistake of taking his comedy persona to be his real personality – it’s an act people and half the comedy he makes is by making HIMSELF look absurd (mysogynistic, racist, etc.)

    This recent photo – well that’s just absurd.. complete overindulgence, nothing more.

  21. Chris says

    I love Ricky,Fat jokes and all.Seriously people,because of my weight and my BMI I am considered morbidly obese and I think most fat jokes are hilarious.If you can’t laugh at yourself first and foremost then you need to take yourself out of society and go hide in a f@#$ing hole because you”re not doing anyone else any favors.
    When a subject is considered off limits or beyond satire then it’s just one step away from people killing over it and that is a true tragedy.

  22. Carlie says

    The question is not whether or not a specific joke is offensive due to religion (the right reason), brutality (depends), stereotyping (depends). The question is how well put it is, how the comedian integrates it into the act.

    Actually, the question is whether they are mocking people above them or below. If above, it’s comedy. If below, they’re simply a bully.

  23. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    With Ricky Gervais I think people make the dumb mistake of taking his comedy persona to be his real personality – it’s an act people and half the comedy he makes is by making HIMSELF look absurd (mysogynistic, racist, etc.)

    Let’s assume that some unnamed non-racist comedian makes jokes about racism. If a large number of his audience finds those jokes not funny, but racist – meaning that they don’t see them as making fun of racists but making fun of people subjected to racism… Does that mean everyone who doesn’t “get” his actual joke is stupid or maybe that he is not such a good comedian (if he’s not really racist)?

  24. Carlie says

    Everyone being all Mel-Gibson-FREEDOM: Nobody’s saying that he’s not allowed to joke about whatever he wants. But we’re allowed to say he’s being lazy and boring and picking on people who don’t deserve it. No one has an unfettered right to acclaim and positive attention. There is no free speech violation, nor any substantive demolishing of the entire artifice of comedy, if I look at Gervais, say “meh,asshole”, and change the channel.

  25. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    When a subject is considered off limits or beyond satire then it’s just one step away from people killing over it and that is a true tragedy.

    Yes, people making fat jokes are just a breath away from being lined up and shot. Be prepared, those laughing at those jokes might be next.

  26. coralline says

    Sounds as though Ricky heard Philip Pullman’s response to a question about the title The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ : http://youtu.be/HQ3VcbAfd4w . It’s one of my favorite responses to this type of question, and Pullman delivers it perfectly. Ricky did well!

  27. illuminata says

    Someone bust out the bigot repellent, we’ve been infested by Teh Stupid.

    I think it’s trite and narcissistic. No Ricky, you’re not the atheist Jesus.

    LOL, seriously. He’s a stale one-trick pony and yet another clueless, wealthy white dude desperately trying to manufacture oppression. Its embarrassing.

    Boring. Flaccid. Weak.

  28. illuminata says

    When a subject is considered off limits or beyond satire then it’s just one step away from people killing over it and that is a true tragedy.

    LOOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    *gasp*

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    my sides! my sides!

    Seriously dude, drop the melodrama and grow up.

  29. Chris says

    “When a subject is considered off limits or beyond satire then it’s just one step away from people killing over it and that is a true tragedy.

    Yes, people making fat jokes are just a breath away from being lined up and shot. Be prepared, those laughing at those jokes might be next.

    Really? because I’m pretty sure I meant that if you can’t laugh at a subject,if it’s sooo deadly serious(for example fat jokes)then there’s a chance that some fat person is going to be sooo offended that people are making fun of them,they freak out and kill someone.You can roll your eyes all you want but things like that happen.

  30. says

    With Ricky Gervais I think people make the dumb mistake of taking his comedy persona to be his real personality – it’s an act people and half the comedy he makes is by making HIMSELF look absurd (mysogynistic, racist, etc.)

    Life is hard as a feminist who is actually really, really into stand up and sketch comedy.

    1. I get it, okay? People who don’t like what you like aren’t automatically “slow” or something.
    2.If a joke needs to be explained continually it really isn’t that funny or the execution sucks
    3. If spouting a bunch of piggish shit is all it takes to be considered funny satire then anyone can be hilarious without an ounce of creativity or insight and you wouldn’t know the difference. It takes more than just saying horrendous shit to be effective.
    4. I am convinced that the majority of people, including gervais, do no see how rapey the invention of lying thing was. It was in the preview, for fucks sake. I was supposed to want to see the movie because of that scene, and it is standard fodder for sitcoms and standup. The joke was one dimensional: men are pigs and will do anything to fuck a woman, no matter how dishonest the tactic.

    Do you know why dave chappele quit the chapelle show? He was doing a sketch and a white dude off set was laughing a little bit too hard at the sketch, know what I mean? It was a sketch about racism and the guy laughing his head off obviously didn’t get the message, but he sure thought it was funny. He realized that any satire that uses racist imagery will be funny to people who find racism funny, and they will get the impression that black people think it is okay to laugh at the racism. It makes racism seem more acceptable when they think a black person is condoning it or treating it as less than serious. I know a lot of racist people who love the show. It is the same way that stephen colbert is liked equally by conservatives and liberals, they ignore the parts that challenge them intellectually and laugh at everything else. The social effect of something isn’t measured by the comedian’s intent. I am not saying that they shouldn’t do what they do, I am just saying what it is, what it means to a bunch of racist or sexist people. It is the difference between writing a persuasive argument and a rhetorical analysis. Where you draw the line is up to you, but don’t pretend that this kind of shit doesn’t exist or matter.

  31. Chris says

    Seriously dude, drop the melodrama and grow up.

    Who’s being melodramatic?I simply stated you need to be able to laugh at yourself and not take your self Too seriously and people who can’t do that are the ones like to go off the deep end and kill someone.I wish people would actually read what I wrote before making stupid comments :D

  32. consciousness razor says

    If a large number of his audience finds those jokes not funny, but racist – meaning that they don’t see them as making fun of racists but making fun of people subjected to racism… Does that mean everyone who doesn’t “get” his actual joke is stupid or maybe that he is not such a good comedian (if he’s not really racist)?

    If, if, if, if…. Is that the case for Gervais, or is this a general question?

    Maybe it depends on what makes a good comedian. I do think most people are too ignorant or stupid to understand subtler jokes. The more ham-handed a comedian is, the more obvious it is who the target of his ridicule is, and the fewer would misinterpret his or her comedy. Yet we tend to look down on such comedians, because we expect them to be fairly clever and inventive to keep us anticipating the punchline. So I would say the better one is at comedy, the more likely some will not understand it.

  33. lordsetar says

    Chris #36:

    Really? because I’m pretty sure I meant that if you can’t laugh at a subject,if it’s sooo deadly serious(for example fat jokes)then there’s a chance that some fat person is going to be sooo offended that people are making fun of them,they freak out and kill someone.You can roll your eyes all you want but things like that happen.

    And you might get struck by lightning =/

  34. illuminata says

    because I’m pretty sure I meant that if you can’t laugh at a subject,if it’s sooo deadly serious(for example fat jokes)then there’s a chance that some fat person is going to be sooo offended that people are making fun of them,they freak out and kill someone.You can roll your eyes all you want but things like that happen.

    AKA the “shut up and take it” dodge.

    If you mock vulnerable people – specifically, a group you yourself do not belong to – you’re not being funny, you’re not being cool, you’re not being edgy – you’re being a worthless bigotted asshole. Someone not finding your chickenshitt bigotry funny doesn’t make them dangerous.

    And, lastly, if no one has the right not to be offended, THAT INCLUDES WHINY BIGOTTED ASSHOLES. You want to make jokes about vulnerable people because you’re a privileged bigot, I’m going to mock you. I’m going to criticize you – and not nicely. You don’t get to hide behind “it’s just a joke!”, and be immune from the fallout, because no one has the right not to be offended.

    Funny how bigots magically forget that once they get back what they give.

  35. lordsetar says

    Chris #38:

    I simply stated you need to be able to laugh at yourself and not take your self Too seriously

    How lovely. Are recovering anorexics taking themselves too seriously? How about my girlfriend, who is pressured to lose weight simply because she’s outside the ‘acceptable’ social norm, and has body image issues? Is she just taking herself too seriously?

    What the hell do we have to do to make you realize what the fuck your jokes are saying? Do we have to constantly pressure you about your weight, tell you to take extreme lengths to lose weight, shove charts in your face, put you on some insane regimen?

    Do you have any idea how little difference there is between ‘dieting’ and disordered eating (answer: virtually none)?

  36. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Chris,

    You’re joking right? Do you think the same about racist jokes, for example? Black people should just accept all the “nigger” jokes in good grace, because better that than some black person potentially flipping out and murdering some offensive asshole?

  37. consciousness razor says

    When a subject is considered off limits or beyond satire then it’s just one step away from people killing over it and that is a true tragedy.

    Seriously dude, drop the melodrama and grow up.

    More likely, it’s a good two or three steps away at least. What, you think that shit has never happened?

  38. illuminata says

    I wish people would actually read what I wrote before making stupid comments (insert passive aggressive emoticon here)

    And I wish you’d jump off a bridge before making repeatedly stupid comments. But, hey, we can’t always get what we want huh.

  39. Carlie says

    and people who can’t do that are the ones like to go off the deep end and kill someone.

    Yes, having personal taste that does not include liking cliched stereotyped jokes about marginalized groups and talking about it on the internet is just like actually killing someone.

  40. says

    When a subject is considered off limits or beyond satire then it’s just one step away from people killing over it and that is a true tragedy.

    Ever watch stand up from the 80’s? Everyone had faggot jokes then, mostly jokes about how faggots were really women or weren’t real men or should get their asses kicked for being gay. robin williams and don rickels come to mind as saying some really ugly things about gay men. Shit changed. A lot of comics who were making those jokes stopped. Now, people can tell faggot jokes all day if they want to, but the audience isn’t going to enjoy it as easily because more of them respect the humanity of gay people (depending on where you are). Does this make it “off limits”, or just tacky and stupid to tell homophobic jokes? When jokes become unpopular because of social change it really doesn’t limit comedy, it opens up the forum to people from the oppressed group to say stuff from their own perspective. Less homophobia in comedy = more gay comics, talented ones that the world would have otherwise missed out on. If not getting unconditional acceptance of comedy subjects is “dangerous” then we are living in a world of danger already, and no one has said to ban jokes of a certain kind so I don’t know what else you could be referring to.

  41. Carlie says

    Ugh. Seriously?

    Which is why I’m so vehement in my dislike of people like Gervais. I really, really don’t want jerks like him being the face of my atheism, thanks.

  42. Chris says

    AKA the “shut up and take it” dodge.

    If you mock vulnerable people – specifically, a group you yourself do not belong to – you’re not being funny, you’re not being cool, you’re not being edgy – you’re being a worthless bigotted asshole. Someone not finding your chickenshitt bigotry funny doesn’t make them dangerous.

    And, lastly, if no one has the right not to be offended, THAT INCLUDES WHINY BIGOTTED ASSHOLES. You want to make jokes about vulnerable people because you’re a privileged bigot, I’m going to mock you. I’m going to criticize you – and not nicely. You don’t get to hide behind “it’s just a joke!”, and be immune from the fallout, because no one has the right not to be offended.

    Funny how bigots magically forget that once they get back what they give.
    Now who being melodramatic and taking themselves a bit too seriously?Being able to laugh at subjects and your self included does not make you a bigot,sorry.So go take your Prozac and calm down a bit before you hurt someone :D

  43. designsoda says

    Which is why I’m so vehement in my dislike of people like Gervais. I really, really don’t want jerks like him being the face of my atheism, thanks.

    You’re blaming Gervais for Melissa McEwan using the phrase “evangelical atheists?”

  44. Mr. Fire says

    So go take your Prozac and calm down a bit before you hurt someone :D

    Look, this isn’t even funny. It’s weak and childish.

    Also, you’re a clueless trolling fuck.

  45. Bernard Bumner says

    Annnd here we get into comedy as a blanket defense to excuse and mitigate offensiveness.

    Gervais says it himself:

    You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you. But no one has the right to never be offended.

    Not only does Gervais recognises that humour can be offensive, he knows that he himself utilises offensive humour (whatever that generally means – the nature and subject of the offence is obvious in this case, but it may not be as obvious in others).

    It simply isn’t possible to pretend that humour is specially exempted from causing offense when it targets real individuals. Gervais has the right to be merely offensive, fat people have the right to be offended (or not) by him, and anyone has the right to say that Gervais is being an arsehole towards fat people.

    The offensive quality of humour can be judged against the moral consensus, but the moral consensus is not decided on the basis of the quality of humour. A joke doesn’t stop being offensive just because even a majority of people find it funny. There is no need to attempt to delegitimise the offence taken by recipients of a joke in order to defend the right of the comedian to mock. Humour is subjective. Don’t pretend that something you may find funny is not also capable of causing offence to another.

  46. Talynknight says

    skeptifem @9

    I’m going to guess you are basing this completely off the trailer rather than bothering to watch it, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. But if so then you are essentially quote mining him. Spoiler alert he doesn’t actually have sex with her. He backs because he realizes its a shitty thing to do.

  47. Ryan says

    I don’t mind Gervais he has done some funny stuff, but Eddie Izzard is funnier, and his stand up which takes on religions is great.

  48. SallyStrange says

    Now who being melodramatic and taking themselves a bit too seriously?Being able to laugh at subjects and your self included does not make you a bigot,sorry.So go take your Prozac and calm down a bit before you hurt someone :D

    If that’s true, then why are YOU so butthurt about being called out about your assholery? You know you’re not a bigot, so why bother defending yourself? It’s just a bunch of mentally ill melodramatic people taking themselves too seriously here; why do you care what our opinion is?

  49. Mr. Fire says

    I simply stated you need to be able to laugh at yourself and not take your self Too seriously and people who can’t do that are the ones like to go off the deep end and kill someone.

    A worthless non-sequitur pulled out of the deepest, darkest depths of your ass.

    You continue to be a trolling fuck.

  50. Chris says

    You’re joking right? Do you think the same about racist jokes, for example? Black people should just accept all the “nigger” jokes in good grace, because better that than some black person potentially flipping out and murdering some offensive asshole?

    No I don’t think Black people should accept all the “nigger” jokes out there,some of them aren’t funny in the least.
    I think racial stereotype jokes for the most part are funny,including the white jokes and if you ever watch a comedy show with racial jokes in it,the people of that nationality are the ones laughing the hardest because they get it,it’s always the pissy white people getting offended,go figure.I accept anyone of any color, nationality,gender and sexual preference as an equal human that I’m sharing the planet with.If I’m going to dislike a person it’s because they’re an asshole,skin color,nationality,gender and sexual preference has nothing to do with being an asshole.

  51. SallyStrange says

    Ricky Gervais has been funny and continues to be, on occasion; nevertheless I still remember seeing that bit with the doctor tricking a woman into letting him rape her and thinking: tired, old, boring, and offensive. Someone as talented as him should be able to do better. Why hasn’t he done better up til now? That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? If he hasn’t because he doesn’t realize how stale and hurtful jokes like that are, then perhaps he can change and he’s an okay person who just needs a little education. If he hasn’t because he doesn’t give a fuck and still thinks shit like that is funny, since ha-ha women, you have to trick them into fucking you, ha-ha, then he’s a fucking asshole and doesn’t deserve my money.

  52. Harbo says

    Good Grief

    Obesity is not a Disease it is a Decision.

    A stupid decision, yet another proof that stupidity is not the opposite of intelligence.

    There are a lot of very intelligent fat people.

    The opposite of stupid is wise. Being fat is unwise.

    Before the horde descends, on the question of childhood obesity, let me nail my colours to the mast.
    Childhood obesity in the “western world” is a form of child abuse.

  53. designsoda says

    Thank you for putting words in his mouth.

    Do fuck off. Melisa McEwan is right about Gervais but I’m unimpressed with her last statement. I point it out and Carlie then says:

    Which is why I’m so vehement in my dislike of people like Gervais. I really, really don’t want jerks like him being the face of my atheism, thanks.

    That’s at best a non-sequitur.

  54. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Chris,

    You seem to realize that there exists a difference between jokes about racist stereotyping and racist jokes. So, why don’t you try and consider that there are also jokes about stereotyping based on weight or even jokes about bad fat jokes and that at I wouldn’t object to them, but that there are also jokes about overweight people that are mocking them and those are the ones I have a problem with?

  55. SallyStrange says

    No I don’t think Black people should accept all the “nigger” jokes out there,some of them aren’t funny in the least.

    But clearly, as you have demonstrated by your behavior here, if you saw a comedian making “nigger” jokes, and you personally found it funny, you would then respond to any people of color who spoke up saying that they thought it was not funny and it was offensive by saying, “Oh geez you silly black people. It was a joke. Shut the fuck up and stop taking yourselves so seriously. Here’s some prozac, you melodramatic idiots, no go learn how to laugh at yourselves.”

