Saturday, September 14, 2019

Unintended Consequences ...

You may know about the Shane Gillis kerfuffle. For those who don't devote hours a day to the news, the Reader's Digest version – with a bit of editorializing – is this:

New guy named to the cast of SNL turns out to be an asshole who mistakenly thinks he's an "edgy comic." Audio and video starts making the rounds. A predictable number of people on Twitter defend him – who look a lot like Shane in age and complexion – and a predictable number call him out for being a dick. (I, you may have guessed, fall into the latter category.)

This morning, I noticed these tweets:

Yes, Shane had also been at ... Skankfest. (Further editorializing: SIGH.)

Steve is welcome to whatever comedy he'd like to perform, of course.

But his tweets made me think about Hannah Gadsby's "Nanette" (my take on which was this):

What if we, collectively ... didn't make fun of other people and ourselves? That seems like a good idea.

I haven't seen a moment of Steve's stand-up. Maybe it's brilliant? But maybe making fun of himself and making fun of others doesn't necessarily bring people closer.

Because what one person intends as a joke or an offhand comment may land very differently on another party.

I've written about this before.

And then I quoted myself in this post.

I shall refrain from quoting myself quoting myself.

I looked up the genesis of "Sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never hurt me." "Hurt" used to be "harm" but that's really the only difference.

That sentiment has been around since the 1800s.

It's a load of crap.

Words have extraordinary power. Would that we all wielded them with more care.

I try. I know I can do better.

But I reserve the right to speak out when I see folks doing harm. In those moments, civility can suck it.


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