Some Wise Words from Jim Norton

A fellow stand-up comic suggests it's time to Just Say No to the drug of Twitter outrage.

There has been no shortage of op-eds about the Trevor Noah brouhaha. One such article that has stuck with FishbowlNY is an April 1 Time essay by fellow stand-up Jim Norton.

Norton, who occasionally contributes, previously wrote about, respectively, Jay Leno and Charlie Hebdo. This time around, it’s not so much Noah that is on the Norton agenda as it is the social media world’s out-of-control obsession with “Whoa!”

The Norton article slug summarizes it perfectly:

We’re addicted to the rush of being offended

Towards the end of the piece, Norton, who knows a thing or two about jokes that make one half of the room raise whoop and the other half drop jaw, fleshes out that sentiment:

When we can’t purposefully get our feelings hurt by a comedian, we usually find another, albeit less satisfying, source of indignation. A few of the old standby’s are sports announcers, radio hosts, Twittering athletes and paparazzi-hating actors. These are always great sources to look to when we need to purposefully upset ourselves.

And make no mistake about it: Upsetting ourselves on purpose is exactly what we are doing. At least that’s what I hope we are doing. Because the other alternative is that Americans have collectively become the most hypersensitive group of whining milksops ever assembled under one flag. I find this second choice to be particularly humiliating, so I opt for the first.

It’s as if the old weather hacksaw, “Hot enough for you?” has been usurped via social media with a new one, “Outrageous enough for you?” While we’re not at all sure if Comedy Central made the right choice here, they evidently saw something in Noah that goes beyond Twitter. Maybe we should all look beyond those ancient 140-character chunks as well.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Sean Penn Laughs Off Twitter Outrage

[Photo via: @Trevornoah]