    Correct?

  56. says

    I followed the link to the shakespearessister blog and saw the cover to the New Humanist. There’s an opinion piece called “The End of Catholic Ireland” which I would love to read and which is not in the online version. I don’t know if I can find New Humanist here in the US, at least not in my city. I can try to the university library.

  57. says

    I think racial stereotype jokes for the most part are funny,including the white jokes and if you ever watch a comedy show with racial jokes in it,the people of that nationality are the ones laughing the hardest because they get it

    Clueless, privileged non-minority on line 1…

  58. Carlie says

    designsoda – I read your initial comment to mean that your dismay was about her seeing Gervais as a representative atheist, not that you were objecting to the phrase “evangelical atheist”. Hence my response.

    I accept anyone of any color, nationality,gender and sexual preference as an equal human that I’m sharing the planet with.

    I’ve also heard this kind of “I don’t care if a person is x, y, z or whatever!” statement in conversation many times, and in my experience, it’s always white people who do that.
    If this form of “colored-people” listing really is a white habit–a common white tendency–then why do a lot of white people do that?
    I think the reasons vary, but that it’s mostly an effort to avoid discussions of race, and sometimes to shut them down completely.

  59. Dhorvath, OM says

    Harbo,

    Obesity is not a Disease it is a Decision.

    Just like drug addiction, eh?
    Even if it is based on decisions and those decisions are completely free, it’s not one, but a multitude of decisions that result in obesity. However, it is looking less and less like your simple view of obesity has anything to do with the reality of weight gain in western society.
    Obesity is a reflection of high fructose corn syrop, it’s a reflection of the power of advertising and it’s ubiquity, it’s a reflection of decreased activity levels, it’s a reflection of long work hours and convenience food at depressed cost where portion size is a selling feature. To just up and nail the whole thing to individual choice is hopelessly naive.

  60. says

    seriously, what is it that people seem to not get here? No-one is trying to take away Gervais’ or anyone else’s ability to offend anyone they want about anything they want. We’re simply making the case that some shit just ain’t that funny. And as a matter of personal opinion if you are the kind of person that finds fat-bashing hilarious, or rape-jokes simply side-splitting, well that tells me something about you. You are well within your rights to laugh your ass off… and I’m well within mine to call you a shallow assclown for doing so and bragging about it.

    The conversation kicked off with Matt at #8 not simply making the statement that Gervais’ fat-shaming was funny, but that it was in fact needed. From there you cross the line from being a boorish dolt with a low-brow sense of humor to a flat out goblin with a total lack of empathy or class.

  61. latsot says

    Obesity is not a Disease it is a Decision.

    People *decide* to become obese? Just like people *decide* to become alcoholic, I suppose?

  62. Chris says

    “If that’s true, then why are YOU so butthurt about being called out about your assholery? You know you’re not a bigot, so why bother defending yourself? It’s just a bunch of mentally ill melodramatic people taking themselves too seriously here; why do you care what our opinion is?”

    So let’s get his straight.I’m unfairly being called an asshole a bigot and a troll by some raving lunatics who can’t have normal conversation and I can’t set the record straight?
    In the large picture it doesn’t matter in the least “your” opinion of me is but I do rather enjoy this site and to comment from time to time so I am simply clearing up the misrepresentation I am receiving.
    I can joke all day long about myself and can laugh if people are taking shots good naturedly,but people are simply being unnecessarily viscous,so I defend myself :D

  63. Mr. Fire says

    the people of that nationality are the ones laughing the hardest because they get it,it’s always the pissy white people getting offended,go figure.

    Another bullshit assertion with nothing to back it up.

    Not to mention that you do not even provide any context. The type of joke, and who is telling it, also matter.

    And even despite all that, it’s still an argumentum ad populum.

  64. says

    I can joke all day long about myself and can laugh if people are taking shots good naturedly,but people are simply being unnecessarily viscous,so I defend myself

    No… you didn’t come in here defending yourself… you came in defending Gervais. Right there at #28. And you did so on the heels of a conversation that started with the assertion that fat-bashing was not only funny… but necessary.

    I think at that point you should have been prepared to defend yourself.

  65. Matt Penfold says

    I suggest those who think obesity is a choice, or is a simple issue, take a look at a 2007 report prepared for the UK Government.

    It is called Tackling Obesities: Future Choices and was part of the Foresight project. The report can be found here.

    If you do not want to read the whole thing, then at least read the summary here [PDF}.

    The report makes it quite clear the causes, and solutions, to problems of obesity are not simple and require changes to many aspects of society. Although the report only looks at the UK, I see nothing to suggest its lessons do not apply to other countries.

  66. SallyStrange says

    So let’s get his straight.I’m unfairly being called an asshole a bigot and a troll

    Are you sure it’s unfair? Are you positive you’ve done nothing to deserve such epithets? Because from where I’m sitting, it all looks completely justified. You’re a bigot; you’re stupid, and you’re not ashamed of it.

    by some raving lunatics who can’t have normal conversation

    There you go again with your bigotry.

    and I can’t set the record straight?

    Well, you can TRY to set the record straight. But if the accusations are true, then it’s going to be very hard for you to do so. I note that you have not succeeded so far.

    In the large picture it doesn’t matter in the least “your” opinion of me is but I do rather enjoy this site and to comment from time to time so I am simply clearing up the misrepresentation I am receiving.

    I sincerely hope that being accurately called a stupid assholish bigot destroys every last vestige of enjoyment you’ve gained from this site, and that you fuck right off to some other internet venue, one where people laugh at marginalized minorities all day long and nobody ever complains, because everyone there agrees with you that only freakish mentally ill people ever protest about fat jokes or rape jokes. There are plenty of sites out there like that.

    Also, you asked what slut-shaming is, which leads me to wonder how often you’ve actually read this site. In any case, here you go: slut-shaming explained.

  67. designsoda says

    designsoda – I read your initial comment to mean that your dismay was about her seeing Gervais as a representative atheist, not that you were objecting to the phrase “evangelical atheist”. Hence my response.

    Looks like it was a misunderstanding on top of another misunderstanding. My apologies.

    On the subject of “representative atheists,” I’m not too worried there. Gervais has blind spots (as do Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and many others) but not enough that would make me embarrassed of being an atheist if any of them were somehow made the face of atheism. Whatever that means.

    And let’s face it, if you come to a sweeping conclusion about a diverse a group as the atheist community based on ONE member of said community (however high profile he or she may be) then that is on you.

    Pointing out blind spots aggressively is more than fair game in my opinion. But that last phrase in the article was stupid.

  68. Chris says

    Also, you asked what slut-shaming is, which leads me to wonder how often you’ve actually read this site. In any case, here you go: slut-shaming explained.

    Sorry wasn’t me,there must be more than one Chris here.

    I sincerely hope that being accurately called a stupid assholish bigot destroys every last vestige of enjoyment you’ve gained from this site, and that you fuck right off to some other internet venue, one where people laugh at marginalized minorities all day long and nobody ever complains, because everyone there agrees with you that only freakish mentally ill people ever protest about fat jokes or rape jokes. There are plenty of sites out there like that.

    Nope sorry.I still enjoy and will continue to enjoy this site until such time as PZ considers my thoughts inappropriate and bans me.Thanks for the concern though :D

  69. illuminata says

    Now who being melodramatic and taking themselves a bit too seriously? Being able to laugh at subjects and your self included does not make you a bigot, sorry. So go take your Prozac and calm down a bit before you hurt someone :D

    LOL, I should have guessed this dipshit wouldn’t know the meaning of the word melodramatic. It’s got more than two syllables! Who can live at that speed!

    Pointing out and refuting your chickenshit defense of bigotry isn’t being melodramatic. I made a point you can’t refute, so you pulled out the ableist slurs to try and distract the audience from your total failure.

    Didn’t work, diddums, you total failure you.

    You are not immune from being called out because you’re a stupid, lazy bigot. Grow up and deal.

    Who wants to take bets that the sexist slurs will come next? $5 says I’m a shrill man-hating femnazi.

  70. peterh says

    “…But no one has the right to never be offended.”

    That’s an old one – from John Cleese (Monty Python).

  71. SallyStrange says

    Ack! Somebody forgot to close their tags!

    I’m looking at you, trollface.

    Banned or not, you’re not part of this community. Think of this as a little digital primate chest-beating if you will. Of course you can continue to read and post here, but why would you want to, since you don’t share the values of the community here?

  72. SallyStrange says

    Right, it was Matt who didn’t know what slut-shaming is. Matt, the guy who said that fat-shaming is necessary. Matt, whose indefensible bullshit you, Chris, chose to defend.

    An understandable mistake on my part, I think.

  73. Rey Fox says

    Dhorvath @72: See, that’s why you got the OM and I’m just a guy.

    I’m unfairly being called an asshole a bigot and a troll by some raving lunatics

    Hey, suck it up, we’re just funnin’ ya!

    Thanks for the concern though :D

    Obviously, you don’t read this site very carefully, ’cause that’s not how the “concern” line is used. Oh, and also, put a space after your punctuation marks.

  74. says

    People *decide* to become obese? Just like people *decide* to become alcoholic, I suppose?

    This still implies that obesity is a problem, regardless of the health or happiness of the obese person in their obese body. Its bullshit. Alcoholism is by definition irresponsible usage. This isn’t to say that there aren’t people who are obese due to things like eating disorders, that happens. But there are people who are fat while living very active lives with nutritious food as well. The only thing you can tell about someone from their weight is their weight.

    I guess obese people choose it to the extent that they don’t choose to starve themselves, but that is a totally reasonable choice to make. The way that obese people lose weight for a couple of years on gastric bypass (surgically reduced food intake and nutrient absorption) only to gain a bunch back later on, and have it hang on even more stubbornly, makes me think that many obese people can’t get in the normal BMI range without seriously hurting their health. The lack of eating or nutrients seems to be a lot more harmful than being fat in the vast majority of cases.

  75. says

    And let’s face it, if you come to a sweeping conclusion about a diverse a group as the atheist community based on ONE member of said community (however high profile he or she may be) then that is on you.

    Well when they all just happen to be white dudes with economic privilege and they seem to share a bunch of the same blindspots as a result, why isn’t it the community’s fault for not picking out more diverse leadership to reflect the groups diversity? I don’t personally think that people who are excited about atheism or skepticism ARE all that diverse, but the problem is made worse by the way that the group embraces leaders with these blindspots. It is alienating. People don’t go where they don’t feel welcome.

  76. Chris says

    “but why would you want to, since you don’t share the values of the community here?”

    Not true I agree with most of the views here,we(and others) simply disagree on particular subject and know I know now not to voice a difference of opinion on being able to laugh at taboo subjects and not taking yourself too seriously.
    Except for the raving lunatic comment(which was out of line)I have been completely civil,I am not a bigot an asshole or a troll and will continue to enjoy this site now and in the future to come. :D

    Thanks

  77. says

    Obesity is not a Disease it is a Decision.

    A stupid decision, yet another proof that stupidity is not the opposite of intelligence.

    There are a lot of very intelligent fat people.

    The opposite of stupid is wise. Being fat is unwise.

    This only makes sense if you think health is a moral imperative. Some people don’t give a shit about their health, they care about other things instead. That is their business and you should respect that.

    Anyway, it isn’t as simple as you make it out to be. There are fat athletes out there that you would call “unwise” while they undertake a fitness routine that is far more difficult than one you could handle.

    http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/athletic-fathletic/

    The woman in the middle is Cheryl Haworth. Cheryl is an Olympic medal-winning weightlifter. In a typical workout she lifts as much as 25 tons – the weight of an F-15 fighter jet. Cheryl holds a record for clean and jerk of 355 pounds. That means that I could hold a 71 pound weight and then Cheryl could push me and the weight OVER HER HEAD. Who would like to tell Cheryl Haworth that she does not have an athletic body, please step forward…

    That’s what I thought.

    The fat lady in the picture at the top dances 20 hours a week and is extremely healthy by every measure. She is also morbidly obese. You don’t know anything about a fat person just by looking at them, and even if you did and the majority were “bad” fat people who eat junk foods and don’t work out, it is narcissistic and ridiculous to assume that everyone should share your priorities (health). Different than you =/= unwise.

  78. illuminata says

    The way that obese people lose weight for a couple of years on gastric bypass (surgically reduced food intake and nutrient absorption) only to gain a bunch back later on, and have it hang on even more stubbornly, makes me think that many obese people can’t get in the normal BMI range without seriously hurting their health.

    While I don’t disagree with you, this can be because the underlying eating disorders that caused excessive weight gain go untreated.

    That is, if one is a compulsive binge eater, weight-loss surgery doesn’t fix that. Each of the weight loss surgeries can be defeated by the patient, if they stop following “doctor’s orders” wrt new dietary guidelines. Or, if they suffer from “magic bullet” thinking – i.e. that all they need to do is have the surgery and everything is fixed.

    FTR: I am emphatically NOT disagreeing with the Healthy At Every Size stance, nor am I saying that in every case it’s the patient’s fault for regaining weight. I’ve just spent ALOT of time around bariatric patients where one of the two above seems to be the most common reasons for regaining.

  79. chigau () says

    I know now not to voice a difference of opinion

    Do you really think that was what happened here?

  80. illuminata says

    Not true I agree with most of the views here,we(and others) simply disagree on particular subject and know I know now not to voice a difference of opinion on being able to laugh at taboo subjects and not taking yourself too seriously.

    Translation: Chris can’t handle differences of opinion. And, can’t handle getting back what he gives out. So, he’ll make a not-at-all subtle “echo chamber” accusation – because no one agreed with *him* – and use some more inane, passive agressives smilies.

    LOL predictable troll is predictable.

  81. Brownian says

    Carlie, skeptifem, Illuminata, and others: you’ve already said what I wanted to say. Thanks.

    A word to the ‘lighten up’ crowd: just because you laugh at a comedian doesn’t mean you know the first fucking thing about comedy. (Similarly, you can enjoy a film, a painting, a sculpture, a song, a book, etc. but that doesn’t mean you know anything about film-making, painting, sculpting, songcraft, writing, etc.), so fucking save your goddamn fucking lectures for people who’ve signed up for your course.

    You’ll live longer.

  82. latsot says

    @skeptifem:

    This still implies that obesity is a problem, regardless of the health or happiness of the obese person in their obese body

    No it does not. What I said is that people don’t make a *choice* to be obese any more than people make a *choice* to be alcoholic.

    Nobody thinks “Well, it’s a nice morning, I think I’ll become obese.” Nobody thinks “Well, I’ve *started* drinking, so I may as well not stop.” Those are outcomes rather than decisions, obviously.

    I didn’t say anything at all about the health or happiness of obese or alcoholic people. I didn’t make any value judgement at all. So do me a favour and don’t put words in my mouth.

  83. Waffler, expert on waffling says

    the joke was one dimensional: men are pigs and will do anything to fuck a woman, no matter how dishonest the tactic.

    Of course, to be fair to the film, if that was the joke, the main character steps on the punchline. I think the intended source of humor in the scene was the ridiculousness of the claims the m.c. could make and still be believed. Of course, that’s the intended source of humor of about half the jokes in the film.

  84. Brownian says

    I know now not to voice a difference of opinion

    Seriously? People disagreeing with you means the takeaway message is don’t voice your opinion?

    Are you made of paper?

    Didn’t you come in here to lecture everyone about how important it is to be able laugh at yourself? When did that turn into “I have an opinion: everybody coddle me”?

    So, beside being obese, cowardly, and having a fondness for making proclamations everybody else has to follow, is there anything else we should know about you? Got a deadly allergy to air and sunlight, or something?

    If you don’t know how to use the italics tag, PLEASE DON’T USE THE ITALICS TAG.

    If people are somehow using them improperly, that’s one thing. If they’re simply forgetting to close the tags once in awhile, then the site software should be a little more robust, PZ.

  85. skeptifem says

    illuminata:

    While I don’t disagree with you, this can be because the underlying eating disorders that caused excessive weight gain go untreated.

    That is, if one is a compulsive binge eater, weight-loss surgery doesn’t fix that. Each of the weight loss surgeries can be defeated by the patient, if they stop following “doctor’s orders” wrt new dietary guidelines. Or, if they suffer from “magic bullet” thinking – i.e. that all they need to do is have the surgery and everything is fixed.

    FTR: I am emphatically NOT disagreeing with the Healthy At Every Size stance, nor am I saying that in every case it’s the patient’s fault for regaining weight. I’ve just spent ALOT of time around bariatric patients where one of the two above seems to be the most common reasons for regaining.

    It seems (to me) like the level of calories needed to lose weight for people a few years out from surgery are much lower than they initially were, regardless of other problems.

    latsot- ok, sorry.

