It really is amazing the things we white people can get away with. I just saw the movie The Astristocrats, a documentary about an insanely dirty joke that white comedians have been telling each other for years. (Not to be confused with the 1970 Disney cartoon, The Atristocats.)
The Joke: A man walks into a talent agent’s office and says to the agent, “I’ve got a great act, a family act!” He then goes on to explain the act which contains outrageous scenes of incest, beastiality, misogyny and violence with lots of body fluids and feces thrown in. After hearing the details of the act, the agent says, “That’s a helluva act! What do they call themselves?”
The punch line, “The Aristocrats.”
Now from a comic perspective, I find the joke, (and the movie with scores of white actors, mostly men, telling the joke in scores of ways) to be funny. Disturbing, but funny. Comedy is a strange art.
But nearly everyone in the film talking about this joke, telling the joke, laughing about the joke, is white. (Whoopi Goldberg and Chris Rock make brief appearances. Rock states that black comics never had to tell dirty jokes backstage because they were able to tell them from the stage. In the early days, they knew they would never be on TV, so they had nothing to lose.)
At one point in the film two different white comedians tell the joke to their toddlers.
The amazing thing about this film is that it is being celebrated on National Public Radio and shown in neighborhood theaters all over the US. The film is unrated. Not NC-17 or R, just unrated.
Question: If a group of black comics, mostly men, told jokes about having sex with their seven year old daughters, dogs and grandmothers then covering everyone up in vomit and human feces, how would the white media and white society respond?
I never heard a rapper say the things I heard in this movie. But somehow, I guess it is not so bad coming out of a white man’s mouth.