Moratorium Monday: Going There

« May 2006 »

Once again, we start the week with a Moratorium. That special time when I find something that you all need to stop, and then tell you to stop it. Not that the people doing it will read this, or stop just because I tell them to. Such is the power of the Internet.

But still, if I didn't exercise my futility, it'd get soft in its old age, so I beg of you, all of you, stop, as the vernacular goes, "going there". You know. As in "I can't believe he went there!"

And stop rewarding people for merely going there. Stop hooting, stop hollering, stop watching. Going there is not bold, it's not interesting, it's not special, and it's not funny.

And you know why? Because we all know where "there" is. That's how we know when someone's gone there. Because WE could have gone there too. We've been there. We've read the map, we've taken the trip, we've bought the souveniers, we've come back. "There" is now like the Wisconsin Dells of comedy. There's no danger in going there, no risk. So many people have been there before you that they've had time to build a Taco Bell and a gas station.

They talk about "crossing the line" like it's an actual linear progression, like there's a strict demarcation between acceptable and unacceptable. But it's not that simple. "Going there" is acceptably unacceptable. Saying the things everyone thinks doesn't make you brave, it makes you unoriginal.

So stop. From now on, you're only allowed to "go there" if you're going to do something interesting when you get there. Or unless you're going to use "there" as a base camp to strike out for parts unknown. You can use "there" as a rest stop, if you'd like. But no just stopping there and taking up residence.

In fact, I'd like to officially evict Carlos Mencia from "there". Mencia doesn't even go there any more. He's bought a summer home there with DVD royalties just to cut down on the time he spends commuting to there. It's not that I have a problem with racial stereotypes in comedy, it's that I have a problem with racial stereotypes AS comedy. It's a vital difference. The tool versus the project. Oh, but Mencia's edgy! He's politically incorrect! He dares to go there!

Fuck "there". At this point, "there" is just this generation's Branson, Missouri. "There" is well inside the comfort zone, no matter how much it pretends otherwise. "There" reinforces while it pretends to challenge. "There" builds up what it pretends to destroy. "There" is as edgy as wet Nerf.

So don't go there.