  86. says

    The problem is a combination of the software and the user. The software tries to be smart and prevent you from posting an imbalanced tag pair, but there’s a certain BAD way of typing the closing tag that WordPress thinks closes it, but that no respectable browser is going to mistake for a closing tag.

    It takes a stupidly scrambled tag to mess up the formatting, and you wouldn’t think people would screw it up that often, but one person here has made the same stupid mistake several times now…apparently because he thinks it’s the right way to close a tag.

  87. says

    I decided to be gay, which in turn made me decide to be an alcoholic, which in turn contributed to my obesity. See how that works? Viscious, viscious cycle. (Or is that viscous?)

    Just being an ass, btw. There are factors that contribute to all of that, and to say otherwise is to ignore reality.

    HOWEVER, there is a level of personal responsibility with each (well, in the sense that there is personal responsibility with any sexuality). Alcoholics can change. Individuals who suffer from obesity can also take measures to improve their life.

    It would be easy for me (single digit body fat) to make jokes at their expense- yet marginalizing these people will not help them. Education will.

  88. Olav says

    Mikeg:

    It would be easy for me (single digit body fat) to make jokes at their expense- yet marginalizing these people will not help them. Education will.

    Do you think you have anything to teach fat people? Let’s hear it, let’s have a laugh.

  89. Carlie says

    yet marginalizing these people will not help them. Education will.

    Help them…what? There are lots of people who are perfectly healthy by all measures of health except the single one that weirdly tries to map a 2-d calculation onto a 3-d body. There are lots of people who have extra body fat, even due to PURPOSELY OVEREATING OMG, who are still a hell of a lot more healthy than people who prefer alcohol as a drug over sugar and have wrecked livers, or who have incredibly low body fat but eat nothing but Doritos and vienna sausages. In fact, most studies that dig deeper into risk factors and health than basic weight/illness finds that there are other factors involved, and once those are accounted for the correlation with weight becomes more incidental.

    And since when is anyone else’s health your business, anyway? If you’re going to go the route of “my health insurance premium pays for your services”, then I have a lot to say about whether or not you get to use V**gra, and how many drinks you do have a week, and if you play soccer on the weekends without being in adequate training the rest of the week to prevent muscle tears, and if you drive over the speed limit at all, ever.

  90. Ophelia Benson says

    Anyway – I really hate that picture. I saw it on the NH site several days ago and decided not to link to the article, just because the picture is so irritating. (Which is a silly reason, but there you go.) Honestly. We get it, Rick; well done; now go away.

  91. truthspeaker says

    Chris says:
    7 September 2011 at 8:30 am

    I love Ricky,Fat jokes and all.Seriously people,because of my weight and my BMI I am considered morbidly obese and I think most fat jokes are hilarious.

    Ditto.

  92. skeptifem says

    latsot

    Individuals who suffer from obesity can also take measures to improve their life.

    It would be easy for me (single digit body fat) to make jokes at their expense- yet marginalizing these people will not help them. Education will.

    I guess this is why I didn’t like the alcoholism comparison? People think this way about obesity, like it is a pitiable condition that really should be corrected, instead of someone’s body. I know you weren’t pushing that view, it came off that way to me initially.

    guess what mike- not every obese person is “suffering” from obesity. Education won’t get rid of fat, and some folks don’t really want to be thin. Even if they wanted to they have a 95% chance of failure (outside of extreme measures like permanent organ rearrangement), and the dieting is likely to make their health worse rather than better. I would wager most obese people aren’t suffering from anything but a lot of discrimination in their day to day lives. Does anyone really need to be reminded that heavily muscled people are typically obese? No one means those obese people when they talk about obesity being bad, but they won’t ever give you a definition of how much fat a person is allowed over their muscles before they are considered the bad kind of obese. What people really want is for everyone else to agree that you can tell what is going on inside someone by looking at their outward appearance, but it doesn’t work that way with weight. I wish people would be real and say that this whole concern is cosmetic. If it was about something other than looks then the “concern” of people would look a lot different than it does.

  93. illuminata says

    It seems (to me) like the level of calories needed to lose weight for people a few years out from surgery are much lower than they initially were, regardless of other problems.

    Meaning that patients need to take in fewer calories if they want to maintain? Am I reading that correctly?

    If so, then def yes. But, (and believe me, I know whereof I speak) this is a hard lesson to learn. The surgery can limit how much one can eat, but can’t limit calories. I.e. you might not be able to eat a doughnut, but you can drink a milkshake.

    And even worse, the surgery can be defeated. Which foods should be avoided varies from person to person, but ignoring that (like, for example, drinking soda) can stretch out the stomach defeating the purpose of the band/bypass. And then, they gain weight.

    I laugh when people (not here) call bariatric surgery the “easy way”, or wev. Its not even in the same galaxy as “easy”. But, I think it’s that perception that leads people into magic bullet thinking and potentially failure.

  94. Dox says

    I assumed that people here would be more open minded, but I see that I was wrong. You people are just as sensitive as the Christians that are regularly made fun of (and rightfully so) here. Stop complaining like children, and start behaving like the reasonable adults you see yourself as!

  95. designsoda says

    Well when they all just happen to be white dudes with economic privilege and they seem to share a bunch of the same blindspots as a result, why isn’t it the community’s fault for not picking out more diverse leadership to reflect the groups diversity?

    Fair point, but keep in mind that the community doesn’t have a formal or even informal way to pick these leaders. Also, the community is not a monolith. There’s skepchick, there’s B&W, Greta Christina, there are other places to go.

    I don’t personally think that people who are excited about atheism or skepticism ARE all that diverse,

    Compared to other groups I agree. The atheist community seems to be mostly males, mostly white, and mostly liberal. Having said there are obviously exceptions.

    but the problem is made worse by the way that the group embraces leaders with these blindspots. It is alienating. People don’t go where they don’t feel welcome.

    Which is why many in the atheist community have been pointing out exactly what you are pointing out and there have been many discussions about racism, sexism, privilege lately. I don’t need to remind you about elevatorgate. There is a pushback going on in the community which is great.

    I think it’s unfair to paint any group with a wide brush based on one person. Especially if there is already some pretty vocal dissent withing the community.

    But even at an individual level I wouldn’t completely dismiss the work of these white privileged dudes for their blind spots. I would hope they would be open for discussion and persuasion regarding their blind spots. But even if they aren’t they don’t represent you or me. They are not Popes, they are not elected officials, they are private individuals with their own views. I can enjoy watching The Office and even recommend it while keeping in mind that Gervais pisses me off with regards to other topics.

    We all have a threshold where we completely “disown” a person with similar views. None of those privileged white dudes have reached mine (yet). Maybe Gervais is already beyond the pale for you. That’s fair enough.

  96. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I assumed that people here would be more open minded, but I see that I was wrong.

    Open minded for hurtful, hateful mocking of people’s weight or skin color, or rape? No thanks.

    You people are just as sensitive as the Christians that are regularly made fun of (and rightfully so) here.

    So, overweight people are rightfully made fun of?

    Stop complaining like children, and start behaving like the reasonable adults you see yourself as!

    Can I say it? Can I say it? *jumping around excitedly*
    Your concern is noted.

  97. latsot says

    I guess this is why I didn’t like the alcoholism comparison

    The trick is to read what people actually *say*. I’ll say it again: my point was simply and only that obese people don’t make a choice to be obese and alcoholic people don’t make a choice to be alcoholic.

    I did not make any other comparison between obesity and alcoholism.

  98. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Matt, #8: die in a fire and take Harbo along with you.

    PlayMp1, #13; and =8)-DX, #27: Oh, I see. Hipster racism, sexism, and other -isms.

    Chris, #28, in addition to what everyone else has said to you: You don’t speak for all fat people. And the claim you make in your last paragraph tells me what a sheltered life you’ve led, relatively speaking.

    No I don’t think Black people should accept all the “nigger” jokes out there,some of them aren’t funny in the least.

    Telling.

    Also, considering your lack of ability with spelling, grammar, and punctuation, perhaps you should not be throwing stones about “stupid comments.” Isn’t school back in session already? Pay attention in English class, son.

    mikeg, #107: I don’t need to be “educated” by a self-righteous ass goblin like you. My body is none of your goddamned business. If you want to improve my health, then shut the fuck up about fat people and encourage other assholes to do the same.

    Shorter Dox: “I’m a privileged fuckstick who whines when told I can’t be an asshole to people with less privilege than I have and pass it off as ‘just joking.'”

  99. Brownian says

    It takes a stupidly scrambled tag to mess up the formatting, and you wouldn’t think people would screw it up that often, but one person here has made the same stupid mistake several times now…apparently because he thinks it’s the right way to close a tag.

    Ah, I see. So it really is a PEBKAC issue.

    [Resolves to make doubly sure to use 'preview' button.]

    Alcoholics can change.

    Some can, some can’t.

    But I’ll tell you this: there is no addiction on this planet that’s easier to deal with than it is for somebody else to flap their gums about ‘personal responsibility’.

    Fuck, just to show you how easy it is to babble nonsense about ‘personal responsibility’, I’ll do it here:

    Personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility.

    See? That took virtually no time and effort at all. You know what else that had none of? Effect.

    But, just to make sure (this is a science blog) I’ll do some replication:

    Personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility.

    Anybody here lose any weight after that? Quit alcohol? Smoking? Heroin?

    No?

    How perplexing. Perhaps I’m not wagging my finger as vigorously as I should be. We do want to be thorough, after all.

    [While wagging finger.] Personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility, personal responsibility.

    Well? How many couch potatoes here turned into triathletes-in-training with that? Stopped gambling?

    Go ahead, raise your hands; don’t be shy.

  100. Josh, Official SpokesGay says

    Just because it needs to be on the record:

    You people who claim you care about helping obese people? You don’t. It’s nothing but an excuse for you to be sanctimonious and feel superior to someone else. The very same thing animates the “helpful” hatred of smokers. Utter strangers never gave a shit about my health during my 22 years of smoking (seriously, I don’t care about the health of the average stranger on the street. . .you expect me to believe you do?) but they loved them some prissy fussing, public verbal abuse, and feigned coughing and choking in the open air (asthmatics – shut up. I know you exist and have a legitimate gripe. I’m not talking about you. Stop typing.).

    Oh, I know. If it’s not that you care about fat people/smokers/whoever, it’s that you care how much they’re “costing you” in insurance premiums or healthcare taxes. See, because they don’t contribute to those schemes, only you do. And since you’re not fat or a smoker or an otherwise morally reprehensible hedonist, you shouldn’t have to subsidize someone else’s Objectively Wrong and Irredeemable Lifestyle Choices. Because things like healthcare aren’t there to serve people, see, it’s the other way around. Other people are there to serve your vision of what appropriate healthcare costs are. And that makes society with values that anyone would want to live in.

    Go die.

  101. Brownian says

    I assumed that people here would be more open minded, but I see that I was wrong.

    So, it’s our fault that you’ve got stupid assumptions?

    Go find a curb and bite it, moron. Send us the pictures. I promise you I will laugh my fucking open-minded ass off.

  102. andyo says

    I don’t even call Dane Cook “unfunny” anymore. The discussion over someone’s funniness is always endless even with that guy (and I dislike him much less after his appearance on Louis CK’s show). Someone’s funny if somebody’s laughing, which doesn’t have anything to do with them being an asshole or not. I think the best Gervais has done is Extras and Animals. Maybe his material is not the best, but I like his delivery.

  103. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    Humor often stems from discomfort and that’s why humorists often dwell on topics that make people uncomfortable; racism, sexism, ableism, etc. Very skilled comedians can be funny without promoting those uncomfortable ideologies, but I think it’s very hard to do.

    Because I am unfamiliar with Gervais’ work, I googled “Gervais Fat People”, and saw at least one of the bits in question. If he was trying not to promote a negative stereotype of obese people, he failed. Although, I don’t think he was trying.

  104. Brownian says

    There are way to many people commenting with no sense of humour…

    That’s neither funny nor insightful.

    If you want some fucking attention for existing, go pester your fucking parents.

    Then send ‘em my way. I’d like to have a talk with them about taking personal responsibility for the moron they squirted out.

  105. illuminata says

    There are way to many people commenting with no sense of humour…

    So, stevie,you decide what’s funny for everyone, do you? And evidently to you whatever hurts someone else is hilarious and anyone who doesn’t agree doesn’t have a sense of humor?

    Aren’t your an adorable dipshit troll?

    I assumed that people here would be more open minded, but I see that I was wrong.

    Translation: open minded is whatever Dox agrees with! If you don’t agree with Dox you are not open minded! It’s totally open minded to refuse to listen to other viewpoints and dismiss them out of hand cuz Dox says so!

  106. Anteprepro says

    Some jag-off: “You people are just as sensitive as the Christians that are regularly made fun of (and rightfully so) here.”

    The difference is: We are “sensitive” to traits that are relatively harmless, trivial and/or static personality/physical/mental traits being insulted, and are “sensitive” to continuing social prejudices over such details.
    The Christians are “sensitive” to their beliefs being insulted, in even the slightest fashion. That’s a big fucking difference, don’t you think?

    Another twit: “There are way to many people commenting with no sense of humour…”

    No, there are too many people here thinking about the ramifications of considering insulting fat people and making light of rape “humor”, and also the problems with considering all “humor” beyond reproach. But I’m glad that you have a good enough of a “sense of humor” to not give a fuck if a variety of minority groups are unnecessarily stigmatized in joke after tired, old joke. I’m over-joyed for you that you are so above it all that you think that concerns over the fact that rape is EXCESSIVELY used in jokes, more than any other equally heinous crimes, is so irrelevant that you commented here specifically to express just how little of a fuck you give. But, you see, sometimes the jokes, the humor, and the comedy refer to things in the real world. Things that aren’t actually all too funny. I know you can’t be expected to realize that, but please keep that in mind for future reference.

  107. Rey Fox says

    There are way to many people commenting with no sense of humour…

    There are too many people commenting who are ignorant of the English language too.

    Another hint: having a sense of humor does not equal laughing at every stupid thing that comes out of the mouth of a comedian.

    Also, you can laugh at that stuff all you want. You don’t have to be offended that not everyone is.

  108. chigau () says

    Brownian
    But have you tried repetitions of “personal responsibility” combined with:
    1. the tapping of foot
    2. the folding of arms
    3. the pursing of lips
    ?

  109. illuminata says

    Also, you can laugh at that stuff all you want. You don’t have to be offended that not everyone is.

    WEll, they’re super hip, edgy cool skeptics, after all, so how dare we not walk in lock-step agreement with them!?! Skeptics aren’t supposed to think for themselves, right? The world rises and sets on what rando douchey troll thinks is funny, therefore we’re in the wrong if we don’t agree.

    We’re the echo chamber, if we have a different idea of what’s funny and irrefutable reasons why.

    Makes perfect sense, no?

  110. Brownian says

    Brownian
    But have you tried repetitions of “personal responsibility” combined with:
    1. the tapping of foot
    2. the folding of arms
    3. the pursing of lips
    ?

    I would, but the whole point of this excercise is to demonstrate the efficaciousness of the feeling of smug superiority. I could keep adding action to the experiment, but eventually I’m going to reach a point where I’m testing the effects of doing something as opposed to simply feeling smug, and that’s not what these people are actually doing.

  111. beergoggles says

    I’m just worried cuz I think that picture of him is hot and I’m just a bit turned on by it.

    It’s not the bondage that’s the turn on – he’s looking good but the jeans just need to go.

  112. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I wish I was cool and edgy enough to think this kind of bullshit (trigger warning – should be obvious from the url) is oh so funny. After all, why didn’t she just laugh at herself and stop taking herself so seriously?

  113. Anteprepro says

    Brownian: “I could keep adding action to the experiment, but eventually I’m going to reach a point where I’m testing the effects of doing something as opposed to simply feeling smug, and that’s not what these people are actually doing.”

    But, Brownian, you are ignoring the fact that those actions are potent expressions of smugness. You aren’t truly doing an experiment on the effects of smugness on changing everything less than ideal in all onlookers if you refuse to use the body language necessary to fully communicate how smug you are feeling at the time. It’s a very important variable!

  114. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Good point. Perhaps it’s not he smugness, but the perception of smugness that is the answer to all our problems.

  115. TonyJ says

    Like the invention of lying “LOL I can trick women into fucking me! They never would if I didn’t deceive them ha ha!”

    Except he didn’t do it in the movie. He realized that what he was doing was wrong.

  116. illuminata says

    Except he didn’t do it in the movie. He realized that what he was doing was wrong.

    Was that the punchline? That it would be wrong?

    Or was the joke in tricking her?

  117. TonyJ says

    Was that the punchline? That it would be wrong?

    Or was the joke in tricking her?

    The joke was the absurdity of the claim.

  118. illuminata says

    The joke was the absurdity of the claim.

    So, the joke was in tricking her. I’m failing to grasp how this mitigates the problems in such a “joke”.

