Sep 032007
 
Authors: Marissa HuttonGavel

“Keep it in the dirt, or you’ll lose it.”

That’s what the nice man directing traffic on Friday at the Ranch told me as I maneuvered my way into the already packed parking lot. At the time it seemed like a strange statement as my parking options were limited to dirt and more dirt, but by then time I was clunking back through the gravel in heels on the way back to said dirt, it made perfect sense.

You see, Carlos Mencia keeps his comedy in a virtual cesspool of dirt, so to speak. My guess is, if he didn’t, he’d lose his C-list status – what I hope is a mediocre paycheck and legion of less than respectable fans.

I hate to hate on the people who came out for a laugh, there’s no better way to spend your time than a good chuckle, but to laugh at Mencia is to raise your hand and admit you are kind of dumb.

While I tried my darndest to remain open-minded and at least bend the corners of my mouth in the Northern direction a couple times, I couldn’t get passed the excessive use of the f-word, the n-word, sexism and racism in his act. Even calling it an act feels counter-intuitive because that almost relieves him of his responsibility.

I know what some of you are thinking, “this liberal female college journalist couldn’t possibly appreciate Mencia’s humor, but that doesn’t mean we can’t.”

I beg to differ.

Laughing at someone that says white people should laugh at racism – because otherwise they’ll turn into serial killers – does nothing more than encourage those who make a living off of being offensive. You are selling yourself out to bad comedians, people.

While he tried to qualify his comments by saying that we have to talk openly about what we think so we don’t repeat history’s mistakes, it seemed to me that he was doing just that – repeating earlier mistakes.

Buying into the Carlos Mencias, Howard Sterns and Carrot Tops, (the later is just a personal thing), of the world is all too similar to our ancestors who laughed at the Sambos and Mammys.

It is entirely possible to be funny without being offensive.

My favorite comic, the late Mitch Headberg, did just that. Ellen Degeneres does it every day on her show. It can be done.

So CSU, be respectable; laugh at what you find funny and snub what’s offensive. Just remember that just because it’s shocking doesn’t mean it’s giggle-worthy.

Although my humble column will likely never reach the hands of Mr. Mencia, I have one final message for him; keeping it in the dirt shrinks it and causes it to fall off!

Senior technical journalism major Marissa Hutton-Gavel can be reached at verve@collegian.com. The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the individual author and not necessarily those of the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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