Discussion in 'Debate and Discussion' started by Angie Gallant, Jun 1, 2012.
House GOP makes it official: VAWA bill without protections for lesbians or Native Americans.
Well, it's important that we not be protected, what with being obscenities before god, and all. Certainly this is the move that will claw back some of the 80% of women voters who have abandoned them in recent years. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA NO.)
Pretty sad thing for someone at The Onion to say. They're usually really good at bringing some kind of cultural contextual relevance to their more inflammatory contrarian posts but this one flies straight through the meta filter and into uncreative shitpost territory.
It's possible it was done as a reply to some celebrity somewhere that may have made a "Everyone else seems afraid to say it" tweet or something but... yeah.
edit: I should also mention that this tweet was up for about an hour before The Onion pulled it without comment.
Yeah, this is the most generous possible interpretation and even then it'd still be horrible. The girl is 9 goddamn years old. Leave her the fuck alone.
This goes for Seth "It's not actually offensive if I wink about it, right guys?" MacFarlane too.
Oh, The Onion just issued an apology over Facebook:
Feb. 25, 2013
On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars. It was crude and offensive—not to mention inconsistent with The Onion’s commitment to parody and satire, however biting.
No person should be subjected to such a senseless, humorless comment masquerading as satire.
The tweet was taken down within an hour of publication. We have instituted new and tighter Twitter procedures to ensure that this kind of mistake does not occur again.
In addition, we are taking immediate steps to discipline those individuals responsible.
Miss Wallis, you are young and talented and deserve better. All of us at The Onion are deeply sorry.
I can only imagine Steve Hannah yelling at the tweeter over the phone "WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING"
And an actual apology rather than a "sorry you were offended" non-apology. Good for them.
Wow, so I guess Seth McFarlane pissed some people off.
Seth MacFarlane frustrates me. I enjoy Family Guy despite its frequent nosedives into this kind of thing (sexist, racist etc. jokes that are not saved by whatever air of irony or cleverness the show attempts to project around them). It;'s clear that he (and/or his writing team) are clever enough to make good jokes without needing to go into this kind of material, and it is painful to seem them plumb that well so often when pressed.
When I first saw Family Guy it seemed okay. Not haha funny but it didn't want to make me throw up or something. But then I started noticing those 'irony' jokes you already mentioned. I don't think it's clear that he and his writing team are clever enough to make jokes that aren't "sexist and racist, oh but it's okay because it's irony". I've seen a bunch of Family Guy and it seems to be the core of the show. And if you oppose it you're a humourless bitch or part of the PC brigade. He hides behind the cover of irony to spew this sort of shit, but at the end of the day it's still sexist and racist bullshit. And that is exactly what he feeds off, that audience that secretly thinks those things are actually funny, mostly a bunch of white dudes. The fact that he got to host the Academy Awards shows exactly what's wrong with it. I'm glad that he's finally getting called out on his bullshit but it's taken years.
The jokes that make me laugh most reliably in Family Guy revolve around Brian acting like a dog, and his odd-couple chemistry with Stewie. Not coincidentally, they're also usually the bits least likely to trade in racist/sexist/ableist themes and more on wacky hijinx.
Oh I know. I watched a lot of Family Guy. It was on in the afternoons sometimes (better than homeshopping channels) and I was a teenager with not a lot of stuff to do. But the more I watched it, the more I realized that MacFarlane is pretty much a douche, and thinks he should be able to make jokes about controversial stuff for the sake of controverse.
I don't know if MacFarlane is at heart a sexist douche himself or if he's just substituting lazy attempts at comedy for insightful satire, but I agree that the result is too similar to tell the difference in the end. I like Family Guy occasionally, but it's gotten pretty one-note over the years and the writing hasn't held up nearly as well as the Simpsons (for example) did over a similarly long lifespan. I didn't watch the Oscars, so I don't know if his performance was as bad as that article makes it seem, but knowing his style of writing, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
To a degree I think it's related to the issue that the Onion's apology letter touches on above - some of MacFarlane's stuff comes across as boorish and obnoxious remarks masquerading as humor. Incisive parody takes more than just mimicry of shitty behavior with an accompanying wink and a laugh track.
I admit, I sort of wonder if the person who did the Onion's awful tweet was trying to make that point, but failed utterly.
That hadn't even occurred to me. If so, that's way too meta for the medium.