  119. illuminata says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter – that link is rape culture personified. That dude thinks that story is funny. He was certain other people would think its funny.

    It’s interesting how often “edgy” is just code for “intensely disgusting”.

  120. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Illuminata: Exactly.

    And it rather contradicts TonyJ’s belief that this bullshit is “absurd” in that it’s too unrealistic to happen. It happens all the fucking time, and dudebros are fine with it.

  121. Brownian says

    It’s interesting how often “edgy” is just code for “intensely disgusting”.

    Well, that’s what the “You have no sense of humour” idiots think ‘edgy’ is. Those in the business, who actually do understand humour, know that it’s a much more subtle and nuanced thing, and that straddling that line is much harder than simply shitting out fat jokes or commenting that blacks and whites drive differently, or peppering one’s speech with words like “kike”, “fag”, and “nigger”.

    Following the story to Jezebel, there is more:

    “I wish for a million reasons that there would have been at least one woman on that stage,” writes Splitsider’s Halle Kiefer, who was there but who ultimately thought the comedians handled it well, saying that one “went on to specifically call out the monologue as being about rape multiple times.” Another attendee, Stephanie Streisand, writes, “He was at the [festival] after party. He was smiling until one by one people were going up to him to let him know he was a rapist. He left the party early.”

    So other comedians—people who make their livelihood knowing what’s funny and what isn’t—thought that the guy was a douche.

    Take note, Steve.

  122. TonyJ says

    So, the joke was in tricking her. I’m failing to grasp how this mitigates the problems in such a “joke”.

    In the context of the movie we’re talking about, I fail to see the huge problem. His drinking buddies tell him what they’d do if they were able to tell untruths, so he goes out and tells some woman that the world is going to end unless she has sex with him. They get a motel room, and before anyone has touched anyone else, he realizes that what he’s about to do is really shitty. Remember, deceit is unknown in this universe.

    He’s just experienced one of the evil uses to which his new invention (lying) can be put, and decides he doesn’t like it.

  123. TonyJ says

    And it rather contradicts TonyJ’s belief that this bullshit is “absurd” in that it’s too unrealistic to happen. It happens all the fucking time, and dudebros are fine with it.

    Oh Jesus fucking Christ on a crutch! Are you comparing me to a dudebro?

    The scene you’re all obsessing about is not an endorsement of rape, nor is it making light of rape. In the movie, it’s how the main character discovers the evil uses of lying, and how he decides not to use it like that.

  124. illuminata says

    His drinking buddies tell him what they’d do if they were able to tell untruths, so he goes out and tells some woman that the world is going to end unless she has sex with him.

    Was this what his drinking buddies said they would do?

    And it rather contradicts TonyJ’s belief that this bullshit is “absurd” in that it’s too unrealistic to happen. It happens all the fucking time, and dudebros are fine with it.

    I’m trying to get this through to Tony, but he seems pretty invested in thinking there’s nothing wrong with it. Apparently, there’s nothing wrong with such jokes if he “doesn’t actually go through with it”.

    Or maybe it’s “haha what a dumb bitch! she believed him!” that’s supposed to be funny.

    But, you know, he eventually felt bad about it, so all is well.

  125. SallyStrange says

    The joke was the absurdity of the claim.

    Yeah, so very fucking absurd.

    The doctor rape joke has apparently shown up in more than one place, because I recall seeing him do it in a stand-up bit on some late-night talk show. Can’t remember which one.

  126. illuminata says

    The scene you’re all obsessing about is not an endorsement of rape, nor is it making light of rape. In the movie, it’s how the main character discovers the evil uses of lying, and how he decides not to use it like that.

    . . . its not making light of coercion? *facepalm*

    I see the light! Tricking bitches is hilarious, as long as you eventually feel bad about it.

    And I’m SURE everyone in the audience saw the joke that way.

    Chuckle, guffaw, giggle.

  127. SallyStrange says

    Oh Jesus fucking Christ on a crutch! Are you comparing me to a dudebro?

    Yes. If that bothers you, then modify your behavior.

  128. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I haven’t seen the movie, but are we sure that scene is even portrayed as a joke? We’re trying to figure out what the joke is, but is there even one there? Just because whoever edited the trailer cut some stuff together and ended it abruptly so that it seems like a joke doesn’t mean that the people who made the movie meant it as one.

    But I haven’t seen the movie, so maybe they did mean it as a joke. Just honestly asking.

  129. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It takes a stupidly scrambled tag to mess up the formatting, and you wouldn’t think people would screw it up that often, but one person here has made the same stupid mistake several times now…apparently because he thinks it’s the right way to close a tag.

    Normally I’d think that one person was me, but thankfully it was not.

  130. illuminata says

    But I haven’t seen the movie, so maybe they did mean it as a joke. Just honestly asking.

    All I can say is, when I saw it at the theater, a whole lot of college-aged boys thought that part was hilarious.

    And argued Gervais was a “pussy” for not going through with it.

  131. Chris says

    “Chris, Dox, and Stevie probably think Eric Angell is hilarious.”

    Nope not funny in the least.The guy forced himself on a woman, regardless of his assertion that she eventually submitted he raped her and deserves to be prosecuted.

  132. TonyJ says

    I’m trying to get this through to Tony, but he seems pretty invested in thinking there’s nothing wrong with it.

    I’m not invested in thinking there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m trying to explain that this is the point where the main character discovers the dark side to his new invention.

    It’s just a silly movie. Yes, there would definitely be something wrong with deceiving someone into having sex with you, but this is a movie.

    Just curious: Do you ever watch movies that make light of murder?

  133. illuminata says

    It’s just a silly movie. Yes, there would definitely be something wrong with deceiving someone into having sex with you, but this is a movie.

    So, you’re just going to straight up ignore Sally’s link and my first-hand account of what happened in the theater, then?

    It’s just a silly movie! Surely things like this don’t happen in real life!

    Just curious: Do you ever watch movies that make light of murder?

    Does murdering zombies count? I loved Shaun of the Dead.

    Otherwise, you’ll have to be more specific.

  134. SallyStrange says

    It’s not just a silly movie, it’s also part of Gervais’ stand-up routine, Tony.

    But, you know, feel free to continue to ignore information that contradicts your pre-determined conclusion, in accordance with your confirmation bias.

  135. TonyJ says

    Yes. If that bothers you, then modify your behavior.

    You don’t fucking know me. You’re judging me based on a couple posts where I have calmly tried to explain something.

    What behavior? Arguing that a scene doesn’t mean what you people seem to think it means? Have I called anybody names? I fail to see how I fit the mold of the dudebro stereotype based on a couple posts.

  136. SallyStrange says

    You don’t fucking know me. You’re judging me based on a couple posts where I have calmly tried to explain something.

    I can read your words. Your words say, “Lighten up bitches, it’s just a fucking joke.”

    Very dudebro.

    It’s nice that you recognize that that’s not good, but if you really want to avoid being mistaken for an outright misogynist, you’re going to have to try harder.

  137. TonyJ says

    So, you’re just going to straight up ignore Sally’s link and my first-hand account of what happened in the theater, then?

    Sally’s link had nothing to do with the movie. It was about doctors sexually assaulting their patients. I’ve already said that rape by deceit (or any other method) is wrong.

    And about the dudebros in the theater, are you really going to judge a scene based on how a bunch of morons reacted to it? Jesus Christ, we’re analyzing this fucking movie as if it had won the Academy Award or something.

    All I’m saying is that (in my opinion, at least) the scene was not meant to make light of rape, regardless of how it was received by a theater full of frat boys. It was meant to reveal the evil side of lying.

  138. TonyJ says

    I can read your words. Your words say, “Lighten up bitches, it’s just a fucking joke.”

    Obviously you can’t read my words, because nowhere have I told anyone to “lighten up bitches”

    Jeez, talk about confirmation bias.

  139. Waffler, expert on waffling says

    And about the dudebros in the theater, are you really going to judge a scene based on how a bunch of morons reacted to it?

    It’s at least part of the moral calculation, I would think. My reaction to the intent of the scene is the same as yours, but the effect (which I don’t claim to know) certainly matters.

  140. SallyStrange says

    My link was intended as a refutation of your claim that “The joke was the absurdity of the claim.”

    Obviously, the claim is not at all absurd.

    So where’s your joke now?

  141. SallyStrange says

    All I’m saying is that (in my opinion, at least) the scene was not meant to make light of rape, regardless of how it was received by a theater full of frat boys. It was meant to reveal the evil side of lying.

    Except then there’s the stand-up bit where the joke is that the doctor doesn’t stop.

    Obviously you can’t read my words, because nowhere have I told anyone to “lighten up bitches”

    Then you suck at communicating, because that is the message that comes across when you say things like, “It’s just a silly movie.”

  142. illuminata says

    And about the dudebros in the theater, are you really going to judge a scene based on how a bunch of morons reacted to it?

    *facepalm*

    Wow. My mistake for thinking you were arguing in good faith. A real-world example of how this shit isn’t just an “absurdity” and direct experience showing that this wasn’t just a silly joke in a silly movie you brush off as unimportant merely and solely because it doesn’t support your argument.

    Yeah, Sally was *totally* wrong about you.

    We disagree. Get over it. Find funny whatever you want to find funny. Neither you, nor Chris, nor Dox, nor Gervais are immune from being criticized for finding x funny, regardless of how offensive differing opinions may be to you (collective), since no one has the right not to be offended.

  143. Waffler, expert on waffling says

    Obviously, the claim is not at all absurd.

    I think by the ‘absurdity of the claim’ he (TonyJ) was referring to the claim of the main character in the movie, that (paraphrasing) ‘the world will end if you don’t have sex with me’. Nothing (if I’m following correctly) to do with other rape-jokes of Gervais involving doctors.

  144. p_mersault says

    I think there are a lot of comedy cases where it is about the absurdity of the situation (or some other point) and not a reinforcement of the stereotype.

    Someone above mentioned Dave Chapelle and I think his black-white supremacist sketch is a good example of that. For anyone that has never seen it, the premise is that a blind black guy thinks he’s white and is a klan leader (he wears his hood mostly). He spouts all sorts of racist things over and over.

    It’s not funny because racism is funny, it’s funny because of the premise, that a black guy ironically hates black people as much, if not more, than any klan member. It’s also funny because it shows how ridiculous racism is, how shallow the root of racism is, in that a hood is all that stands between acceptance and hate. It’s also funny to think someone could hate themselves so much (at the end he finds out he’s black and divorces his wife because she married a black guy).

    As the poster above mentioned, Dave Chapelle was concerned that many white people were laughing at the racism and not at the absurdity and the main point of the sketch. But while he may have been making racists laugh, it was also serious social commentary, and as an artist he’s not responsible for how some people (idiots) interpret his work (wrongly). It’s similar to saying no one can ever write satire because some per cent of people will take it seriously.

  145. TonyJ says

    Wow. My mistake for thinking you were arguing in good faith. A real-world example of how this shit isn’t just an “absurdity”

    Are you saying that the phrase “The world’s going to end unless we have sex” is not absurd?

    It sounds like we’ve been arguing over different things here.

  146. illuminata says

    Nothing (if I’m following correctly) to do with other rape-jokes of Gervais involving doctors.

    Interesting how his history of rape jokes is magically unimportant and irrelevant, when one is desperately trying to gaslight.

  147. SallyStrange says

    I think by the ‘absurdity of the claim’ he (TonyJ) was referring to the claim of the main character in the movie, that (paraphrasing) ‘the world will end if you don’t have sex with me’. Nothing (if I’m following correctly) to do with other rape-jokes of Gervais involving doctors.

    I believe Tony and I started off thinking of two different rape jokes. I’ve never seen the movie he’s referring to, but I have seen Gervais do that bit on a talk show. And in that story, the doctor actually raped the patient. I thought that the claim Tony was saying was absurd was the idea that patients would be taken in by a doctor saying, “Trust me, this is medically necessary,” then sexually assaulting their patient. THAT is a very common event. It’s up to Tony now to clarify exactly which claim was absurd, in his mind.

    Then there’s this:

    Take this joke from [Ricky Gervais'] stand-up show in Edinburgh this week.

    “I nearly knocked this old woman over,” he said, in a patter about drink-driving, “but I didn’t. I raped her.”

    From a 2009 article in The Independent titled So Why the Rape Joke, Ricky? This is not coming out of nowhere, is what I’m trying to say.

    I’ve been trying to find video of the routine I saw, but no luck so far.

  148. TonyJ says

    Then you suck at communicating, because that is the message that comes across when you say things like, “It’s just a silly movie.”

    It’s possible that I suck at communication. It’s also possible that I was labeled a dudebro so soon in this feeding frenzy that everything I said afterward was tinged with the stench of dudebro, and now there’s nothing I can do about it.

  149. KG says

    I fail to see how I fit the mold of the dudebro stereotype based on a couple posts. – TonyJ

    Well a dudebro stereotype would, wouldn’t he?

  150. TonyJ says

    It’s up to Tony now to clarify exactly which claim was absurd, in his mind.

    I’m talking about the “world will end” bit in The Invention of Lying. I’ve never even heard the bit you’re talking about.

    “I nearly knocked this old woman over,” he said, in a patter about drink-driving, “but I didn’t. I raped her.”

    That’s just stupid

    And in that story, the doctor actually raped the patient. I thought that the claim Tony was saying was absurd was the idea that patients would be taken in by a doctor saying, “Trust me, this is medically necessary,” then sexually assaulting their patient.

    I’ve never seen that bit either, but that idea is not very funny

  151. illuminata says

    Chappelle is an interesting case because, according to him, the reaction of racists to his show is what made him stop making the show.

    I very much doubt Gervais is self-aware enough to know his jokes are problematic. Or, he just doesn’t care. And he doesn’t have to care; there are no consequences for Mr. Wealthy White Dude.

    ++_

    Are you saying that the phrase “The world’s going to end unless we have sex” is not absurd?
    It sounds like we’ve been arguing over
    different things here.

    LOL. WhatisthisIdon’teven – Are you being serious? How the fuck could you have missed the point by so.many.lightyears?

    Well, thanks for making it perfectly clear you weren’t reading any posts in response to you.

  152. SallyStrange says

    Ah, here we go. No video, but I did find a transcript. Apparently Conan O’Brien thinks rape jokes are teh funny too.

    O’Brien: Well, let’s take a look at this clip, from “The Ricky Gervais Show.”

    [begin animated clip; cartoons of Merchant, Gervais, and Karl Pilkington are sitting at a desk]

    Merchant: [reading from a piece of paper] A Serbian man has invented a sex machine for women. It runs on a 390-volt electric engine, simulates sex, and has a seven-and-a-half-inch artificial penis. As soon as I read this, I was thinking—I just imagined him there going [cartoon of middle-aged doctor shaking the hand of a young blonde woman] “Oh, thanks for coming in, yeah, okay. So what’s going to happen is [doctor shows off sex machine, which is represented as a big computer with a hole in it at the end of a bed] a penis is going to pop out from here [gestures at hole] and it’s gonna have sex with you. I’m gonna stand behind the machine—”

    [Ricky Gervais bursts out laughing.]

    Merchant: “—I’m gonna stand behind there, because there’s a lot of dials and stuff, that I don’t want to bore you with—”

    Gervais: [woman frowns and looked concerned] “Well, why do you have to stand behind it?”

    Merchant: [doctor takes off lab coat] “Just—I can’t—it’s technical stuff. I gotta hide—”

    Gervais: [woman, still frowning, points at hole] “There’s no, there’s no penis on the robot at the moment. It’s just a hole.”

    Merchant: [doctor removes his shoes] “Don’t worry. [Merchant laughs] What’ll happen is I will switch the machine on, I’ll go behind, and then a penis will appear.”

    Gervais: [woman still looks concerned] “Will it be like a metal-looking penis?”

    Merchant: [doctor unbuttons his shirt and removes it] “It will be a robotic penis, but it will seem like it’s a regular fleshy human—”

    Gervais: “So you’ve made this sort of like what a penis looks like, really realistic?”

    Merchant: [doctor speaks from behind the machine] “It’s really realistic. You will not be able to tell the difference between, say, the robot one and…mine, for instance.”

    Gervais: [woman looks upset] “Okay, well, I don’t wanna see yours.”

    Merchant: [doctor, undressed, peeks around from behind the machine] “No, no, no, absolutely not.”

    [Audience laughter makes the next bit hard to hear, but it's basically the woman saying something like, "I didn't come here to have sex with a human; I came in to test the machine," and the doctor saying something like, "No, sex with a machine, and that's exactly what you're going to get" as we see him hiding behind the machine taking his pants off. Cut back to the studio with O'Brien and Gervais.]

    O’Brien: I love that. That is hilarious! [He then plugs Gervais' new show and the Golden Globes, which Gervais is hosting.]

    But, you know, it’s a joke! Just a silly joke! Obviously us silly ladies are getting worked up over nothing, as usual. Right Tony?

