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Books & Culture

The Tao of Dave Chappelle

What’s so funny about the Woke trying to destroy the rest of us? As it happens, a lot.


- August 29th, 2019
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If you have been following the reviews of Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix stand-up special “Sticks & Stones,” you know that the media is already tearing it apart. The people at Vice say you can skip watching it and that the show “doubles down on misogyny and transphobia.” Paste Magazine called it, “boring, hypocritical and out-of-touch.”  The Root calls it lazy.

With reviews like that, you know you have to watch.

Why is it that the wokescolds are so opposed to it? Can you not engage in comedy about misogyny and transphobia? (Or is it only jokes about President Trump and Christians that are still allowed?) I thought that’s what comedy does—pointed out, poked at and prodded at the powerful, the pathetic and particular moments in society.

I hold stand-up in high regard, starting with people like Lenny Bruce and Mort Saul. It’s not that they were the funniest (always a debate) but rather I am enamored with their presentation. These days, I feel the same way about Seinfeld (his honesty has been refreshing) and Joe Rogan (check out his Netflix special where he plays out the inner monologue of Caitlyn Jenner while perched atop a bar stool. Amazing.)

I don’t find everything Dave Chappelle says to be funny. But I appreciate Chappelle is trying to do something that most other comedians aren’t doing: pulling out his and our inner demons and putting them in front of us, ideally for us to share a laugh over, whether it be nervously or in recognition of the truth in the existence of the demon. (With that in mind, watch “The Bird Revelation” on Netflix.)

In his special, Chappelle asks the audience to identify the subject of an impression he does of a stupid person that seeks to destroy people over a disagreement. (Warning—NSFW):

Some people thought it was an impression of President Trump. I’m not sure why people thought that. Maybe because that is what all comedians are doing these days? Chappelle explains that he is doing an impression of them, the audience:

That’s you. That’s what the audience sounds like to me. That’s why I don’t be coming out doing comedy all the time, because y’all n—ers is the worst mother f—ers I’ve ever tried to entertain in my f—ing life!

Truth. Chappelle recognizes that no one is safe from the offended class (The Woke!), not even him. Everyone, in their desperation to be “woke,” is looking to be offended, looking to be outraged, looking to virtue signal. It’s true for radio hosts, TV stars, film stars, musicians, athletes, comics, you name it: How do you entertain a crowd that is looking for the opportunity to destroy you?

In a society where everyone is trying to out-woke everyone else, everything you say and do will be held against you in the court of public opinion. In a society that has invented an unlimited number of ways to be offended, declaring offense validates their wokeness. And isn’t that the point? For them, it is . . . and it’s awful for the rest of us.

And it applies to everyday people in their everyday lives. The Woke respond to your being “offensive” by searching as far back into your history as they can to find whatever they can to hurt you. They can’t just disagree. They can’t just be offended and change the station or turn off the TV or walk out of the theater or stop talking to you. They must destroy the offensive thing – you; shame you, take away your ability to make a living or, as we have seen, physically harm you.

Dave Chappelle is speaking truth. He is saying what we are all saying: “These people are dangerous, and they want us to live in a world that we simply cannot live in.”

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared at WIBC.com, where the author is a host. 

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