Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hard Comedy...

Making people laugh is a tough business. We try to be relevant to today's audiences while still being tasteful and not offending any groups. One golden rule of making a joke is you can joke anything you want, but "Sex, Religion, Politics" is a big No-No. It's a tough business. 

So imagine my surprise when 2 practitioners of the art got some flak in less than a month. It just goes to show that Social Networks can really add gas to a small flame. 

These are top-rating comedian Vice Ganda on the "Jessica Soho-Gang Rape" issue and best-selling cartoonist Pol Medina Jr.  on the "Lesbian-St. Scho" 

The former got some ire from netizens when the famous comedian made an offensive joke on the "physically-challenged" newscaster from another network about her weight and saying that for a sex scene a "gang rape" was needed.

The latter was "indefinitely suspended" on the broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer for making a remark on a prestigious all-girls school and their lesbian students as being condoned by the people running a Catholic school... although the cartoonist feels like it is because of his earlier "Anti-Marcos" statements. 
( honestly, i can believe his angle... Pupung cartoonist got fired from the Times Journal in January 1986 because of his spoof on the Marcos radio campaign ad

the controversial strip

Now, while there are a lot of people already giving their two cents on the Vice Ganda issue and my thoughts are not really necessary anymore as many already gave thought-provoking pieces, I felt like Pol Medina Jr.'s trial hits close to home because I love his work. I can draw and sometimes copied his techniques on some of my works. Many people buy the Inquirer for the cartoonist's opinion on a recent issue. 

It is rather untimely when a 25-year old strip has already become an "establishment" in the industry and got suspended for a dated and trite issue. For the followers of the strip, Pugad Baboy has been making fun of almost anything worth being printed as a headline on a newspaper. No issue is sacred as it cannot be discussed by Pugad Baboy characters, as they say. This one received unneccessary criticism. Even the cartoonist said the strip was "tame" compared to his other strips.  

Now while we are waiting for the fate of Mr. Medina, I will say this: St. Scholastica, lighten up. Mr. Medina is just making fun of a hard truth. If you are offended, then you just don't get the reality of the joke. And to the Inquirer: have some balls to defend Mr. Medina. He doesn't deserve something like this. Show the school the nature of the joke. I don't care if you need to do a Powerpoint presentation just for that. And to Mr. Medina: just be yourself. You can apologize to the school, but don't censor your jokes. We all need that during our morning paper reading. And lastly, to any comedians: kinda scary when netizens attack you, eh? I guess the Golden rule of joke-making is still important. 

- "the king" 

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