  153. TonyJ says

    Well a dudebro stereotype would, wouldn’t he?

    See what I mean?

    Hey KG, it’s OK. It was a misunderstanding.

  154. SallyStrange says

    And now that I’ve read the transcript of the scene you were describing, Tony, I don’t find it funny either. I don’t understand why you do. Using the threat of the world ending to get a woman to have sex with you? Absurd, I suppose, in the sense that few people in the real world would believe the threat, but then, in the real world, far smaller threats will suffice. For instance, yesterday I noticed a headline about a mall security guard blackmailing a teenage shoplifter into performing sexual favors.

    now there’s nothing I can do about it

    Are you stupid, lying, or just a whiner? Of course there’s something you can do about it: stop trying to rationalize, stop trying to justify, listen to what’s being said, think about what’s being said, apologize if you feel it’s appropriate, and above all stop whining.

  155. TonyJ says

    But, you know, it’s a joke! Just a silly joke! Obviously us silly ladies are getting worked up over nothing, as usual. Right Tony?

    WTF? Now I’m being held accountable for defending bits I’ve never even seen or claimed to approve of?

  156. illuminata says

    But, you know, it’s a joke! Just a silly joke! Obviously us silly ladies are getting worked up over nothing, as usual. Right Tony?

    Not only that, but that’s a totally DIFFERENT rape joke then the one Tony is defending, which totally isn’t a rape joke because Tony says it isn’t.

    And the frat boys who interpreted it exactly that way? Well, that proves that . . . . uh . . . they’re wrong too and there’s still totally no problem with the joke.

    Rape culture, smrape culture.

  157. SallyStrange says

    Geez, no wonder you’re defending Gervais. You love that Christ-on-the-cross-martyr pose even more than he does.

  158. illuminata says

    I’m sorry for not seeing things in exactly the way that you want me to.

    Now you’re just completely fucking lying.

    I’ll repeat myself for Mr. Martyr:

    We disagree. Get over it. Find funny whatever you want to find funny. Neither you, nor Chris, nor Dox, nor Gervais are immune from being criticized for finding x funny, regardless of how offensive differing opinions may be to you (collective), since no one has the right not to be offended.

  159. TonyJ says

    And now that I’ve read the transcript of the scene you were describing, Tony, I don’t find it funny either.

    It’s not meant to be funny. Quoting myself “In the movie, it’s how the main character discovers the evil uses of lying, and how he decides not to use it like that.”

  160. says

    If you had better reading skills, (perhaps if I was a better communicator) you would see that I am not blaming people who suffer from alcoholism or obesity. I indicated that there are many factors that go into this.

    Way to straw man my position though. You are right- not all obese people suffer, but many do- and that is what I was addressing. Their problem has effects on many people and especially their children. This is what I was bringing up. Not the healthcare system. Not the fact that skinny people have health problems too.

    I am saying that obese people, more often than not, are unhealthy and that, through education, we may be able to relieve suffering that impacts our families.

    So fuck off. I swear, some commenters have become so reactionary here. Read the content.

  161. Brownian says

    As the poster above mentioned, Dave Chapelle was concerned that many white people were laughing at the racism and not at the absurdity and the main point of the sketch.

    Chappelle is an interesting case because, according to him, the reaction of racists to his show is what made him stop making the show.

    Good comedians do that. They evolve. Their bits evolve. Tim Minchin dropped his ‘Fat Kids’ song from gigs because he felt that the message was getting lost in the cruelty.

    When I was young, though not quite a dudebro, I had a few bits/stories that were misogynistic based on a break up I’d had. Delivery-wise, they weren’t bad, but the content was the same ol’ tired shit everyone’s heard before. I recall a guy a few years younger than me—a really nice guy from a smaller town that I treeplanted with—coming up and telling me I was his hero, that he’d had his heart crushed by a women and that I was right: they (all of them) were evil. And I remember thinking, “Is that what I’m conveying to people for the sake of a few laughs?” and I dropped those bits/stories.

    Sure, I’d still rant about my evil ex, but she was evil. It just had nothing to do with her gender, and it was unfair of me to imply so.

    She was evil because of her race.

  162. Waffler, expert on waffling says

    It’s not meant to be funny.

    Most of the two scenes in question are clearly meant to be funny (the lie he tells, the reaction of the woman to the lie, her frantic behavior in the motel room, and his second lie to get out of going through with it) are all meant to be funny.

  163. says

    #175: that’s not a rape joke. That’s a “women are really stupid” joke.

    Not that it’s much of an improvement.

    There are times when that kind of insulting humor can work: Randy Newman’s “Short People”, for instance. But it’s got to be done in a way that makes it clear that everyone involved knows it is transgressive.

  164. illuminata says

    So fuck off. I swear, some commenters have become so reactionary here. Read the content.

    I never get tired of this bullshit projecton. Really. It’s so refreshing and new to have every single bigot troll claim that his total failure to communicate what he *really* means, and our failure to read his mind to know what he *really* means, equals *we’re* reactionary!!!!eleventy11!1!!1!!!!

    I also never get sick of the sexist trope Tony lobbed @182. Clearly, if bitches don’t agree with you, they’re really trying to CONTROL YOU!!!!!!

    Interesting projection on both your parts.

  165. illuminata says

    that’s not a rape joke. That’s a “women are really stupid” joke.

    Not that it’s much of an improvement.

    Hmm. Its a “Women are really stupid so its funny to blatantly ignore their clearly stated desire not to have sex with you and have sex with them.”

    how is that not a rape joke?

  166. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    Brownian,

    I didn’t know you did stand-up. Not a surprise, though. :-)

    I always thought it looked fun, but I sure don’t have what it takes. I did finally make my wife laugh the other day, though. At least the first time in years, if not forever. It was kinda under her breath, but it was audible.

  167. p_mersault says

    I’m not sure Chapelle needed any evolving in this case. There was no underlying racism he wasn’t aware of, it was completely about the audience and how they interpreted it.

    What’s difficult is figuring out where that cut off point is. If I write a piece of satire that impacts 1,000 people in the way it was supposed to, and 1 idiot misinterprets it as honest, is that enough to stop doing it?

    The difference between your anecdote and Chapelle is that you *were* being misogynistic, even if inadvertently. In Chapelle’s case, he was never really being racist. Chapelle didn’t require going through self-discovery. The discovery was about the audience.

  168. coldflesh says

    #175: that’s not a rape joke. That’s a “women are really stupid” joke.

    Hmm… I could have sworn it was a “middle aged doctors are perverts” joke.

  169. Carlie says

    There are times when that kind of insulting humor can work: Randy Newman’s “Short People”, for instance. But it’s got to be done in a way that makes it clear that everyone involved knows it is transgressive.

    Yes, which is done at least in part by making the ideas so out there and ridiculous that no one could possibly believe that the person saying them is being serious (short people got no reason to live). Women getting raped? That happens, oh, every two minutes or so on average. So not “outrageous hyperbole” so much as “reality”.

    Guys defending it as “satire”: it doesn’t work as satire if it’s entirely true.

  170. TonyJ says

    I also never get sick of the sexist trope Tony lobbed @182. Clearly, if bitches don’t agree with you, they’re really trying to CONTROL YOU!!!!!!

    Yes, that’s *exactly* what I said.

    I’m not disagreeing with you because of your gender. Can we just get that out of the way, please?

    I just don’t like the practice of giving a derogatory label to everyone who has a difference of opinion with you.

  171. ChariotsofIrony says

    Comedy may be an entirely subjective thing, but not being allowed to make fun of Serbian inventors? What’s next? Macedonian cheesemakers? Andorran goatherds? Fijian blacksmiths? A sad day. A sad day, indeed.

  172. Carlie says

    #175: that’s not a rape joke. That’s a “women are really stupid” joke.

    Hmm… I could have sworn it was a “middle aged doctors are perverts” joke.

    It’s a shampoo and a salad dressing!

  173. SallyStrange says

    Uh, yeah. What Illuminata said. If he were tricking her into, say, signing up for a credit card with a 400% interest rate, it’d be a “women are stupid” joke. But he was tricking her into allowing him to penetrate her against her will. How is that not a rape joke?

  174. Classical Cipher, OM says

    And now that I’ve read the transcript of the scene you were describing, Tony, I don’t find it funny either. I don’t understand why you do. Using the threat of the world ending to get a woman to have sex with you?

    And you know, the whole concept of this movie is that lying hadn’t been invented yet, so there is absolutely no way that the character would see it as too absurd to be true. She must believe him. *shrugs* Ha ha.

    I just don’t like the practice of giving a derogatory label to everyone who has a difference of opinion with you.

    How do you feel about calling people who say racist things bigots?

  175. Brownian says

    I didn’t know you did stand-up.

    I don’t, actually. I write and perform comedic theatre, all on an amateur basis.

    I am a smartass and a story-teller, however. The anecdote is about one of those stories/bits. I should have been clearer about that.

    (The amateur part is not strictly true, however: there’s no way they’d overlook my many, many faults at work* if I didn’t keep ‘em all laughing. So, in a sense, my hobby supports my day job.)

    I’m not sure Chapelle needed any evolving in this case. There was no underlying racism he wasn’t aware of, it was completely about the audience and how they interpreted it.

    Of course, you’re right; there is a difference, p_mersault. I only meant that good performers are aware of the interaction between audience and performance, and modify future performances based on audience interaction. If the audience doesn’t get it, the bit isn’t working right.

    In my case I was being clearly misogynistic, and I’m nowhere near as funny as Chappelle. It was a case where somebody’s overly positive reaction was a slap in the face to me, though. I think I straightened the kid out after.

    *Like endless commenting on Pharyngula, for instance.

  176. Been there, had that done to me says

    I swear, some commenters have become so reactionary here.

    It’s been true for a long time.
    TonyJ earned little to none of the shit he’s been given here, because Ms. Strange et al. couldn’t even be bothered to figure out which Gervais ‘bit’ he was talking about, although he was clear and explicit. They were wrong throughout about what he was saying, but even when that embarrassing fact was revealed they didn’t care. No, the reaction had begun, and once begun there is no return to rationality, it just escalates.
    It’s wearisome.

    I never get tired of this bullshit projecton.

    No, it’s not projection in theis case. You-all ignored what he was saying so you could continue the troll-stomping pile-on. KG too.

    I also never get sick of the sexist trope Tony lobbed @182.

    wut
    You’re reading a sexist trope into that?
    That’s an excellent example of being irrationally reactionary.
    He really was being pretty stupidly and/or maliciously misinterpreted. By you. I don’t blame him for being frustrated.

    Have a nice day.

  177. Lola says

    I as a woman who has been sexually assaulted despise you sour cunts. No subject shall be safe from comedy.

  178. TonyJ says

    How do you feel about calling people who say racist things bigots?

    That depends on what’s being said. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.

  179. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Lola, sorry to hear about your experience, but it doesn’t give you the right to turn around and shit on other victims. And we don’t use gendered slurs here (even when it’s funny, which – fyi – your post was not).

  180. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I don’t, actually.

    Ah. Well, my loss. Let us know if that ever changes.

    I am a smartass

    Me, too! I’m just not funny. Groaners, occasionally. But nothing worth laughing at. Now I just vent them all on Twitter so my wife doesn’t have to put up with it.

  181. Lola says

    Did I give the impression I was trying to be funny, you condescending asshat? I suggest you get a refund on your tuition, darling.

    A bad joke is a bad joke–a select few (Gervais, Louis CK) can actually make good jokes about these subjects. People who all kneejerkingly bitch and moan about jokes of any sort are no better than the groups that protest films like Dogma.

    I don’t frequently read the comments threads here, but for some reason I was under the impression people here valued freedom of speech; this reminds me of monkeys violently urging other, newer monkeys to keep their hands off the banana without actually having seen the consequence of the banana being seized.

    Off you go.

  182. Rey Fox says

    but for some reason I was under the impression people here valued freedom of speech

    We’re letting you prattle on, aren’t we?

  183. Classical Cipher, OM says

    A bad joke is a bad joke–a select few (Gervais, Louis CK) can actually make good jokes about these subjects.

    Yeah. A man tricking a woman into having sex with him is fucking hilarious. Or a traumatic violation that can destroy her life and her ability to trust other people. Depends on if you’re hearing it from his perspective or hers.

    And your freedom-of-speech nonsense is a red herring. It’s unacceptable to the community here to use gendered slurs, and we’ve rehashed why over and over again. We could go over why it’s destructive and stupid, but we’re all getting really sick of beating our heads against brick walls like you, so it’s a lot shorter to just tell you to knock it off. You won’t find the conversation to be much fun either, so I suggest you just drop it and find other ways to express what you want to. It’s shorter that way.

  184. Classical Cipher, OM says

    People who all kneejerkingly bitch and moan about jokes of any sort are no better than the groups that protest films like Dogma.

    P.S. Your false equivalence is noted. And stupid.

  185. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    I was under the impression people here valued freedom of speech

    Ah, so when you criticize somebody, you’re exercising your freedom of speech. And when somebody criticizes you, they’re curtailing your freedom of speech. I think I get it now.

  186. Brownian says

    People who all kneejerkingly bitch and moan about jokes of any sort are no better than the groups that protest films like Dogma.

    And people who make idiotic comparisons in lieu of argumetn are much, much worse than either..

    but for some reason I was under the impression people here valued freedom of speech

    So, you’re a moron. Why the fuck should anybody here care?

    this reminds me

    Jesus, fuck: ‘this reminds me of that’, ‘I was under the impression that.’

    Why are you telling us this? Nobody asked you. Nobody cares. So far, all I know about you is that you’ve been sexually assaulted and find every stray opinion you’ve ever had fascinating.

    Isn’t there a mirror somewhere you can be fucking?

  187. chigau () says

    Lola

    this reminds me of monkeys violently urging other, newer monkeys to keep their hands off the banana without actually having seen the consequence of the banana being seized

    What?
    Where did you see that?
    What kind of monkeys?

  188. SallyStrange says

    Did I give the impression I was trying to be funny, you condescending asshat?

    Well, no. But you were quite unintentionally funny when you said, “I was under the impression people here valued freedom of speech.”

    This is free speech in action, baby. I say one thing, you disagree, you say so, I tell you why I still think you’re wrong, and so forth.

    People who don’t value freedom of speech don’t do this sort of thing.

    this reminds me of monkeys violently urging other, newer monkeys

    You’re half right. It’s a fight over which values dominate in a given community; although it’s happening in a digital medium, it’s a very ancient, instinctive activity for us obligate gregarious talking apes. In this case, the community is Pharyngula’s readers and commenters. We’re a bit of a minority in the world in that we try to challenge sexism (and racism and ablism and the other isms that make marginalized peoples’ lives so difficult) whenever we can. Because humanism as well as atheism are part of this community’s values.

    Anyway…

    TonyJ earned little to none of the shit he’s been given here, because Ms. Strange et al. couldn’t even be bothered to figure out which Gervais ‘bit’ he was talking about, although he was clear and explicit.

    Actually, it was me who was pointing out pretty early on that I was talking about a bit that was on a late-night show, which could have been a clue to Tony that we needed some clarification. Then, it was me who did the research to figure out exactly which bits were being discussed, and me who posted the relevant links and transcripts. But I’m the one who “couldn’t even be bothered”?

    They were wrong throughout about what he was saying, but even when that embarrassing fact was revealed they didn’t care. No, the reaction had begun, and once begun there is no return to rationality, it just escalates.

    Actually, my reaction to the bit in the movie that TonyJ was referring to was, in the end, correct. It was a rape joke, and it was intended to be funny, as a joke about deceiving a woman into having sex with you. Tony’s either dense or lying if he thinks that the sketch was written as a morality play on lying rather than a humorous bit about how hilarious it might be (if you’re a rapey dudbro) to be able to trick women into having sex with you so easily. Ironic, eh?

  189. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Identity politics has truly jumped the shark if we are talking about “obese acceptance”.

    I see that you’ve found the comment box, DFS. Any actual content you’d like to contribute, or just these fact-free, worthless one-liners?

  190. Brownian says

    this reminds me of monkeys violently urging other, newer monkeys to keep their hands off the banana without actually having seen the consequence of the banana being seized

    What?
    Where did you see that?
    What kind of monkeys?

    Now, that’s fuckin’ comedy.

    I love the stop-for-funny-literal-interpretation routine. So does Louis C.K. (see from about 5:45 to 6:20).

  191. TonyJ says

    Tony’s either dense or lying if he thinks that the sketch was written as a morality play on lying

    I know I’m not lying. I don’t know about dense, as most dense people don’t know that they’re dense (Dunning/Krueger effect, and all that)

  192. DFS says

    Yes, fuck off. Is that enough actual content for you?

    Or do you consider anything that you don’t agree with “not actual content”.

  193. says

    Subjective arts; so fun to watch others argue with. So frustrating to wrestle with yourself.

