There is no such thing as an inoffensive joke

Whenever a comedian causes controversy for a particular joke, one thing that is almost always clear is the narcissism involved in the outrage. Bill Burr often comments that a crowd is happy to laugh at jokes about all manner of subjects, but when the joke comes around to something an audience member is sensitive about, […]






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The psychology behind polarised politics

Politics is becoming more polarized than ever before and we are at a point where political debate often seems futile. If you turn on any political debate show you are presented with a short form head-to-head format where neither side is listening to the other person, they are merely waiting to reel off their preprepared […]






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How the media feeds the outrage machine

I’ve written recently about how comedy has come under fire from ‘outrage mobs’. I wanted to talk today about the role of the mainstream media in this. One of the reasons why this culture of grievance has been allowed to ferment is because of the way digital news media is incentivized to produce content. It has […]






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When context gets ignored in comedy

I wrote a piece recently for UnsafeSpeech.com where I looked at three jokes that caused outrage, but were in fact not offensive to the perceived victim suggested by those who took issue. In fact, in several of the cases, the jokes were in support of the aggrieved group. We live in a time where jokes […]






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The narcissism of small grievances

I was talking recently with some people about the Brussels attacks and how I personally have found everything post-Charlie Hebdo to be incredibly frightening, even though I remember 9/11 and 7/7 vividly, it has felt so much more upsetting. Someone reminded me that terrorist attacks are currently at a very low point in Europe, but […]






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