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JulyDiaz

Episode 105 - Ways America Was Shockingly Evil Very Recently

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If you look back at the most popular comedies through the years, there are always parts that don't hold up. A lot of the time when it's a sex, bro, or gross-out comedy, the stuff that doesn't hold up is usually a cringeworthy scene or two where you think, "they could never do this today."

 

For example, Vince Vaughn getting raped in 'Wedding Crashers' is played for laughs, but then we feel better about it at the end because he falls in love with his assailant. Shannon Elizabeth's Nadia in 'American Pie' is secretly taped getting naked and her character is deported for it while no punishment comes to the men who do this to her. The villain in 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective' is trans woman outed by a bunch of grossed-out dudes. Funny!

 

The fact that you can't get away with stuff like this anymore isn't a bad sign, or a sign that comedies are becoming PC or watered down. This is a good thing. It means we're not making fun of genders, races, sexual orientations at their expense for no reason.

 

On this week's podcast, Jack O'Brien is joined by Cracked editors Soren Bowie and Alex Schmidt to talk about some very recent movies, commercials and bits of pop-culture like these where what was once funny or en vogue is now horribly insensitive.

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This is the first episode I've heard in a year's worth of listening that seems completely half-baked.

Instead of writing some treatise that would read like an essay, some bullet points:

 

- The Calvin Klein ad campaigns that are referenced weren't treated as "normal" when they came out. They were extremely controversial, and in many cases were banned from play on television.

 

- This might be a matter of interpretation, but in "American Beauty" (a movie that I hold no high regard for many other respects) Kevin Spacey's character lusting after a high schooler is never shown as a positive. I would also opine that the moment Spacey stops wanting to have sex with the girl when she blurts out she's a virgin isn't based on her virginity, but is a moment where, in his mind, she goes from being a lust object to a girl who could be his daughter.

 

- I hate American Pie, but you can't use a dumb frat boy movie as an example of accepted public norms in the American mind. Are you also going to cite "Porky's" as an inditement of public-shower acceptance in the 1980's?

 

- This is a very overarching statement that speaks to a point that a lot of people seem to be re-writing about Bill Cosby.

To say that "white people liked Cosby because he made them feel racism was over" is a statement that is both reductive and frankly moronic. People didn't want to believe Cosby was a rapist (which I believe is) because of the latter "pull up yer pants" era Cosby, they felt a connection to him because he's a brilliant comic, and growing up as a child (I'm 35), Cosby seemed lovable and, ironically, safe. I'm getting sick of the complete reduction of a person's achievements due to horrible personal behavior. I don't feel as though I'm saying anything you're not aware of. Maybe you feel there's been enough track laid down with others saying that kind of thing. I'm just getting tired of people treating Pryor (a performer who was no stranger to sex crimes) as a proud voice of truth who had "some problems", and Cosby as tired grandpa monster, as he lived long enough to see himself become the villain.

 

I normally really enjoy the well-reasoned discussion on Cracked, and I get that it ain't all gold. I just had a lot of eye-rolls directed to this one. Keep up the good fight, I promise that when I like the next one, I'll write about that as well.

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Anyone else detecting a weird tone with Cracked that we've Arrived at the Enlightened Age? A lot of their recent examples of "shocking" material are on-going issues that really haven't been resolved. Also felt that they totally missed the joke with Seinfeld's "Not that there's anything wrong with that--" the joke is deeper than they give it credit for. The saying becomes inane through repetition. I never felt the need to "like" Seinfeld's characters, and think the episode did a good job of nailing supposedly "open minded" cosmopolitan liberal types at the time who were actually pretty uncomfortable with even thinking about gay people. The issue was this was a real thing going on in society, a real phrase that got repeated.

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- This is a very overarching statement that speaks to a point that a lot of people seem to be re-writing about Bill Cosby.

To say that "white people liked Cosby because he made them feel racism was over" is a statement that is both reductive and frankly moronic. People didn't want to believe Cosby was a rapist (which I believe is) because of the latter "pull up yer pants" era Cosby, they felt a connection to him because he's a brilliant comic, and growing up as a child (I'm 35), Cosby seemed lovable and, ironically, safe. I'm getting sick of the complete reduction of a person's achievements due to horrible personal behavior. I don't feel as though I'm saying anything you're not aware of. Maybe you feel there's been enough track laid down with others saying that kind of thing. I'm just getting tired of people treating Pryor (a performer who was no stranger to sex crimes) as a proud voice of truth who had "some problems", and Cosby as tired grandpa monster, as he lived long enough to see himself become the villain.

 

This part of the podcast is actually on-point. Cosby was a reactionary "get a job, pull up your pants" type. He let white people see an imagine of a wealthy, middle class man who was saying the same classist garbage he was, and it was always that way. He also totally deserves every piece of bile thrown his way, who cares about his career or legacy. He's abusive garbage.

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Rather hilariously considering the topic, Brooke Shields' career did not start with Blue Lagoon as mentioned in the podcast, but, instead started with Louis Malle's Pretty Baby, where, as a thirteen year old, she plays a child prostitute in New Orleans in the 1910s and has a full frontal nude scene.

https://en.wikipedia...Baby_(1978_film)

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You guys were really on a tear. The last 104 episodes were a lot of fun to listen to. But I don't even know where to start with this one. Preachy? Elitist? And its not all of a sudden. You've been building to it for the last month or so.

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People take these Cracked podcasts way too seriously (although the latest episode with some woman complaining about gender pronouns was bad). The music is good, there's always some good discussion, and it's consistently entertaining.

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