We are living in interesting times. Back in the roaring 90s, we had very few sacred cows. Comics would joke about anything, musicians would sing and rap about whatever and it was generally a creative free-for-all. Then 9-11 happened and we understandably became more hypersensitive as a nation.
We are currently living in an era way past the bounds of political correctness. Let's face it, when the global economy tanks, it's going to leave folks in a "touchy" mood.
We've seen comedians like Dane Cook, Tracy Morgan and Gilbert Gottfried come under fire for making hurtful and insensitive jokes. It has always been the role of the fool to poke fun. One could argue that if a joke doesn't make someone uncomfortable then it's not a joke. On the other hand, kicking anyone while down or grieving is never positive or in vogue.
When I was a kid the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up while we were watching in school. It was devastating. I remember the ridiculous jokes about the situation being a way to cope.
Yesterday on "The View," Barbara Walters launched into a biting and humorous monologue about Queen Elizabeth. Joy Behar was absent so it seemed as if the show's matriarch was trying to fill Joy's seat of sarcasm. Viewers laughed and winced as Barbara, an elder stateswoman herself, mocked everything from the Queen's lack of fashion sense to her non-smiling face at the Olympics. It was hilarious and unexpected. It's always fun to see the gifted Barbara let loose.
Well, today, our ever fabulous Babs had to do a mea culpa. Apparently, the entire UK is up in arms. Barbara's jokes about Her Majesty landed like a lead pipe overseas. The Royals are not to be played with. I learned this a couple of months ago when I wrote a lighthearted "Who Wore It Better?" piece comparing Kim Kardashian and Duchess Kate Middleton. A Londoner tracked me down on facebook to ask, how dare I "thusly" insult a future queen of England.
As luck would have it, professional; funnyman and political commentator D.L. Hughley was on "The View" today. D.L. defended Barbara's jokes with a line of tongue in cheek compliments. He's the author of a new book entitled " I Want You to Shut the F-k Up: How the Audacity of Dopes Is Ruining America." He said that the English matriarch was a handsome woman who looked like she posed for the American nickel. Be careful, D.L., someone may challenge you to a duel over those words.
We've got your back, Ms. Walters.
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