Friday, October 26, 2007

Exit signs? They're on the way out.

The New Ninja Bomber being in Asia until the weekend. I was free to go along to the Roar with Laughter comedy show at GJ's last night for the first time since February.

The line up was different from that advertised but I imagine it will be recorded on the previous gigs list soon.

I had a good time, but I can't help but think that we live in a period of stultifying orthodoxy and received opinion in which performers - while convinced that they are free spirits - are actually terrified of being tarred with a phobia or an 'ism if they say something out of line.

They need to grit their teeth and remember this, which applies as well to jokes as more serious matters:

Accusing your opponent of causing you offence has become an everyday tactic in public discussion.

This is a cowardly tactic, which means that you don’t have to bother putting your own case, or pointing out the other’s flaws.

This also presents another’s opinions as mere ‘hate’ or ‘phobias’, suggesting that your opponent is blind or irrational, and not worth arguing with.

Against this, we should celebrate the virtues of public argument. It is through arguments that we develop our own ideas, and learn from each other.

We should avoid playing the ‘offence card’, and continue with the match of public debate.
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