    Comedy is something that can cause so much laughter and so much butthurt (warranted or not).

    This thread. It rocks.

  194. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Or do you consider anything that you don’t agree with “not actual content”.

    No, but your recent posts lack content, but not attitude.

  195. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Yes, fuck off. Is that enough actual content for you?

    Um, really? No. Would you think that qualifies? If so, I’m sad for you.

    I don’t consider smug assertions of opinion made without evidence, argument, or even explanation to be content. There are times and places for content-free chatter (nothing wrong with it per se!), but if what you’re throwing out is ignorant and destructive to boot, I’m going to challenge you to offer something more. Show us you’re bringing something to the table, or be dismissed as nothing more than an ignorant, destructive buffoon.

    mikeg, I’d prefer it if you didn’t use the trivializing and often homophobic term “butthurt” to refer to people being offended by the normalization of rape.

  196. SallyStrange says

    I don’t know about dense, as most dense people don’t know that they’re dense (Dunning/Krueger effect, and all that)

    Tony, there are dudes who really, truly hate women. They sincerely believe that women are all evil, stupid, worthless subhumans whose sole purpose in life is as a pincushion for dicks and/or a baby-making machine.

    And then there are guys who don’t quite realize that these dudes exist, and don’t quite realize what that means for the reality of women’s daily lives. I think you are one of these guys.

    That’s what I meant when I said that if you want to avoid being mistaken for an outright misogynist (since they are disturbingly common), you have to work harder.

    You have to pay attention to the things the woman-haters say. The “jokes” they make. Hint: when a misogynist “jokes” about raping a woman, he really means it. If you join in, or say nothing, you’re feeding his illusion that his views are mainstream. You’re also giving the women around you a signal that you are potentially one of those guys.

    If you want to help the cause of women’s equality, and fight against sexual violence, one of the most important things you personally can do, on a regular basis, is challenge those sorts of “jokes,” speak up and say that they’re not funny. If that’s too much for you, then the very least you can do is refrain from defending and justifying such “jokes.”

    For a further explanation of how this dynamic works, and why your personal actions can potentially have a huge impact, please read this summary of recent scientific research on the mentality of undetected rapists. Thank you.

  197. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I just remembered a really bad stand-up performer at a comedy club I sometimes go to. He managed to, for about 10 minutes, crack “jokes” about sumo fighters. There were obesity, ethnic and gay jokes – I’d say the whole package, but he missed misogyny. And it wasn’t just insulting, it was terribly boring.

  198. SallyStrange says

    mikeg, I’d prefer it if you didn’t use the trivializing and often homophobic term “butthurt” to refer to people being offended by the normalization of rape.

    Ack, I did that myself earlier in the thread. My bad, I should have caught myself.

    *smacks own hand with ruler*

  199. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Hint: when a misogynist “jokes” about raping a woman, he really means it.

    And just to add to this, there are a lot of them. They’re not rare. When anywhere from 1 in 6 to 1 in 4 women have been victims of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, they simply can’t be. Even accounting for repeat rapists, the numbers are scary. These people are very likely among your friends, and you’re not aware of what they are. That’s not your fault – it’s the nature of rapists in a rape culture.

  200. SallyStrange says

    I feel like such a free-speech-suppressing, humorless, uptight reactionary right now! It’s glorious!

  201. lordsetar says

    Lola:

    I don’t frequently read the comments threads here, but for some reason I was under the impression people here valued freedom of speech

    This community is considered a ‘safe space'; that is, members of this community do their best to keep people here safe from shaming that they might receive in ‘normal’ society so that they have a space where they can be validated rather than marginalized.

    In the interests of keeping this community a safe space, free speech is curtailed through PZ’s actions and (much more commonly) the actions of the commentariat. As such, the use of (we’re well aware of use/mention errors here) gendered, ableist, racist, ageist, etc. speech or jokes is not tolerated.

    Of course, we can also tell the difference between marginalization and bullshit and we have special treatment for those who spread bullshit here, because one of the categories of ‘safe space’ we hold to is that this place should be safe from bullshit like what you’re spewing. We see enough of it everywhere else, please do not bring it here.

  202. John Morales says

    [meta]

    lordsetar:

    In the interests of keeping this community a safe space, free speech is curtailed through PZ’s actions and (much more commonly) the actions of the commentariat. As such, the use of (we’re well aware of use/mention errors here) gendered, ableist, racist, ageist, etc. speech or jokes is not tolerated.

    Bullshit.

    It’s PZ’s blog, nothing more.

    It ain’t a safe space and the commentariat has fuck-all power to curtail free speech.

    (And I can tolerate a fair bit)

  203. Classical Cipher, OM says

    It ain’t a safe space and the commentariat has fuck-all power to curtail free speech.

    John, you’re being a dense asshole again. Thought you might want to know. There is, in fact, a community here, the blog format notwithstanding, and we do make an effort to keep it as safe as it can be. The commentariat as a whole can’t directly curtail free speech, you’re right about that, but it can discourage certain types of speech through shaming and argumentation.

  204. Classical Cipher, OM says

    Sorry, John. That response was more growly than your post warranted. I’m having a bad mood right now. I’ll take a walk instead of continuing to take it out on you.

  205. kristinc says

    Matt @8:

    People in the public eye need to do more to say that getting sickeningly fat is NOT ok

    How about being sickeningly bigoted, cruel and ignorant? That’s still good to go, right?

    Ryan @55:

    Eddie Izzard is funnier, and his stand up which takes on religions is great.

    Eddie Izzard manages to be slobber-inducingly funny without resorting to misogyny, racism, or homophobia. Now that’s what I call clean comedy.

    Skeptifem @entire thread: do you really not have a Molly yet? How is that?

  206. Mattir-ritated says

    I am obese. I can vouch that most of the morbidly obese people I know find their physical condition to be full of physical discomfort (and often pain) and weird limitations (where one can shop for clothes, shoes, furniture, even whether knitting patterns come in sizes that fit obese people(!)), and bad to flagrantly abusive medical care (best example: my friend who was told that her thinning hair was due to being obese – if she lost weight, her scalp would shrink and her hairs would be closer together). Looking “sickeningly fat” to other people (like Matt above) is, surprisingly enough, NOT the most unpleasant thing about being obese. Ricky Gervais and his stupid fat shaming stuff is just the icing on the dog turd.

    If a random asshat on the street goes off on me being a fat lazy slob, they’re missing the fact that (1) I didn’t ask to be fat – that’s a combination of the food culture and environment of the US, my genetics and epigenetics (my mother was anorexic while pregnant – not a good thing…), and the walk-ability of my occupation, community, etc., (2) I’m working hard not to be fat and have lost a significant amount of weight via this effort, supported by competent and compassionate medical professionals, and (3) I experience a fair amount of physical and emotional discomfort WITHOUT asshat comments from total strangers.

    There are a lot of funny things that one can observe about the experience of obesity. They’re just not the “oh, you’re such a lazy slob” stupid fat-shaming jokes so popular with our public health minded scold trolls.

    Also, most alcoholics, sober or not, don’t like being discussed earnestly as a public health problem either. Addiction is another extraordinarily painful and often funny disease, the treatment of which is not improved by scoldingly concerned self-righteousness.

  207. chigau () says

    Mattir-ritated

    (best example: my friend who was told that her thinning hair was due to being obese – if she lost weight, her scalp would shrink and her hairs would be closer together)

    I know it’s not funny™ but when I read that I scared the cat with an extremely load guffaw of laughter.
    I hope that statement didn’t come from a medical professional.
    I’m thin scrawny.
    I have very thin hair.
    If I lost more weight, would I gain luxurious locks?

  208. Mattir-ritated says

    chigau: It was an actual physician who apparently had actually graduated from medical school. This sort of bullshit is not uncommon, although this is the worst example I’ve heard. (You have an ingrown toenail? Lose weight. You have arthritis in your fingers? Lose weight. Your sinuses are infected? Lose weight. Your chakras are out of alignment? Lose weight. You have Ebola? . . .)

  209. Jessa says

    Mattir-ritated:

    Ugh. The “you have an issue because you’re fat” brings back painful memories for me. The doctor I saw when I was trying to deal with my panic disorder told me that it would go away if I lost some weight. I was 4’9″ and weighed 95 pounds at the time.

  210. chigau () says

    loud

    and after the third beer I think Ricky is photoshopped.

    Jessa
    4’9″ and 95 pounds
    lose weight for panic disorder
    What kind of doctor????!!??

  211. Jessa says

    chigau:

    A GP who was entrenched in “fat is the problem”, regardless of the specifics of his actual patients. And I was young and stupid enough to take his advice.

  212. kristinc says

    Back when I still had health insurance I was assured repeatedly that there was nothing wrong with me except that I should be more active (and of course running after a toddler all day and doing housework didn’t count, oh no, the “activity” had to be something completely unproductive).

    My lack of energy? Probably because I was fat. I had screaming symptoms of hypothyroid? Nope, just needed more exercise. Of course, it turns out I’m hypothyroid, and the hypothyroid was one of the reasons I was as fat as I was — once I was able to medicate myself I dropped over 30 pounds in astonishingly short order and suddenly wasn’t fatigued anymore.

  213. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Mattir

    Also, most alcoholics, sober or not, don’t like being discussed earnestly as a public health problem either. Addiction is another extraordinarily painful and often funny disease, the treatment of which is not improved by scoldingly concerned self-righteousness.

    I’m not overweight or an alcoholic, but I used to be a smoker. I wouldn’t compare the experience of being tobacco addicted to either of the afformentioned in most ways, but I can relate to being a “public health issue”.

    It’s really amazing how when you are a “public health issue” everyone is an expert on your problem and intimately concerned with your well being. I had people telling me that “if I just put my mind to it I could quit” because they quit drinking coffee for a week once as an experiment. People would tell me about lung cancer (presumably to guard against the possibility that I’ve lived my entire life under a rock and never heard of it). There were even rare occasions where someone would try to stop me in the act of smoking (I was legal at the time mind you). Its been a few years, but only one or two comments/suggestions/impassioned pleas stand out as anything remotely informative or helpful.

    I’m not saying that all the concern was disingenuous, but there really does seem to be a kind of media sanctioned vigilantism about certain “preventable causes of death”.

    (Interestingly, though, the cult of health insurance premiums has not yet latched onto driving, which was one of the top 10 causes of death world wide in 2008).

  214. Jokester says

    The Sex Machine clip was making fun of the idea of a sex machine, and that the doctor thought he could get away with something like that. To be honest, I think SallyStrange is reading way to much into it. The intention of the joke, especially within the context of the original podcast, which I have listened to, was in no way about rape. They weren’t discussing rape, the were talking about stupid inventions.

    Though I respect you right to not find it funny, or potentially find it offensive, I think you are lambasting the wrong comedians in this case.

  215. Classical Cipher, OM says

    The Sex Machine clip was making fun of the idea of a sex machine, and that the doctor thought he could get away with something like that.

    And what “something like that” was happened to be rape.

    To be honest, I think SallyStrange is reading way to much into it. The intention of the joke, especially within the context of the original podcast, which I have listened to, was in no way about rape. They weren’t discussing rape, the were talking about stupid inventions.

    The fact that the man telling the joke didn’t say as much doesn’t actually mean that he wasn’t describing an act of rape. He was. In fact, the absolute failure to acknowledge that makes it worse by normalizing tricking women into sex and pretending it’s something other than the horrendous act that it is. See, for a similar point, this link posted above about Eric Angell, who didn’t realize that what he was recounting was an act of rape. This has been another episode of Intention: Not Fucking Magic.

    Kindly stop being a ‘splaining moron now.

  216. Marcus Hill says

    Ooh, this looks like fun, can anyone join in?

    If you’ve ever laughed at anything Ricky Gervais has done, you’re a mysoginistic rape defender who hates fat people and should just fuck off and never darken the doors of Pharyngula again!

    If you don’t think racist/sexist/ablist/(insert your least favourite prejudice) humour is funny, you clearly want to silence all criticism and live in an echo chamber, so you should just fuck off and never darken the doors of Pharyngula again!

    Wow, shouting insults at each other is so much better than reasonable conversation…

  217. lordsetar says

    Marcus Hill #248: And you’re so much better for coming in and pointing this out in lieu of attempting to have a “reasonable conversation” on the issue, aren’t you?

  218. consciousness razor says

    Ooh, this looks like fun, can anyone join in?

    Your sarcastic rhetorical question is noted for its pointlessness. Only those with internet access and an email address can join in.

    If you’ve ever laughed at anything Ricky Gervais has done,

    Your comment is the only place on this thread where one could find that premise. This is a good indication of a strawman.

    you’re a mysoginistic [sic] rape defender who hates fat people

    If you do think misogyny, rape jokes or fat jokes are funny, you must not be taking those issues very seriously. You don’t have to go around beating and raping women or fat people to hate them. You just have to contribute to the hate in any number of ways.

    and should just fuck off

    Perhaps you should. You obviously very clueless. Do you want to be somewhere that causes you so much confusion? I recommend someplace nice and cozy which doesn’t require much thought, and will never challenge you to even consider your own privilege.

    and never darken the doors of Pharyngula again!

    Pharyngula doesn’t have doors, nor would there be any way for one to cast a shadow on them if it did. Are you new to the internet, or do you always slap together a series of pre-packaged thoughts, having little sense of what any of them mean?

  219. Bernard Bumner says

    Wow, shouting insults at each other is so much better than reasonable conversation…

    So you’ve taken the third way, which is to sit atop your moral high ground and simply Tsk at all of those people who’ve actually bothered to form an opinion?

    At least have the decency to point to examples of misbehaviour, otherwise all you’re doing is wandering into the middle of someone else’s fight and trying to patronise everyone involved into silence.

  220. Marcus Hill says

    Firstly, let me apologise unreservedly for the only part of my post which I regret. I can’t believe I managed to spell “misogynistic” incorrectly. As a card carrying pedant, I hang my head in shame.

    As for the rest of it, I stand by my point, including the manner of illustrating it with what are clearly overblown caricatures of the attitudes taken by all the people who have descended into insults with little or no provocation. Telling someone their argument is flawed, that their assumptions are untrue or that their reasoning doesn’t hold water, even in the strongest of terms, is healthy debate. Calling someone a bigot or claiming they want to censor you is a great way to put them on the defensive, but not particularly good at changing their minds. Cue a barrage of people calling me “accommodationist” – go ahead, I promise I won’t descend to the level of debate I’m arguing against by mocking your reading comprehension or trying to explain what “in the strongest of terms” means.

    In terms of the actual discussion at hand, I don’t find jokes that normalise rape funny. That’s not to say that including any rape reference in a joke necessarily renders it unfunny, nor that any rape reference in a joke context necessarily counts as “normalising” it. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t comment on whether it’s funny, but based on what I read in the comments above I’d say the bit about claiming the world would end if the woman didn’t have sex with him isn’t normalising rape (as the character sees that what he’s doing is wrong) and is more about reinforcing the premise of the movie, which is the consequence of a world where nobody lies. It struck me as a stupid movie at the time, and I haven’t changed that opinion since, but I can’t see how “rape is funny” follows logically from that scene when put in context – quite the contrary, in fact, since it seems to be illustrating that a woman being unaware that a man will lie to get her to have sex with him is a Bad Thing.

    One misconception I’ve seen in some of the arguments above is that it is somehow the aim of comedy mocking fat people to shame them into losing weight. That argument is bollocks. The aim of comedy mocking fat people is to amuse the audience. Does anyone really believe that when a comedian essentially says “hey, fat people, why don’t you try eating less?” he or she genuinely believes that this would be a world shattering observation that overweight people in the audience had never previously encountered? There are arguments against making some jokes about fat people, but “it won’t encourage them to lose weight” isn’t one of them.

    I hope that goes some way towards satisfying the people who asked for a reasoned contribution – I’d add more, but I have work to do.

  221. John Morales says

    Marcus:

    [1] Calling someone a bigot or claiming they want to censor you is a great way to put them on the defensive, but not particularly good at changing their minds. [2] Cue a barrage of people calling me “accommodationist”

    1. So what?

    2. Why? What you’ve described is tone-trolling, not accommodationism.

    I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t comment on whether it’s funny, [...] It struck me as a stupid movie at the time, and I haven’t changed that opinion since

    Your opinion is clearly well-founded.

  222. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    (best example: my friend who was told that her thinning hair was due to being obese – if she lost weight, her scalp would shrink and her hairs would be closer together)

    *Starts to plan the new baldness cure infomercials….

  223. Marcus Hill says

    John:

    1. So what?

    2. Why? What you’ve described is tone-trolling, not accommodationism.

    1. So if you want to change someone’s mind, insulting them isn’t the way to go. I didn’t claim changing someone’s mind was necessarily the objective of the people slinging insults.

