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This is what boggles my mind: dude here wants us to believe that he spent ten years developing a craft that doesn't matter.

"I am trying to be the best comedian I can be"... why? To get on SNL? As an end in itself? Can't say "To make people laugh" if you don't care who gets hurt
So what we're left with is what we're left with for every lazy, cowardly comedian like Shane Gillis: "they're just jokes", an argument in which jokes are simultaneously sacred but also useless.

"Just jokes" assumes jokes have no impact, no power to change the world.
What kind of comedian doesn't believe jokes have the power to change the world? To make someone's day... or ruin it. To lift people's spirits, or puncture them. Jokes reflect how we see the world, and shape it.
Shane Gillis is a comedian in the same way a man who breaks down random doors with an axe and drags the people he finds behind them out into the street is a firefighter.

He's going through the same motions as one, but for what point?
"I take risks," he says, but risks have consequences. If the harm for your risks falls on others, you aren't taking them... you're inflicting them.
If you think comedy is this great golden sacred thing, you have to ask: why. Why is it sacred?

I would say because it matters. Because it's powerful, one of the most powerful forms of communication we have.

And that kind of power should be handled with care.
"George Carlin would never survive as a comedian today," they'll say. Well, if his career started today, he would be starting from a different perspective. And I don't remember him ever whining so much about criticism, which he got.
Carlin thought a lot about the craft of comedy and wrote a lot of material about the impact of words.

He wasn't above criticism.

And he received it, back in his day. It's not something new that makes people give feedback to comedians, some new SJW internet thing.
The next George Carlin isn't going to be the person who is least afraid to offend. The next George Carlin will be a thoughtful observer of human communication. If it was the offensiveness that mattered, your racist uncle would have had Carlin's career.
Carlin's most famous transgressive bit, "the seven words you can't say on television," is a love letter to the power of words. It mentions words can hurt and heal. It was a critique of priorities. But what so many took away is: it's funny to say things They don't want you to.
In one of the more famous versions of the monologue, he mentions the N word. It's not one of the seven. He says all of the seven in full, repeatedly. But he calls the N word "the N word".

You actually could say the N word on television. People did. On network television.
Now Carlin did use the N word in his career! I'm talking about one way he did one bit. When I say he's not above critique or examination, he certainly isn't perfect.

But his point was never that words are just words, jokes are just jokes. His whole premise was they matter a lot.
Imagine being a comedian and thinking jokes don't matter.


Ten years of your life devoted to nothing.

That's Shane Gillis.
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