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Out of Frame

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Especially given the recent attempt to cancel *checks notes* Kindergarten Cop for "romanticizing over-policing", it seems like a good time to address the idea of cancel culture. Despite what many people on both sides of the issue would have you believe, the notion of "cancelation" is actually pretty nuanced.

While freedom of speech necessarily comes with the responsibility to bear the consequences of that speech, it's still important to nurture a society that is very tolerant of diversity of thought and opinion. No one should be considered a victim because they've been told that something they said was inappropriate or insensitive, but neither should they be silenced by the outrage mob.

Speech does not exist in a vacuum. Tone and context matter, regardless of how offensive or blasphemous the words might appear on the surface. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of comedy.

Comedy relies on shocking, offensive, and uncomfortable portrayals of deeply sensitive topics, from religion to sexuality to race. The list of classic (and very funny) comedy movies that could never be made today is depressingly long. But a modern example, barely 12 years old, of a comedy that certainly couldn't be made today is the brilliant satire Tropic Thunder.


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