Kurt decided to watch tv today as I fooled around on the computer. Since I wasn’t paying attention, he decided to put on “The History of the Joke,” something he put on the DVR a while back. It featured Lewis Black searching for the world’s perfect joke, and he got a whole lot of prominent comedians to go along with him on this journey.
For one thing, I don’t find most modern comedians funny. One notable exception is Jeff Dunham, of Jeff and Peanut fame. Oh my lord, but that man is hilarious. There was a point in time where all I had to do was squeal in the highest voice imaginable, “I kill you!” just like his character Akhmed, and both Kurt and Grace would dissolve into gales of laughter. Of course, we had to change it to “I kiss you!” to be a wee bit less violent for our impressionable 3-year-old, but it was still hilarious.
Most comedians like to trace their roots to Richard Pryor and even George Carlin, but I think the only thing they have in common with these two men is the way they liberally garnish their routine with as many cuss words as they can. It seems as though they figure if they say something funny, it must be ten times more funny if they use the F word.
I disagree. I don’t mind a few cuss words here and there; George Carlin’s “Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television” is classic, and it actually spawned a Supreme Court case in which it was decided that the government could regulate what was said over public airwaves. However, it seems as though modern comics will just throw in cuss words like they’re nothing, or like they think they’ll get more laughs with a few cuss words. It’s just annoying to me, and doubly so when Comedy Central has to bleep out every other word (I’m cheap; we don’t pay for HBO).
One of the areas that this show explored was how difficult it was for female comedians to succeed. At first, they started out by telling female jokes. For example:
“Why was Helen Keller such a bad driver?”
“Because she was a woman!!!”
Now that, folks, is funny. Mean, and not nice to women, no. But it’s funny!
The show really pointed out how hard it was for a female comic to survive. Women are supposed to be these kind, gentle, caring souls, not the aggressive, spotlight-loving kind of person it takes it make it as a comedian. It’s the antithesis of the ideal woman. And that’s why a lot of men don’t like female comedians. They’re not what women are supposed to be. They make men uncomfortable. They’d much rather see a man stand up in front of them and make fun of himself, rather than a woman.
How is that different from real life, though? Men are still paid more than women. Men are still promoted over women when they have the same skill set. Men still get the choicest, best jobs. When a woman tries to get ahead by emulating some of the strengths that successful men possess, she’s seen as an aggressive bitch.
Whatever happened to equal rights for men and women?
About the only place I see men and women being paid the same is in the military. You can argue that men are still paid more, since they are the ones going into combat and other hazardous areas that garner more pay, but in general, every person at a certain pay rate is paid the same amount regardless of gender. All Chief Petty Officers in the Navy with 14 to 16 years of time served (Kurt has 15, as of this past January) gets paid exactly what Kurt gets paid. All Chief Petty Officers with at least one dependent stationed here at Newport receive the same housing allowance. It doesn’t matter if you’re a male or a female; Kurt and the female Chief in his office receive the exact same paycheck.
For the record, the number of kids you have has no bearing on how much money you receive from the military. You used to get more in your paycheck the more kids you had (up to four, I think it was), but too many military people were having too many kids and weren’t able to support themselves well. So the military now increases your pay when you get married or have your first child (for the single parents out there), and it doesn’t matter how many kids you have after that. You get paid the same whether you simply have a spouse or whether you have ten kids.
Of course, the government falls under this category as well. My mom works for the Department of Defense and makes the same amount of money as any other GS-whatever-she-is (I have no idea what her civilian rank is). Gender distinctions just can’t be made.
Let’s just hope that eventually the rest of the nation will catch up. It’s absolutely ridiculous, this gender distinction.