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comment by Quatrarius
Quatrarius  ·  994 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Netflix employees walk out to protest Dave Chappelle’s special.

charli xcx is a pop star that makes electro-dance-pop music. that kind of music, and her, is popular with a lot of trans women

the joke is from the perspective of a guy outside a women's bathroom at a charli xcx concert "waiting for a woman who seems generally unwell" - AKA a guy trying to hit on trans women, light jab at the fact that trans women selfstereotype as dorks / basement dwellers

the guy's pickup line is just a silly nonsequitur about burt's bees brand chapstick. "you on spiro?" is him asking if she's on spironolactone, which is an anti-androgen and one of the most common hormones that trans women take in north america

i know that explaining it kills any humor in it, but it's a really funny joke to me because it's a situation i can easily imagine getting in, one that makes fun of the trans experience, but not necessarily trans people themselves (despite poking fun at the fact that the guy is looking for shabby-looking women to, essentially, ask them if they're trans). it doesn't play into the narrative of trans women as fucked up or fake women. it's just a beautiful little joke.

thenewgreen  ·  994 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you for the description. You're right, describing it helps me to understand it, but totally kills any humor. That joke may be funny for a very small subset of an audience and would tank in a general audience.

For years people have made jokes about so many types of people. And so long as it wasn't in hatred, if it's actually funny it works. I think to a general audience, many of the jokes in this special are funny. Some aren't. But the ones I don't find funny, someone else may. That's the thing. It's comedy. Why is it being taken so seriously? I can't speak for others, but I have watched all his specials and I have not been swayed negatively about transgender people. I have mad respect for what transgender people have to go through to realize their true self manifest. His specials have made me consider that some in the transgender community take his jokes too seriously. But I have never had the sense that he's trying to get me to not respect transgender people or their struggle.

As for picketing Netflix employees etc. HELL YES! that is 100% their prerogative and legal right. And I would fight vigorously to defend it. But I'd be the guy saying, "Hey Q, they were jokes."

Quatrarius  ·  994 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  x 2

i think that jokes about a discriminated minority should primarily be funny to that minority more than any general audience. i think that jokes about a discriminated minority that are designed to be funny to a general audience, but not to that minority, are not jokes that work.

trans people take these jokes seriously because they aren't funny to trans people. it's hard to not take something seriously when it's not funny to you. i want to repeat that i'm not insulted by the jokes in the special, they just make me sad. i think that these kinds of jokes don't help the community and just add onto the pile of cultural messaging against trans people. i think that this is the new battlefield of the culture war, and that trans people who react negatively to this special will continue to become targets. when you say "why is it being taken so seriously," this is why. comedy doesn't just float in the air - comedy is powerful. comedy can be used to reinforce certain attitudes, or undermine them. comedy and politics are connected to each other. you can be a carlin-type of comedian and use comedy to show how society is rigged for the powerful, or you can be the kind of comedian that uses comedy to reinforce existing stereotypes. i do not feel liberated by chappelle's humor about trans people. i do not welcome his takes on trans people. again, if i was to get up on stage and postulate about The Black Experience In America, i would fully expect to be reamed for it because i don't know what i'm talking about. when i hear dave's jokes about trans people, it is very clear that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

i don't want to censor comedy. i don't want to "cancel" anybody. it's very clear that the trans community at large is unable to cancel anybody, given that chappelle and ricky gervais and the like all still have careers. they can continue to make hacky jokes at my expense for as long as they want to for all i care. i just don't see why i have to pretend that it's all in good fun, and to lighten up - it's the standup comedian version of "boys will be boys" - he snapped your bra strap in front of your friends, but it's because he likes you, so just let him do it - it was just a joke

i will never be a model minority that puts up with being mocked, no matter whether you think that makes me a killjoy.

thenewgreen  ·  994 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You know what would be really interesting? If we could watch the special together. Honestly. I’m going to rewatch it and try to do so with what you’ve written above in mind.