Robin Williams never seemed to hold back any of the thoughts that popped into his head.
He was willing to say and do whatever it took to get a laugh!
But if today he used his Indian accent…
“We had gay burglars the other night. They broke in and rearranged the furniture.”
or dressed as a woman…
or used one of his many other stereotypical tropes…
then I think he would get fired for it, or at the very least reprimanded and expected to make some sort of public apology until eventually his comedy would be castrated.
“When in doubt… make a dick joke.” — Robin Williams
Robin Williams is a symbol of freedom. The freedom to be who you want to be and say what you want to say. The freedom of expression. The freedom to offend!
It has been said,
“Oppression is not hearing a word that offends you. Oppression is being told that you cannot say certain words because you will offend someone else.” — Blaire White
We are becoming so oversensitive and politically correct as a society that I worry our future will be free of laughter because it will be free of offense. I think it’s important we permit offensive language because ALL language is offensive to someone somewhere, especially in our politically polarized world where if someone isn’t part of our party or tribe we assume the worst intentions.
“I was once on a German talk show, and this woman said to me, “Mr. Williams, why do you think there is not so much comedy in Germany?” And I said, “Did you ever think you killed all the funny people?”
From a psychological perspective, when we like a person we’re more likely to laugh at their jokes, or at the very least excuse them.
Part of the reason why Robin Williams could get away with murder was because he was so well-liked by everyone. He could make fun of you to your face and you’d still laugh.
“Jack’s [Nicholson] done every drug known to mankind. He’s the only guy in the world where Keith Richards will go, “I have to go home now, Jack.” — Robin Williams
But I’m not suggesting we should be forced to like everyone because forced laughter isn’t fun for anyone, but what I am suggesting is that despite not liking someone we should still give that someone the benefit of the doubt by assuming their well-intentioned.
Looking at the world from an easily-offended lens only pushes people away thereby making the world that much more offensive.
Laughter brings us together, and some times the best way to bridge the gap is by poking fun at our differences.
R.I.P. Robin Williams, AUGUST 11, 2014