As I was completing my third re-watch of The Wire this past weekend, a thought struck me: I really am in an incredibly lucky position. Both because of my refined Scandinavian-Canadian features and the social privilege that accompanies them, and because I have a humble, astute nature that allows me to realize this fact.
I like to think of myself as an open-minded type of man, capable of self-analysis and evolution. Currently a recovering misogynist, I feel I’ve demonstrated this capacity consistently, trading my violent pornography addiction for an aesthetic fixation on tasteful black-and-white nudes of skinny white women. Not unlike a reverse Warren Farrell, if I may be so bold. While I wouldn’t be so bold as to call myself a ‘feminist,’ now when I go to a gay bar to pick up girls who came to a gay bar to not get picked up, I make sure they are aware of this, so they know that they are safe with me. Their appreciation for this is evident on their faces, or at least I believe it would be in better lighting.
I can confidently cast an eye back at the history of North American civil rights and count myself as the ultimate product of this illustrious history: the self-aware white male. This is something I have discussed frequently (at least twice) with the carefully-curated coterie of non-white and LGBT chums I hang out with when my secondary school friends are too busy complaining about their Dragon Age: Inquisition love interests on Twitter. I really believe they’re coming around to my point of view.
Despite all of this, in light of recent events (including but not limited to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the criminal censorship of Rogan and Franco’s masterpiece The Interview, and probably something else that’s happened since then – I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention), I feel the need to abandon progressive orthodoxy to align myself with the side of Justice. While I am an important part of the continuing legacy of progress in racial relations, I also consider myself heir to an older tradition – that of the free thinker, in the vein of great men such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the American founding fathers, Louis CK, and Julian Assange. The same intellectually untethered nature that has allowed me to free myself from the shackles of white privilege is what allows me to rise above popular discourse and see the limitations of such constructs as critical race theory.
It is now that I declare we must set race aside, and defend the fundamental right to Free Speech. I call for the sleeping legions of Social Justice Warriors (and Mages, and Paladins) to log out of their Tumblr accounts and join me, hand in hand, as we defend the rights of established media institutions dominated by the voice of privileged people to criticize whatever they see fit. It is the job of comedy, after all, to critique the world indiscriminately, allowing humour that punches up, down, or whichever direction is necessary to make me laugh. Because in reality, there is no “up” or “down,” there is only humor that punches laterally. Are we not all equals as (wo)Men? Without luminaries such as Dane Cook, Carlos Mencia, and Jeff Dunham, where would we be? Really, who better to comment on the oppressive North Korean regime than the man who managed to bring lighthearted humour to the darkness that is accidentally impregnating a beautiful woman? And while certain aspects of Charlie Hebdo’s content might hurt the feelings of Muslims and French people of colour, it really reflects poorly on them to bring this up in discussions of the freedom of the press following the mourning of the massacre’s victims. Have they no thought for solidarity?
All I really want is to make a better, more rational world for the two-to-three adorable, mixed-race moppets I plan to sire at some point in my mid-30s, providing I can find an appropriately sexy half-Thai, half-black Art History grad student to be their mother.