Very recently a beloved British comedian has found himself in dark waters for the nature of some of his material, particularly its lack of so called ‘political correctness’. The audience of one of his recorded theater performances has also been harshly criticized for their reaction of laughter and applause of the perceived unacceptable discourse.
The performer in question is renowned for pushing the boundaries of acceptability, allowing no stricture of situation, language, stereotype, to infringe on or limit the performance of his professional craft. All negative reaction quite pointedly originates from a noticeably differing culture, with a very constricted viewpoint about verbal and social censorship, completely removed from the audience that the clown addresses on a regular basis. Taste, particularly good taste, is a very localized phenomena, what is considered quite normal banter, comment, suggestion, referral, in one realm is wholly different from many another.
The British attitude to humor has always stated that if you do now enjoy particular slant, form of address, discourse, then you are completely entitled not to listen, not to attend concerts and shows, to avoid offensive programming, always with the understanding that a personal choice does not represent a written or enforceable rule. Numerous past followers of the comedic profession have come to find themselves ostracized, edited, banned, shunned, their material removed from public access. The likes of Dick Emery, Max Miller, Benny Hill, Ken Dodd, Chick Murrey, are unnecessarily demonized, even though all were the United Kingdoms favored cup of tea in their time, and are still plainly clued, and humorous.
Freedom of speech is not an abstract principle, nor something to be guaranteed politically or legally. Immediately free expression becomes liable to control, any control, it is no longer unrestrained, but within the grasp of throttling hands of oppressors, special interest groups, tyrants.
Unsavory humor, sarcasm, mockery, irony, ridicule, make up the staunchest Walls of Rome, protecting that most precious treasure, the right of unexpurgated communication.