    2. You are, of course, correct. I’ll still deny being a tone-troll: I’m not saying people should stop calling each other arseholes (I find the view from the peanut gallery as amusing as the next guy), merely pointing out that if your objective is to change their minds, that isn’t the best way to go about it.

    Your opinion is clearly well-founded.

    I wasn’t sufficiently clear. I should have explained that it struck me as stupid based on the trailers and that the further impressions from the descriptions in this thread haven’t served to change that impression.

  224. lordsetar says

    Marcus Hill #255:

    So if you want to change someone’s mind, insulting them isn’t the way to go.

    [citation needed]

  225. Marcus Hill says

    Again, just for the sake of clarity: insulting someone is a poor way to persuade them to change their mind towards what you are arguing – Abelson and Miller’s experiment shows that insulting someone causes them to want to disagree with you more. You could change someone’s mind towards your point of view whilst insulting them, but only if you then went on to espouse the opposite point of view to the one you hold.

  226. John Morales says

    Marcus:

    So if you want to change someone’s mind, insulting them isn’t the way to go.

    Facts don’t change and arguments don’t lose their validity just because they’re accompanied by insults, you know.

    Clearly, that (rather old) study you cite involved less than compelling arguments. :)

  227. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    if you want to change someone’s mind, insulting them isn’t the way to go.

    But using “clearly overblown caricatures” of your opponents views while being a sarcastic condescending patronizing ass is? This may shock you, but so far I’m not finding you very persuasive.

  228. illuminata says

    So if you want to change someone’s mind, insulting them isn’t the way to go.

    Why are you assuming the point was to change minds? It was merely a debate among commenters. I realize the testerical, irrational, hyperbolic trolls think everything has to be about “winning” and converting people to their “oh-dear-god-don’t-express-any-original-thought” argument, but that’s simply not true.

    As I have already said twice: find funny whatever you want to find funny. Since, no one has the right not to be offended, that includes people who find bigotry funny. Interesting how the biggest whiners, the most easily offended, and the most frequent cries of censorship!, and echo chamber!, come from the people refusing to think at all. Who cares about changing atrophied brains like that? It was a debate. No one said that you have to agree with anyone else. Think whatever you want to think. And yes, you will get mocked and criticized for thinking bigotry is funny, because even you have no right not to be offended.

    Run home crying if being subject to differing opinions are so scary for you.

  229. Marcus Hill says

    You may have noticed that I’m (trying to) engage with people’s reasoned arguments and ignoring the insults here. I know the truth of an argument is unaffected by whether the person putting it forward has just called me a cockweasel. We’re not talking about pure reasoning beings here, though. Even the most rational among us is still human, and the study shows that we’re swayed (consciously or otherwise) against a person who insults us – therefore it makes sense to avoid insulting someone whom you are trying to persuade to agree with you.

    Although I suspect I could find a more recent study if I could be bothered to spend more than 30 seconds looking on Google Scholar (approximately how long it took me to find that one), it might actually be interesting to try to recreate the study therein using an internet forum rather than a park bench. Are people less put off by insults in modern internet based settings than they were in meatspace in the 60s? After all, having a random stranger call you a fucktard for no appreciable reason is actually far more normal in one setting than the other.

  230. Waffler, expert on waffling says

    I’d say the bit about claiming the world would end if the woman didn’t have sex with him isn’t normalising rape

    The movie isn’t particularly honest about the consequences of the lie the main character tells. In that way, it is normalizing rape. To be specific, the reactions of the woman would most likely be simultaneous terror (at the prospect of the immediate death of herself and everyone she knows) and horror (at the prospect of sex with this complete stranger under duress). Instead we only see an urgency in the character to get the deed done as quickly as possible, none of the terror or horror that would be reasonable to expect.

    It’s easy to understand why this particular scene is in the movie: the main character obtains an skill or advantage over other people. It makes sense for the film to explore how he would use that skill, or be tempted to use that skill: to gain money, fame, power, and sex. The film addresses all four of these, but couldn’t it have done so in a way that didn’t normalize rape?

  231. illuminata says

    You may have noticed that I’m (trying to) engage with people’s reasoned arguments and ignoring the insults here.

    While engaging in misrepresentation of arguments posted here and back-handed insults yourself, so this holier-than-thou posturing is making you look very goofy.

    “reasonable conversation” is a dogwhistle. What you’re saying is, that because you really, really want to believe that those you disagree with are upset and angry, projecting those emotions onto them invalidates their arguments.

    That way, you don’t have to read and digest what the actual argument is, you can just dismiss it, ignore it and wax smug.

    Its cowardly and obvious. Enough with the sniveling tone-trolling.

  232. Marcus Hill says

    But using “clearly overblown caricatures” of your opponents views while being a sarcastic condescending patronizing ass is?

    My opponents’ views? I was careful to parody both sides of the argument. Nevertheless, I do take your point that perhaps using scathing sarcasm to paint people whose method of argument (not views!) I’m criticising wasn’t the best way to say that being insulting isn’t persuasive. Maybe I should have prefaced/appended that with something along the lines of “no matter how good a reason you have for insulting someone, when you do this is what they read”.

    Why are you assuming the point was to change minds? It was merely a debate among commenters. I realize the testerical, irrational, hyperbolic trolls think everything has to be about “winning” and converting people to their “oh-dear-god-don’t-express-any-original-thought” argument, but that’s simply not true.

    Interesting how the biggest whiners, the most easily offended, and the most frequent cries of censorship!, and echo chamber!, come from the people refusing to think at all. Who cares about changing atrophied brains like that?

    Not only did I not assume that, I specifically stated that this wasn’t necessarily the case. However, I would argue against the futility or lack of necessity for changing minds. Actually, this is an example of where minds can and should be changed. Showing people how an acceptance of cultural norms which oppress minorities and women contributes to this oppression is, to my mind, far more positive than putting anyone who laughs at a rape joke on the pile of “atrophied brains” and just slagging them off. It’s not about “winning”, in this case having one more person who understands that belittling humour is part of the problem is one small step towards having the problem become less severe. As I said, however, if you disagree and don’t want to change people’s attitudes for the better, go right ahead with the insults.

    (Aside: how is “testerical” any more OK than “hysterical” as a descriptor?)

  233. chigau () says

    Marcus Hill

    (I find the view from the peanut gallery as amusing as the next guy)

    Haha.
    (4 posts post-flounce so far)

  234. Marcus Hill says

    While engaging in misrepresentation of arguments posted here and back-handed insults yourself, so this holier-than-thou posturing is making you look very goofy.

    Yup, as I admitted above, I’ll concede the tone of my first post runs counter to what I’m actually trying to say. I shouldn’t try to multitask and not check for new posts before submitting.

    “reasonable conversation” is a dogwhistle. What you’re saying is, that because you really, really want to believe that those you disagree with are upset and angry, projecting those emotions onto them invalidates their arguments.

    I didn’t say “reasonable conversation”, I said “reasoned arguments”. Saying “that assumption is plain stupid” or “that makes you sound like a bigoted moron” is a reasoned argument, as long as the stupidity or the link between the statement and bigoted moronity is explained. I have no need to believe anything of anyone, nor do I give a shit what their emotional state is. I don’t even claim that everyone should be trying to write to persuade. As I said, insult away and I’ll fling poop with the best of them.

  235. SallyStrange says

    To Jokester:

    Did you know that if you ask men whether they have raped or tried to rape someone, but without using the word “rape,” about 12% of them will admit to it? This is in the USA, among guys aged between 18 to 35. Questions phrased along the lines of “Have you ever used the threat of force to get someone to have sex with you?”

    Do you think those guys consider themselves rapists? If not, do you think they should? Routines like the one whose transcript I posted above encourage these men to continue thinking that what they are doing is not rape.

  236. Erulóra Maikalambe says

    My opponents’ views? I was careful to parody both sides of the argument.

    Right, because everybody who doesn’t argue the way you think they should is wrong, and therefore your opponent is the ever-important tone debate.

    Maybe I should have prefaced/appended that with something along the lines of “no matter how good a reason you have for insulting someone, when you do this is what they read”.

    Your concern is noted.

  237. SallyStrange says

    @ Marcus

    To my mind, the goal is not so much to change minds as to demonstrate that certain attitudes are socially unacceptable.

  238. says

    Sorry about the ‘butthurt’ thing. I never thought of it in that light. I always thought it meant as in “being spanked” or “getting your ass kicked”, metaphorically though. Hmm. Thanks for bringing that to mind!

  239. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Marcus

    I’ll still deny being a tone-troll: I’m not saying people should stop calling each other arseholes (I find the view from the peanut gallery as amusing as the next guy), merely pointing out that if your objective is to change their minds, that isn’t the best way to go about it.

    The faux concern over whether we will win hearts and minds is, in fact, a staple of tone trolling. Please spare us. If you want to elevate the discourse on Pharyngula, feel free to lead by example.

    In terms of the actual discussion at hand, I don’t find jokes that normalise rape funny. That’s not to say that including any rape reference in a joke necessarily renders it unfunny, nor that any rape reference in a joke context necessarily counts as “normalising” it. I haven’t seen the movie, so I can’t comment on whether it’s funny, but based on what I read in the comments above I’d say the bit about claiming the world would end if the woman didn’t have sex with him isn’t normalising rape (as the character sees that what he’s doing is wrong) and is more about reinforcing the premise of the movie, which is the consequence of a world where nobody lies. It struck me as a stupid movie at the time, and I haven’t changed that opinion since, but I can’t see how “rape is funny” follows logically from that scene when put in context – quite the contrary, in fact, since it seems to be illustrating that a woman being unaware that a man will lie to get her to have sex with him is a Bad Thing.

    I don’t think the logic is hard actually. When you joke about rape, or put references to rape in a joke, you are contextualizing rape such that it doesn’t appear to be serious. The implication of this contextualization is that rape isn’t serious. As more people communicate that rape isn’t serious the message spreads and society softens its views of rape.

    The bit about “I have to have sex with you or the world will end” doesn’t seem like a serious portrayal of rape to me, in fact it seems fairly trivializing.

    I hope that goes some way towards satisfying the people who asked for a reasoned contribution – I’d add more, but I have work to do.

    Well, I’ve never seen a tone troll cite peer reviewed studies to back their trolling. That was novel. I wouldn’t say your contribution was overly impressive though.

  240. Hurin, Nattering Nabob of Negativism says

    Marcus

    Aside: how is “testerical” any more OK than “hysterical” as a descriptor?

    Its illustrative. As a man its easy to overlook the root of the word “hysterical”, but when you see “testerical” it becomes more eye catching. Personally, I didn’t really appreciate what the word “hysterical” meant before people here made an issue of it.

  241. Marcus Hill says

    When you joke about rape, or put references to rape in a joke, you are contextualizing rape such that it doesn’t appear to be serious. The implication of this contextualization is that rape isn’t serious. As more people communicate that rape isn’t serious the message spreads and society softens its views of rape.

    The bit about “I have to have sex with you or the world will end” doesn’t seem like a serious portrayal of rape to me, in fact it seems fairly trivializing.

    But then we get onto the idea of whether there are any topics so taboo that one shouldn’t joke about them at all. I seem to recall that the reaction round here to, for instance, Tim Minchin’s Pope song was fairly positive – and yet that’s a joke that is, at its heart, about the rape of children. Having seen some of the later comments, I’d actually tend to agree that the particular instance in the film does overly trivialise rape (if the woman was not particularly horrified by the prospect) – however, if instead she had been and the main character had an “oh fuck, what was I thinking” moment, wouldn’t that have the message that coercing a woman into having sex is rape whether you use a knife or more subtle means?

  242. says

    One misconception I’ve seen in some of the arguments above is that it is somehow the aim of comedy mocking fat people to shame them into losing weight. That argument is bollocks. The aim of comedy mocking fat people is to amuse the audience. Does anyone really believe that when a comedian essentially says “hey, fat people, why don’t you try eating less?” he or she genuinely believes that this would be a world shattering observation that overweight people in the audience had never previously encountered?

    Why don’t you ask some fat acceptance activists about the kind of emails they receive on a daily basis? The ones that don’t have death threats or plain old insults typically say that shame of fat helps people lose weight. People believe that there needs to be a social consequence for fatness to force fat people to lose weight. If a person really believes that being fat is a moral failing that stems from being lazy or stupid or incompetent, why the fuck wouldn’t they think that the jokes are a good thing to help people lose weight? If the comic doesn’t think that- who cares? People repeat jokes they hear or discuss how correct so and so was in their view about x. It is pretty common for people to discuss popular culture that way.

    also, someone SAID EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE CLAIMING NO ONE SAYS IN THE COMMENTS HERE EARLIER. A fat person said it, that it was a good thing that comics make fun of fat people because something needs to be done about obesity. it was how the obesity conversation got started in this thread. I mean, jesus.

  243. SallyStrange says

    Of course there are legitimate ways to joke about rape. For example:

    Raped Environment Led Polluters On, Defense Attorneys Argue

    OLYMPIA, WA—In their opening statement before jurors Monday, defense attorneys representing Pacific North Construction & Lumber Corp. argued that their client was not at fault for the July 1997 rape of 30,000 acres of virgin forest, claiming that the forest led the development company on with “an eager and blatant display of its rich, fertile bounty.”
    Enlarge ImageAccording to Dennis Schickle, lead defense attorney for Pacific North Construction & Lumber Corp., his client’s rape of 30,000 acres of forest was precipitated by the plaintiff’s “flagrant flaunting of its abundant natural resources.”

    “While, obviously, it is extremely unfortunate that this forest was raped, it should have known better than to show off its lush greenery and tall, strong trees in the presence of my client if it didn’t want anything to happen,” said lead defense attorney Dennis Schickle, speaking before a courtroom packed with members of the media. “It’s only natural for any red-blooded American developer to get ideas in its head when it’s presented with that kind of untouched beauty.”

    “The bottom line is,” Schickle continued, “if you’re going to tease and encourage like that, openly flaunting your abundant natural resources, don’t be surprised by the consequences.”

  244. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    I have a hard time believing “Lola” is actually a woman. Misogynist trolls frequently choose a female handle, include “as a woman” in their screeds, and use gendered slurs.

  245. Bernard Bumner says

    ^^^Yeah exactly! That joke is aimed at RAPISTS instead of victims. Why is it so hard for dudebros like gervais to write jokes like that?

    Because Gervais knows that rape is merely a tool for faux-offending his audience. A word that has no connection to any real incidents whatsoever. Rape is something which happens in newspaper articles, not to real people. That is why it is hilarious.

    I’m sure that he would claim that the real rape of real people is wrong and tragic.

    (He is probably not very good at dot-to-dots either.)

  246. illuminata says

    owing people how an acceptance of cultural norms which oppress minorities and women contributes to this oppression is, to my mind, far more positive than putting anyone who laughs at a rape joke on the pile of “atrophied brains” and just slagging them

    That’s your privilege to believe that. Unfortunately, I live in this place called Reality where I get to live as the target of this bullshit 24/7/365 – if you think you could put up with that constantly – for your entire life – and not lose your cool at any point, you’re amazingly full of shit.

    We’ve dealt with these exact “its just a joke, bitchez! Lighten up!” arguments a billion times already. If you think you could have the same argument over and over and over and over and over again with clueless people who just.don’t.get.it., and who genuinely believe that your refusal to agree with them is your attempt to control and censor them, and never lose your cool at any point, you’re amazingly full of shit.

    All this sniveling tone-trolling accomplishes is a square on the MRA bingo card – “If you were nicer, I’d listen to you”.

    (Aside: how is “testerical” any more OK than “hysterical” as a descriptor?)

    Others already addressed this, but allow me to point out: It isn’t “okay”. That’s the point. To draw attention to how fucking insulting it is to be called blatantly sexist slurs. Giving back a little of what they give tends to do a lot more eye opening than politely asking trolls to not be bigots.

    But then we get onto the idea of whether there are any topics so taboo that one shouldn’t joke about them at all.

    Ever heard the comedy theory called “Kick up, kiss down”? When you’re mocking vulnerable people for shit they have no control over – its not comedy, it’s being a privileged bigotted asshole.

    Think of it this way: if you were the victim of same henious crime, would you want that crime to be pushed in your face when you’re just watching a stupid movie, trying to have a little fun? And then to have other people tell you essentially that you’re a nazicensorfascist for simply disagreeing that its not fucking funny?

    Then ask yourself how many times you could have that same conversation before you would lose your cool.

    ++

    Daisy – I thought the same thing.

  247. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Marcus, what’s stupid/amusing about your initial post is that your “overblown caricature” of the Gervais-defenders is actually more a spot-on depiction of their arguments. So you can see how we’d be confused, being that your “caricature” of ours has very little to do with what we’ve actually said.

