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Thread: Today’s college students can’t seem to take a joke.

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    Veteran Member NobleSavage's Avatar
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    Today’s college students can’t seem to take a joke.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...-funny/399335/

    Two of the most respected American comedians, Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, have discussed the unique problems that comics face on college campuses. In November, Rock told Frank Rich in an interview for New York magazine that he no longer plays colleges, because they’re “too conservative.” He didn’t necessarily mean that the students were Republican; he meant that they were far too eager “not to offend anybody.” In college gigs, he said, “you can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.” Then, in June, Seinfeld reopened the debate—and set off a frenzied round of op-eds—when he said in a radio interview that comics warn him not to “go near colleges—they’re so PC.”
    When I attended the convention in Minneapolis in February, I saw ample evidence of the repressive atmosphere that Rock and Seinfeld described, as well as another, not unrelated factor: the infantilization of the American undergraduate, and this character’s evolving status in the world of higher learning—less a student than a consumer, someone whose whims and affectations (political, sexual, pseudo-intellectual) must be constantly supported and championed. To understand this change, it helps to think of college not as an institution of scholarly pursuit but as the all-inclusive resort that it has in recent years become—and then to think of the undergraduate who drops out or transfers as an early checkout. Keeping hold of that kid for all four years has become a central obsession of the higher-ed-industrial complex. How do you do it? In part, by importing enough jesters and bards to keep him from wandering away to someplace more entertaining, taking his Pell grant and his 529 plan and his student loans with him.

    I haven't been on a college campus in quite some time. Is this exaggerated?

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    It varies. Oberlin College and the like: Ye Gods!!!!! Jim Norton would not be welcome.

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    Contributor Nice Squirrel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSavage View Post
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/...-funny/399335/



    When I attended the convention in Minneapolis in February, I saw ample evidence of the repressive atmosphere that Rock and Seinfeld described, as well as another, not unrelated factor: the infantilization of the American undergraduate, and this character’s evolving status in the world of higher learning—less a student than a consumer, someone whose whims and affectations (political, sexual, pseudo-intellectual) must be constantly supported and championed. To understand this change, it helps to think of college not as an institution of scholarly pursuit but as the all-inclusive resort that it has in recent years become—and then to think of the undergraduate who drops out or transfers as an early checkout. Keeping hold of that kid for all four years has become a central obsession of the higher-ed-industrial complex. How do you do it? In part, by importing enough jesters and bards to keep him from wandering away to someplace more entertaining, taking his Pell grant and his 529 plan and his student loans with him.

    I haven't been on a college campus in quite some time. Is this exaggerated?
    It is. The problem isn't offending the student body, but being prepared for the obvious criticisms from individuals of the community. (And the misguided characterization of the "average" parent the college administration holds.)

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    Contributor AthenaAwakened's Avatar
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    Two comics say they won't play college campuses and we now have a national crisis? I don't think so. Other comics are playing colleges campuses and still more are clamoring to.

    Remember these are the same college campuses that have fraternities that sing the praises of keeping their houses white and parade their pledges pass dormitories singing little ditties like this one

    No means yes
    Yes means anal

    These actions do not strike me as the shenanigans of a population horrified by offense.
    I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.

    The power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world's definitions.

    -- James A. Baldwin

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    Veteran Member credoconsolans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nice Squirrel View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NobleSavage View Post
    I haven't been on a college campus in quite some time. Is this exaggerated?
    It is. The problem isn't offending the student body, but being prepared for the obvious criticisms from individuals of the community. (And the misguided characterization of the "average" parent the college administration holds.)
    Quote Originally Posted by AthenaAwakened View Post
    Two comics say they won't play college campuses and we now have a national crisis? I don't think so. Other comics are playing colleges campuses and still more are clamoring to.

    Remember these are the same college campuses that have fraternities that sing the praises of keeping their houses white and parade their pledges pass dormitories singing little ditties like this one

    No means yes
    Yes means anal

    These actions do not strike me as the shenanigans of a population horrified by offense.
    Agree.

    Problem isn't that college campuses are too PC, it's that college campuses are diverse.

    So you're always going to offend someone, and nowadays with social media, those few people who were offended can stir up enough noise by finding like-minded people nationally so that what 20 years ago wouldn't have been a blip on a molehill, becomes a mountain.

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    I read the article. One of the examples of a "comedian" who was having trouble getting college bookings had in his repertoire jokes about " giving his girlfriend herpes and banging his grandma". While he knew those jokes were "out" perhaps the problem was being unfunny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AthenaAwakened View Post
    Two comics say they won't play college campuses and we now have a national crisis? I don't think so. Other comics are playing colleges campuses and still more are clamoring to.

    Remember these are the same college campuses that have fraternities that sing the praises of keeping their houses white and parade their pledges pass dormitories singing little ditties like this one

    No means yes
    Yes means anal

    These actions do not strike me as the shenanigans of a population horrified by offense.
    Yes, the important thing is we don't make sweeping generalizations about college campuses based on isolated data points -- unless we want them to be true.

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    Man, I would have killed to get Seinfeld or Rock at my school. I remember the comedian before Midnight Madness and it was perhaps one of the most unfunny things ever. It was painful.

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    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    I would like to see how full on sets by Doug Stanhope and Frankie Boyle would be recieved on Campus. They are brilliant satirists who are actually left wing, but if you are used to taking offense you might think they are bigots. But Ok, Frankie sometimes is just mean, like his Richard Hammond jokes.

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    Contributor repoman's Avatar
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    I saw Leno doing a joke about trans fats being from liposuction of trannies. Can't remember the setup, but even for myself I was cringeing at it and the crowd had a fair amount of boos.

    I wonder how it would go if Grier and Wayans took the Men on Film show on campus now. I saw it recently on youtube and unlike leno I did not cringe.

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