It’s interesting how comedy tends to shift from one generation to the next, isn’t it. Take into account the raunchy and fluid-filled comedies we’ve seen in recent years and the last couple of decades and then compare them to any of the movies in the image above and you might get to wondering just why it’s okay to push the movies we have now and yet the movies of back then are seen as less than okay. Josh Spiegel of Ultimate Classic Rock has more to say on this matter as well. But why is this? Well, a lot of it has to do with what’s socially acceptable and what triggers people in various ways, since as a lot of us know in this day and age a trigger can be tripped by a word, a look, hell even a feeling that’s experienced by someone can make them want to run to their safe space with their cuddly stuffed animals and furry companion that’s there to relieve the stress of the real world. Does that sound cynical? Well it should since the movies of the past are still considered great by many people, even those that won’t fully admit it since they prefer to cave to the pressure of the PC culture wave that continually reminds us that the ideas promoted in the movies of before are misogynistic, racist, problematic, and on and on and on. In other words it means that the people of today have forgotten how to take a joke, how to laugh at humor that isn’t fueled by various body fluids, and isn’t willing to cross lines that are considered culturally insensitive. It’s a wonder that we laugh at anything these days really, but when you think about it, we’re still laughing at what some would label as the ‘wrong’ things when you look at certain movies.
Take a look at any movie made in the last 20 years and you’ll see something amazing. There’s STILL a lot of un-PC material left in a great number of movies, but they haven’t been nearly as roasted as the movies from the 70s, 80s, and even 90s have. Why is that? Well, it could be that people have nothing better to do than sit and cry about the past when there’s no way to change it, rather than face the present and future and attempt to do something that lies within their control. That’s a rather true statement that many people would give a healthy number of excuses about since crying over spilled milk doesn’t take much effort and it’s something that somehow manages to get attention. Railing against the movies and TV shows of today however appears to be a challenge that many individuals either don’t want to meet or will pay lip service to so long as people are paying attention. Movies from the past are great for many reasons, one among them being that back then people knew how to laugh and take a joke. Sure there was some material in there that was racist, sexist, and entirely wrong, but it was satire, just as it is today, it was an attempt to make fun of those that would practice such things. But many upon many people don’t see it this way, preferring to see the negative front without noticing the parody that exists around it and the attempt at humor that it was delivered with.
Anyone ever heard the phrase ‘F*** ’em if they can’t take a joke’? That would likely be the best rallying cry of today if anyone had the nerve to pull it off, since the general idea behind it is: GET OVER YOURSELVES. There are thousands of titles out there to take advantage of when it comes to entertainment and yes, there are literally hundreds if not thousands of ‘touchy-feeling, happy go lucky, PC-loving, won’t hurt your feelings over-sensitive’ stories that can cater to those that might need to go bawling into the nearest safe space the moment someone on screen says anything that offends them on a deeply traumatic level. At this point in history the more PC a movie gets the more likely it is that people are going to become nostalgic for the movies that have come before, and for good reason. The movies of back then were of course highly suspect in their content and their delivery at times, but again, as it might have to be said thousands of times before people get the point, THEY WERE COMEDIES. They were supposed to be out there, disturbing, and less than PC since that’s how they were created and how they made people laugh. The fact that laughter comes from a place of deep, dark depression and is a way to rob power from that dark place is a lesson that many people have yet to get apparently, but thankfully many of us already understand it and still value those movies that went a bit dark but did so in a manner that made it possible to laugh it off and enjoy ourselves in a positive manner.