Saturday, May 8, 2010

Comedy Central And Religious Hypocrisy

So it seems that certain religions are still acceptable for ridicule by Comedy Central:

Comedy Central might censor every image of the Prophet Muhammad on "South Park," yet the network is developing a whole animated series around Jesus Christ.

As part of the network's upfront presentation to advertisers (full slate here), Comedy Central is set to announce "JC," a half-hour show about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York City.

In the show, God is preoccupied with playing video games while Christ, "the ultimate fish out of water," tries to adjust to life in the big city.

"In general, comedy in purist form always makes some people uncomfortable," said Comedy Central's head of original programming Kent Alterman...

Like all Comedy Central executives, Alterman declined to address the recent controversy over "South Park," where the network aired a heavily redacted episode after the show's creators were threatened by an extremist Islamic Web site.
I'm sure what Alterman meant to say is that "comedy in purist form makes some people uncomfortable but the fact that it makes a certain group of people uncomfortable is unacceptable and so it must be censored". Again, this isn't about making fun of one particular religion but rather the un-American idea that one particular religion should be off limits from being made fun of when doing so to all the others. Nobody in this world has a right not to be offended.



magpie said...

What proportion of Americans even knew who Mohammed was prior to 9/11?

"Nobody in this world has a right not to be offended".

Again I disagree. Make the (offensive) joke about how many Jewish people can fit in a Volkswagen and see if that polemic works for a nicer world.

JoeBama "Truth 101" Kelly said...

If God truly made us in His image, he must also have a sense of humor. I think He reads Brain Rage and has all sorts of crazy shit planned for JBW when he stands at the Pearly Gates. Kind of like a hazing. You'll get in James. But not before everyone has a good laugh at your expense.

There are boundries of taste though.

JBW said...

The First Amendment isn't meant to make the world a nicer place magpie, just freer.

I agree with you on the boundaries of taste JT101, I just don't think that it should be mandatory.

magpie said...

Freedom is not being able to do whatever you want, otherwise I'd throttle the person who ran into my car and not pay my bills. And where words go, sticks and stones can follow. This is a demonstrable truth of some of the worst moments in history.

Freedom is being protected by law from acts of violence and intimidation, and naked bigotry is intimidation.

I will happily support anyone who says threatening cartoonists is not okay, but I want a more sophisticated dialogue around that than "go for it, dudes, and who cares who gets upset, 'cause YOUR rights are all that matters to me".

JBW said...

Of course freedom is not being able to do whatever you want magpie, but words and actions are two different things. If sticks and stones follow words, the responsibility for that lies with the person throwing them, not the person who spoke.

A sophisticated dialogue would be great but it is not a requirement for freedom of speech. It's easy to defend nice and friendly speech but hateful and bigoted speech must be defended as well. I try not to use it myself and I usually don't like it but I do defend the right to us it.

Anonymous said...

...but something tells me that a Seth MacFarlane-helmed Jesus cartoon would be more entertaining than this one will be.

JBW said...

...and this compilation of God and Jesus jokes backs up your suspicions, one L.

Anonymous said...

I watched all 5 minutes of that and, yes, it did.