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Jerry Seinfeld has a point about "creepy PC" culture.
February 20, 2016 – 03:10 pm
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Jerry Seinfeld pauses as he is interviewed on the red carpet at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, in Washington.Jerry Seinfeld's concerns about a "creepy PC" phenomenon on college campuses is resonating with those who worry about societal changes that are making the U.S. into the cultural equivalent of one of those playgrounds with a rubberized surface. The ultra-safe playgrounds have also come into question in recent years as parents realize that children may need to get a little bit hurt here and there in order to learn. Their cognitive development actually depends on the occasional "ouch!"

Think of comedy as the intellectual playground of adult life. It isn't a completely safe place for a reason. Comedy stimulates the mind and pushes us to think about things that may be uncomfortable. We love comedy because it makes us laugh, think and learn.

It also helps us connect, and to forgive ourselves and each other. For example: When my husband and I listen to a comedian make critical jokes about women or wives and my husband and I both laugh hysterically, I am having a fun learning moment where I see how my own, ahem, imperfect behavior can impact the people around me, and my husband realizes with relief that I can laugh at my own stereotypical flaws. It's a bonding moment. The same thing can happen over a joke about men and husbands, or over a racial joke in a mixed-race audience. Laughing at each other and ourselves is incredibly therapeutic. At a time when in-person, human interaction is being eroded by technology, we need to look very carefully at any effort to dull or safety-coat the moments that precipitate connection.

[SEE: Congress Cartoons]

Some have pushed back fairly convincingly on Seinfeld, arguing that the reaction to comedy on college campuses is generational and nothing more, and that comedians ought to adjust their content for today's easily-offended and overly-protective (of each other) young adults. In other words, "Seinfeld, know your audience, don't diss them."

This seemed somewhat fair to me until I read the open letter to Seinfeld from a college student on the Huffington Post. The student wrote that "comedy in our progressive society today can no longer afford to be crass, or provocative for the sake of being offensive."

Source: www.usnews.com
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