Monday, September 27, 2010

The -Isms, -Ists, And -Phobes Are Regrettably Alive and Well

   Early this morning, I sent an email to the director of marketing at a local theatre.
   Back up a few steps. The act we saw over the weekend was not a stand up comedian as billed. We'd seen him on TV in a couple of sitcoms. Impressed with his writing skills and performance ability, The Spouse decided that he wanted to see him in person. I purchased tickets for the local appearance as a birthday present. OK, fine.
    First act we liked. Second, I liked: the next Roseanne is on the rise. Finally the star of the show. Started funny, then three minutes into his spew routine, used a homophobic slur, then aimed racist comments at two interracial couples in the front rows. He made several cruel comments to elderly people sitting up front, and compared the intimate parts of women's bodies to terminals where one swipes debit cards in checkout lines. From there, it deteriorated.
     He kept saying, "There are no stereotypes," as if justifying his views. It was as if he tried to turn back every social reform movement back to the '50's.
      Try the 1850's.
       Maybe I'm naive, or spoiled rotten by my friends in common reality and on Facebook who hold a vision of a just, equal, and peaceful world, but I felt my face freeze into the quintessential "OMG" position. People were laughing at that?
     I wish that we'd just walked out. The brochure made it sound as if it would be like his TV act, but naughtier and a few f-bombs here and there. The only people more surprised and ticked than us were likely the elderly people in the crowd.
      So I wrote the email this morning. Stressed that I don't advocate censorship, but that I would have appreciated a more accurate description in order to make up my own mind about it. I don't know if I'll get a response, and I'm ok with it.
       But we did decide not to see other standup acts in the future unless we knew what we were getting into.
     And I decided that if that's the world of the hip and trendy, keep it. I'll stay home Saturdays with Garrison Keillor and pizza.

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