Over the last few years, conservative and other alternative voices have gained tremendously in popularity on social media platform thanks, in part, to a cunning mastery of comedy. Political, often edgy, and sometimes offensive humor has been the recipe for YouTube stars like Steven Crowder, Sargon of Akkad, and Paul Joseph Watson. For this, they have been demonized by the left as hateful. But when left-wing comedians make jokes that are far more sinister? Silence.
One such recent example is the British comedian Jo Brand, who in response to recent milkshake attacks on conservatives, said: “Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?”
She quickly made it clear she meant it as a joke: “That’s just me, sorry, I’m not going to do it. It’s purely a fantasy. But I think milkshakes are pathetic, I honestly do. Sorry.”
The Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, who has been milkshaked by far-left activists, didn’t find the joke funny and said that the police should investigate her for incitement to violence. The BBC came to her defense and claimed that jokes made on the program Heresy are “deliberately provocative as the title implies.”
Compare this to the treatment of Carl Benjamin, known as Sargon of Akkad on YouTube, who in response to British MP Jess Phillips’ call for massive online censorship due to rape threats tweeted that “I wouldn’t even rape you.” This eventually got Benjamin permanently banned from Twitter. Although Benjamin’s joke is not an incitement to rape, it is not hard to understand that it can be offensive – especially to victims. Throwing milkshakes at people with whom you disagree, by contrast, is a mild act of violence.
Vox personality Carlos Maza is still active on Twitter, despite actively encouraging people to milkshake those who are not far-left.
— Carlos Maza (@gaywonk) May 21, 2019
In a tweet, Dr. Eric Weinstein formulated the essential problem:
“Milkshaking for example is a performative rehearsal for something else. It‘s exploratory comic violence … for now.”
The radical left is pushing the boundaries of acceptable behavior and exploring how much violence they can get away with while bullying people into silence. Jo Brand’s dark joke is particularly sinister since London has an enormous problem with acid attacks – just another of the many adverse side effects of multiculturalism.
Why is it okay for radical progressives to encourage violence while conservatives and populists who make milder type jokes are banned for hate speech? Perhaps the answer was put succinctly into words in the form of a line by Hillary Clinton: “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” Her view, which is shared by the radical left, is that one-quarter of the population are “deplorables” – irredeemable monsters that must be condemned and othered. And if condemnation doesn’t work, they must be milkshaked. And if that is ineffective, turn to acid. They must, in the words of Antifa, be stopped “by any means necessary.”
Twenty years ago, Brand’s joke would have been taken as just that: a joke. It speaks volumes about our current society when it is no longer clear where comedy ends, and incitement to violence begins.
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