The Will Smith–Chris Rock Spectacle and the Sad State of American Comedy - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Will Smith–Chris Rock Spectacle and the Sad State of American Comedy
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Will Smith yells at Chris Rock at the Academy Awards, March 27, 2022 (Inside Edition/YouTube)

The world is divided between those of us who get slapped in time and those who do not. The slap triggers a blocking effect on the imbeciloidal gland, which is in charge of secreting stupidity into the human body. Traditionally, experts have considered that if you don’t get a slap between the ages of 8 and 15, you become a hopeless case. And then, unless life itself takes care of slapping you in the face, you are condemned to becoming an idiot. It’s time to revisit those old theories in the wake of this week’s new scientific finding from Hollywood. We now know that the slap you didn’t get as a teenager will be irrecoverable — that is, unless you cross paths with Will Smith.

I have dedicated myself to humor for the last 20 years, and I have received insults that I didn’t even know existed, and a good few unpleasant threats on social networks. I admit it goes with the paycheck. There are people who have more sense of politics than sense of humor, and that is one of the misfortunes of our time. But the truth is that, as much as I have joked about a lot of different people, no one has ever said to me, “I am really offended.” The usual thing is that they tell me I’m “a fascist jerk” between giggles. Maybe because I seek to amuse, but not at any price: my goal is not to tear people apart. And maybe because I know very well that, when dealing out satirical writing, I am the most deserving of the lot. In that respect, I see my own life as Agustín de Foxá saw his: “I am a count, I am fat, and I smoke cigars; how can I not be right-wing?”

Humor is a very serious thing. It can’t be done by just anyone. Chris Rock is a clown who believes that laughter has something to do with transgression. Okay, if you want to transgress, go to Iran dressed as a lizard, and you’ll see how we laugh. Besides, transgressing is easy. Humor is difficult. Laughing at a disease is an easy line to cross, but it’s not usually funny unless the patient does it himself. Remember P. J. O’Rourke on the day he announced his anal cancer and made us all shed tears laughing: “Furthermore, I am a logical, sensitive, pragmatic Republican, and my diagnosis came just weeks after Teddy Kennedy’s. That he should have cancer of the brain, and I should have cancer of the ass … well, I’ll say a rosary for him and hope he has a laugh at me. After all, what would I do, ask God for a more dignified cancer? Pancreatic? Liver? Lung?” (READ MORE from Itxu Díaz: P. J. O’Rourke: A Free Soul and the Funniest Writer in America)

There are many ways to do humor. Chris did not want to make a funny joke about Jada, nor did he want to make anyone laugh when he joked about Trump contracting the coronavirus (“President Trump is in the hospital with COVID and I just want to say my heart goes out to COVID”). He just wanted to show off: “Look how brave I am that I dared to say this.” In humor, the most difficult thing is the fine line — that’s why I live on a permanent diet. Humor, like writing, requires sensitivity, as Gómez Dávila wrote: “The hand that does not know how to caress, does not know how to write.” Neither does it know how to make people laugh.

But the best part of Chris Rock’s joke about Jada is the reactions from the Left — the Academy has even opened an investigation into what happened! Well, gentlemen of the Academy, I’ll do your job for you. Let’s see: Chris Rock insulted Will Smith’s wife. So Will Smith got up, took a leisurely stroll over to Chris, and slapped him so hard that even his cell-phone reception went down. He then turned around and walked calmly back to his seat. End of investigation. I’m not in favor of violence, blah blah blah blah, but Will did what any gentleman with good manners would do.

The progressive-feminist-LGBT-vegan-BLM-etc. legion’s head has exploded with this issue. They can’t call Will Smith a fascist, of course. Maybe they should condemn the assault on a black man and take to the streets, but this time there’s no white man to blame. At the same time, however, they don’t know whether Chris’s joke was chauvinistic or heteropatriarchal supremacism. Neither are they sure if Will’s attitude was just depraved male ultra-protection of a woman, as if Jada could not stand up for herself, or perhaps there was more than a little homophobia in that slap, or maybe toxic masculinity, or fascism, because he hit him with his right hand and not with his left. What is certain is that the slap Chris got was not vegan enough, and that is not eco-friendly. And I have little doubt, judging by the ultrasonic displacement of the presenter’s face, that it contributed significantly to global warming.

My goodness. Life changes in a second. One day you wake up floating in the Land of Happy Progressives and the next second one of your own happy progressives reacts like any ordinary guy, and now the planet is going to hell. I love it when they catch their own fingers in the contradictions of their pathological ideology, or is it ideological pathology?

In my humble opinion, it’s all much simpler than all of that. Chris should have slapped himself in the face after reading his script. What Will Smith did is called script correction. My respects to Will.

Itxu Díaz
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Itxu Díaz is a Spanish journalist, political satirist, and author. He has written 10 books on topics as diverse as politics, music, and smart appliances. He is a contributor to The Daily Beast, The Daily Caller, National Review, American Conservative, and Diario Las Américas in the United States, as well as a columnist at several Spanish magazines and newspapers. He was also an adviser to the Ministry for Education, Culture, and Sports in Spain.
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