I find Family Guy too frustrating to watch. For every genuinely funny moment there are three gross-out/mean spirited ones. I suspect this is because MacFarlane is stretched too thin and the writers are lazy.
I will say, though I rarely watch it, I caught an episode the other day where Brian and Stewie were trapped in a bank vault. They open Brian's bank deposit box and he has a bottle of scotch and revolver inside. He eventually tells Stewie he keeps the gun because he was thinking of killing himself at some point and the scotch was to be his last drink. Stewie's reaction was genuine, shock and hurt. The episode closes with Brian reading David Copperfield to Stewie.
I thought it was very well done, and actually effecting, in spite of way too many poop and vomit eating gags.
(here's the wiki entry on it)
It never occurred to you that The Onion might be making a satirical commentary on E! and TMZ coverage of celebrities? Really? I can understand being offended anyway, but how do you miss what they were trying for? It's The Onion. That's pretty much all they do.
No, it never occurred to me that the Onion would make that tweet as a way to comment on Seth MacFarlane's lazy attempts at humor while one of those attempts was happening.
I hesitate to wade into it because I don't watch awards shows, this one included, but subjectively it seems to me that views - critical, or I guess socially-politically? on Seth MacFarlane have been weirdly polarized.
A wide selection of media/facebook reception was positive, among them students - but political activists, culture vultures, and, using the term non-perjoratively, the hipstersphere were annoyed and/or disdainful.* Neither really perspective really synched with me because (with respect to the first view) who's still into that early 2000s comic sensibility and (with respect to the second) are the outraged people outraged at, say, Archer, which is wildly offensive yet pulls it off, by virtue, primarily, of just being funny to a hip 2013 audience in a way that MacFarlane isn't?
To my mind there was a window, mostly in its original run, where Family Guy was the novel flavour-of-the-few-years edgy pop comedy. Some people disliked it way back when but at the time I thought the South Park criticism was off the mark - the "manatee ball" stuff was just the structure of how it was random and dumb and offensive, which was novel and funny at the time.
Since then the show(s) have gone downhill and the humour of the episodes which were funny in the early-2000s has aged poorly, as comedy often does. The breakneck-paced random obnoxious humour torch was (from my perspective at any rate) passed to Robot Chicken, which in turn went through a similar "short shelf life, original humour ages badly within a few years" life cycle. (I'm leaving aside the later MacFarlane shows because I haven't watched them much because the whole style of humour is passe as far as I'm concerned.)
*The New York Times did both, with gusto. Their running commentary was basically Dave Itzkoff and especially Jon Caramanica liveblogging how MacFarlane was a despicable uncomedian who will never work in this town again, while their front page the next day ran a what-a-fine-host story.
Err, I "get" Onion's humor but this was way out there. The only way I could think of putting it is that the satirical objective wasn't strong enough to warrant the comment.
Family Guy is fucking horrible.
Here is an explanation of the joke, since apparently it's necessary.
Yeah, dude, thanks. And it's about as funny as it is in that situation that he thinks is so hilarious. 9 times out of 10 you try pulling that in any group of friends and they'll have confused looks on their faces. It's funny in his idyllic mind and not really anywhere else.
Yeah, the joke's... Not particularly funny in the first place, and here, it goes beyond distasteful. It was uncalled for either way. (I also didn't know this joke was a thing, so that just goes to show you how great of a "joke" this is. ... Then again, I live under a rock, so maybe it's just me.)
I don't understand how people don't get the joke in that Onion thing. I didn't need an explanation. I think that for a joke that I was just farting into the ether, I would have gone with "asshole" instead, since people are a little bit less likely to jerk like they've just been shocked with a cattle prod, but this was just plain to me. The joke is obviously at the expense of the speaker because, seriously, who hates a fucking nine year old child? January Jones? Maybe? How old was The Tumor when he got kicked off of Mad Men anyway? Did we really take that statement seriously? If we're going to complain about the language, then whatever...throwing that out to a largely American audience was probably an objectively bad idea...but the actual content seems entirely okay to me.
