As this week dealt with comedic disruption, one of the topics was profanity. But what makes some swear words and different combinations of them so funny? And more specifically, why is it funnier for a child to swear than an adult? As part of the canivalesque theory discussed in Good Demo Bad Timing, my idea is that it stems from the fourth point: role reversal. We consider swear words and mature, so only expect it to come from adults. Probably some of the funniest potty-mouthed children are the boys from South Park. The show doesn’t shy away from any controversial topic, and usually approaches it with ridicule. Probably two of the best examples of carnivalesque satire in South Park are the episodes “The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerBalls” and “Go Fund Yourself”. The first episode revolves around the very graphic and disgusting book written by the boys. The content of the book was every bodily fluid and every private body part mixed into one. As the parents of the boys discover the book, they are disappointed at the vulgar words, but are conflicted because the book is literary genius. However, people cannot get past the first ten words without vomiting. The content of the book as well as the reaction of the parents both fall under the bodily excess/scatological humor section. The “Go Fund Yourself” episode begins with the boys each deep in thought, muttering combinations of dirty words in order to claim an original website domain name. After eventually claiming the website name of the football team the Washington Redskins, they completely change the company. They run the business on the premise of never wanting to work, but get tons of money from crowdfunding. They try to be as obnoxious and offensive as possible, answering phone calls by saying, “Washington Redskins, go fuck yourself” and changing the logo to a Native American with a penis and breasts. More examples of crude humor from a young group of kids.
My next question is about the article “Laughter In An Ungoverned Sphere”. The quote that I really liked from that piece was “unmediated, real-world encounters with the comic, Double Rainbow Guy, Leave Britney Alone, whose comicality is not a matter of deliberate staging or intent but exists solely in its perception and circulation, in the ‘ear that hears it’”. Some people won’t receive jokes in the same way others will. The whole reason a joke works is because it is heard, it needs an audience to be effective. But with the rise of Safe Spaces and “politically correct cops” everywhere, will there start to be more censorship, leading to a decline in the quality and quantity of jokes? Is it legal for us to be silenced by the government, which also gave us freedom of speech in the first place? Or are we as a country going entirely and completely “too soft”?