During the holidays, the wife and I watched a few stand-up comedians on Netflix and Amazon. Unfortunately more than once I had to turn it off or simply tuned them out because they ruined a good act with a tried, true, and quite frankly old bit: They decided to mock religion. But guess which one? The same one every time: Christianity.
Yes, you are so brilliant with your atheism.
It isn’t that I take offense because I’ve long since stopped caring what famous people think or say. Most of them are genuinely stupid. The point is: It’s not funny and has been done to death. The joke has reached joke heaven — alongside “take my wife, please” and “I just flew in from [city] and boy are my arms tired.” It’s like the dumb, horny, inept husband on a sit-com.
Many of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life were bits and jokes that were inspired by something true and were original or at least new takes on an old joke, perhaps updated with some new truth or generational twist. The “hurr hurr Christians are dumb” one is… it’s just old and tired. It’s like edgy; when everything is edgy, nothing is. When everything is a counterculture, nothing is. It’s politically correct to make fun of Christians — and that makes it no longer worth a damn from a comedic standpoint.
Fifty Shades of Grey was a flash success and is still on the tops of the lists at Amazon. Regardless of how you feel about it or how it was written (I have not read it and therefore don’t feel qualified to offer my own opinion), the book sold and it sold well. As did Twilight, the Hunger Games trilogy, Harry Potter — all of these titles sold and made a lot of money. But if every single book for the next ten years was a copy of one of them… people would stop buying. At some point you reach market saturation. One of the reasons Fifty Shades was so popular was that it took romance/erotica in a radically different direction — and is now being cloned by everyone who’d like to make a dime on the author’s back. You will note that the adolescent teenage protagonist is also experiencing something of a high right now.
If every blog wrote the same thing we’d only need one blog. If every television show was the same… The examples can go on forever. When every comedian wants to make the same jokes… sorry, I could just watch Carlin do it from a decade ago.
Leave your own mark, don’t just tread the same trail as everyone else and kick the same dirt in everyone’s eyes.