As for MacFarlane....eh. I'll agree that "We Saw Your Boobs" (Jesus, Seth - I know what the joke is there and that you're not actually making fun of all those ladies for unlimbering their tits in the name of art, but that's just not a particularly good joke in the best of circumstances) and the bizarre little Clooney thing (which is so nonsensical to me that it can't even be offensive - is Clooney famous for dating teenagers or something?) and some of his other stuff might have gone a bit far for a show targeted at All of America at Once, but I gotta say that the author for that New Yorker piece isn't doing herself any favors trying to bust his balls over Chris Brown and Roman Polanski jokes. Both of those subjects are such old hats at this point that I'd fully expect them to show up in whatever brand of Villanchian pablum came burbling out of whichever schmuck was in the runner-up slot for hosting duties. It strains credibility when you're trying to lambast a guy for making a joke that Anthony Jeselnik said at me at least thirty times last week in commercials for his goddamn show and Jeff Ross seems to do nightly, to the voices in his head if he doesn't happen to be standing in front of anybody at the time. It might be better to sit on that particular beef until you're ready to address comedy as a whole, since blaming Seth MacFarlane for those two subjects just makes it sound like you haven't seen any programming on Comedy Central in the past year or so. Or, in the case of Polanski, since before I was born (and I'm fucking old, yo).
The Onion joke struck a raw nerve because of the language and the target, but when I saw it I immediately thought of how Doug Benson used to end Doug Loves Movies with 'and as always, Willem Dafoe is a shithead'. Because he figured Willem Dafoe is probably a very nice person and no one would ever call him a shithead. I don't necessarily think that the joke was funny, but it surprised me just how angry some people got.
I think the C-word is similar to satirizing racism by depicting a minstrel show. People understand why it's meant to be funny, but the visual of a dude in blackface transcends parody for many people.
I honestly didn't have a problem with the joke, but I'm kind of a cunt.
Nah, not necessary. That's a really basic idea, and I think it's pretty clear that that's what the Onion was trying to do. It just wasn't funny.
And Salon calls it racist for no reason at all other than the little girl was black.
As for the joke itself, it's the Onion's twitter, if you are offended by anything I wonder why you are following them. People were making catty tweets about various celebrities all night and it was clearly an attempt to parody that by picking a target that nobody would ever pick. It wasn't but a few months ago they posted Ganesh jerking off Moses while fisting Buddha. Does that make them anti-semites too?
Louis C.K. on offensive words
The main thing for me is the Onion apologized like a grown up instead of trying to hide behind ZOMG HUMOR like they could've easily done. IT'S HUMOR is not some magical spell to get you out of being called on being a douche, and if the joke isn't even FUNNY, fuck you extra.
Honestly I kinda think that's the main thing they're regretting at the Onion. "Dammit, it wasn't even funny!"
Well, the Onion disagrees with you. Maybe they don't think the way people like you and Flowers think.
Yes, and just as a reply to the tired old saw of "it's a joke, it's not intended to offend, so you're wrong to be offended" line - Intent! It's NOT fucking magic!
(I know you weren't advocating that. Aaron.)
I must have missed that Flowers post related to the Onion tweet in this thread he can't post in. I'm sure you and Hitler will point it out for me.
And this is why you're not a comedy writer. The use of "cunt" was intentional because of the level of taboo associated with it, in part to get a reaction and in part to make the joke clear. No one is going to be seriously inclined to use the grand mother of profane words in American English to describe a talented 9-year-old who has never been anything but charming in her public appearances. Thus the wide and obvious dichotomy created by juxtaposing her with "cunt" and framing as something "everyone wants to say" but isn't is unquestionably a statement meant as satire. Calling her an "asshole" or a "bitch" would have been too socially acceptable even in that case to use without any confusion.
The real question here is why the person at the Onion's twitter switch last night thought this joke was worth going to the mat for in this manner. It's functional but not particularly funny or insightful, and anyone with any knowledge of PR or how American audiences react to the word "cunt" would know damn well what the response would be. Since it's not a joke worth causing a massive PR blow up over, I have to wonder what the hell the point was. Either the twitter jockey for the Onion is incredibly tone deaf in terms of likely reactions or they thought the joke was a hell of a lot funnier than they had any reason to believe.
I must have missed the part where pulling the "you're all just humorless" defense in support of unfunny, deliberately offensive humor is reasonable. Also, you must have missed the part where Flowers consistently did that for ... I dunno, I've been seeing him do it for more than a decade. Kinda impressive that you missed it for that long, but I guess it just shows that you're as perceptive as you are funny.
I think I like this thread too much to get in a slapfight with you.
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