    Regarding the rest of your obnoxious tone-trolling, I don’t give two millifucks what you think will change hearts and minds. I’d rather shame a bigot into silence than waste my time politely beating my head against the wall of hir idiocy to no result. If the result is people saying and doing less bigoted shit, that’s cool with me. We don’t argue to convince bigots – we do it to educate the lurkers and embolden them to come out, and for that, our method works and has been shown to work time and again. The fact that from time to time we do convince the people we’re arguing with and they become somewhat more decent people is icing. Don’t tell us our fucking business – we know it already.

    Sorry about the ‘butthurt’ thing. I never thought of it in that light. I always thought it meant as in “being spanked” or “getting your ass kicked”, metaphorically though. Hmm. Thanks for bringing that to mind!

    Thanks for responding so gracefully, mikeg. It was actually brought to my attention fairly recently as well, and I wasn’t aware that it was a term largely used in a homophobic fashion until someone pointed it out to me.

    [OT]

    I came close one time! Maybe next time? thank you!

    Skeptifem, I was absolutely convinced (for some reason) that you had one and chose not to wear it. Otherwise I would have been shouting your name from the rooftops every freakin’ time! Well, hopefully soon remedied.

  248. SallyStrange says

    Consider the type of man who would find the prospect of sex with a woman who is consenting to sex with him only because she is shuddering in existential terror at the prospect of her own death as well as the deaths of everyone in the world. Not a very nice person.

    The movie omits the reaction of terror in order to allow the audience to continue sympathizing with a man who is, at heart, quite rapey. If the reaction of terror had been honestly portrayed, the audience would quickly grasp that one has to be a somewhat sociopathic narcissist simply to propose the idea in the first place. Regardless of whether he backs out in the end.

  249. SallyStrange says

    Dangit!

    Consider the type of man who would find the prospect of sex with a woman who is consenting to sex with him only because she is shuddering in existential terror at the prospect of her own death as well as the deaths of everyone in the world appealing.

    FIFMyself.

  250. OTMike says

    I’m wracking my brain here trying to remember any of Gervais’ standup material that demeans rape victims. The closest one I can recall is the joke (paraphrased):

    “I drove drunk once, and I’m really ashamed of it. It was Christmas and I nearly killed an old lady. In the end I didn’t kill her. In the end I just raped her,”

    which isn’t really about the act of rape at all, it’s about society’s willingness to accept rape as less harmful than killing someone. It’s not a very funny joke, because the subtext is lost in the delivery of the loaded word he chose, but there’s nothing that shames rape victims or anything like that. Unless of course the offense people are taking is just because he used the word “rape” in a comedy act, in which case I advise you to mark Gervais off your list of acceptable comedians, along with George Carlin, Sarah Silverman, Louis CK, anyone else who has ever used the word “rape” on stage.

    As for fat shaming, most of Gervais’ anti-obesity material seems to be criticizing the phony excuses people use to explain their fatness (it’s a disease, etc.) and the extraordinary accommodations people demand to make room for their extra mass, when the for the majority of cases it’s simple nutrition. If someone isn’t motivated to burn more calories than they take in, they won’t. It doesn’t make them a worse person, just overweight. And I see very few examples of jokes in his routine that boil down to “You’re fat, you are bad.”

  251. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I’m wracking my brain here trying to remember any of Gervais’ standup material that demeans rape victims.

    I have this fantastic idea where you actually read the fucking thread. Try it sometime!

  252. illuminata says

    Classical Cipher – don’t be silly. Why would he have to read the thread? It’s just a bunch of chicks and fatties disagreeing with his clearly superior opinions, that just seem unsupported as well as easily and already refuted because we have tiny ladybrains and/or fattiebrains.

    Remember, smile pretty and be nice!

  253. SallyStrange says

    I have this fantastic idea where you actually read the fucking thread. Try it sometime!

    There you go again, trying to censor and control people!

  254. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Ohmygosh, ladies, you’re right. Clearly I’ve overstepped the limitations of my soft pink ladybrainz, and am hence no better than the [fundamentalists/racists/bigots/misogynists] myself! I am appropriately shamefaced and will return to my place now.

  255. illuminata says

    LOL. I love all you censorin’, controllin’, overreactin’, echo chamberin’, not-bigottin’ femnazis.

  256. says

    So what is acceptable comedy? I tend not to laugh at things that directly marginalize people- and it is not that I am repressing that, I just don’t see the humor.

    Some jokes use a group of people (often negatively) to make a larger social commentary. It isn’t condoning of, for example, bigotry, but rather it portrays it and the action/ actor as comical due to the absurdities inherent.

    So is using the word ‘rape’ the worst possible thing to say on stage? (I would say yes if it is trivializing the situation). However, why should I cross off a comedian if they merely say the word ‘rape’? (Per suggestion of OTMike).

    If a comedian can raise awareness of the situation- and without jeopardizing the gravity of the action; is it acceptable to use the words such as ‘rape’ or ‘torture’ or whatever?

  257. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    So is using the word ‘rape’ the worst possible thing to say on stage? (I would say yes if it is trivializing the situation). However, why should I cross off a comedian if they merely say the word ‘rape’? (Per suggestion of OTMike).

    OTMike is just being disingenuous. (Or didn’t actually read the thread, as I suggested. Either way.) As I’ve pointed out above, using the word “rape” isn’t necessary to making a totally disgusting rape joke and, in fact, not using the word can make rape jokes more disgusting, and as SallyStrange shows in 277, using the word “rape” doesn’t make a joke unacceptable.

  258. illuminata says

    However, why should I cross off a comedian if they merely say the word ‘rape’?

    you shouldn’t. Find funny whatever you want to find funny. Like any comedians you want to like.

    We’re not stating our cases because we expect everyone to conform. For my part, I’m simply not willing to let the Douchey Status Quo brigade go unchalleneged. Skeptics are supposed to be, you know, skeptical. Not unthinking, knee-jerk automatons that puke out “censorship!!” whenever they meet even the slightest disagreement. Such tender, fragile egos like we saw in this thread have no business using the label “skeptic”.

  259. DFS says

    Classical Cypher

    Who the fuck are you? You really think your commentary in this thread exhibits a superior intellect and rhetorical skill? What I see is a shrill bitch who immediately resorts to name calling of anyone who dares to disagree with her oversensitive assessment of friggin STAND UP comedy. You are the trite, hackneyed, politically correct buffoon.

  260. illuminata says

    LOL oh DFS, you flaccid little bigot, thanks for the belly laugh. Your complete lack of intelligence, self-awareness, and basic reasoning skills is hilarious.

  261. kristinc says

    Sorry about the ‘butthurt’ thing. I never thought of it in that light. I always thought it meant as in “being spanked” or “getting your ass kicked”, metaphorically though. Hmm. Thanks for bringing that to mind!

    Time out for a little lesson.

    See this, class? This right here? This is a glorious example of how NOT to be a fucking jerk when someone points out your language may be problematic.

    Note what mikeg did NOT do, class:

    He didn’t say “omg you’re right”.
    He didn’t self-flagellate.
    He didn’t swear never to use that word anymore.
    He didn’t even say he changed his mind about it.

    He also did not:

    Respond by throwing a tantrum about “PC”.
    Accuse the objector of lynching him.
    Pretend someone was calling him a bad person.
    Trot out his zomg-so-gay-friendly cred.
    Scream about being censored or persecuted.
    Pat the hysterical wimminz/gays on the head.

    What he DID do:

    Respond proportionately and appropriately, like a non-jerk. Which he accomplished by saying “Oops, I never thought of that. Thanks for pointing it out.”

    IT REALLY IS THAT SIMPLE, PEOPLE. CHEESE AND RICE. And thanks mikeg.

    Carry on.

  262. kristinc says

    Oooooh, class, we have a treat today. While I was discussing how NOT to be a jerk with mikeg’s help, DFS kindly demonstrated for us exactly how to be a massive flaming jerk. That’s very nice, DFS dear, now why don’t you go to the little boys’ room and change your pants.

  263. illuminata says

    That’s very nice, DFS dear, now why don’t you go to the little boys’ room and change your pants.

    LOL And kristinc wins the thread!

  264. SallyStrange says

    @ mikeg

    General rule of thumb, as with all comedy: mocking the powerful is cooler than mocking the powerless. Applied to rape jokes, this translates to: mocking the rapists is okay, making rape victims the butt of the joke is not. The Onion fake news story about the raped environment I posted is a great example of mocking the ridiculous excuses that rapists offer–and society accepts!–to try to get out of taking responsibility for their heinous actions.

    @ DFS

    Stop being so testerical.

  265. says

    Cool Sally, I can agree with that.

    And I have been reading the thread- it is just difficult to to quote and link from a cell phone.

    Thanks, Kristinc, and everybody!

  266. twincats says

    I guess obese people choose it to the extent that they don’t choose to starve themselves, but that is a totally reasonable choice to make.

    QFFT

    Dieting is miserable. Full stop. My choice is to be fat and not miserable.

    Individuals who suffer from obesity can also take measures to improve their life.

    Well, things are a bit tight financially right now, but we’re working on some things to bring in some extra cash…

    Otherwise, my life is just fine, thanks. Obese? Yeah. Suffering? Nope. My cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure are great, my husband still finds me fuckable, I have a great family and wonderful friends.

    And I love how now it’s about “most” obese people, not ALL of us. How do you know who’s suffering and who isn’t? You don’t.

    As someone else has said, more than once, all you can tell about a fat person is that they’re fat.

  267. says

    No. If you read my first post, who I was addressing were those that need addressing.

    You are fat? Awesome. You are happy? Even better! Someone wants to fuck you? Splenerino!

    But to ignore health issues that is inherent with with being over weight is to simply have your head in the sand. I was obese growing up, and that is not something I wanted for myself. I felt unhealthy. I also felt the harsh stigmatization from society.

    I am merely making the statement that obesity is a problem because it affects families, not just the individual. We get very worked up about indoctrinating children to believe in the god of their parents. Why don’t we also get angry when we see kids having their parents’ lifestyle forced upon them? The kid isn’t making this choice, right?

    That is all I am saying- note that I am not making fun of those who are overweight. I am not even saying I need to control your life and change it. I am saying there are tangible health problems with having a high body fat percentage.

    I am happy you are not suffering. That is one of my goals in life- the minimization of suffering. If that means that in some cases, losing weight can minimize it- then I will gladly help.

  268. says

    PS. You can know if someone is suffering. They can tell you. Or you can observe them. Because they say they aren’t doesn’t make it so.

    Maybe you haven’t been in a community that has been rocked with weight-related problems, but I have, and you can definitely tell it takes a toll on the quality of human life.

  269. Marcus Hill says

    Why don’t you ask some fat acceptance activists about the kind of emails they receive on a daily basis? The ones that don’t have death threats or plain old insults typically say that shame of fat helps people lose weight. People believe that there needs to be a social consequence for fatness to force fat people to lose weight. If a person really believes that being fat is a moral failing that stems from being lazy or stupid or incompetent, why the fuck wouldn’t they think that the jokes are a good thing to help people lose weight? If the comic doesn’t think that- who cares?

    The comic cares – and if it’s making enough people laugh and keep paying to see him/her, the jokes will keep coming. There are some comics who will think about the deeper social ramifications of their choice of targets, but I strongly suspect it’s not a major factor for most. Even then, the argument isn’t “you shouldn’t make fat jokes because you won’t encourage them to lose weight”, it’s “you shouldn’t make fat jokes because doing so contributes to the social and self-esteem issues that these people face”.

    Marcus, what’s stupid/amusing about your initial post is that your “overblown caricature” of the Gervais-defenders is actually more a spot-on depiction of their arguments. So you can see how we’d be confused, being that your “caricature” of ours has very little to do with what we’ve actually said.

    Not universally true – I think you jumped too hard on a few people who had provided limited evidence of being idiots. DFS, however, seems to have provided ample reason to call him an entitled halfwit.

    Coincidentally, a comic I saw on a panel show on TV last night reminded me of this discussion. He made a couple of jokes over the course of the evening that were pertinent. One was about a looter who had been sent to prison being lucky because the item he had stolen was lubricant, and the other was about the comic having lost his virginity at 7 – “thanks, Father O’Malley” (or words to that effect). The latter falls into the same category as the Pope Song, in that it’s the rapist being mocked, however, unlike Minchin’s joke, which is pretty vicious in its attack, the joke last night does seem to be trivialising child rape. The other joke is actually fairly endemic – there are plenty of comedians who wouldn’t touch a joke about a woman being raped who will use men being raped in prison as a witty punchline. Why do we (as a society) view prison rape as a fit punchline for a joke?

  270. illuminata says

    The other joke is actually fairly endemic – there are plenty of comedians who wouldn’t touch a joke about a woman being raped

    [citation needed]

    who will use men being raped in prison as a witty punchline. Why do we (as a society) view prison rape as a fit punchline for a joke?

    “society”, as we’ve seen on this thread, makes excuses for rape jokes. People do seem to find prision rape jokes hil-arious, probably because Americans are obsessive with their need to punish and hold people accountable – as long as they’re not rich, white, straight dudes.

    Its not funny. It’s not clever. Its revolting.

    And well done ignoring my post.

  271. Marcus Hill says

    I didn’t ignore it, I just have nothing of any particular interest to add. You’re entirely correct that I wouldn’t claim to be able to swim in a sea of asshats without occasionally losing my cool, though the incidence of that has decreased significantly in the couple of decades that I’ve spent swimming in said sea. You explained your reasons for your reaction, and why you disagree with me on whether these people are part of the target audience whose attitudes you want to change. Since you’re not trying to convince them of anything but merely to show to others that their attitudes are unacceptable, none of the rest of what I said about how to address them is relevant. As I clarified later (though it wasn’t apparent from my initial post), I don’t want to try to tell you how to post, merely to try to make a case for how people should post if they are trying to sway their interlocutors’ views towards their own.

    As for your [citation needed], you’re quite correct to point out that this is merely a subjective impression. Still, I wouldn’t put money against the proposition that the comedians who would joke about the rape of women are a proper subset of the comedians who would make prison rape jokes.

    I think this sort of trivialisation is part of the reason for the social attutude to rape as a whole. In (at least) one sense, you could say that raping someone is wrong in a far more clear cut way than killing them. Whilst there are potentially a number of moral justifications for killing (from almost universally accepted ones like immediate self defense to more arguable ones such as war), I can’t think of a single moral justification for forcing someone to have sex against their will – even if you’re doing it at gunpoint, the immoral part of the rape (the coercion) is being perpetrated on both victims by the person holding the gun. As soon as there’s any view of any rape as trivial or acceptable, it’s no longer just plain wrong, and you start to get into arguments about where one draws the line. A British politician recently got into hot water over comments he made that implied some rapes are “more serious” than others – another symptom. It isn’t a spectrum and there’s no line, and that’s what people need to see.

  272. SallyStrange says

    I can’t think of a single moral justification for forcing someone to have sex against their will

    You’re not alone. Nearly everybody you meet will agree that there’s no moral justification for rape. But how do you define rape, and how do you define “against their will”?

    The problem arises when certain classes of people are defined as incapable of having any sort of will to not want to have sex with a random stranger. For example, prostitutes. Haven’t you heard the too-common zinger, “It wasn’t rape, it was theft of services”? Prostitutes are by nature un-rapeable. This gets extended to “sluts,” which could be any type of woman, from a conservatively dressed woman who has had sex with many people to a virgin clad in a mini-skirt and a tube top. Women who have drunk a lot of alcohol and voluntarily entered the bedroom of a male acquaintance–presumably they “knew what they were in for.” A woman who has married a man has forfeited her right to ever say no to sex with him, in a lot of people’s minds. It was only in the 1990s, yes the 1990s, that the last state in the US (I believe it was NC) criminalized marital rape. In South Africa, where 3 out of 4 men admitted to raping a woman in a recent survey, it’s thought that you can cure a woman of her lesbianism by raping her. Similar justifications are used around the world for raping transgender men and women, or anyone who deviates from the gender binary.

    Peruse the chatboards of a PUA or MRA site and you will find many men expressing the view that they spend money on dinner and dates in the expectation that the payment will come in the form of sex. By accepting gifts from a suitor, the woman is passively indicating her consent for sex later on.

    It goes on and on.

    Most rape jokes that don’t mention the word rape revolve around these situations that don’t fit society’s narrow narrative of what constitutes, in Whoopi Goldberg’s immortal phrase, “rape-rape.” It’s precisely because these situations are not viewed as rape, exactly, but something different although similar to rape, that so many rapists can rape again and again without getting caught. If a comic is upholding that status quo, that views rape as not-really-rape unless it’s a guy with a weapon jumping out at a strange woman in a dark alleyway, then he’s providing camouflage for actual rapists. That’s what we’re trying to get across here.

  273. says

    Great job Sally, do you mind if I clip this and save it the text? Just so I can read again from time to time, it really is worth saving.

  274. SallyStrange says

    No, of course not, mikeg. It’s a public forum, anything I say here is fair game. Thanks though!