I'VE HAD IT UP TO HERE WITH THIS "PC" SHIT! Why can't we just laugh at ourselves? Why, when a comedian does a joke on anything even vaguely controversial, do certain people moan like somebody let one rip during an audience with the Pope? I mean, come on, who actually moans at a joke? Who is responsible for that? Well, quite frankly, I'm pinning it on the gays, okay.

Now, now, I know there's some reflexively irate homosexual in the crowd thinking, "How dare you, Miss Thing?" And what I'm saying to you is this: I think so little of the variations in human sexuality that I refuse to treat you like a Faberge egg. You are part of the human collective. Come, join in our reindeer games. You too can be poked fun at. And that goes for the whole spectrum of special interest groups out there wandering the freakazoid Serengeti plain.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but trying to negotiate straits of what's acceptably funny nowadays is like trying to navigate through the Sargasso Sea of plastic toadstools in the middle of a bumper pool table. I understand where political correctness comes from -- a scant forty years ago, we were doing "Amos 'n' Andy" jokes on the airwaves, for chrissakes. We were barbaric louts. But now, suddenly, we find ourselves in a classic overcorrection, where we're all supposed to zip through life like some huge societal squadron of Blue Angels, flying six inches off each other's taste wing, never ever deviating even one angstrom. Well, folks, there are a lot of different aircraft careening through the social stratosphere, and we better start working out some respectfully independent glide paths right now, or it's gonna start getting really messy.

Why don't we start by letting humor serve as our guide? Laughter is one of the great beacons in life because we don't defract it by gunning it through our intellectual prism. What makes us laugh is a mystery -- an involuntary response. If I could explain to you why Jerry Lewis makes me laugh when he's trying to be serious, and why he makes me straight-faced when he's trying to get me to laugh, I'd have the answer. But I don't. But damn it, I'm telling you the key lies somewhere in Lewis! Yeah, Jerry is the "Stargate" on this. And I'm pretty sure, the comedic Rosetta Stone lies somewhere in his "catching the cigarette in the mouth" bit. And I think Charlie Callas will back me up on that.

The point is, people who are threatened by jokes are the same people who tend to refer to actors on the soap operas by their character's name. Listen, there's a real world, and then there's the joke world, okay. The joke world we can get tough -- wear a cup. When I watch Dana Carvey tee up his impression of me and how I run my hand through my hair, it momentarily irks me. But only for a second. Because I realize it's a joke, and I don't want to waste one more moment being angry when I could get back to my true avocation, which is completely idolizing myself.

Y'know something, folks, it wouldn't hurt if everybody held their cards a little closer to their vest. Don't let 'em know they've rattled you if it hits close to home. You should be able to take that joke right in the solar plexus, get up, get that two-cycle weed-whacker engine of a brain humming, and give as good as you got. And if you get bested, go home, sharpen your verbal machete, and get ready for the next thicket.

Don't call Gloria Allred. Don't go to court. Don't steal a machine gun and shoot everybody at the party who made fun of your Jiffy Pop rag-hat.

Relax. Relax. The truth is, the human sense of humor tends to be barbaric, and it's been that way all along. I'm sure on the eve of the Nativity, when the "tall" Magi smacked his forehead on the crossbeam while entering the stable, Joseph took a second away from pondering who impregnated his wife and laughed his little carpenter ass off.

You know a sense of humor is exactly that -- a sense. Not a fact, not etched in stone, not an empirical math equation, but just what the word intones -- a sense of what you find funny.

And obviously everybody has a different sense of what's funny. If you need confirmation of that, I would remind you that "Saved by the Bell" recently celebrated the taping of their one-hundredth episode. Oh well, one man's Moliere is another man's Screech, and that's the way it should be. But there are those who feel the need to enlist you in a cult whose core doctrine consists solely of their personal beliefs. Well, I subscribe to the theory of "The Cult of One." The cult of the individual. That way, if I "lemming off the cliff, I'm only following my own nose and not the ass of another lemming. That's what America's all about. A great nation that guarantees you the right to lead whatever sort of existence you want to lead, that guarantees me the right to ridicule it mercilessly.

Come on, am I the only one who absolutely delights in the fact that somewhere out there near the pillars of Hercules there's a crazy old bitch like Marge Schott?

You know something, there's nothing wrong with a culture where everybody has a different idea of what's humorous. The last time I can remember an entire nation being on the same page, it was Germany in the late thirties and it didn't really turn out that funny. Remember: In its time and place, what Hitler said was considered politically correct; and it's that blind adherence to what is situationally palatable that is truly dangerous. We should question it all. Poke fun at it all. Piss off on it all. Rail against it all.

And most important, for chrissakes, laugh at it all. Because the only thing separating holy writ from complete bullshit is your perspective. It's your only weapon. Keep the safety off, don't take yourself too seriously, and remember that at the end of the day, this is just an ant farm with beepers, and it takes zero politically correct assholes to screw in a light bulb, because they are perpetually in the fucking dark.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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