hang the comedian


-- चार हजार दो सौ चौबीस --

Life has been pretty uneventful in the 23.5 hours since I last posted a Daily Lunch Update (DLU™). I finished out my work day, I walked home, I made myself a Boca "veggie chik patty" sandwich with veggie ham and cheddar cheese -- basically a veggie chicken cordon blue sandwich -- for dinner, I watched the season finale of season 2 of Lady Dynamite, a Netflix show I can't imagine anyone I know besides myself truly enjoying. I mean, I only know about Maria Bamford because of Gabriel telling me how great her singular brand of standup is, but that show is manic bordering on shrill, and although it's widely credited for destigmatizing mental illness, it's . . . well, in my case, it was literally an acquired taste. I tried season 1 and gave up on it after a few episodes, only returning to give it another chance many months later, and somehow then managed to enjoy it. I don't think season 2 was quite as good but it was still watching. I can't fathom anyone I would recommend it to. Laney comes closest, and even when I spoke about it to her it was fairly tentative. The pugs that talk in a Werner Herzog-like German accent would at least be a selling poing for dog lovers, I think.

Then I watched the fourth episode of season four of Black Mirror, the romantic comedy-esque "Hang the DJ," and it was surprisingly delightful -- a welcome break from the bleakness of the episodes that preceded it. It has some clear parallels to season 3's fantastic "San Junipero" episode, and isn't quite as good as that one, but in my opinion is the best of this season thus far. I actually opted not to watch the next episode last night and save it for later because I didn't want to spoil the sweetness of "Hang the DJ."

-- चार हजार दो सौ चौबीस --


-- चार हजार दो सौ चौबीस --

So, I decided to watch some comedy instead, and went for the first hour of the new Netflix comedy special by Dave Chapelle. People have been posting all over my Twitter feed something offensive he said about the women victims in the "#metoo" movement -- basically characterizing the women as weak -- in the special, with some people responding that it was taken "wildly out of context." Reading the excerpt myself, I couldn't imagine how it would be made any better in context, but I also thought it only fair to give Chapelle the benefit of the doubt. He's a talented comic and humor has gray areas.

Just like the special he did last year, it's two separate hours, two different sets, presented like a miniseries of two episodes. They are even in different venues. As it happens, apparently the offending comments were made in the second set, and I haven't watched that one yet; I didn't have the time last night and I may give it a look tonight. I must say, though, that watching the first set, I laughed a lot. And in that set, he addressed the pushback he received after insensitive comments made about transgender people in last year's special. The stuff he said last year was indeed almost pointedly out of touch, a guy clearly in need of education, his dressing it all up in "comedy" notwithstanding -- it was the one part of last year's special that gave me pause. And talking about it this year, just as in the case last year, he gets a little too close to "Oppression Olympics" by positing that the black community has it harder than the trans community. I even thought last year about how this guy doesn't have a clue -- did he miss the train on intersectionality during all those years of seclusion? I guess he did, because it's particularly relevant that trans people of color are by far the most endangered in American culture.

All that said, in spite of his clear level of ignorance on this issue, I will defend him thusly: nothing he said about trans people came from a place of contempt. A certain level of disregard, maybe. But insisting people should have a sense of humor is a fair point, and intention always matters. He makes a point of making it clear that he may not understand trans people's choices or experiences but they still deserve to be defended. I didn't laugh as hard at the section of the show when he talked about this, but I did still laugh some -- the whole show was expertly constructed, because, as I said, this guy is a very talented comedian.

All of this is in regards to the first set, though. We'll see how I feel about what he says about women who are victims of sexual harassment in the second set -- whether the comments I saw were truly taken "wildly out of context" or not.

By the time that hour ended, and I had spent pretty much the entire evening looking at my TV set, it was time to get ready for bed. Shobhit got home from work in the middle of my taking out my contacts, so at least I saw him briefly before going to bed, which I hadn't the night before. (This is mostly because this time he got off at 9:30 instead of at 9:45 -- tonight it's back to 9:45 again.)

Oh, and I did have another quarter of the pot brownie. The effects were essentially the same, although slightly milder than they had been the night before -- and even that had been mild. Shobhit decided to have a quarter himself after he got home, and when he briefly woke me up when he came to bed he said he could feel it. I haven't decided if I'll have the last quarter of that brownie (there's one more CBD brownie in the jumble of edibles with which I stuffed Shobhit's stocking) tonight; I've decided to take myself to a movie directly after work first. It's highly unusual for me to get four days into a new year before going to see a movie. I don't expect The Greatest Showman to be even close to great, but I figure it'll entertain me for an hour and forty-five minutes.

-- चार हजार दो सौ चौबीस --


[posted 12:18 pm]