30 January, 2015

Chris Rock Will Never Come to Williams | freedomfreys

Chris Rock Will Never Come to Williams | freedomfreys: Thought experiment: if I changed the scenario in my head, and imagined that Bill Maher was being blocked from delivering a Berkeley commencement address due to some insensitive anti-feminist comedy, would I agree with the Berkeley students?

Optimistically, no. Optimistically, I’d be able to see the value in having someone like him imparting some wisdom to us, the bright-eyed and the bushy-tailed. I’d be able to rise above the “LOL a woman doing something womanly” joke history. As a comedian myself, I’m no stranger to some bullshit women-aren’t-they-hilarious tirades, and if I’m completely honest, I’ve laughed at them too. But I’m still actively grappling with these pieces. I’m not sure if the optimistic scenario is the accurate one.

I feel very aligned with how Rock sees it. Growth happens when we encounter something uncomfortable, dig deeper into that discomfort, and experience it enough so that it is no longer uncomfortable. Comedy is a tool that can help us sink into things that we don’t fully understand yet. Comedy can be a bridge. And, more obviously, it can make figuring all this stuff out just a little more entertaining.