Comedy as a Social Expression

In Negin Farsad’s TedTalk A Highly Scientific Taxonomy of Haters she asks “Why does social justice comedy work?” To which she responds to herself “because first off it makes you laugh, and when you’re laughing you enter into a state of openness and in that moment of openness a good social justice comedian can stick in a whole bunch of information and if they’re really skilled, a rectal exam.” Negin’s words ring true when you think about them. Comedians, especially ones who consider themselves to be social justice comedians, help us know when and where to laugh in today’s confusing world in the Trump era, and more importantly, how to fight bigotry with comedy. In her TedTalk Negin describes launching a campaign and comedy tour called “The Muslims are Coming!” As we know all too well oppression and persecution towards Muslim people is all too common in this Trump administration. Comedy, as it has been numerous other times historically speaking, is once again being employed as a weapon of liberation and power. As was discussed in class, comedy can be a form of relief, it can ground us when necessary. Ultimately, social justice comedy works because people need justice and in many occasions comedy and humor can act as the perfect lubricant to express that.

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